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Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry or general unease that we all get from time to time, be it when we go for a job interview or go for our first day at school. If these feelings persist, or are so extreme that they considerably affect normal life, you could have an anxiety disorder, just like the 6% highlighted in these UK mental health statistics

Part of understanding anxiety is educating ourselves on data and research done on the topic. To help you gain that understanding of how common anxiety is, we’ve listed some relevant facts and figures from leading organisations in mental health, academia, and public health.

On this page:

Prevalence | Demographics | Treatment | Other Conditions | Workplace | COVID-19

Prevalence

  • In England in any given week in 2013, there was a 6.6% prevalence of anxiety. [1]
  • In 2014, there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety reported in the UK. [2]
  • It’s estimated that globally, 284 million people had anxiety disorder in 2017. [3]
  • In any given week the prevalence of: [4]
    • Mixed anxiety and depression is 8 in 100 people
    • Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is 6 in 100 people
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is 4 in 100 people
    • Phobias is 2 in 100 people
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is 1 in 100 people
    • Panic disorder is fewer than 1 in 100 people.
  • The UK has the 62nd highest rate of anxiety disorder in the world. New Zealand is first (8.54%). [3]

Demographics

  • In England women are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders as men. [2]
  • The 12-month prevalence rates for SAD, GAD, and specific phobia were highest in the 18- to 34-year age group, while they were highest for panic disorder in the 35- to 49-year group. In the 50- to 64-year age group, prevalence rates decreased. They were and were lowest in the elderly (65 to 79 years). [5]
  • The median age of onset for anxiety disorders is 11 years. [6]
  • Anxiety disorders were more common among young women aged 16 to 24 (GAD 9.0%; phobias 5.4%; OCD 2.4%; and panic disorder 2.2%) than in other age-sex group in England. [1]
  • 7% of females have an anxiety disorder globally compared to 2.8% of males suffering from anxiety. [3]
  • 50-69 year olds are most likely to have anxiety disorder in adults (4.67%). 70+ year-olds are the least likely (4.11%). [3]
  • In 2008, 8.42% of women aged 18-24 years old were diagnosed or had symptoms for anxiety. By 2018, this had trebled to 30.33%. In men aged 18-24 years old, the rate had increased from 4.95% to 14.88%. [7]

Anxiety and Treatment

  • Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment. [8]
  • People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders. [8]

Anxiety and Other Health Conditions

  • Six in 10 (62%) of those with anxiety also have depression. [7]
  • 20% of people with an anxiety or mood disorder such as depression have an alcohol or other substance use disorder. [8]

In the Workplace

  • In 2020/21 anxiety, depression and stress accounted for 50% of all work-related ill health cases. [9]
  • In the recent years prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the rate of self-reported work-related anxiety, depression or stress had shown signs of increasing. In 2020/21 the rate was higher than the 2018/19 pre-coronavirus levels. [9]

The COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Between 20 and 30 March 2020 almost half (49.6%) of people reported high anxiety and average anxiety scores of 5.2 out of 10, a marked increase from 3.0 in the last quarter of 2019. [10]
  • For someone who reported that they “often or always” felt lonely, the odds of reporting high anxiety (scoring between 6 and 10 out of 10) were almost five (4.7) times greater than those for someone who “never” felt lonely. [10]
  • The percentage of people who are married or in a civil partnership that reported high levels of anxiety significantly increased since the last quarter of 2019; 39% up from 19%. [10]
  • Of the 822,000 workers suffering from work-related anxiety, depression or stress in 2020/21 an estimated 449,000 reported that this was caused or made worse by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. [9]

Anxiety Treatment at Priory

If anxiety is seriously damaging your ability to lead a normal life, know that treatment for anxiety today is both available and effective.

At Priory, we offer outpatient, inpatient and day care treatment for sufferers of anxiety, with world-class mental health hospitals delivering the very best treatment at sites across the UK. We also offer fast access to therapy online, allowing you to speak to a highly trained mental professional about your symptoms from the comfort of your own home.

No matter the best course of treatment for you, you’ll be led by the very best mental health practitioners, therapists and psychiatrists.

Find out more about treatment for anxiety disorder at the Priory, or get in touch to speak to our team about your wellbeing today.

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For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding mental health and wellbeing, please call 0800 840 3219 or make an enquiry. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here.

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