Why Is Anxiety More Common Now?

Why Is Anxiety More Common Now?

I often find myself asking this question- has the rate of people suffering from anxiety increased over the years or is it just that people are now more aware of it and hence more willing to speak up about it. Having suffered from anxiety myself, I am very curious to know what is causing this increased anxiety in our generation  and what are some ways we could try to lower it.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is a huge part of our generation and although it helps us stay connected and makes us more aware about what is going on around the world, it can be a very likely cause of anxiety.  We are all well too aware of how addicting social media can be. Scrolling through our Instagram/Twitter/Facebook feeds day and night can quickly turn in to a vicious cycle of constant comparison and feeling like we aren’t good enough  Comparing our real lives to those  perfectly filtered photos of relatives/celebs on luxurious weekends having the time of their lives can most certainly start to take a toll on us. We might feel like we are not good enough or that our lives aren’t as amazing.  This type negative thinking only make things worse. Also, the lack of face to face interaction that comes about from excessive social media usage could also be harmful sometimes. I believe it is always a good idea to have a little social media detox and keep yourself in tune with what’s going around you rather than living your life through a screen!

HIGH EXPECTATIONS

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s always good to set your yourself big goals however living in a generation where the phrase ‘you can be anything you want’ is used so much, it’s hard to not feel the pressure. Compared to older generations, we are a more goal oriented generation; we want to follow our dreams and passion and pursue a not only successful but also a fulfilling career. Although this is a good thing, it can be stressful if your goals are harder to reach and even so when failures are seen as a sign of incompetencey or weakness. Failure goes hand in hand with success and many times we feel like giving up when things don’t seem to be going our way which again can cause anxiety. It is important to know that success won’t come to you in one day. It can take years of hard work, patience, experimenting and so ‘following your dream’ can sometimes be easier said than done.

AWARENESS ON ANXIETY

It’s so great to see how a once taboo topic is now openly and freely talked about. Perhaps the increase in awareness on mental disorders such as anxiety has allowed more people to admit their struggles and seek help instead of suffering in silence. That could be why it seems that anxiety is more common now but in reality these mental disorder were just unknown in the previous generations.

What do you think? Is today’s generation more anxiety-ridden than the ones before us? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

*I am no expert on anxiety- this is just me expressing my thoughts and opinions on it from what I think and from what I’ve researched online. Please don’t take anything I have mentioned in this post in a negative way or if I have mentioned something you don’t agree with, feel free to let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading xx

107 comments found

  1. I feel as though there’s more of an awareness of it now, when i was younger it wasnt classed as anxiety, it was just someone being extremely shy when in fact its anxiety and i think social media helps with the awareness!

    1. That’s so true! I love the fact that people are able to understand why someone might be ‘shy’ or ‘reserved’ in certain situations, not because they like being that way but because they have anxiety! Awareness has definitely helped us come such a long way! 💗

    2. This was a great read! I honestly think it’s a combination of awareness and the fast pace of society/media. It’s great to share awareness, but I do think we fail to talk about what needs to be eliminated from out lives to aleve some of the anxiety. However, it seems when we elimate or simplify things it is often looked down on for some reason. Amway, loved your insight!

  2. I truly believe that it seems more common because of the fact that people are more likely to speak up about it. I, for one, suffered for years without saying anything until now when I have finally felt ok to speak up about it. I also feel that Social Media helps me – genuinely. To see that others feel the same, and to know that I’m not going crazy is really reassuring to me. Lovely post xx

    1. Thank you! ♥️
      I totally agree with you! I’m so glad you are able to speak up about it now, raising awareness on such matters has helped us so much as a society! Oh yes, social media can have its benefits, I was recently going through a hard time and honestly having others tell me they can relate and they have to been through something similar made it just a little bit better! Thank you for reading lovely and hope you have a great day! ☺️

    1. So glad you did! Same here, and I guess we’ll never know for sure, but the fact that more people are speaking about it is something a great achievement in itself! 💗

  3. What a fantastic post 👍🏻 As someone who has suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember all the points you have made are valid. For me personally social media and access to the net in general has increased my anxiety ten fold and at times I just have to step back. I also think that awareness has increased meaning more people are seeking help which is great.

