Young male stress patients up 44%
By Yun Suh-young
Heavier stress is weighing down men in their 20s due to difficulty in finding a job and gloomy prospects for their future, according to the National Health Insurance Corp. (NHIC).
Data revealed Sunday indicated that the stress levels of males in their 20s have greatly increased over the past five years.
The number of males in their 20s receiving treatment due to “extreme stress and adjustment disorders” increased by 44 percent to 6,562 in 2011 from 2007. The annual rate of increase averaged 8.8 percent, according to the statistics.
The growth rate for those in their 20s without jobs was much higher.
The data showed that 10.2 out of 100,000 jobless 20somethings received treatment for stress, marking the highest rate among all age groups.
“The high level of percentage increase in males in their 20s is due to higher expectations by society and by the individual himself. Because of this, they are more influenced by their environment and become anxious about failure,” said Choi Soo-hee, professor of Mental Health at the NHIC Ilsan Hospital.
Overall, the number of stressed patients was higher in the unemployed group than the employed.
Unemployed males in their 60s had the next highest percentage of stress level increases marking 8.4 percent. For unemployed women, those in their 60s had the highest percentage increase of stress over the past five years.
In 2011, out of the unemployed female group, those in their 40s and 50s had the highest number of patients with 365 and 414 per 100,000 people, respectively. In the male group, the 60s age group had the highest number with 236 followed by those in their 20s with 227.
In the employed group, males and females in their 40s and 50s had the highest number of patients suffering from stress. But when compared to the unemployed group, the number of employed males in their 40 and 50s outnumbered the unemployed.
“Men in their 40s and 50s may react more sensitively to stress than unemployed men in the same age group because they are surrounded by an environment with noise, strong light, heat and small space. They may also feel stressed by receiving orders from above and other personal relationships,” said Choi.
Overall, the number of female patients was 1.5 times higher than the number of males as of last year. There were 70,374 female patients compared to 45,568 male patients.
“Those who are achievement-oriented, compulsive and strive for perfection tend to be more prone to stress. In order to overcome stress, it is important to understand the cause of stress. People need to focus on their inner selves and try to change,” said Choi.
In order to relieve stress, three methods may be helpful— reducing consumption of caffeine which can cause anxiety, exercising regularly for 30 minutes a day three times a week, and meditating for 20 minutes once or twice a day.