Anxiety levels rise sharply among Americans, survey finds —especially over paying bills

Brett Molina
A recent survey found Americans reported higher levels of anxiety than a year ago.

Feeling particularly anxious over the past year? You are not alone.

Anxiety levels among Americans rose sharply compared to last year, according to a new national poll by the American Psychiatric Association.

Participants rated their anxiety levels in five categories: health, safety, finances, relationships and politics.

Overall, the poll measured Americans anxiety score at 51, up five points from last year. The sharpest increase was tied to worries over paying bills.

Nearly three-quarters of both women and young adults between ages 18 and 34 are somewhat or extremely anxious about paying bills, the results showed. The same goes for nearly four in five Hispanic adults.

"That increased stress and anxiety can significantly impact many aspects of people’s lives, including their mental health, and it can affect families." said Anita Everett, M.D., president of the APA in a statement.

When broken down by generation, millennials reported more anxiety but baby boomers showed the largest year-over-year increase in anxiety levels.

The findings were based on surveys of more than 1,000 people conducted in March and in April 2017.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

More:Seeing signs of financial anxiety? How to cope

More:When athletes share their battles with mental illness