Understanding the Real Cost of Anxiety

Anxiety is costly. It costs us in physical, emotional, and financial terms. However, it does not stop there. It also incurs huge financial burden for the society as a whole.

Anxiety, worry, and stress disrupt relationships, family, and work. Evidently, if you have an issue with anxiety, you incur the cost of having distressed feelings. Anxiety feels awful. You don’t have to be a scientist to know that. Even so, did you know that if left untreated anxiety may run up a tab in a few other ways as well? Those costs include:

• A physical cost: Higher blood pressure, gastrointestinal symptoms, tension and headaches can affect your physical condition. In fact, recent studies found that specific types of acute anxiety disorders can affect the makeup of our brain’s structures.

• A toll on our children: Parents with anxiety frequently have anxious children. It is partly due to the genetics factors, but it’s also due to the fact that children learn from observation. Distressed kids may be so anxious that they are unable to pay attention in school.

• Overweight: Frustration and anxiety increase the level of hormone called as cortisol. Cortisol results in larger fat storage inside the abdominal area, therefore increasing the possibility of stroke and heart disease. Stress also contributes to increased appetite.

• More frequent trips to the doctor: That is because those with anxiety often experience physical symptoms. Additionally, anxious people frequently worry too much about their health condition.

• Relationship issues: People with anxiety often feel irritable. Occasionally, they withdraw emotionally and often dependently hold close to their spouses.

• Downtime: Those who suffer anxiety disorders often miss work more frequently than those who don’t, often as an effort to temporarily cure their distress. Anxiety costs hundreds of billions of dollars around the world. A U.S. government report shows that anxiety costs more than schizophrenia, depression, or any other psychological problem. The annual tab in US alone is estimated at about $65 billion.

Great Britain spent 32 billion pounds (about $50 billion) on mental treatment in 2002, a large portion of which was allocated on anxiety related issues. Even countries that allocate little on mental healthcare tend to incur considerable costs from anxiety disorders. They include:

  • Decreased productivity
  • Drugs
  • Healthcare costs

Reduced productivity is occasionally due to existing health problems made more serious by anxiety. However, the financial costs from healthcare costs and downtime does not include the money lost to substance and alcohol abuse, which many people with anxiety disorders often turn to when dealing with their anxiety problem. Thus, indirectly and directly, anxiety extracts a prodigious toll on both the individual who suffer it and community at large.


  1. Marnie Reply
    January 16, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Well sorry to be so high maintenance. Should I like kill myself or something to settle my debt to the society?

  2. Jen Reply
    June 18, 2019 at 2:47 am

    Why are there no references contained within or listed after this article? It makes it seem like the information is pulled from thin air and has no basis or value.

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