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Gallup poll shows a record number of Americans are suffering

With the US economy crippling under the pandemic, many people are left with no direction, suffering with severe stress.

Man with many notes all over suggesting stress and boundaries

Feeling stressed? You’re not alone.

Since 2008 Gallup has conducted the Life Evaluation Index. We set records in “suffering rate” on the survey this year.

Gallup says the rate is bad news regardless of political leanings.

The Gallup news release said since reaching a record high in June 2021, life ratings among American adults have steadily worsened. The 5.6% suffering rate in July marks the first time the Gallup measure has exceeded 5% in the U.S. and translates to an estimated 14 million American adults.

Economic issues were the number one contributor to the suffering rate, according to survey responders. The inflation rate has caused a spike in prices. And even though job numbers are soaring, inflation is hitting pocketbooks nationwide.

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Gallup said the practical consequences of inflation, too, are substantial, with an estimated 98 million Americans cutting spending on healthcare or routine household expenses as a result of rising healthcare costs.

The new Gallup poll was conducted from July 26 to Aug. 2 among 3,649 U.S. adults.

The lowest point on record was recorded in April 2020, when 2.4% of Americans were classified as suffering.

The number of Americans suffering has increased since then as the impacts of abortion bans, never-ending covid, record inflation, worry about student loans, housing costs, increases in grocery bills, income inequality and constant culture wars in some states have ramped up.

Stress is higher as well, which makes sense.

The APA’s Stress in America survey showed half of U.S. adults say that the uncertainty of the pandemic has made planning for their future feel impossible,

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“Stress depletes some of the psychological resources, such as willpower, that we use for decision-making,” said social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister, PhD, of the University of Queensland in Australia in an APA article in June. “When people have less energy to put towards decision-making, they start making decisions in different ways.”

Will things change for the better? We can only hope.

Mary Beth Lee retired from teaching in Texas this year after 28 years as a student media adviser. She spends her time these days reading, writing, fighting for public education and enjoying the empty nester life in Downtown Fort Worth.

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