Today’s nonstop lifestyle of constant stimulation, overtime, and keeping up with the Joneses are challenges to mental health these days. And as we become more aware of these challenges, we try to tackle them the best way we know how: by Googling what we’re worried about. Conditions, symptoms, and solutions: you name it, we ask Dr. Google about it.
While it’s important to keep what we find on the internet in perspective and see a licensed mental health professional, it’s also fascinating to see what everyone else’s mental health concerns are too.
So, of course, we set out to discover exactly that.
To find each state’s most googled mental health concern, we used mental health sites like NAMI, TalkSpace, and MentalHealth.gov to compile a list of the most common mental health conditions, along with their corresponding symptoms and stressors.
Then we ran each of the conditions, stressors, and symptoms through Google Trends to identify which mental health concerns were searched most frequently in each state over the past year.
Correlations and key findings
- Internet addiction, major depressive disorder, and memory loss tied for America’s most googled mental health concerns.
- Arizona, Maryland, and South Carolina residents googled “stress at work,” while Georgians and Pennsylvanians searched for info about “stress headaches.”
- Oklahoma ranked high for “low sex drive,” which is related to concerns about a low libido—which people from the Sooner State are also Googling in droves.
- Ohioans were the only ones concerned about their potentially obsessive love of coffee.
- Seasonal affective disorder was the most googled concern in Alaska, where residents can go days without seeing the sun in winter.
- Utah’s most googled concern was postpartum depression. That’s not surprising, considering the CDC routinely places Utah in the top ten states for highest birth rates.
- The most googled concern in New Hampshire was hyperactivity, a symptom of ADHD. Not surprisingly, ADHD came in as a close second for the state.
- Missouri was the only state concerned about its social media habits. Massachusetts, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington worried about full-blown internet addiction instead.
- New York, home to one of the most expensive cities in the nation, googled financial stress more than any other term.
- Alcoholism is the top mental health concern for internet searchers in Minnesota, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
Moving forward with your mental health
Arming yourself with knowledge about mental health is a great way to start taking care of your well-being, but as folks who googled “internet addiction” have found, this method has its pitfalls. When we try to self-diagnose instead of seeking professional help, we run the risk of spending our days heading down the wrong path.
If you’re concerned about your mental health, the best thing you can do is talk to a professional. Psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and other mental health pros help folks like you each day using their extensive training and expertise in mental health. They help folks understand their mental well-being and learn new strategies for feeling better.
So go ahead. Get your Google on. And then get the help you deserve by calling the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727)
Were you surprised at your state’s most Googled health concern? Let us know in the comments.
1. CDC, “National Vital Statistics Reports”
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