Since 2007, the American Psychological Association has published an annual survey of stress in America. In January 2017, for the first time in its 10-year history, the survey found a statistically significant increase in stress levels in the U.S. compared to the previous year. Americans certainly appear to be more stressed than ever, according to an article in Psychology Today. The most commonly shared explanation for why is the nation’s extreme political polarization. Indeed, 57 percent of the more than 1,000 people surveyed for the study said the current political climate was a “very significant” or “somewhat significant” source of stress.
We may be continuing to experience the emotional fallout of the election in the form of hostility, mistrust, feelings of being under attack, and pervasive anxiety. It is no longer the case that the things that divide us are less than those that unite us as Americans.
According to Bloomberg News, “a full two-thirds of respondents to the survey said they are stressed out about the nation’s future.” That figure includes 76 percent of Democrats surveyed as well as 59 percent of Republicans. So there is something pervasive going on extending beyond political beliefs. According to one of the study’s authors, people are stressed by the fast pace of change and the uncertainty of the political climate—and unpredictability is always stressful to the human brain, which can create such mental health conditions as depression.
Read the full article here.