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Americans Anxious Over Inflation; Almost Twice More Likely to Lean on Family and Friends Than Speak Openly About Feelings After a Traumatic Event

  • July 07, 2022

Washington, D.C., July 7, 2022 – Americans’ worries over the economy intensified in June, with 87% indicating they were anxious or very anxious about inflation, up 8 percentage points from the previous month. Americans are also more worried about a potential loss of income (51%) than gun violence (35%) or a natural disaster (29%) personally happening to them.

These results are from the American Psychiatric Association (APA)’s Healthy Minds Monthly Poll, which was conducted by Morning Consult between June 18 and 20, 2022, among a sample of 2,210 adults.

Hispanic adults (66%), mothers (65%), Millennials (63%) and GenZers (62%) were among the groups most likely to be concerned about a loss of income. Anxiety around future reproductive rights was at about 50%, but this poll was conducted before the Dodd ruling. Nearly half of GenZers (46%) were concerned about gun violence happening to them. Anxiety about COVID-19 continued to drop, down 2% among all Americans since May (47%-49%), and down 16% among Black Americans during the same period (63-47%).

“Healthy Minds Monthly is showing us that the economy seems to have supplanted COVID as a major factor in American’s day-to-day anxiety,” said APA President Rebecca Brendel, M.D., J.D. “This context is important for psychiatrists and other mental health clinicians to take into account as we see our patients, especially as it pertains to affordability and availability of care.”

When asked how they would cope after a traumatic event, more Americans indicated they’d lean on family and friends for support (60%) than practice self-care (42%), speak openly about their feelings (37%) or speak to a mental health or health care professional (31%). Nearly a third (30%) said they’d move on and not dwell on their feelings.

“While many people show resilience, it’s troubling that most Americans wouldn’t speak openly about their feelings after a traumatic event,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “In many ways, naming feelings is the most important step toward healing, and this reluctance to air our thoughts may indicate that mental health stigma is still a powerful force in our society.”

After a traumatic current event, 41% of Americans consume more news, and 30% say they take in more social media, but the majority indicated that their mental health wasn’t impacted by that consumption. More than four in ten American (43%) say the news on traumatic current events makes them feel more informed, while one-third or less say it makes them more anxious (32%) or overwhelmed (27%).

*APA’s Healthy Minds Monthly tracks timely mental health issues throughout the year. APA also releases its annual Healthy Minds Poll each May in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Month. For a copy of the results, contact [email protected].

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit www.psychiatry.org.

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