Well-Being Mental Health

Nearly 90 percent of Americans anxious over inflation

“The economy seems to have supplanted COVID as a major factor in American’s day-to-day anxiety.”
dollar bill
The Associated Press/ Mark Lennihan

Story at a glance

  • Superstorm Sandy was one of the worst natural disasters to hit the United States.

  • New research shows that children of pregnant mothers exposed to the storm were at a greater risk of developing anxiety and other mood disorders.

  • As natural disasters grow more frequent thanks in part to climate change, researchers caution the toll on children’s mental health may worsen.

Inflation hitting a 40-year high has not gone unnoticed by everyday Americans. Nearly 90 percent of those polled in a recent survey said they were very or somewhat anxious about the rise.

This total marks an increase of 8 percentage points compared with the same poll conducted in May. The current American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Healthy Minds Monthly Poll was carried out between June 18 and 20, 2022 among 2,210 adult participants.

More than half of Americans are concerned about a personal loss of income happening to them, compared with 35 percent concerned about gun violence and 29 percent about a natural disaster. 

Among those most concerned about a loss of income are Hispanic adults, mothers, millennials and GenZers, while nearly half of the latter cohort was also concerned about gun violence.

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“Healthy Minds Monthly is showing us that the economy seems to have supplanted COVID as a major factor in American’s day-to-day anxiety,” said Rebecca Brendel, president of the APA, in a press release. 

“This context is important for psychiatrists and other mental health clinicians to take into account as we see our patients, especially as it pertains to affordability and availability of care.”

One of the main barriers to receiving mental health care happens to be affordability.  

The poll also detailed lower anxiety rates related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since May, this total has decreased from 49 percent to 47 percent in the general population. Among Black Americans, concern decreased by 16 percent month over month.

Concerns regarding inflation and the high cost of living are reflected in President Biden’s low approval ratings. In response to rising costs, 14 states have already approved sending stimulus checks to residents. 

Millions of Californians are slated to receive checks for $1,050, while Georgia residents will receive one-time rebates.