Those who get support for stress from their doctor fare much better than those who don't, the researchers said.
People suffering from chronic illnesses report even less support for stress and lifestyle management than Americans without a chronic condition, according to the survey.
Despite seeing their doctor more often than most people, only 25 percent of those with a chronic illness say they get "a great deal or a lot" of stress management support from their doctor. And 41 percent of these chronically ill people said their stress level had increased in the past year, the researchers found.
The disconnect between what people need to manage stress and what the health care system delivers is evident at all ages, the survey found.
For example, 32 percent of respondents said it is extremely important to talk with their doctor about stress management, but only 17 percent said that happens often or always.
Fifty-three percent said they get little or no help with stress management from their doctor, and 39 percent said they have little or no support for other lifestyle issues. Those who felt unsupported were more likely than others to say their stress had increased during the previous year.
This problem is worse for the 20 percent of Americans who consider themselves extremely stressed, the researchers said. Among these people, 69 percent say their stress increased in the past year. Thirty-three percent, however, never discussed their increasing stress with their doctor, according to the report.
The report did find that many people know that controlling stress is important for good health. But for more than one-third of Americans, stress levels are on the rise, they noted.
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