High on Stress – Who Suffers the Most Stress in the US?
Over the years scientists have studied the stress levels of individuals in America. It is very difficult to compare how stressed people were in the earliest times of this great country, but they have begun to accumulate and compare data from 1983-2009. The first recorded survey of stress levels in the USA was done over the phone during the year of 1983. The other two surveys that will be discussed were done over the internet. Although the survey’s were completed in a different ways the results from the survey in 1983 needs to be used because of lack of other surveys on stress. Are people today high on stress?
Why Study if People Are High on Stress?
Doctors have begun to study stress because they have linked it to disease, mental health, and increased mortality. As times get more complicated the stress levels of the individual seems to increase. The people who reportedly had the most stress were women, individuals with lower income, and people with less education. Another interesting piece of information about the study was retired people tended to say that they were less stressed than those who were working, yet in many articles it states that older people are more stressed because of fixed incomes and retirement plans.
Also the stress levels of the American people seem to have increased over the years. Does this mean we have more to be stressed about? Maybe, but scientists are inconclusive about this matter as the results of the first 1983 survey were taken over the phone where as the other two surveys were taken over the internet. They have also stated that the increase in the stress levels could have been caused by economic crisis in 2008-2009. In the 2008-2009 studies middle aged males with higher education seemed to be more stressed than the other demographics. The doctors have speculated that the increased levels of stressed could have been caused by the fact that this group had the most to lose.
The statistics stated above will help the doctors understand what causes stress and how to maintain these levels of stress to decrease the individuals’ chance for disease, mental illness, and increase mortality. These statistics will also lead to the further study of stress among the different demographics and connect stress with the increased risk of both physical and mental disabilities.
The experts do not truly know what the American people are more stressed about today and they may never know, due to the lack of evidence before 1983, but they do know that stress is in the American people’s lives and it will continue to cause an increase in health problems.
High on Stress and AFS
A study conducted by the American Psychological Association showed stress in general has increased. Findings suggested people are suffering from moderate to high stress. Even children suffer from stress more than in years past. One-third of the children surveyed reported having at least one symptom related to stress in the past month.
Several factors appear to influence these findings. Social factors played a large part. Fear of job loss, fears about the economy, and the influx of immigrants affected people’s stress levels. Also, lack of self care adds to the effects of stress on all sectors of the population. People don’t exercise enough or eat right. Then, environmental toxins also must be considered as adding to the effects of stress.
What does being high on stress mean for most of us? Why do people not do those things they know to be beneficial for them? There is sufficient information available about the need for exercise, eating the right foods, and dealing with or avoiding toxins. Doing the right thing requires willpower. Something that is in short supply in people in general.
Those who suffer stress the most in the U.S., no matter which segment of the population to which they belong, may progress to the point of adrenal fatigue faster than others. Under stress from any source, the body activates those systems that are needed to fight stress. The adrenal glands are the primary stress fighters because of the cortisol they secrete. When these glands reach exhaustion under continuing and unrelenting stress, they no longer secrete cortisol and the effects of stress mount.
When people experience stress, the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) model of stress response is the most comprehensive way to diagnose and treat their symptoms. Under this model, every system of the body interacts with every other one. That means when stress affects one part of the body, all other parts are also affected. And stress-related symptoms must be treated best from a total system viewpoint. Looking at stress response this way allows the body’s various stress-removal tools to be used effectively.