Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Inflation Worries Loomed Large for Americans in 2022, APA Poll Finds

Americans reported feeling anxious about many things in 2022, but one issue stood out above the rest: inflation.

This trend was brought to light by an analysis of six months of data collected by APA’s Healthy Minds Poll, which included a question each month from June through December on how anxious Americans felt about a list of current events. The polls were fielded online by Morning Consult to a group of more than 2,000 American adults.

“Americans are dealing with many stressors all at the same time,” APA President Rebecca W. Brendel, M.D., J.D., said in an APA news release. “Inflation directly affects people every day in every aspect of our lives, and there is little respite. It’s no surprise that it is causing so much stress as Americans struggle to make ends meet.”

When asked whether each of a series of eight current events made them somewhat or very anxious, respondents ranked these as their top issues:

  • Inflation (ranged from a low of 79% to a high of 87%).
  • Recession (ranged from 49% in June to 77% in July and continued at a high ranking).
  • Gun violence (ranged from a low of 65% to a high of 70%).

Other issues about which respondents felt anxious included the following:

  • Climate change (from 52% to 60% overall; Black and Hispanic Americans tended to report even higher levels of anxiety about climate change).
  • Future of reproductive rights (from 48% to 56% overall; Black Americans tended to report even higher levels of anxiety over the future of reproductive rights).

Overall, anxiety about COVID-19 has been declining, from 54% of respondents reporting feeling anxious about the pandemic in August to 42% in December.

“Six months of polling on these current events has helped us understand and communicate the stress points that continuously impact Americans,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “We hope that by acknowledging that these issues are causing anxiety, those that are impacted will know that they are not alone and that help is available.”

For more Psychiatric News coverage of the APA polls, see “More Americans Rate Their Mental Health Worse Compared With a Year Ago, Poll Finds” and “Nearly 1 in 3 Americans Anticipates More Stress Over Holidays This Year.”

(Image: iStock/shih-wei)

What Happens When the Public Health Emergency Ends?

Since March 2020, psychiatrists have been practicing under flexibilities granted by state and federal governments. These flexibilities were intended to ensure access to care during the Public Health Emergency (PHE). APA members are invited to participate in a webinar on Wednesday, January 11, at 1 p.m. ET that will describe the changes that will take place once the PHE ends and how psychiatrists can continue to practice in a way that meets their patients’ needs.



The content of Psychiatric News does not necessarily reflect the views of APA or the editors. Unless so stated, neither Psychiatric News nor APA guarantees, warrants, or endorses information or advertising in this newspaper. Clinical opinions are not peer reviewed and thus should be independently verified.