CASES in anxiety have increased drastically in young adults in the UK over the last 12 years, with studies showing mental health to be Britain’s own silent epidemic.
One of the main reasons is the impact on a person’s self-confidence through social media use, add that to isolation due to the health crisis and other daily worries and you have a ticking time bomb.
One of the biggest studies in UK history aimed at the growth of anxiety from 1998 to 2018, before the health crisis, included 6.6 million subjects and gave alarming numbers.
The study featured in the British Journal of Psychiatry and stated that cases of anxiety grew from 8.42 per cent to 30.33 per cent in female subjects between the ages of 18 and 24 from 2008 to 2018.
For the male subjects over the same period, they increased from 4.95 per cent to 14.88 per cent over.
Lead researcher for the study, Professor Nick Freemantle, is quoted as saying, “Given the steep increases in anxiety revealed by this research, and the sheer number of people affected, it is now clear that Britain has a really serious and worsening problem with anxiety, which can have devastating effects on people’s lives.”
He offered some reasons as to why this may have happened, “During this period we had a recession, a vote to leave Europe, which was not popular among young people, social media became ubiquitous, there was increased concern about the climate, and there was a change of attitude towards anxiety disorders.”
These reasons may have led to situations of ‘hopelessness and powerlessness.’
One reason stands out more than most and when we consider our own use it may help us understand, ‘Social media use, which early research suggests is strongly associated with anxiety, is more common among young people and may be partly responsible.
‘Profitable social media platforms use a business model that monetises the attention of users by selling it to advertisers, but in actuality, social media users are the product and not the customer.’
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