ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Money. It's been cited as the number one source of stress in the United States for the last 12 years, and that was before more than 30 million were put out of work.
Dr. Amanda Sellers is a licensed clinical psychologist in Allentown. She says we can look to the last recession to get a sense of how it can affect mental health.
"There were lots of studies done during and after the great recession from 07-09 that showed that more people began taking psychotropic medications for stress, more people started going to psychotherapy, and national suicide prevention hotlines' calls also increase," Dr. Sellers said. "It really taps into our difficulty tolerating the unknown and uncertainty."
And that's not all.
"During times of financial stress people tend to rely on less healthy coping mechanisms. We see increases in gambling, drinking, substance abuse,"Dr. Sellers said.
Her advice? Confront the problem and seek help if you need it.
"A lot of times people will avoid it because in the short term sitting down and doing that activity actually increases anxiety, but if you could sit down and get things written down in black-and-white you can actually reduce stress over time," Dr. Sellers said.
Look ahead and be sure to care for yourself.
"I think it's important to fold in some things where you can. Whether it's reading a book or Skyping with a friend. You know still having some things to help you get through," Dr. Sellers said.
"Crisis is time-limited and we won't be living like this forever."