Americans just experienced their biggest spike in stress in a decade

Americans just experienced their biggest spike in stress in a decade

In August, 71 percent of Americans reported feeling a physical or emotional symptom of stress at least one day that month.

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. And over the course of the decade, stress levels had been gradually decreasing. American stress levels rose from 4.8 to a 5.1, on a 10-point scale, between August 2016 and January 2017. The spiking stress levels are not spread equally among all Americans, with groups most likely to be affected by Trump's presidency showing the highest levels of stress. In October, it released its results, and, ta-da, 52 percent of respondents indicated that they were stressed about the vote, Republicans and Democrats alike. Furthermore, 49% of participants reported they felt anxious about the election's outcome and 66% reported they were extremely stressed about the future of the nation.

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Unsurprisingly, Democrats were far more stressed about Trump's election; 72% Democrats named the result of the 2016 presidential election as a significant source of stress, compared with just 26% of Republicans.

The survey was conducted as part of a larger poll on stress in America, conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of the APA.

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"The fact that two-thirds of Americans are saying the future of the nation is causing them stress, it is a startling number", psychologist Vaile Wright of the APA's Stress in America team told The Washington Post.

The demographic stress levels line up with the election results.

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The survey also found that along generational lines, almost 60 percent of Millennials were feeling stress while only 45 percent of Baby Boomers felt similarly. In January, 80 percent had symptoms such as tension headaches or feeling overwhelmed or depressed. "It seems to suggest that what people thought would happen, that there would be relief [after the election] did not occur, and instead since the election, stress has increased". "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". The uptick in political stress particularly affected minorities, millennials, people with a college education, and people living in urban areas of the country.

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