More than half say politics is a source of stress

The current political climate in the United States is causing substantial anxiety, and the percentage of people reporting at least one stress-related health symptom rose almost 10 percent in five months, according to the American Psychological Association.

"The fact that two-thirds of Americans are saying the future of the nation is causing them stress is a startling number", said Vaile Wright.

Constant access to breaking news on social media, TV and other sources is probably a large contributor to the elevated stress levels, says Lynn Bufka, a psychologist and the APA's associate executive director for practice research and policy.

57 percent of respondents said that the political climate either largely or somewhat contributed to their stress levels.

Asked specifically about the outcome of the 2016 election, Americans were predictably divided along partisan lines. And not only did overall stress increase, what we found in January is the highest significant increase in stress in 10 years. 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. Money, work, and the economy also remained major sources of stress across the board. A majority (52 percent) of Americans claimed the election as a major source of stress in their lives. Most people didn't need that information at 11 p.m.; nothing would have changed if they'd waited until morning to hear that news.

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The ones who live in rural areas were not as concerned about the future of their nation as were the ones who live in urban areas.

These additional stressors may be affecting Americans' health. Researchers found that approximately 71 percent of USA citizens reported symptoms of emotional stress at least one day that month.

Ms Nordal said the transition of power and the speed of change can cause uncertainty and feelings of stress. "And keep in mind to take care of yourself and pay attention to other areas of your life", Nordal said. In August, 71 per cent of Americans reported feeling a physical or emotional symptom of stress at least one day that month.

The APA recommends those experiencing stress related to the election and the political climate should perhaps take a break from the news and do something else.

In the report, which is part of the APA's annual Stress in America study, 1,019 American adults were surveyed-including registered Republicans and Democrats-between January 5-19. Propensity score weighting also was used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online. APA's membership includes more than 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. A full methodology is available upon request.

  • Marjorie Miles