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Anxiety: How to deal with it?


Anxiety is a complex mental health condition that affects people across different age groups and genders. Understanding the prevalence and unique challenges faced by various demographics can assist in developing effective strategies to manage anxiety. In this blog post, we will explore statistics from the UK regarding anxiety, delve into gender and age group differences, and provide practical coping mechanisms for reclaiming tranquility.

Prevalence of Anxiety in the UK:

  1. Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions in the United Kingdom. According to the Mental Health Foundation, approximately 8.2 million people in the UK experienced anxiety in 2020, representing 12.2% of the population. These statistics highlight the significance of addressing anxiety as a public health concern.

Gender Differences:

  1. Anxiety can vary between genders due to biological, societal, and cultural factors. In the UK, women tend to experience higher rates of anxiety disorders compared to men. According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2020, 22.5% of women reported experiencing anxiety symptoms, while the figure for men was 14.8%. Hormonal fluctuations during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, as well as societal expectations and gender roles, can contribute to this disparity.

Age Group Variations:

Anxiety can impact individuals of all age groups, each facing unique challenges and manifestations:

  1. Children and Adolescents:

Anxiety disorders are prevalent among children and adolescents in the UK. Approximately 5% of children and young people aged 5-16 were diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in 2020. Academic pressures, social interactions, and familial dynamics contribute to anxiety in this age group. Early intervention, school support, and open dialogue with parents and educators play a crucial role in managing anxiety in children and adolescents.

  1. Young Adults:

Young adulthood is a transitional phase associated with increased stress levels. In the UK, university students often experience anxiety related to academic expectations, career choices, and financial pressures. According to a survey by the Higher Education Policy Institute, 76% of students in the UK reported experiencing mental health issues, including anxiety. Developing effective coping mechanisms, seeking support services within educational institutions, and fostering a balanced lifestyle are essential during this stage.

  1. Adults:

Adults in the UK face various stressors that can contribute to anxiety. Work-related pressures, financial concerns, and relationship dynamics can significantly impact mental well-being. According to the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, anxiety disorders affected 4.9% of adults aged 16-64 in the UK in 2014. Seeking professional help, implementing self-care practices, and engaging in stress management techniques are crucial steps in managing anxiety for adults.

  1. Older Adults:
  1. While anxiety is often associated with younger age groups, it can also affect older adults in the UK. Health concerns, retirement, and loss of loved ones can trigger anxiety in this demographic. According to Age UK, 22% of people aged 65 and older experienced symptoms of anxiety in 2020. Promoting social connections, encouraging physical activity, and ensuring access to mental health services are vital for managing anxiety among older adults.

How to deal with the anxiety?


Find your local mental health first aid training

Regardless of age or gender, there are effective strategies to manage anxiety:

  1. Get mental health first aid training:

A mental health first aid training can be beneficial in helping individuals manage anxiety. Mental health first aid training equips individuals with the knowledge and skills to provide initial support to someone experiencing a mental health crisis or struggling with mental health challenges. While mental health first aid training is not a substitute for professional help, it can play a vital role in early intervention and providing immediate support to individuals experiencing anxiety.

Here's how mental health first aid training can assist with anxiety management:


  1. Increased Awareness and Understanding: Mental health first aid training helps individuals develop a better understanding of anxiety and its symptoms. By learning about the signs, triggers, and impact of anxiety, participants can recognize anxiety symptoms in themselves or others.
  2. Early Intervention: Mental health first aid training emphasizes the importance of early intervention. Participants learn how to identify signs of anxiety and provide initial support to someone in distress. This can include offering a listening ear, validating their experiences, and encouraging them to seek professional help.
  3. Reducing Stigma: Mental health first aid training also addresses the stigma surrounding mental health. Participants learn to create a safe and non-judgmental environment where individuals with anxiety feel comfortable seeking support. By promoting open dialogue and empathy, mental health first aid training helps reduce stigma and encourages help-seeking behavior.
  4. Providing Emotional Support: One of the key aspects of mental health first aid training is teaching individuals how to provide emotional support to someone experiencing anxiety. Participants learn active listening skills, empathy, and effective communication techniques, which can help alleviate distress and promote a sense of validation and understanding.
  5. Referral and Resources: Mental health first aid training educates participants about available resources and professional services that can assist individuals with anxiety. They learn how to provide appropriate referrals to mental health professionals or direct individuals to relevant support networks and organizations.

It’s important to note that mental health first aid training does not replace professional treatment for anxiety disorders. However, it can make a significant difference in early intervention, reducing stigma, and providing immediate support to individuals experiencing anxiety. By equipping individuals with knowledge, empathy, and the ability to offer initial assistance, mental health first aid training can contribute to overall anxiety management and promote a more supportive and mentally healthy society. 

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