Health Care

Trump has people stressed out, psychological association's poll shows

Constant access to breaking news on social media, TV and other sources is probably a large contributor to the elevated stress levels, says Lynn Bufka, a psychologist and the APA's associate executive director for practice research and policy.

National stress levels had steadily declined since 2007 to 2012, with most Americans citing money, work and the economy as their biggest stressors.

Asked specifically about the outcome of the 2016 election, Americans were predictably divided along partisan lines.

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Millenials, minorities, those with a college education, and people living in urban locations had higher stress levels when it came to the election - an unsurprising finding given these groups tend to lean to the political left. A report which analyzed the overall level of stress between August 2016 and January 2017 revealed that the Americans' stress level increased from 4.8 to 5.1. In January, 80 per cent had symptoms such as tension headaches or feeling overwhelmed or depressed.

Furthermore, around 66 percent of US adults are stressed about the country's future, 57 percent about the political climate, and other 49 percent about the outcome of this presidential election.

In the January survey, both Republicans and Democrats said they are stressed about the nation's future - at 59 and 76 percent, respectively. The survey also found increases in the percentage of Americans who were stressed by police violence and personal safety.

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"While these common health symptoms might seem minor, they can lead to negative effects on daily life and overall physical health when they continue over a long period", said Nordal. "It can make existing health problems worse, and even cause disease, either because of changes in the body or bad habits people develop to cope with stress". "And do not forget to take care of yourself and pay attention to other areas of your life".

Americans rated themselves an a scale of 1-10.

The APA recommends those experiencing stress related to the election and the political climate should perhaps take a break from the news and do something else.

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After noticing a rising number of Americans seeking mental health help after the election, the APA chose to analyze stress levels for the first time in its annual survey, which it has conducted for the past 10 years. Data were weighted to reflect their proportions in the population. Hispanic respondents were weighted for acculturation, taking into account respondents' household language as well as ability to read and speak in English and Spanish. Approximately 3,511 adults who live in the United States were surveyed by Harris Poll who was sent by APA. A full methodology is available upon request. APA's membership includes more than 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students.



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