If you keep waking up in cold sweats, if you cannot stop worrying about your future, know that at least you are not alone. Americans have one common trait that’s growing to define them — their anxiety.
According to a new poll by the American Psychiatric Association, 39% of Americans say they are more anxious today than they were at the same time last year.
APA survey: National anxiety has spiked in 2018
On a 0-100 scale, our country’s overall anxiety score for 2018 has spiked by five points this year up to 51. No one was spared. Higher anxiety was reported across age groups, races, ethnicities, and genders. But there are some of us that are more worried than others. People of color were 11 points more anxious than white respondents. Out of all the age groups, baby boomers expressed the most anxiety, showing a seven-point jump in anxiety from last year.
So what are we so anxious about this year? Everything, it turns out. American said they were more anxious this year about their health, keeping themselves safe, keeping their families safe, bills, the impact of politics on their life, and their relationships with their families, friends, and coworkers.
Paying the bills is the top worry
Although Americans reported higher anxiety across all areas surveyed, they were the most worried about their wallet with the highest increases in anxiety coming from respondents worrying how they were going to pay their bills. Almost three in four young adults ages 18 to 34 said they were extremely anxious about how they were going to pay off bills.
Anxiety can have far-reaching consequences on our professional and personal relationships. When we are anxious, we are not fully present, unable to concentrate as we pour our energy into our worries.
“This poll shows U.S. adults are increasingly anxious particularly about health, safety, and finances. That increased stress and anxiety can significantly impact many aspects of people’s lives, including their mental health, and it can affect families.” APA President Anita Everett, M.D., said in a statement. “It highlights the need to help reduce the effects of stress with regular exercise, relaxation, healthy eating and time with friends and family.”