According to Psychology Today, stress is both "a killer and a life force" with some stress needed for stimulation to keep us engaged in the world but chronic and repeated stress causing physical distress. The World Health Organization has even called stress "the health epidemic of the 21st Century."

More than 100 million Americans are affected by stress. Recently, Ohio was ranked 7 out of 15 for 'stressed-out states' by CBS, with a 41.9% of citizens reporting stress. While you wouldn't expect Ohioans to be so high up on the list, Ohioans clearly have something to be stressed about.

In a ranking of "Most & Least Stressed Cities in America" by WalletHub, Ohio had many top ranking cities including Cleveland at #3, Toledo at #5, Cincinnati at #16, Akron at #22, and Columbus at #73. In terms of financial stress, Cleveland was ranked #2, Toledo was #7, and Akron was #11. For family stress, Cleveland was ranked #6 and Toledo was #14. For 'health & safety stress', Toledo was ranked #5, Cleveland was #7, and Cincinnati was #8.

As a native Toledoan, I can attest to the fact that we, Ohioans, have many things to be stressed about. Even Twenty Øne Piløts, alternative duo Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun from Columbus, are known for their hit "Stressed Out" (the music video was even filmed at Dun's childhood home in Columbus)!

So here are just some reasons why Ohioans are stressed in addition to financial, family, as well as health and safety:

1. The Weather

Ohio weather is known for being unpredictable and dramatic. Nothing describes Ohio weather than snow on the first day of spring. We often experience all 4 seasons in the same week, with us wearing shorts one day and our coat the next.


2. The Roads & Construction

In Ohio, we don't have traditional seasons. We have orange barrel season and no orange barrel season. Our roads are in desperate need of repair, but road construction is slow and never seems to be done. In "Tear In My Heart", you can tell that Twenty Øne Piløts are from Ohio because they understand the struggle "to avoid the holes so you sleep fine" and "cursing my government / for not using my taxes to fill holes with more cement."

3. Lebron James

Ohioans don't know how to feel anymore about Akron, Ohio native basketball player Lebron. He was a hero on the Cleveland Cavs, then a traitor when he left, then he returned to the Cavs as a hero, and now has left us again for Los Angeles Lakers. Not as many fans are as angry with Lebron leaving the Cavs this second time, especially since he has established his roots in Ohio. Lebron has recently created the I Promise School to serve low-income and at-risk students in Akron, whose school system is behind.

4. Failing School Systems

Ohio is rated by WalletHub as #27 out of 50 for the best schools in America, but Ohio still has school systems that are failing. Cleveland, Dayton, and Toledo area schools are notorious for being ranked very poorly for their school performance and often receiving Fs on the state report cards. (At least Lebron took notice and is working to bring about change…)

5. Drug Addictions & Overdoses

While Ohio is not in the top 10 states, WalletHub has ranked them as #3 for 'drug use & addiction'. Ohio was also ranked 2nd in 2016 by the CDC for deaths due to drug overdose, with 39.1 per 100,000. In 2017, Dayton was also known as having the highest opioid abuse deaths and is considered to be the heart of America's opioid epidemic.

6. Sex Trafficking

According to Attorney General Mike DeWine, the opioid addiction crisis and human trafficking go together because

"Drugs are used to control. Because opioids are so addictive, it makes it easier for a pimp, makes it easier for a human-trafficker to control a victim. They control a victim's income, money, but they also control the drugs."

In 2018, Toledo ranked fourth in the nation as a human trafficking hub. So why Toledo and why Ohio?

"We have a lot of, five major highways, connected to Ohio. We also have a high demand for services her in Ohio, unfortunately."

7. Brock Turner is an Ohioan

Just when America thought we were finally seeing justice, Brock Turner is making news again with the announcement that he and his lawyer are seeking a new trial before a three-judge panel in California on July 24, 2018. Turner's lawyer filed back in December 2017 for a new trial claiming that Turner did not get a fair trial back in March 2016 when he was convicted for the sexual assault of Emily Doe. Turner sexually assaulted Emily back in 2015 after attending a frat party at Stanford University.

Although the jury saw through his excuses and 100% convicted him, the judge gave him a lenient sentence of only 6 months. After serving 3 months of his sentence, he was released for good behavior and returned to live with his parents back in Dayton, Ohio. At least he was required to register as a sex offender in Ohio.

If Turner wins this new trial with his argument of only wanting outercourse, he would no longer be considered a rapist and not have to register as a sex offender. I am uncomfortable knowing a rapist like him lives in Ohio, let alone could soon not have to register as a sex offender.

While this is not a comprehensive list, this is just some of the reasons Ohioans have to be stressed. What else about Ohio makes you stressed?