Failing banks and rising unemployment rates have Americans all stressed out, a new poll shows.
About 80 percent of participants in the latest "Stress in America" survey by the American Psychological Association admitted financial fear was the root of their anxiety. More than half reported anger, irritability, fatigue and sleeplessness as a result.
APA's Katherine Nordal explained that the uneasiness among Americans has likely worsened over the past few weeks.
"Stress that people don't feel they have any control over ," she said. "It's almost like a different threat level."
That "threat" may have risen even more Thursday, after the Dow dropped to a five-year-low. And it's economic blows like this that are keeping help hotlines, psychologists, and even pastors busy.
"Before, it was like 'Big Brother will take care of me. My 401 with Lehman or my company will take care of me.' We could go out to dinner on a credit card.buy our groceries without thinking. fill the car up. We had choices," Kathleen Hall, founder of The Stress Institute in Atlanta told USA Today.
"What you're seeing this year.is the eroding of that security blanket," she added.
Rev. T. Michael Rock, pastor of United Church of Christ near Minneapolis, Minn., said that his members have flooded him with financial concerns recently.
"If I had 10 people in the last year, I had 10 people the past week, either for them or their children or their parents," he said. "They're coming to say 'I can't hold all this information by myself. I have to share it with somebody.'"
Pastor Nate Atwood of Kempsville Presbyterian Church told CBN News Thursday that now more than ever, we must turn to God for guidance.
"If we'll dig deeper into the Lord, He'll fill us with contentment," he said. "We'll not only have peace in the moment, but maybe we'll be a little less prone to spend money that we shouldn't be spending."
The APA released the results Tuesday, just four days after President Bush signed a $700 billion rescue package into law. Results were derived from a series of online surveys over the past year. Almost 1,800 adults participated. The latest survey was completed in late September.
The study showed that money and the economy were the primary causes of stress this year. Work and relationships normally take the title.
Sources: CBN News, American Psychological Association, USA Today