    Melanie | http://www.frasersfunhouse.com

    1. Thank you! ♥️
      It’s kind of funny isn’t it, how even though social media can increase our anxiety but at the same time it has also helped spread so much awareness on it!
      Thanks for reading! xx

  4. I loved reading this. It’s something I think about a lot too. While I agree things like social media make us more stressed and can cause anxiety I do think it’s more common because of a greater openness/ awareness regarding mental health. Interesting conversation topic! x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

    1. I’m so glad you did and I have thought about this so much aswell so it was quite interesting to read about it!
      I totally agree with you, I’m definitely more towards the awareness side because I believe mental illnesses have always existed! xx

  5. I genuinely don’t know what to say about anxiety. I know it’s an issue and I know some suffer a lot from it. But I feel like it has also become a go-to excuse for many things. I do agree that social media set really high expectations of how people should be though xx corinne

    1. I get your point of view! It’s kind of horrible though how some people think it’s ‘trendy’ or use it as an excuse while there are others who are truly struggling with it. xx

  6. As someone with anxiety, I’d say social media is a factor also because it allows people to see that other people feel the same, and that they are not alone, which in turn makes them more accepting and open of their own anxiety. I didn’t even realise I had anxiety until I read about it online.

    1. That’s so true! Social media has both caused and helped people with anxiety. It really is a great feeling to be able to share how you are feeling and know that there are others who can relate to what you are going through! xx

  7. Love this! I struggle with anxiety to and we definitely need to speak up about it more, it makes things a lot better x

  8. Social media & pressures involve certainly does have a big impact on anxiety. You can’t switch off from anything anymore & that can be really intimidating when your anxiety is bad. I’m glad there’s more awareness these days with more people opening up about it.

    1. Yes, it definitely plays a big role. Its so hard to get away from social media when we have become so addicted to knowing what everyone is else is up to every hour of the day. We have a definitely come such a long way with mental health awareness and I hope this continues! xx

  9. I don’t think it is more common now, we just feel more open to talk about it & some types of anxiety now have a label rather than just being seen as ”not liking crowded spaces” & what not. Loved reading this. Great stuff! x

  10. I agree with you! Also the way Social Media presents news, uses clickbait titles or a sort of unavoidable-disaster-way of reporting that, when being exposed to it time and time again, doesn’t help to see the world in a ‘good jolly’ and relaxed way. I guess it’s probably a combination of more awareness as well as a changed worldview or pressure put on by society (for instance being 24/7 available for any kind of ‘social’ interaction online and offline) that can add or creates different types of anxiety that are both ‘historically common’ but also unique in some cases to the 21st century experience.

    Love,
    Dominique

    http://www.fashionedbypluche.blogspot.com

    1. That’s actually quite interesting. I think there have definitely been certain things that could increase the level of anxiety in this generation such as the ones you have mentioned! xx

  11. There is definitely more people speaking up about their mental health which is great, it’s so healthy to talk to people about how you’re doing. I suffer with mental health myself and have done since I was a child, I never really speak about it, but recently I have started to a little more, it’s definitely baby steps but least it’s something. Social media can definitely be a cause for some people, I definitely can raise my hand to say I compare myself often to people on Instagram it’s hard not to when you see people with gorgeous figures and looks etc, it’s so upsetting that we do this, it can be very damaging but it can also be really great like giving people more confidence in speaking up about their mental health because perhaps they see other people doing it too!
    Becky Shannon xx – Life-by-Becky

    1. Thank you for this comment! I feel like we always need to constantly remind ourselves of how damaging it is to compare ourselves to what we see online! And yes, talking about it can definitely make the biggest difference! xx

  12. Such an interesting read, its nice to see all the various reasons of why it may have increased! It could be the fact that anxiety is now more aware in this day and age. Also I think as a whole mental health awareness has increased massively over the years and more people are gaining the confidence to speak about their health. Loved this post! X

  13. The social and political pressures, the availability of information, social media, lifestyle, almost everything contributes! I’m just glad that anxiety is recognised and respected, and we’re no longer noted as hysterical or hormonal!

    1. That’s so true! Come to think of it, there are millions of reasons why people suffer from anxiety! I hope this awareness on mental health can keep on spreading so no one has to deal with it in silence!

  14. I think that anxiety and other mental health problems are far less taboo and stigmatised today – hence why it is more at the forefront of society.

