mental health

Poll: Americans Are Experiencing Unprecedented Stress Levels

Concerns over nuclear war and inflation — following two years of a pandemic — have Americans more stressed than ever

Backlit teenager sitting in a dark indoor doorway in contemplation
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Financial woes, coupled with a barrage of horrifying scenes from Ukraine as Russia continues its invasion, have pushed a majority of Americans to unprecedented levels of stress, according to a new report from the American Psychological Association.

The association's annual "Stress in America" poll, published Thursday, found that U.S. adults — already weary from two years of the COVID-19 pandemic — are now overwhelmingly troubled by inflation and the war in Ukraine.

According to the results, 87% of those surveyed cited rising costs of everyday items, such as groceries and gas, as a "significant source of stress."

The same high percentage said their mental health was greatly affected by what has felt like a "constant stream of crises without a break over the last two years." And 84% said the Russian invasion of Ukraine is "terrifying to watch."

"We don't usually see 80% of people telling us that a particular stressor is stressful for that many individuals," said Lynn Bufka, a clinical psychologist and the APA's associate chief for practice transformation.

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Even before the coronavirus pandemic, Americans were increasingly feeling angry, stressed and worried, according to data from Gallup. But the pandemic has many people looking wistfully at the past, says clinical psychologist Allison Kanter Agliata. She says we need to manage grief about the past while also forging a path for the future. And people struggling should know there are resources, she tells LX News host Ashley Holt.
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