Studies show that stress is higher than ever among Americans. By some accounts, up to 75 percent are experiencing elevated levels of stress at this point, and experts don’t expect that number to decrease anytime soon. Though stress touches the lives of almost everyone and no one is immune to it, it often seems to be more prominent among minorities. Several factors are contributing to this development, and it’s a complex situation.
Limited Access to Essential Services
Limited access to the services they need is one of the factors that’s causing higher stress levels among minorities. Language barriers, religious beliefs, intolerance, and many other hurdles come together to exacerbate this issue. For example, in some areas, Mexican immigrants may struggle to find Spanish-speaking attorneys. Those who are part of certain religious groups may be unable to find nearby places of worship. Members of the LGBTQ+ community who are battling substance abuse disorders may have trouble finding gay sober living homes. Obstacles like those can certainly raise stress levels.
Money is the primary source of stress for most people. In a time where prices of even the most basic necessities are surging but income seems to be flatlining, financial struggles are going to abound. Minorities are often the hardest hit by this factor. Research shows that minority groups are more likely to face lower incomes and higher rates of unemployment. As a result, they may not be able to cover their basic needs. That’s sure to cause high levels of stress.
Gaps in healthcare availability are common problems as well. Minorities are often faced with limited access to medical care and insurance. This is at least partially a result of financial disparities. As such, they can’t get the care they need for illnesses and chronic conditions. That extends to mental health services. Because of the previously mentioned issues and many others, anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders are likely to become problems. That further contributes to higher stress levels.
Limited Access to Educational Opportunities
Educational opportunities aren’t always equal for everyone, either. Minority communities may be up against inadequate school systems overseen by administrators who don’t care about the needs of their students. They often have limited access to educational resources and financial assistance for college. By extension, that hinders their chances of getting better jobs and improving their financial situations. Because of that, it raises stress levels even more.
Stereotypes and Identity Struggles
Minorities often fall victim to stereotypes as well. People on the outside see the stereotypes more so than the individuals. That leaves people struggling to define themselves and overcome the biases. Achieving their goals in life is often difficult in the face of those obstacles. That causes internal conflicts as well as outward contention. Obviously, it’s a significant source of stress.
Stress is a universal problem. It knows no bounds; it affects people of all ages, races, backgrounds, and financial statuses. Numerous factors can contribute to elevated stress levels and the mental and physical issues that come along with them.
That being said, minorities often face higher stress levels because of unfair biases, financial struggles, and limited access to healthcare, education, and other essential services. When stress leads to anxiety, depression, and physical health problems, members of minority communities are unable to receive the help they need to resolve those issues. It’s an ongoing cycle, but help is available for dealing with its effects.