'Political climate' notable source of stress for over half Americans: poll

Updated 2017-02-17 10:01:34 Xinhua

It seems as the White House embraces for new faces, the so-called "political climate" in the United States has become a new significant source of stress for most Americans, at least according to a new poll.

In addition to the economy, work and money, which annually are among the top three stressors, 57 percent of Americans now say that the political climate is a very significant or somewhat significant source of their stress, according to the latest online Harris Poll survey.

It's the first time since the American Psychological Association started the annual "Stress in America: Coping with Change" survey 10 years ago that this level of anxiety about the political climate and the country's future has been reported, said Lynn Bufka, associate executive director for practice, research and policy at the APA.

"People are saying they're more stressed now than they have been in quite some time," Bufka was quoted by a USA Today report on Thursday.

"Now, things seem to be less sure. What will really happen? What decisions are being made? Who's making those decisions? Will things that have been happening for a long time, are those things about to change? It seems like there's a lot more that's up in the air. It's a lot more for people to digest unless they think about it." the analyst said.

Among the polled, 59 percent of Republicans said the future of the United States was a significant source of stress for them, compared with 76 percent of Democrats.

A study by Allianz Life also found that 42 percent of Americans reported being more stressed in 2016 than 2015. The number is up from 2015, when 36 percent of people reported being more stressed.

"We seem to have an unprecedented level of political uncertainty, which can feed into the fear of disunity of the country, fragmentation of relationships," Dr. Ron Samarian, a psychologist in Michigan, told the newspaper's reporters.

"Certainly in our lifetimes, it's never been this distorted. ... It hits a lot of different areas all going to the same place, which is the uncertainty and the lack of control or the feeling that we don't have as much control." he said.

"People are very worried because they don't know what to believe," said Wendy Day, a political consultant who helped found the Tea Party in Michigan.

"There used to be a thing called objective truth, and now it's very hard to figure out what that is," Bufka said, noting the saturation of the news on television, on social media, and in Americans' day-to-day conversations.

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