According to a new survey, fear of war and crises is a major stress factor for the majority of the German population. According to the Yougov survey published on Thursday, these political concerns come before personal questions and problems such as financial worries or illnesses.

As a result, 58 percent of the more than 2,000 respondents feel stressed by fear of wars, social unrest and political developments. More than a quarter (28 percent) said that fear of political crises caused them to feel very strong or even extremely stressed. This was announced by Swiss Life Insurance, which commissioned the survey. A total of 2,002 participants were surveyed in November.

Cause of occupational disability

The reason for the annual survey is the increase in mental illnesses in recent years, which has financial consequences for insurers: According to Swiss Life, mental illnesses and nervous diseases are now the most common cause of occupational disability among the company’s customers, accounting for 39 percent. Stress is not considered a mental illness, but it can contribute to the development of mental suffering.

And apart from occupational disability, the number of sick days due to mental illnesses has increased among the working population – in 2022 there were 130 million days nationwide, as shown in a response from the Federal Ministry of Labor published in November to a Bundestag question from the Left.

Stress factors in everyday life

According to the survey, stress factors in everyday life include financial worries and fear of social decline as well as serious changes in life: illness, accident, death of relatives or divorce. Younger and middle-aged people are particularly worried about finances.

The increase in natural disasters in recent years is also causing concern among a significant part of the population: almost a third (31 percent) feel stressed by the fear of possible disasters, although according to the survey there is a clear difference between the genders: 35 percent of women are concerned about this, but only 27 percent of men are.