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Americans Are More Anxious Than They Were A Year Ago, According To New Survey


Rachel Baxter

Copy Editor & Staff Writer


39 percent of people feel more anxious than last year.

Feeling anxious? You’re not alone. The results of the American Psychiatric Association’s Public Opinion Poll are in, and it seems anxiety in America has risen since last year. In fact, 39 percent of people are feeling more anxious than they did in 2017.

The study surveyed just over 1,000 people that were representative of the entire population and looked at their anxiety levels in terms of five key factors. These were safety, health, politics, paying bills and expenses, and relationships with family, co-workers, and friends.


Overall, safety and health caused the most apprehension, with 68 percent of people feeling anxious about the safety of themselves or their family and the same percentage feeling concerned about their health. Safety caused more people to feel intensely worried though, with 36 percent of people feeling “extremely anxious” about safety and 28 percent feeling the same way about their health.

Health and safety were followed closely by concerns about finances, with 67 percent of people feeling anxious about being able to pay their bills. Meanwhile, 35 percent of people said this made them feel extremely anxious.

Unsurprisingly, politics has also been a big cause of worry in America this year, with 56 percent of people reporting anxiety and 20 percent reporting extreme anxiety about the impact of politics on their daily lives.

People were least worried about their relationships, although 48 percent of people still reported some level of anxiety.


Worryingly, anxiety in all five areas is higher than it was last year. In 2017, 63 percent of people were worried about safety and health, 56 percent about finances, 51 percent about politics, and 46 percent about relationships.

What’s more, 36 percent of people in 2017 said they were more anxious than they were in 2016. It seems America is in the middle of some kind of anxiety epidemic, with many different areas of life causing people to feel nervous.

Nevertheless, it’s not all bad news. Although 39 percent of people said they felt more anxious in 2018, 19 percent said they felt less anxious, and 39 percent said their anxiety levels had not changed.

Still, it’s not uncommon to suffer from anxiety, and like many mental health issues, it’s something many people stay quiet about. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), about 40 million Americans have an anxiety disorder, equating to almost a fifth of the entire population.


But despite the high levels of anxiety reported in the poll, only 23 percent of participants had ever sought help from a mental health professional, showing a big gap between the number of people suffering and the number seeking help. What’s more, less than half (48 percent) of people felt that the stigma surrounding anxiety had lessened over the past decade, showing that  America still has a lot of work to do.

If you’re feeling anxious, remember you’re not alone. Check out the ADAA’s website to learn more about anxiety and how to get help.  


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