Americans' overall level of anxiety about health, safety and finances remain high

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For the second year in a row, about two in three Americans say they are extremely or somewhat anxious about keeping themselves and their family safe, paying bills and their health, according to a new poll released here today by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

Nearly one in three adults (32 percent) say they are more anxious than they were last year; more than four in ten (43 percent) say they are about as anxious as they were last year; and about a quarter (24 percent) say they are less anxious than last year. These are similar to changes in anxiety reported over the last two years.

African Americans and Hispanic Americans show reduced anxiety in the past year, although their overall level remains higher than Caucasians. Extreme anxiety about the impact of politics on daily life dropped from 30 percent to 13 percent among African Americans and from 22 percent to 15 percent among Hispanic Americans. African Americans also showed drops in extreme anxiety about keeping themselves and their family safe (46 percent to 37 percent) and extreme anxiety about paying bills (47 percent to 33 percent).

Younger adults are more anxious than older adults. About 70 percent of adults 18 to 34 years are somewhat or extremely anxious about paying bills or keeping their family safe; about 40 percent say they are extremely anxious about each of these aspects. Younger adults are also more anxious than about their relationships with family, friends and co-workers. Nearly two in three adults age 18 to 34 are anxious about relationships compared to about 40 percent of those over 55.

"The reinforce the fact that , such as personal safety or finances, have a large impact on a person's mental well-being," said APA President Altha Stewart, M.D. "We urge anyone who is struggling with anxiety, regardless of the reason, to seek treatment."

Most Americans report taking some action to support their mental health and well-being. Three-fourths of adults identify one or more things they do to support their mental health. More than half (57 percent) said they talk with friends and family and about one in five (22 percent) said they receive professional care (therapist or other). More than one in ten (12 percent) rely on a religious leader for mental health support. About 7 percent of all adults, including 14 percent of millennials, use a mental health app to support their .

These findings are from an APA-sponsored poll conducted online using ORC International's CARAVAN Omnibus Survey. The surveys were collected from a nationally of 1,005 adults during the period April 4-7, 2019 and from similar polls of about 1,000 adults in March 2018 and April 2017. The margin of error is +/-3.1 percentage points.


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Citation: Americans' overall level of anxiety about health, safety and finances remain high (2019, May 21) retrieved 24 June 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-05-americans-anxiety-health-safety-high.html
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