Adults Experiencing Higher Level of Anxiety Today Due to Ongoing Pandemic, Inflation, and War
Worry burnout is manifesting across the country as the ongoing pandemic collides with the Russia-Ukraine war and skyrocketing inflation. To get a pulse on how Americans are feeling and how much mental healthcare can help alleviate anxiety, Software Advice surveyed over 850 adults (including 441 parents with children living at home) about their stress levels, coping mechanisms, and mental health practices. These overlapping crises have led to an unprecedented surge in demand for mental health care: nearly 1 in 3 adults (32%) and more than a quarter of kids ages 5-18 (26%) have started seeing a mental health professional since 2020.
Pandemic, Economic Crisis, and Conflict Abroad Causing Mental Health Issues
This surge in visits to therapists and psychiatrists is directly connected to the pandemic and current state of the world. In fact, 82% of respondents are living with a higher level of general anxiety today than they did before 2020.
Americans are facing significant obstacles, from skyrocketing gas prices and empty shelves to constant fear of the pandemic and war. The top causes for concern among adults include the ongoing pandemic (20%), Russia-Ukraine war (20%), and inflation (19%).
When asked about dealing with elevated stress levels, respondents ranked sleeping too much or to little (46%), spending more time on social media (45%), and taking recreational drugs (34%) as their top three negative coping mechanisms. Sleeping disturbances and use of drugs are both cited by the Mayo Clinic as symptoms of major depressive disorder.
"For mental health providers dealing with the rise in people seeking mental health treatment, this is a double-edged sword," said Lisa Hedges, associate principal medical analyst at Software Advice. "On one hand, providers are experiencing a surge in demand and increased profits, and on the other, they are dealing with a much heavier workload, often resulting in burnout."
Parents and Children Are Suffering the Most
The study found that families with children are suffering more than the general population. Ninety-two percent of parents who taught their kids at home during lockdowns are experiencing more anxiety today than before the pandemic. Parents also cited an alarming increase of mental health issues that are affecting both behavioral and social growth among their children.
When asked about the impact the pandemic had on their child, 85% said their child has experienced some negative effects on their mental health since lockdowns in 2020. Furthermore, 43% and 42% said their child has become more reclusive or reluctant to socialize with other kids and has become more angry since the onset of the pandemic, respectively.
Mental health practices should consider optimizing strategies and technologies to help improve operational productivity. To research tech tools and find more resources to provide optimal patient care, visit SoftwareAdvice.com.
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