The Causes of Stress in America

Over the past several years, I’ve noticed a rising trend. Like everyone, as I go about my day, I greet friends, family members, acquaintances, and even strangers, often asking “How are you?” The traditional answer, of course, is something like “Good” or “Fine.” But recently, I’ve been hearing very different replies: “stressed,” “busy,” and occasionally, “overwhelmed.”

It seems like the American public is more “stressed out” than at any time in recent memory.

According to the American Psychological Association’s newly released 2019 Stress in America survey, the average person is under at least moderate stress—coming in at 4.9 on a 10-point scale. And those surveyed from Generation Z (currently between the ages of 18 and 22) are even more stressed, rising to 5.8 on the same scale. Consistent with these numbers, college students’ demand for counseling services has been steadily increasing, growing by 30 percent between 2009 and 2014, with 61 percent of this group seeking support for anxiety.

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