An estimated of 40 million adults in the US suffer from symptoms associated with anxiety according the National Institute of Health. According the The Anxiety and Depression Association of America anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment.

People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.

Finally, the Kim Foundation mentions that anxiety disorders frequently co-occur with depressive disorders or substance abuse. Moreover, most people with one anxiety disorder also have another anxiety disorder. Nearly three-quarters of those with an anxiety disorder will have their first episode by age 21.5.

Current Approaches

A study “The Economic Burden of Anxiety Disorders” commissioned by ADAA (The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry) projected that Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, almost one-third of the country's $148 billion total mental health bill. More than $22.84 billion of those costs are associated with the repeated use of health care services; people with anxiety disorders seek relief for symptoms that mimic physical illnesses. This number is added to the estimated global cost of mental health care  at nearly as $2.5T in 2010, with a projected increase to over $6T by 2030.

The treatment consists of two branches: the first, medical treatment that includes cognitive and somatic therapy and/or prescribed medication, and second, non medical approaches that cover a broad range of methods including yoga, meditation, mindfulness, working-out, acupuncture, etc. In the last years, the boom of app developers have paid attention to this market. The therapy app SpaceTalk just raised $9.5M in capital investment to develop the platform to help people with anxiety and other mental health issues.