NEW YORK, Oct. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Everyday Health, a digital publisher with one of the largest health-focused audiences in the United States, reaching 46 million monthly unique users, launched the United States of Stress special report. The report is comprised of survey results from 6,700 U.S.-based men and women ages 18 to 64 across a geographic, economic, and cultural spectrum, as well as commentary and analyses from today's leading clinical experts on stress, anxiety, panic, and mental and behavioral health.
It has been reported that 8 in 10 Americans are afflicted by stress. An estimated 31% of U.S. adults experience an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives. Often-quoted statistics state that more than 40 million adults in America suffer from anxiety — the most common mental health issue in the country. Moreover, it has been reported that from 2002 to 2015, the number of anxiety-related drug prescriptions quadrupled, yielding a 67% increase. Statistics aside, those in contact with Gen Z and millennials anecdotally report that the health and wellness of these younger generations, comprising 45% of the total U.S. population today, appears more severely impacted by stress, anxiety, and panic than any other generation to date. What's happening to the minds and bodies of our emerging leaders, and why?
"The conclusion is clear. We have a national epidemic on our hands, and the current headlines around our political climate, natural disasters, social media breaches, and financial crashes are making it worse," says health journalist and published book author Maureen Connolly, editor in chief of Everyday Health, who is heading up their Responsive Content Initiative. "We need to acknowledge the extent of this public health issue and respond accordingly. Why? While research confirms that stress levels fluctuate throughout the day, occasionally helping us to power through short-term, demanding moments and challenges, when stress becomes chronic, it damages virtually every organ. It affects cellular function, triggers health conditions, and worsens existing health problems. In effect, chronic stress is a biochemical cocktail that is one of the biggest threats to our health and well-being."
The Everyday Health editorial team established the Wellness Advisory Board to provide insight into the types of informational experiences that can be created and offered to all in response to the awareness and education gaps identified. The responsive content features 35 additional articles, including 8 expert Q&As, "The Ultimate Diet Plan for a Happier, Less-Stressed You," the "Your Body on Stress" interactive map, the "What's Your Stress Personality?" test, and a New York-minute-on-the-street video poll that is surprisingly reflective of the survey results across genders and ages.
"As a health and wellness-as-a-lifestyle focused publisher, we are compelled to use our resources to help raise awareness, identify knowledge gaps, and fill them" states Rich Sutton, senior vice president of Everyday Health. "Based on the specialized health audiences and segments we serve, we are always looking for the topics of highest interest and engagement that cut across highly specific content needs. Stress, diet, food as medicine, and holistic well-being are the great common ground," adds Sutton.
Everyday Health's new Medical Advisory Board, created for the United States of Stress special report, includes:
- Amit Sood, MD, the executive director of the Global Center for Resiliency and Well-Being, a former professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and the creator of Mayo Clinic Resilient Mind: "People with physical or mental health issues have a lower set point for reacting to the stressors in their lives. Because they're already being challenged by their conditions, it's easier for another stressor to push them into overload where they're stressing out. Stressing out makes a chronic condition worse, which increases our experience of stress, which can worsen a chronic condition. It becomes an insidious feedback loop."
- Bruce S. McEwen, PhD, the Alfred E. Mirsky Professor and head of the neuroendocrinology laboratory at the Rockefeller University in New York City, and coauthor of The End of Stress as We Know It: "Toxic stress means that you don't have enough control over your life. The triggers could be similar to tolerable stress, but if you don't have good social or emotional support, or your brain architecture has been compromised because of early life struggles, you may not be as resilient bouncing back."
- Darlene Mininni, PhD, MPH, a learning and developmental health psychologist at the University of California in Los Angeles and the author of The Emotional Toolkit: Seven Power-Skills to Nail Your Bad Feelings: "It's like the stressor that won't die. It seems like the internal talk for many women is still, 'I need to be everything to everyone — taking care of them and putting their needs before my own — and I have to look good while I'm doing it, too.'" [Reacting to the survey data revealing that 51% of women and 35% of men say they are often stressed about their appearance.]
- Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, the director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at the Ohio State University Medical College in Columbus: "Stress is a little like an avalanche. It starts at the top of the mountain when something breaks off. Barreling down the mountain, it not only gains momentum, it also gains mass as it keeps destroying things in its path that become part of it, a monster feeding on itself."
Some of the survey findings include:
Almost one-third of those surveyed say they visited a doctor about something stress-related.
57% of the survey respondents say they are paralyzed by stress; 43% say they are invigorated by stress.
51% of the women surveyed say they don't see friends at all in an average week.
59% of baby boomers have never been diagnosed with a mental health issue; 52% of Gen Zers already have been.
Just over a third of all respondents say their job or career is a regular source of stress. Among millennials and Gen Zers, the chronically work-stressed rises to 44%.
More than half of women (51%) say they feel bad about their appearance weekly, and 28% say their appearance regularly causes them stress. Only 34% of men say they feel bad about their appearance weekly.
52% of respondents say financial issues regularly stress them out, well above the 35% who cited jobs and careers as the next most common stressor.
47% of all respondents — with women and men almost evenly matched — say that their response to stress is to take it out on themselves.
The United States of Stress survey is the second special report in Everyday Health's new series of articles and guides, following the launch of their Women's Wellness report. Subsequent Everyday Health surveys will examine timely issues that are causing a wave culturally and clinically.
To read the full report, please click HERE.
To read the survey results, please click HERE.
For the "This or That Quiz: When Stress Hits the Fan, How Do You Respond?" please click HERE.
To see the Wellness Advisory Board, please click HERE.
To take the "What's Your Stress Personality?" test, please click HERE.
The survey research was conducted between April and June 2018. During this time frame, mass school shootings and workplace killings flooded the headlines. The Harvey Weinstein indictment came in May. In addition, Trump's visit with Kim Jong Un (aka "rocket man"), changes in immigration law, a rash of celebrity suicides, and more than 10 deaths from contaminated food filled our public consciousness as a nation.
About Everyday Health Group
The Everyday Health Group (EHG), a recognized leader in patient and provider education, attracts an engaged audience of over 46 million health consumers and over 780,000 U.S. practicing physicians and clinicians to its premier health and wellness websites. EHG combines social listening data and analytics expertise to deliver highly personalized healthcare consumer content and effective patient engagement solutions. EHG's vision is to drive better clinical and health outcomes through decision-making informed by highly relevant data and analytics. Healthcare professionals and consumers are empowered with trusted content and services through the Everyday Health Group's flagship brands, including Everyday Health®, What to Expect®, MedPage Today®, Health eCareers®, PRIME® Education, and our exclusive partnership with MayoClinic.org and The Mayo Clinic Diet. Everyday Health Group is a division of j2 Global (NASDAQ: JCOM).
About j2 Global
j2 Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: JCOM) is a leading internet information and services company consisting of a portfolio of brands including IGN, Mashable, Humble Bundle, Speedtest, PCMag, Offers.com, Everyday Health, and What To Expect in its Digital Media segment, and eFax, eVoice, Campaigner, Vipre, KeepItSafe, and Livedrive in its Cloud Services segment. j2 reaches over 180 million people per month across its brands. As of December 31, 2017, j2 had achieved 22 consecutive fiscal years of revenue growth. For more information about j2, please visit www.j2global.com.
- National Comorbidity Survey (NCS): Lifetime Prevalence Estimates. Harvard Medical School. July 2007.
- Saad L. Eight in 10 Americans Afflicted by Stress. Gallup. December 2017.
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SOURCE Everyday Health