Anxiety and anxiety disorders occur more often than one would think. People often do not want to admit that they suffer from an anxiety disorder, yet there are more people with an anxiety disorder than we would think that there are. Anxiety and anxiety disorders are issues which occur worldwide and of which many people suffer.

When you realize how many people come into contact with anxiety disorders, you might start to understand that you are not weak nor an exception. Many people feel abnormal when they have an anxiety disorder, because they find themselves abnormal or weak, because they think you must be weak to be anxious. This is not correct. Oftentimes, by looking at the prevalence of depression, these people realize that it is okay to experience anxiety, but that it is useful to treat the anxiety as quickly as possible. The prevalence of anxiety is not abnormal, and occurs in many people worldwide.

Prevalence of anxiety in Belgium?

Research has already been conducted on the prevalence of anxiety. In this, we differentiated between general anxiety disorders and specific anxiety disorders. below you can read about the prevalence of anxiety in Belgium, according to the European Study on Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD) :

  • In Belgium, 15.1% of women and 11.1% of men suffer from an anxiety disorder. These numbers include people who have, at some point in their lives, experienced an anxiety disorder.
  • In Belgium, 6.8% of the population has experienced a specific phobia at some point.
  • In Belgium, 2.7% has at some point experienced a generalized anxiety disorder.
  • In Belgium, 2.3% has at some point experienced a post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • In Belgium, 2% has at some point experienced a panic disorder.
  • In Belgium, 2% of the population has experienced a social phobia at some point.
  • In Belgium, 0.8% of the population has experienced agoraphobia at some point.

You can see that the prevalence of anxiety in Belgium is rather high. 15% of Belgian women has experienced an anxiety disorder at some point. This is only looking at the prevalence of anxiety in Belgium. The numbers regarding prevalence of depression are likely to be even higher when looking at them on a worldwide level.

Prevalence of anxiety in the Netherlands?

To compare two countries, we also include the numbers regarding prevalence of anxiety in the Netherlands, as found in a study by De Graaf et al., 2010. These numbers consider the Dutch-speaking population between 18 and 65 years of age:

  • 1.061.200 persons suffer from an anxiety disorder.
  • 188.200 persons suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder.
  • 131.900 persons have a panic disorder.
  • 526.200 persons have a specific phobia.
  • 394.200 persons have a social phobia.
  • 39.100 persons suffer from agoraphobia.

Here, too, it can be seen that the prevalence of anxiety is high. If you experience any of the anxiety disorders above, you can conclude that you are not alone. There are many people who experience daily anxiety, who do not know how to handle it.

Prevalence of depression: treatment?

Anxiety often gives you the feeling that you have lost control over yourself. A symptom of anxiety can, for example, be depersonalization, meaning you feel like you are someone else, looking at yourself, without any feeling of contact with yourself. It seems like you are someone else. This makes it so that it seems difficult for many people to treat anxiety and thereby the prevalence of anxiety.

Still, there are several ways in which to treat anxiety. There namely are therapies, which can help you with your anxiety symptoms and your feeling of loss of control. You will once again get the feeling that you are the boss over yourself and your anxiety.

The taboo regarding care

Unfortunately, people often do not find their way to proper care in order to treat anxiety. While the prevalence of anxiety is high, which could have significant consequences, there still is a taboo when it comes to accepting care. That is why the prevalence of anxiety can increase or worsen. Often, anxiety requires professional guidance in order to break out of the vicious cycle.

A tip which we can give you regarding this, is to take the first step to preventing the prevalence of depression by listening to your own feelings. It might be so that you feel like 'your anxiety is not bad enough' or 'everyone has gone through something difficult at some point', but that should not stop you from treating your anxiety. If you experience suffering from anxiety symptoms, it is useful to look for help.

"" developed an online self-help program which can help people to take the first steps. The program was developed by doctors and psychologists and it has been proven to effectively treat mild anxiety disorders. This way, you can treat your anxiety every day from home.

Filling out an anxiety test?

To know to what extent you suffer from anxiety and how the prevalence of anxiety influences you life, you can fill out the free anxiety test here, which will then tell you more about your anxiety.