Over the past two years, reported cases of anxiety and people seeking help for stress have tripled. It is important to understand the root of the anxiety epidemic in America and how it is driving record numbers of new mental health and substance use disorder cases.
Anxiety by the Numbers
In recent years, the anxiety crisis in America has reached new levels. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the number of people diagnosed with anxiety disorders has tripled over the last two years. This surge in anxiety rates is unprecedented and shows no signs of slowing down.
A recent National Institute of Health (NIH) study showed a significant increase in the proportion of participants with high anxiety symptoms from 8.1% in 2019 to 21.4% at the beginning of April 2020. The prevalence remained 3% above 2019 levels until December 2020.
The study identified this pattern of increasing anxiety between 2019 and April 2020 across all demographic characteristics. The study underscores the need for continued efforts to address the anxiety crisis in the United States.
Reasons for the Increase
There are a number of factors that may be contributing to the anxiety crisis. The current state of the economy, political turmoil, and 24/7 news channels are potential sources of stress and anxiety. In addition, how individuals use social media can also lead to feelings of insecurity and isolation. The constant comparison to the “perfect” lives individuals see online can make them feel inadequate and stressed.
Learning healthy coping mechanisms, such as deep breathing and relaxation techniques, can help individuals cope better with stressful situations. In addition, making time for activities that bring joy can help reduce a person’s overall anxiety levels. By taking these steps, individuals can begin to find calm in the midst of the anxious storm.
Increase in Substance Use Disorders
Substance use disorder rates have skyrocketed since the pandemic began. Several reasons for this increase include fear and anxiety over the economy and health as well as grief over the loss of loved ones. The stress of these factors can lead people to turn to substances to cope. Additionally, the isolation associated with the pandemic continues to make it difficult for people with substance use disorders to get the help they need.
As a result, there has been a record number of SUD rates since 2020. To prevent this trend from continuing, it is essential to provide additional resources and support for those with substance use disorders. This includes access to treatment, peer support groups, and educational materials.
Human Beings Need Connection
According to John Bowlby, the late British psychologist cited as one of the fathers of modern attachment theory, the need for human connection begins in infancy. Therefore, if an infant does not have a caretaker who responds to their needs, they will not develop the ability to form secure attachments and will be more likely to suffer from mental health problems later in life.
This does not mean that every person who does not have a solid connection to their parents will suffer from mental health problems, but it does show the importance of human contact for good mental health. In addition, the connection provides individuals with a support system to fall back on during difficult times.
Strong social ties have been shown to reduce stress levels and promote emotional well-being. According to some experts, the need for human connection is even more important than the need for food or water. This is because social interaction is essential for developing self-awareness and empathy, which are critical components of good mental health.
Individuals risk isolation and loneliness without the ability to connect with others, which can lead to severe psychological problems. There are many ways to form strong connections, such as having close relationships with family or friends, being part of a supportive community, or having a romantic partner. For some people, human connection can also come from their pets. No matter how it is achieved, the need for human connection is essential for good mental health.
The Pandemic and Isolation
The need for human connection is a basic human requirement. Isolation caused by the pandemic has created anxiety by depriving many people of this fundamental need. Studies have shown that social interaction and human touch are essential for maintaining mental and emotional health. The lack of these can lead to depression, anxiety, and even physical illness.
The pandemic has forced people to stay isolated from one another, which has created a sense of anxiety and fear. While some people have been able to cope with this by finding other ways to connect with others, such as through the internet, many have not been able to do so. This has led to an increase in the number of people suffering from mental health problems.
The pandemic has also made it difficult for people to access mental health services. This lack of access has further exacerbated the problem of climbing anxiety and substance use disorder rates.
Get Help From The Phoenix
While the need for human connection is hardwired into our brains, the pandemic has made it difficult for people to interact with one another. This has led to an increase in anxiety and isolation, as people are deprived of the opportunity to socialize and connect with others. The pandemic has also led to increased levels of stress and anxiety, as people are worried about their health and the health of their loved ones, as well as grieving over those who have died since 2020. With the world turned upside down, it’s no wonder that people are feeling more anxious than ever before. Political strife and economic distress have caused a spike in the reported rates of substance use disorders as maladaptive coping mechanisms.
For information on effective treatment for anxiety and substance use disorders, call The Phoenix Recovery Center today at (801) 438-3185.