In 2008, more people reported stress-related physical and emotional symptoms than they did in 2007, and nearly half of adults said their stress has increased in the past year. More people reported stress-related fatigue (53% vs. 51% in 2007), feelings of irritability or anger (60% vs. 50% in 2007), and lying awake at night (52% vs. 48% in 2007).Though most Americans think they are managing their stress well, less than half are exercising to deal with stress. Passive techniques seem to be more popular, including listening to music, which 52% of participants said they do to relieve stress.
There are also some unhealthy coping strategies. Forty-eight percent of people say they overeat or choose unhealthy foods to deal with stress. Eighteen percent drink alcohol to cope, and 16% smoke.
Here are some tips to help cope with what appears to be a long-term economic downturn:
• Focus on positive aspects of your life. Look to family and friends to support you.
• Exercise, maintain a healthy diet and a normal sleep schedule – physical and mental health are connected.
• Plan for the future as much as you can. The more action you can take, the more in control you’ll be and the less stressed you’ll feel.
• Try to take a long view. Realize that it may have been bad yesterday, it may be bad today, but things will get better over time.
• Volunteer and look for ways to answer needs in your local community. Helping others will take your mind off your own worries and give you a sense of accomplishment.
• Take charge of your immediate environment. If you’re troubled by media coverage and conversations about the worsening economy, change channels, turn the page, or excuse yourself from the conversation.
If sadness and anxiety begin to adversely affect normal functioning – relationships, work, sleep, appetite and sex – professional help may be needed.
Contact your personal physician or local mental health clinic for assistance.
Economic and Mental Depression
Posted by Allan N. Schwartz, LCSW, PhD on Tue, May 13th 2008
New York psychiatrist and author Dr. Gail Saltz talks with CNN about the psychological toll of markets and offers tips. http://www.truveo.com/Economy-and-mental-health/id/3983162415
Economy takes a toll on mental health
As economic fears rise, families on verge of unraveling