Whether it’s the law and order situation or the incessant rise in fuel prices, tensions are high and nerves are shot in Pakistan.
Nine in every ten Pakistanis are anxious and “very nervous” about some issue or another, which is the largest proportion across the globe, according to a recent survey published by JWT titled “AnxietyIndex study – Global Report 2013”. The 27-country market study assesses and records the levels and drivers of consumer anxiety around the world.
The study examines through different variables, including safety and security concerns – the threat of terrorism, potential and current military hostilities, crime – and economic worries such as the cost of health care, the cost of living and job security.
All these concerns are prevalent in Pakistan today due to the deteriorating security situation and our economic indicators taking a nosedive. A staggering 92 per cent of the 225 adults (aged 18-plus) polled in the survey are “anxious” about “everything that is going on in the world, the country and their family’s life”. Nearly 60 per cent of these participants claimed to be “very anxious or nervous” – again the highest proportion of people in the markets surveyed across five continents.
Economic anxiety seemed the pervasive theme in the survey in every region. Surprisingly, Pakistanis, too, were the most anxious about gasoline and petrol prices – not terrorism and the increasing crime rate, which came to a close second.
Apart from this, the anxiety rate of Pakistanis peak at unemployment rates, the state of education, food prices, and the quality of healthcare in the country.
Clinical psychologist and Associate Professor at the Institute of Clinical Psychology.
Dr Kausar Ansari, partly agrees. “Pakistanis are an anxious nation, but there is no particular clinical research-based finding that would state that Pakistan is the most anxious country,” she told The Express Tribune. “Keeping in mind the environmental and security conditions that we are exposed to, people are naturally anxious.”
Worldwide, Indonesians were among the most concerned about corruption.
Courtesy: JWT AnxietyIndex Global Report 2013
A sad country
When asked by the survey, “Thinking about everything in your life, how would you describe your overall happiness?” only 14 per cent of those surveyed responded “very happy”. But Pakistan was not the least happiest country in this part of the study – it was Japan.
How does this explain Pakistan’s most anxious label? The study explains that there is no correlation between happiness and overall anxiety.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th, 2013.