Why we live in an age of anxiety
Anxiety plagues our times. In the UK, 19% of people suffer from depression and anxiety, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Anxiety has become part of the cultural furniture.
As a clinical condition, anxiety is fairly young – even 30 years ago, it did not exist in the US. But while the terminology has changed, the experience itself is ancient. Witness the work of writers through Auden, Freud, Kierkegaard and Darwin to Hippocrates in the fourth century BC. “Which suggests to me,” Stossel says, “that even though it can get filtered through culture, it’s a condition that has been with us since humans emerged.”
The Guardian examines what makes everyday stresses spiral out of control, and four writers reveal how their fears rule their lives.