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Stress Trends By State

I found this recent article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine to be rather interesting. It analyzed the results of studies on what’s known as Frequent Mental Distress (FMD) for two historical periods, 1993-2001 and 2003-2006, and compared them for trends.

I’ve been fascinated with psychology lately. While that’s always been the case, it’s been understandably rekindled and pronounced these days due to my current circumstances and the economic and societal climate in general.

Here’s the Full-Text.

A couple noteworthy images and a definition follow for the skimmers.

They could have picked prettier colors, eh? ;)


The first graphic shows the latest study period, the second the trend versus the 1993-2001 timeframe. (Note, both time blocks compared in the paper came before the recession.)

So, what are we looking at here? What is FMD? The article defines Frequent Mental Distress as having 14 or more Mentally Unhealthy Days (MUDs) in the previous 30 days! Ouch.


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2 Responses to “Stress Trends By State”

  1. Brivari says:

    This may be pre-official recession data, but I’ve got a good idea why OK and KY show a dramatic increase in distress. I’d also guess the data for TX is dodgy (too many counties with no data). LA is also suspect IMHO since FEMA exported a good chunk of their mentally ill post-Katrina, look to MI and GA, LA should be higher than them.

    It was in 2003 that drought kicked in in OK and is STILL kicking the states heiney, farmers there are talking dustbowl, crop yields are way down. OK also saw a dramatic increase in ‘undocumented workers’ during that same period that put stress on workers (job losses, wage cuts) and social services. OK actually decided to take on the feds and ban services to ‘undocumented workers’ (promptly followed by a drop in the unemployment rate).

    KY avoided drought, but their ag economy also started tanking in that same time period, followed by a large decrease in legal employment and not much of a useful social net to help displaced workers.

  2. Brivari says:

    BTW; in a corporate environment same tone colors like Fig1 are chosen to visually reduce the results. Try photoshopping it to a full dark indigo to bright red color spread.

    Pretty colors make these maps a lot scarier ‘-)

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