It’s official: according the latest news, young people in particular, and the population in general, are experiencing levels of anxiety never seen before. The data suggest that this is largely a phenomenon across countries in the wealthy West, and especially where extreme Covid policies have been enacted. Here in the U.K., the SPI-B unit within SAGE has played a largely unrecognised role in using psychological techniques to shape behavioural responses during the Covid crisis. Led by SPI-B advisors, including Communist Party Member and behavioral scientist Dr. Susan Michie, Government and health policy has been nudged along by generating a climate of fear and anxiety.
Those of us who have studied anxiety extensively are fully aware of the strength of this psychological state to interfere with our thoughts and feelings. As many clinicians and eminent psychologists acknowledge, anxiety, once it takes hold, tends to take over the whole of our personality. The famous existential psychologist Rollo May noted that prolonged exposure to anxiety can, in some cases, lead to a clinical condition he referred to as neurotic anxiety. This is a form of mental illness, and one of its features is that the individual tries to avoid the experience of anxiety by choosing to restrict their own freedoms and choices. Unfortunately, this strategy usually tends to make matters worse, with the result that the sufferer becomes even more afraid of their freedom and the ability to think for themselves and make their own decisions. Such people could be described, as the philosopher-psychologist Martin Buber said in his famous book, Ich und Du (‘I and Thou’), as possessing “a stunted person centre”. By this dramatic expression he conveyed the idea that to avoid the positive anxiety of freedom, people will sometimes diminish themselves and hand over the responsibility for their choices and lives to someone else.
My applied experience with hundreds of professional athletes and other clients who work in demanding performance environments convinces me that we have an epidemic of anxiety. I believe this has been deliberately manufactured by bodies like SPI-B with the complicity of most of the mainstream media. In trying to understand what has been happening to them during these past three years, some of the people I work with are questioning whether there are reasons beyond Covid to account for this prolonged anxiety attack on our culture. Some believe that the aim has been about health, protection from Covid, and to protect the NHS. An increasing number feel that something much bigger is at stake, and that the attack on individual and community freedoms is part of a drive to change the way we live in order to satisfy the climate change agenda. Others seem confused and quite naturally want to resist any thoughts about the possibility of manipulation from governments, supra-national organisations or other forces. This lack of clarity and certainty about what is going on, about the source of their overriding anxiety, of course has the effect of elevating feelings of anxiety.