Poll Finds Americans Are Besieged by Stress Due to Coronavirus Pandemic, Inflation, War in Ukraine

Financial woes, coupled with a barrage of horrifying scenes from Ukraine as Russia continues its invasion, have pushed a majority of Americans to unprecedented levels of stress, according to a new report from the American Psychological Association.

The association’s annual “Stress in America” poll, published Thursday, found that U.S. adults — already weary from two years of the Covid-19 pandemic — are now overwhelmingly troubled by inflation and the war in Ukraine.

According to the results, 87 percent of those surveyed cited rising costs of everyday items, such as groceries and gas, as a “significant source of stress.”

The same high percentage said their mental health was greatly affected by what has felt like a “constant stream of crises without a break over the last two years.” And 84 percent said the Russian invasion of Ukraine is “terrifying to watch.”

The shared feeling of stress among so many Americans was “startling,” said Lynn Bufka, a clinical psychologist and the APA’s associate chief for practice transformation. While many people can feel stress, she said, they often cite different political or social reasons as the source.

“We don’t usually see 80 percent of people telling us that a particular stressor is stressful for that many individuals,” Bufka said.

The poll surveyed a nationally representative group of 3,012 U.S. adults. It was initially conducted in mid-February, just ahead of the two-year anniversary of the start of the pandemic. At that time, respondents were overwhelmingly concerned about finances, and particularly stressed about inflation.

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SOURCE: NBC News, Erika Edwards