Anxiety disorders now plague 18 percent of the U.S. adult population –- a whopping 40 million people. Only half that number are affected by mood disorders. The drug alprazolam — familiar by its brand name, Xanax — was prescribed 46.3 million times in 2010, making it that year’s bestselling psychiatric drug. Prozac, the happiness-and-optimism pill, has been pushed aside by a medication meant to just help you get through the day without collapsing in a puddle of anxiety.
It’s easy to see the appeal of popping a Xanax. A recent survey by the American Psychological Association paints a picture of workers on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
• Sixty-two percent say work has a significant impact on their stress levels.
• Almost 50 percent indicate their stress levels have increased between 2007 and 2008.
• Forty-five percent of workers say job insecurity has a significant impact on stress levels.
I number of years ago, I had a young friend who was one of those prescription abusers users of Xanax. She certainly swore by it.
If I recall correctly, Valium, before it got a bad rap was the number one prescription medication in the United States. The Rolling Stone’s “Mother’s Little Helper” dates back to 1966 and peaked at #8 on the Billboard Singles Chart. It was discussing Nembutal.
So while I understand that job insecurity is certainly not a lot of fun – working in the construction industry has certainly made me familiar with it – we have been finding ways to chill for some time now.
I suspect it has more to do with living in the modern world interacting with genetic predispositions, than any specific cause.