Americans' stress levels just hit a new high: 5 things to know from the American Psychological Association

The current political climate in the United States is causing substantial anxiety, and the percentage of people reporting at least one stress-related health symptom rose nearly 10 percent in five months, according to the American Psychological Association.

This is the 10th year APA administered its "Stress in America" survey. Prior to 2016, Americans were most likely to cite money, work and the economy as sources of stress in their lives. From spring 2016 onward, APA psychologists began reporting patients increasingly concerned about the presidential election. For the first time ever, this prompted the APA to inquire about an election in its annual survey.

The APA gauged stress levels in August 2017 and January 2017, and the results of the January poll showed the largest increase in stress in the survey's 10-year history.

Here are five findings from the latest report, available in full here

1. As of January, 66 percent of Americans said the future of the nation is a very or somewhat significant source of stress, while 57 percent said the same about the current political climate.

2. The percentage of people reporting at least one health symptom because of stress rose from 71 percent to 80 percent between August 2016 and January 2017. Americans reported specific symptoms such as headaches (34 percent), feeling overwhelmed (33 percent), feeling nervous or anxious (33 percent) or feeling depressed or sad (32 percent).

3. Americans are also more notably concerned about their personal safety. Since August, the percentage of Americans saying personal safety is a very or somewhat significant source of stress increased from 29 percent to 34 percent. This marks the highest percentage noted since the question was first asked.

4. The percentage of Americans citing acts of terrorism as a very or somewhat significant source of stress increased from 51 percent to 59 percent from. Women are more likely to report acts of terrorism as a significant source of stress (56 percent vs. 46 percent).

5. "The stress we're seeing around political issues is deeply concerning, because it's hard for Americans to get away from it," said Katherine Nordal, PhD, APA's executive director for professional practice. "We're surrounded by conversations, news and social media that constantly remind us of the issues that are stressing us the most."

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