Since 2006, the American Psychological Association has commissioned an annual nationwide survey as part of its Mind/Body Health campaign to examine and understand the impact of stress on Americans. The results of the Stress in America survey draws attention to the serious physical and emotional implications of stress.
Yesterday (11/9/10), the APA released its findings, cautioning "stress may become a public health crisis." The survey is an indicator about the long-term impact that chronic stress may have on Americans' physical and emotional health. Psychologist Norman B. Anderson, PhD, the APA’s chief executive officer and executive vice president stated, "America is at a critical crossroads when it comes to stress and our health."
His statement is not a broad stroke. Since 2006, nearly 75% of Americans say they experience stress at levels that "exceed what they define as healthy." Stress is related to numerous chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and depression, and is a contributing factor to many leading causes of death.
"People are also saying they have difficulty implementing the changes they know will decrease their stress and improve their health," Anderson said. "Yet, our health care system is not adequately addressing this issue or providing the behavioral health treatments that can help Americans. All of us, including the medical community, need to take stress seriously since stress could easily become our next public health crisis."
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