    Saying that this has also left mental health problems at risk of glamourisation and can have very negative effects on those truly suffering and in need of help!

    Stephanie xox
    The LDN Gal

  15. I don’t exactly think it’s more common but I know so many more people are taking about it and there’s so much awareness about anxiety now. I think in the past there’s been a lot of shame about it. I also agree with social media and expectations! xx

    1. I think the whole ‘shame’ aspect is definitely one of the reasons many people avoided talking about it in the past, and its so great to see so many people come ahead and share their struggles now! xx

  16. really interesting! I definitely think people had a bit less anxiety when everyone wasn’t uploading every moment of their lives on social media 🙈 but it’s definitely good that there are so many more ways to treat anxiety now!

  17. Reading through some of the other comments, I think it’s really interesting how people are either saying it’s Social Media or more awareness. I think your 100% right both of these things are relatively new and they’ve massively changed the ways in which we position ourselves in relation to others and our successes – especially when goals might be different to other people’s. I don’t have diagnosed Anxiety but I’m definitely an anxious person who can feel anxiety. Personally, I think goals and Social Media play a really large part in that. I can feel a shift in my mood and my confidence if I’m scrolling through and it seems as though my friends are reaching milestones left right and centre. A really great, and interesting, post 😊

  18. Very interesting post. It’s hard to get a handle on what really is behind anxiety being more common now. I would definitely say the fact that we are less ashamed to speak out about it now is one of the main factors, but certainly everything else rolls up in there too. Either way it’s amazing how far talking about it has come, especially in such a small amount of time.

    I have noticed if I come off social media for a few days/weeks, whatever is needed, my anxiety is certainly less aggressive a lot of the time.

    1. Thank you! Social media can definitely be a double edged sword haha, although good it can really have a damaging effect on our minds at time! xx

  19. I think it’s great how there is so much more awareness of it now, it’s great how you can tell someone you have anxiety and they understand. I think even though social media sets standards for us to try and meet it also helps raise awareness x

  20. As someone who’s training to be a mental health nurse I would love to know if anxiety is more common today or if it’s just more spoken about. I definitely think the issues you raised are contributing factors to many people’s anxiety though, particularly high expectations! It’s not good enough to just leave school and get a job anymore. You need to go to uni, get a 1st, get an amazing job, all whilst somehow fitting in a family life, social life and some hobbies. It’s just a lot!

    Chloe ❤ http://www.anomalouschloe.com

    1. So awesome that you are training to be a mental health nurse, best of luck with that! 💗
      I totally agree, and it’s more about finding a job you love rather than just doing one to earn money which can be quite a bit of a challenge at times! xx

  21. I don’t think it’s that anxiety is more common but that its a subject more openly discussed with there being so much more awareness and conversation around the subject. I remember reading a research paper about anxiety and it said something like: the current rates of anxiety among young people match those of asylum patients in the 1950s.I agree high pressures play a role but I think it comes a lot from the school system with the pressure on being the best and being top without the chance of being able to enjoy being a child? However, that is just my opinion because the reason for people having anxiety is different for everyone.

    1. Oh wow! That’s a a very alarming fact that I had not heard, thanks for sharing!
      That’s also factor that plays a big role in anxiety, although I do believe the increase in awareness is making people talk about it more now! xx
      Thanks for reading! 💗

  22. I loved reading this post. Personally, I think awareness has increased and it’s a topic more openly discussed than in previous generations. I’m glad people feel happy to share their struggles and not suffer in silence, the online community can be a great support system or just a listening ear when needed.

    Tx. // MusicGeekOnline

  23. Babe this is a really, really great post. I think the first step to anxiety is awareness that it is a mental illness and to break the stigma. Social Media in the next generation is now the bible for the youth & that’s so damaging. I personally felt a high expectation so this affected the pressures during my studies. Thanks for sharing lovely & look forward to seeing more! Monica @ thewongblog.com

  24. A really enjoyable read. I definitely agree that social media has a big part to play in the rise of anxiety within our society. So many people are easily fazed by the impression of perfection online. 🙁

    1. Thank you! 💗
      I know right! I too have to remind myself to remember that what is online is just a small part of that person’s life and that we all have our own struggles! xx

  25. Love this post it’s so well written, I definitely think the awareness of anxiety makes it more common and it’s so great that it isn’t a taboo topic anymore and it’s okay to talk about! X

  26. This is such a great post! I think there’s definitely more awareness now which is good! I think social interaction is a good point though, we spend our lives online and when it comes to social interaction a lot of us can feel anxious! Xx

  27. I think there is more awareness for sure! I also think people are more likely to say they are suffering these days too! It’s less frowned upon than it used to be and people understand it more therefore being able to offer more help!

