Russia? Inflation? Americans facing record levels of stress

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(NewsNation) — Americans are stressed out, quite possibly at record setting levels.

A study released by the American Psychological Association shows that current events, such as the rapidly rising cost of gas and groceries, as well as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have Americans stressed out, at levels not seen in years.

Rising inflation and issues related to the war in Ukraine were significant sources of stress for more Americans than any other issues ever asked about since the APA survey began in 2007.

Inflation was a significant source of stress for 87% of Americans. Supply chain issues and global uncertainty are both a significant source of stress for 81% of Americans. Threats from Russia and the invasion of Ukraine both were labeled significant sources of stress by 80% of Americans. All of that data is from the APA survey.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has been a significant source of stress for many adults over the course of the last two years, and current events are only further exacerbating that stress. The pandemic permanently altered life, according to 63% of Americans in the survey.

The war in Ukraine, in particular, has Americans stressed, fearful and feeling overwhelmed, the survey shows.

An overwhelming 87% of Americans said the war in Ukraine has invoked a feeling there has been a constant stream of crisis without a break over the last two years. Another 84% said the Ukraine invasion was “terrifying to watch,” while an additional 73% said they feel overwhelmed with all the crisis in the world.

Nearly 70% of Americans feared the Ukraine invasion would lead to nuclear war and almost two-thirds worry this is the beginning of World War III.

Stress about money has reached its highest levels in America since 2015, according to the survey. Inflation was a source of stress for 87% of Americans.

Young adults ages 18-43 were more likely to report money as a significant source of stress than older age groups. Some 82% of adults ages 18-25 and 81% of adults 26-43 said money was a significant source of stress. People ages 44-57 came in at 68%, while 43% of people ages 58-76 said money was a significant source of stress. Just 21% of people over the age of 76 said money was a source of stress.

Two men clinking glasses of whiskey drink alcoholic beverages together.

Minorities also responded with higher rates of stress due to money. Three out of four Latinos and 67% of Black adults said money was a significant source of stress. Also, 63% of white adults and 57% of Asian adults said money was a significant source of stress.

So how are Americans dealing with all this stress? Many are drinking more alcohol.

Nearly one out of four adults have reported drinking more alcohol since the pandemic began two years ago. Men drinking more averaged 12 drinks per week and women drinking more averaged eight drinks per week.

Weight gains and losses have also been a problem for Americans since the pandemic began, according to the survey. More than half of Americans have had unintended weight gains or losses since the pandemic began.

Americans also feel like they’ve missed out on life since the pandemic began and have been grieving lost experiences. Almost two thirds of Americans said their lives have been forever changed by the pandemic and agreed the two years of COVID-19 have been a “blur.”

Two-thirds of Americans said with every new variant, they fear the pandemic will never end and 71% said they have gotten better at prioritizing what is important to them because of the pandemic.

Among younger Americans ages 18-25, 77% said COVID-19 has stolen major life events from them.

And more than two-thirds of parents are worried the pandemic has impacted their child’s development socially, academically, emotionally, cognitively and physically.

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