Mental Health Awareness Week highlights Britain's anxiety woes
14th May 2014
anxietyMonday saw the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week which will run until the 18 May. Ran by the British charitable organisation Mental Health Foundation, this year’s specific theme is a problem that is spiralling all over the UK; anxiety. Anxiety is a problem has that has got progressively worse over the last few decades and is recognised as one of the leading causes behind mental ill-health all around the world. With this week it is hoped more awareness is raised about anxiety, the leading causes of the condition and what steps you can take to live more easily with it. The majority of us will experience some form of anxiety during the course of our lives. The stresses at work, or raising a family, trying to ride through the recession, or preparing for a job interview will all result in some degree of anxiety. In addition, Medical Specialists™ Pharmacy have spoken to thousands of patients who are suffering with severe anxiety caused by health issues that have a huge detriment to their confidence and self-esteem. Problems such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, hair loss, acne, obesity and much more can all result in long-term anxiety without the necessary treatment(s), which can all be obtained from Medical Specialists™. When anxiety becomes excessive, persistent and overwhelming, this is when it becomes so problematic that your daily life is effected and is also the primary symptom of a number of conditions, including phobias, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder (social phobia). According the Mental Health Foundation, levels of anxiety are on the rise. Currently around one in five in the UK feels anxious most or all of the time. A survey carried out by the charity also found nearly half of Brits now feel more anxiety than they did in the past. The survey defined anxious as “generally feeling worried, nervous, or uneasy”. An estimated three-fifths of the 2,330 British adults questioned by YouGov admitted they feel anxious on a daily basis and 7% would not hesitate to see a GP due to their feelings of anxiety. Just one in 20 say they never feel anxious. So what exactly is on the nation’s mind and causing us sleepless nights? Well, perhaps unsurprisingly given the state of the economy, money problems were cited as the main cause of anxiety. Of those polled, 45% said money/finance/debt was the main cause, 36% said the welfare of their children and loved ones, whilst 27% said work problems - i.e. long hours - were causing the most anxiety. Older people were found to be less worried about finance, but women and older people were more concerned for loved ones. Even though there are a large number of people battling anxiety, almost a fifth of respondents admitted to doing nothing to deal with it. “Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems in the UK and it is increasing, yet it remains under-reported, under-diagnosed and under-treated," said Jenny Edwards, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation. “A good ability to cope with anxiety is key to our resilience in the face of whatever life throws at us. However, experiencing it too much or too often means we risk becoming overwhelmed. Anxiety at this level can have a truly distressing and debilitating impact on our lives and impact on our physical as well as mental health. As individuals and as a society we need to be more anxiety aware. If we truly recognised the cost anxiety has on society, as well as the mounting distress it causes to individuals, communities and employers, we would act now.” To help people understand anxiety in greater depth, the charity has compiled a new guide titled Are You Anxiety Aware?, which explains the different types of anxiety, the main reasons that can result in feelings of anxiety, in addition to the physical signs that could occur with anxiety (fast breathing, sweating, rapid and/or irregular heartbeat, etc.).