  28. I get quite nervous in certain social situations, particularly talking to strangers on the phone but I’ve never referred to it as having anxiety as it is only really that area that makes me feel nervous. In some ways, I am glad that more people are feeling brave enough to share their anxiety stories with us but then sometimes I am not sure if some people actually do have anxiety and just get a bit shy sometimes. It’s a complex area but I feel what is most important is helping someone feel safer and more comfortable and hopefully less anxious in whatever way you can.

    Ellyn x | Life Of A Beauty Nerd

  29. I have noticed that a lot of bloggers (nearly all I talk to) suffer some kind of form of anxiety. And maybe it’s because it’s still taboo in the outside world? Like if I have a friend who hasn’t experienced it, I feel as though I can’t discuss it. But online, there’s this freedom to just say it.
    So I wonder whether more people are coming forward online and if that is saying anything about freedom in society to openly discuss mental health? A really interesting post. x

    1. That’s actually a really interesting thing you mentioned! I totally agree, I feel even I have noticed that not many people will admit that they are suffering from mental illness with me face to face but I see many people saying they do online. I guess that comes back to the point that social media has helped people talk about their issues and spread awareness although sometimes it is the thing causing it! xx

  30. Hi, I think it is more prevalent purely because more people are aware of anxiety its possible signs and symptoms and seek help. It is also a less taboo subject these days.

  31. This is a great read, I think with the fast paced society we have it is hard for our brains to cope and they overload. We need to have moments of peace and calm rather than being on the go all the time.

  32. I totally agree with you Huda that competition, expectations, comparison on social media everything adds to anxiety. But anxiety was definitely not less in the past, people are now more aware and more open to talking about it. Great post. 🙂

    http://glossnglitters.com

  33. I think people are now more open to talk about it. Especially as the stigma that’s attached to anxiety/depression doesn’t seem to be as bad as it used to. Really good post.

  34. I completely agree with your post. There is definitely more awareness about anxiety and depression these days but still have a ways to go. You make excellent points – Social media is a blessing and a curse. I compare my life to the doctored photos of the unrealistic, glamorous lives of celebrities. I took a break from social media based on that very fact. Thank you for sharing!

    1. You’re so welcome! I’m so glad you could relate! Comparison has become such a big issue of this generation and taking time off social media is a great thing to do! xx

  35. I have never been “diagnosed” with anxiety, so I never feel comfortable saying I suffer with it. But since I was 14 I’ve been aware of the impact it’s had on my life even though I try to push through it, I know I’ve spent a lot of times feeling like I might pass out, or be sick because of intense social situations, I do believe social media and the pressures to be accepted and achieve our goals has had a massive impact on mine. Thanks for your blog its a subject i’ve thought about a lot before!

    1. I have not been diagnosed with it either, but I know for a fact that I have it, what with all the symptoms especially physical ones that I feel on a daily basis although I am grateful that the amount I suffer isn’t as much as some other people so I totally get you!
      I totally agree with you, and I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it. It’s definitely something I have thought about quite often! xx

  36. For me I started to recognize signs of anxiety and panic attacks at the beginning of secondary school. I didn’t really tell anyone about it as I thought I was over reacting but a few months ago some of my teachers noticed I had gone a lot quieter (I used to be the kid who would not shut my mouth) so one of them asked me and I told her. A lot has happened since then, but not much had changed with in. I totally get what you mean by it becoming more common. Mostly posts like these help me as I get to learn other peoples experiences and views on it. x

    1. I’m so sorry you had to go through that! Im so glad this post could help you out and you are right, learning about other people’s views and experiences can make a world of a difference! 💗💗

  37. Hey Hun, lovely post! I’m so glad there is more awareness on anxiety and it’s very important to delve into ourselves and not be afraid and embarrassed about this condition. 👌🏾❣️

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