According to a new study from New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center, more Americans are feeling more stress, anxious, and depressed. The researchers, led by study investigator, Judith Weissman, Ph.D., analyzed data from the CDC. Dr. Weissman is the research manager at NYU’s Department of Medicine. From the CDC’s data, her team found that more than eight million people are affected by serious psychological distress. Serious psychological distress refers to any mental health problem that becomes serious enough to require treatment. The study was published in the journal Psychiatric Services.
The CDC conducted the National Health Interview Survey with about 35,000 households participating in the survey. The individuals were aged 18 to 64, according to The New York Daily News with more than 200,000 subjects in all states, “across all ethnic and socioeconomic groups.” Weissman said that the data suggested that many Americans’ “emotional functioning” can lead to a “lower quality of life and life expectancy.” She went on to add that the data may also suggest why the suicide rate has increased.
Those who suffer from serious psychological distress or stress often do not seek help. Dr. Weissman does not know why, however, theorizing that the lack of care could be from “shortages” in health care, increasing costs, the recession, and other reasons. EurekAlert reported that from the years 2006 to 2014, Americans access to medical care decreased for people suffering from stress, anxiety, depression and other forms of severe psychological distress compared to those “who did not report SPD.”
Dr. Weismann and her team fears that stress and other forms of severe psychological distress worsened. Even with the Affordable Care Act, more Americans are still suffering from an undiagnosed mental health issues. She hopes that the study will help other healthcare providers as a “baseline” report, EurekAlert! said. Speaking with CBS News, Weismann said that cases of mental illness are increasing, and access to care is getting worse for the mentally ill.
More research must be conducted to understand why more Americans suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression. Weismann and her team of researchers hope to study how the underreporting of severe psychological distress impact doctors practices and pushes alternate health care services, EurekAlert reported. Dr. Weissman added that psychiatrists and other mental healthcare providers need to be added to primary care physicians’ offices, CBS News said. She said that if there are linkages of care for mental illness within primary care, the people who have mental illnesses can be helped for that, even if they came in for a non-related reason.
By Cheryl Werber