Political climate, nation's future is stressing out Americans, study says
Feb 17 2017
Americans are seriously stressed out.
Overall, 57 percent of Americans said that the current political climate was either a "very significant" or "somewhat significant" source of their stress, while 49 percent - almost half - called the results of the November 8 election, in which Trump beat Clinton on electoral votes, while losing the popular vote by about 3 million, a "significant" cause of emotional stress.
Until previous year, people used to report that anxiety came from personal life issues, such as money and work.
For Democrats, 72 percent said the outcome was stressful, while 26 percent of Republicans said the same. 76 percent of self-identified Democrats were apprehensive about America's direction while 59 percent of self-identified Republicans felt similarly.
The APA noted that the results of their latest survey saw the largest increase in national stress since they began conducting polls in 2007. "We're surrounded by conversations, news and social media that constantly remind us of the issues that are stressing us the most". The APA's Stress in America survey has been collecting data about stress levels in this country for about a decade. The study published and conducted in August found that 52 percent of Americans reported stress caused by the election. Respondents were also stressed about terrorism, police violence toward minorities, and personal safety.
Sixty-two percent of people living in urban areas reported very or somewhat significant stress related to the election outcome, while only 45 percent of those living in suburban areas and 33 percent of people living in rural areas said the same.
While barely more than 40 percent of whites said they were significantly stressed out by the Trump victory, almost 70 percent of blacks reported high stress levels caused by the election results. Of Americans with some level of education beyond high school, 53 percent say that the election results cause them significant stress. Those issues include headaches, anxiety and depression.
"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. During and after the election, majority also cited politics as a major stress factor.
"Read enough to stay informed but then plan activities that give you a regular break from the issues and the stress they might cause", she said.