Americans are a pretty resilient and optimistic group of people.
In fact, over the last 20 years, up to 45 percent of us have regularly reported having “excellent” mental health.
But according to a recent national survey, Americans experienced a MAJOR drop in mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, in 2021, this longevity factor plummeted to a 21-year low!
Fortunately, as I’ll explain in a moment, there’s a lot you can do to BOOST your mental health without resorting to ineffective—and even dangerous—antidepressants.
First, let’s dig a little deeper into those survey numbers…
Gallop poll shows major shift in mental health
Every year the Gallup Organization conducts a poll asking Americans about their mental health.
(I trust Gallup as a source because they know how to conduct scientific polls. They also operate independently of government agencies. So, they don’t have a predetermined agenda and aren’t chasing funding dollars.)
Since 2001, this poll has revealed that 45 percent of Americans reported having “excellent” mental health. But all that changed dramatically in the latest poll, conducted in November 2021…
Routinely, the organization asked a random sample of 815 adults about the status of their mental health. (With a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.)
This time, only 34 percent of people reported having “excellent” mental health—a figure that represents a 21-year low…by FAR.
In fact, over the past 21 years, the lowest this rating had EVER dropped was to 42 percent in 2005…when the housing bubble started to burst.
Those who had the lowest reported levels of “excellent” mental health included:
- Those making less than $40,000 a year
- Those who never attend religious services
- People who reported political affiliation with the Democratic party
Now, I should note, there were a few pieces of good news. The percentage of people who reporting having:
- “Good” mental health increased slightly
- “Fair” mental health dropped slightly
- “Poor” mental health dropped slightly
However, each of these encouraging findings fell within Gallup’s margin of error. So, I’m not sure how much faith we should place in them.
Mental health didn’t seem to affect physical health
The Gallup poll also revealed there was no wavering view in respondents’ physical health over the past several years. I found that finding interesting…especially when you consider most people saw FEWER doctors over the last two years, during the coronavirus panic.
Of course, as I’ve explained before, getting LESS medical care isn’t always a bad thing…and now, this poll suggests Americans feel the same way!
(Subscribers to my monthly Insiders’ Cures newsletter can learn more about “avoidable care” in medicine by logging into my website and searching the archives. If you’re not yet a subscriber, now is the perfect time to become one!)
But it’s still important to remember that the pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions made matters much worse for people diagnosed with incurable conditions, like metastatic cancer.
In fact, lung cancer death rates increased by nearly 100 percent during the pandemic. And that’s especially sad, because unlike some other types of cancer, we DO have a good screening tool for it! So avoiding routine medical care is not always the best practice.
In the end, if you’ve always been a cheery person, but find yourself struggling with more down days lately…just know you’re not alone. Lots of other people are feeling the same way.
I encourage you to check out my 8-step, drug-free plan for beating depression. It includes some science on specific foods and supplements than can help naturally boost your mood.
I also advise adding some healthy, mind-body therapies to your day. To find out which mind-body therapy will work best for you, take the “Emotional Type Quiz” at www.drmicozzi.com and check out my book with Mike Jawer, Your Emotional Type.