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Stress increases because of inflation

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Stress increases because of inflation

According to a study by a health insurance company, mothers and fathers feel more and more under pressure. Stress factors are not just parenting and care, political conflicts and worries about finances can also be stressful, as shown by the representative Forsa survey commissioned by the Kaufmännische Krankenkasse (KKH). 62 percent of parents with underage children often or even very often say they are stressed. Exactly two thirds also say that stress has increased in the past one to two years.

Almost 70 percent sometimes feel exhausted or burnt out as a result of high levels of stress, and around 40 percent have already felt depressed or depressed in stressful situations. In 2019, the shares were significantly lower at 55 and 22 percent, respectively, it was said.

“The large increase is a warning signal. We have to take this development very seriously,” said Aileen Könitz, KKH expert on psychiatric issues, in a statement on Saturday. Constant stress can lead to chronic exhaustion, depression and anxiety disorders.

Social things are particularly stressful

Social issues such as the political situation, climate change and inflation were cited as stress factors. Half of the parents find this particularly serious. Other points include raising and caring for children (48 percent), the workload in the household (46 percent) and fear for the future of the offspring (44 percent). Their own training or job (37 percent) and conflicts in the family (36 percent) follow somewhat behind. A good quarter of parents are burdened by financial worries (29 percent). Digitalization, including technical innovations and constant accessibility (17 percent), is of little importance.

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The workload in the household in particular is a more common cause of stress than it was five years ago. Almost two thirds of mothers now feel under pressure as a result. In 2019 it was around 40 percent. For fathers, the rate is still significantly lower, but has increased – by almost double from 16 to 30 percent. Furthermore, more fathers feel burdened by raising children, conflicts in the family and financial worries than five years ago.

“Burnout prevention starts with yourself”

Single parents are particularly challenged; in nine out of ten cases the children live with their mother. “Women suffer more often than men from stress-related mental illnesses such as adjustment disorders and, as a result, depression,” said Könitz. But that is not because they are mentally unstable. They are often more stressed.

To prevent burnout and mental illnesses such as depression from occurring in the first place, parents should question their needs early on and give them enough importance. Anyone who burns out can no longer give their family anything. “Burnout prevention starts with yourself,” said Könitz. Before those affected seek professional help, it can be helpful to examine their own network and consider who can provide support and when.

For example, tasks such as cooking or taking children to school and picking them up from school can be shared with other parents, neighbors or grandparents. “It is also important to lower your own expectations and think less perfectionistically,” advises the expert. For the study, the opinion research institute surveyed 1,000 parents with children under the age of 18 nationwide from January 2nd to 16th, 2024 and in November 2019. With 1.6 million insured people, the KKH is one of the largest nationwide health insurance funds.

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