Monday, June 08, 2020

Feeling Nervous, Anxious, on Edge?

How often have you felt nervous, anxious, or on edge during the past week? Chances are, you've felt that way on at least several days, according to the Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey fielded May 21-26. Only 37 percent of Americans aged 18 or older say they did not feel nervous, anxious, or on edge on any day that week. Another 34 percent said they had been bothered by anxiety on several days, and 28 percent had been bothered on most days or every day. The Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey is tracking the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the well-being of the public, including mental health.

Not surprisingly, the demographics of those who are cool as a cucumber differ dramatically from those who are a quivering basket of nerves. One of the biggest differences is by age, with younger adults much more freaked out than their elders—and with good reason since younger adults are the ones being hit harder by job losses. Here are the extremes: the 61 percent majority of people aged 80 or older say they have not suffered from anxiety on even one day in the past week; among people aged 18 to 29, only 28 percent have nerves of steel. Keep in mind, the survey does not include the elderly living in nursing homes, who might be a lot more anxious than their peers in the community.

Days in past week when you felt nervous, anxious, or on edge, May 21-26

none  several   most or every
Total 18-plus  37.3%    34.4%      28.3%
Aged 18 to 29  27.8    33.8      38.4
Aged 30 to 39  29.4    36.9      33.7
Aged 40 to 49  32.7    37.1      30.1
Aged 50 to 59  36.2    35.8      28.0
Aged 60 to 69  45.5    33.3      21.2
Aged 70 to 70  57.6    28.2      14.2
Aged 80-plus  60.9    23.1      16.1

Note that Wave 4 of the Household Pulse Survey was taken before the murder of George Floyd and the resulting protests and unrest across the country. 

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