WASHINGTON, April 30 (UPI) -- A majority of U.S. women polled indicate the sagging economy has negatively affected their mental health, a survey indicates.
A survey by the American Psychiatric Association examines the impact of the economic crisis on the mental well-being of women nationally and in Clinton County, Ohio, where air freight company DHL's cutbacks have eliminated more than 5,000 jobs in recent months.
Nearly two-thirds of women in Clinton County say the economy has had "a negative impact" on their mental health, versus just more than half of women polled nationwide. Moreover, when compared with women nationally, the women of Clinton County are much more likely to be experiencing greater levels of stress -- 45 percent versus 33 percent -- as well as more frustration, anxiety, irritability and insomnia or oversleeping.
"Even if people are working, it's emotionally draining to live with a constant fear of losing a job," said Dr. Joseph Locala, president of the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association. "To help get through these uncertain times, it's important to find positive ways to cope -- whether it's spending time with friends and family, hobbies, exercising or talking with a clergy member or mental health professional."
The women rank the ability to provide food, clothing and education for their families, relationships with family and friends and personal finances such as mortgages and retirement savings, as more important than their own mental and physical health.
The telephone survey of 1,000 women ages 30-54 was conducted by StrategyOne March 13-23 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.