Nervous about that upcoming winter? Doctor’s visit? Call from your boss?
Well, New Englander, you’re not alone. In a New York Times piece entitled “Fifty Shades of Anxiety,” writer Seth Stephens-Davidowitz uses Google search data to explore national anxiety trends, and what he finds out about New England may not surprise you at all.
After analyzing anxiety-related searches on the engine — for example, phrases like “anxiety help,” “anxious,” or “anxious in the morning” — the writer said he found nationwide searches are up 150 percent since 2004.
Based on Stephens-Davidowitz’s methodology, New Englanders are particularly anxious, with every state but Connecticut landing more than 10 percent above the national average search rate for anxiety. Maine rates as the highest in the entire country, with a rate 21 percent higher than average.
The analysis found that searches for panic attacks are “overwhelmingly concentrated in less educated, poorer parts of the country, particularly Appalachia and the South,” but also curiously still identifies America’s “epicenter of anxiety” as Presque Isle, Maine, where the study observes fewer than 20 percent of adults hold a bachelor’s degree.
West Coasters, as their stereotype implies, seem more chilled out on the whole than their East Coast counterparts, with anxiety-related search rates that all rank below the national average.
The lowest rate in the nation? Oregon, at 26 percent.
Of course, it should be noted that Google search trends don’t always correspond to actual trends in real life.