Growing Anxiety Levels in Britain: The Impact and Signs of Extreme Anxiety

Britain has recently been identified as a nation experiencing a surge in anxiety, with nearly a quarter of UK adults reporting high levels of anxiety on a daily basis. The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, reveal the profound impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental well-being of the population. In this article, we will delve into the implications of these findings and explore the signs of extreme anxiety that individuals may experience.

According to the Office for National Statistics, between October to December of last year, 23.6% of UK adults reported high levels of anxiety each day. This figure remained relatively steady in the short term, compared to the previous quarter’s rate of 22.7%. However, it is worth noting that the levels of anxiety reported were higher than those observed before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2017, only 20.3% of UK adults reported experiencing high anxiety levels.

In addition, the updated dashboard of measures of national well-being from the ONS also highlighted the prevalence of loneliness among adults in Britain. Approximately 8% of adults in the country stated that they always or often feel lonely, further emphasizing the impact of the pandemic on social connection and well-being.

Extreme anxiety can manifest in various ways, and recognizing the signs is crucial in seeking appropriate support and intervention. Some common indicators include:

  1. Intense and persistent worry or fear that is difficult to control.
  2. Restlessness, feeling on edge, or being easily startled.
  3. Physical symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, palpitations, or chest tightness.
  4. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  5. Excessive sweating or trembling.
  6. Difficulty concentrating or feeling mentally overwhelmed.
  7. Insomnia or trouble falling asleep due to racing thoughts.
  8. Avoidance of certain situations or places that trigger anxiety.
  9. Muscle tension, aches, or frequent headaches.
  10. Gastrointestinal issues like stomachaches or digestive problems.
  11. Feeling constantly on guard or anticipating danger.
  12. Panic attacks, characterized by sudden and intense surges of anxiety accompanied by physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, and a sense of impending doom.

Treatment Options

It is important to remember that effective treatment options are available. Seeking professional help can provide valuable support and guidance in managing anxiety. Some common treatment approaches include:

  1. Therapy: Psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), is often recommended for treating anxiety. CBT helps individuals identify and challenge negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute. It equips them with coping strategies and skills to manage anxious thoughts and emotions effectively.
  2. Medication: In some cases, healthcare professionals may prescribe anti-anxiety medications to alleviate symptoms. These medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or benzodiazepines, can help reduce levels. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate medication and dosage.
  3. Relaxation Techniques: Various relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation, can help individuals calm their minds and bodies, reducing anxiety symptoms.
  4. Lifestyle Modifications: Adopting a healthy lifestyle can contribute to managing anxiety. Regular exercise, adequate sleep, a balanced diet, and limiting caffeine and alcohol intake can positively impact overall well-being and help reduce anxiety.
  5. Support Network: Building a strong support network of friends, family, or support groups can provide emotional support and understanding during challenging times. Sharing experiences and seeking support from others who have faced similar struggles can be beneficial.
  6. Stress Management: Developing effective stress management techniques, such as time management, prioritizing self-care activities, and engaging in hobbies or activities that bring joy and relaxation, can help reduce anxiety levels.

It’s important to remember that everyone’s journey is unique, and treatment approaches may vary depending on individual needs. A healthcare professional can assess the severity of the anxiety and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan. With the right support and treatment, individuals can learn to manage anxiety and regain control over their lives.


While the prevalence of anxiety in Britain has seen a concerning rise, it is crucial to understand that effective treatment options are available. Seeking professional help, such as therapy, considering medication when necessary, adopting relaxation techniques, making lifestyle modifications, nurturing a support network, and implementing stress management strategies can significantly improve anxiety management. By addressing it through comprehensive treatment approaches, individuals can work towards achieving better mental well-being and a higher quality of life.

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