One-Third of Americans Take Anti-Anxiety Medications Due to Holiday Family Stress
As Americans prepare for the holiday season, some will be bracing for “stress season,” especially when family discussions heat up.
While most people look forward to the holidays with excitement, many also acknowledge feeling stressed and anxious, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Topics of the day, including the recent election and the economy, coupled with traditional concerns about holiday shopping and family dynamics can lead to stressful conversations at the holiday table.
A recent survey by iPrescribe, the mobile e-prescribing app by health technology pioneer DrFirst, shines a light on the role of medication in managing holiday stress and what topics can cause the most anxiety during family discussions.
Help for Seasonal Anxiety Sufferers
While 19% of adults in the U.S. have an anxiety disorder, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the iPrescribe survey shows that even more (34%) say they’ve taken anti-anxiety medications to manage family stress during the holidays.
“The holidays bring families together, with all the joy and stress that can come with it,” said Colin Banas, M.D., M.H.A, chief medical officer for DrFirst. “It’s important that people acknowledge their feelings and seek help when they need it. If you find yourself feeling anxious persistently, talk to your doctor or mental health professional. Even if you are out of town or it’s over the holidays, today’s healthcare technology gives doctors the freedom and flexibility to provide care by phone, telehealth, and mobile e-prescribing.”
Cringe-Worthy Table Talk
The survey asked people to choose the topics they most want to avoid discussing with family during the holidays. Which topics head the “Please Don’t Go There” list? Politics runs away with the lead. The highest-ranked topics to avoid include:
- Politics (53%)
- Family drama (36%)
- Love life or dating status (32%)
- Economy (25%)
- Healthcare (23%)
- Sports (22%)
Unfortunately, some of the topics people most want to avoid also rank among those most likely to be discussed (in bold), including:
- Economy (42%)
- Family drama (42%)
- Holiday shopping (42%)
- Sports (36%)
- Politics (29%)
- Pop culture and entertainment (28%)
- Healthcare (27%)
- Love life or dating status (24%)
Health Is the Greatest Gift
While conversations about healthcare are one of the topics people most want to avoid, good health is a different story. Americans overwhelmingly report (71%) celebrating or acknowledging their family’s good health during holiday gatherings.
DrFirst surveys explore consumers’ perspectives about medication use and healthcare in the U.S. DrFirst solutions keep physicians and their patients connected, communicating, and in sync across the care journey through medication management services, including e-prescribing, medication history, and prescription price transparency.
A national online survey of 1,023 U.S. consumers, ages 18 and over, was conducted by Propeller Insights on behalf of iPrescribe by DrFirst in October 2022. Survey responses were nationally representative of the U.S. population for age, gender, region, and ethnicity. The maximum margin of sampling error was +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.