According to a new survey released on Wednesday, February 15th, by the American Psychological Association, U.S. citizens are exhibiting elevated levels of stress, exceeding the benchmark set a decade ago. While a surge in the stress factors is nothing new for APA researchers, this time around Americans can’t find their peace of mind because of the latest developments on the political stage, found investigators.
So far, individuals questioned in regard to their emotional balance were required to answer questions based on money, personal life issues, and work. Now that people are citing politics as a serious stressor in their lives, APA researchers included in their survey questions relating to the country’s officials.
In 2016, the American Psychological Association found that stress levels were picking up in intensity prior to the presidential election. However, those emotions haven’t let up since November. If something, researchers discovered they have only gotten worse and more Americans by the day started to talk about politics during their therapy sessions.
The matter is even worse as immigrants, Muslim Americans, and victims of sexual assault are even more susceptible to greater stress since the election. Also, mental health experts working with veterans in VA hospitals reported their patients making comments such as “I did not risk my life for this”, according to a member of APA’s Stress in America team and a licensed psychologist, Vaile Wright.
In August last year, the APA added political questions to its survey. Researchers found that approximately 71 percent of U.S. citizens reported symptoms of emotional stress at least one day that month. By January, the situation took a turn for the worse, as 80 percent Americans reported symptoms such as depression, unease, or tension headaches.
In regard to the elections, the team of researchers revealed that 49 percent of Americans reported stress about the election outcome, 57 of the subjects were worried about the current state of politics, and 66 percent U.S. citizens were losing sleep over the direction the country is headed.
“The fact that two-thirds of Americans are saying the future of the nation is causing them stress is a startling number”, said Vaile Wright.
Ultimately, individuals living urban areas, minority groups, people with college education, and millennials reported the highest levels of stress.
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