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Anxiety reduces 1 in 5 people to tears every week and women are three times more likely to suffer: new poll

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One in five 18-34 year-olds have cried due to anxiety in the past week, according to a new poll out today from the mental health charity, Mind.

The poll conducted by Populus, interviewed 2,063 adults online in May this year.

"Anxiety has now become level with depression as the most common reason for calls to Mind’s infoline," the charity says. "In 2014/15 alone there were 6,087 calls about anxiety and panic attacks, which accounted for nearly one in six of all calls."

Gender was also shown to play a huge role in anxiety, with women being three times more likely than men to have cried because of anxiety in the past week, and twice as likely to hide in the toilets at work if they felt anxious.

However, women were also twice as likely to feel better after having cried.

Half of women said they would comfort eat if they felt, whereas only two fifths of men said they would do the same. 

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Women are three times more likely than men to cry because of anxiety

The poll also revealed that four out of five 18-34 year-olds were putting on a brave face through their anxiety, and a quarter of those who took part in the poll believed it was a sign of weakness to show their emotions.

These figures contrasted with those over 55, only one in 10 of whom felt showing their emotions was a sign of weakness. Additionally, two fifths of the older generations said it had been over a year since they cried due to anxiety, or that they had never done so.

The charity has launched a free guide for people to help them recognise if what they are going through is anxiety, and the best ways to cope with and manage it.

Mind believes that crying is a common and useful way to help deal with the condition.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind says:

“Many of us lead busy, stressful lives and sometimes it can feel like things are spiralling out of control. Although it might seem tempting to put on a brave face, it really is OK to cry. It’s time for us all to stop holding back the tears and reach out for support. Responding to symptoms early is vital so that they don’t become more serious and complicated.”

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Half of women said they would comfort eat if they felt anxious

A concerning result of the poll revealed that only half of people felt anxiety was a mental health issue. However, around one in 20 people suffer from stand-alone anxiety but one in ten experience anxiety and depression at the same time – proving that the two are closely linked, and illustrating the vicious cycle between the two.

Our awareness of mental health has increased hugely in recent years. As the new Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn appoints a dedicated shadow Minister for Mental health – the first time such a role has existed – it seems society is finally taking mental health issues seriously.

And it comes at a much-needed time, as with the demands of modern society and being constantly plugged-in and unable to escape work or social obligations, it seems that we are all more anxious than ever.

If anxiety is left untreated, the symptoms (feeling tense and restless, having difficulty catching your breath and suffering from persistent negative thoughts) can have a serious impact on day to day life, leading to difficulty sleeping, a lowered immune system and depression.

These factors can make it increasingly difficult for sufferers to take pleasure in life and can lead to the breakdown of relationships and difficulties maintaining a job.

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, Mind is urging people to seek help, by texting ANXIETY to 70660 for a free copy of Your Guide to Stress and Anxiety


If you suffer from anxiety, we will be discussing ways to help manage it at Stylist Live at 10.15 am on Sunday 18 October. We will be joined by alternative therapist, Jody Shield, who will talk through seven simple steps to manage anxiety. 

If you suffer from depression, we will be speaking with happiness consultant, Samantha Clarke, on Saturday 17 October at 16.30

You can get tickets for both events here.

Stylist Live four-day festival of cocktails, culture, catwalks and conversation hosted by Edith Bowman and Dawn O’Porter on Thursday 15 – Sunday 18 October 2015

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