Apparently this soon-to-over election has caused what is known as "election anxiety." This came up on my local news last night, with interviews with several Central Coast residents who admitted to be anxiety-ridden, and a psychiatrist who said she had several patients admit to having this so-called "election anxiety."
The American Psychological Association has released some preliminary data from its upcoming annual "Stress in America" report, on the nation's level of anxiety specifically around this election.
Around half of people surveyed (52 percent) say the election "is a very or somewhat significant" source of stress in their lives. The breakdown by party is about even: 59 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of Democrats say this election is causing them stress.
The APA also breaks the responses down by age and demographics.And the New York Times said:
“People are wondering, how can I feel safe? Who will take care of us?” said Dr. Robert Bright, a psychiatrist at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. “Everyone I talk to is very concerned about this election.”
What’s striking, say therapists, is how deep the fears go on both sides.
“About one-third of my patients talk about the election — and both the conservatives and the progressives are affected,” said David Rogers, a clinical psychologist in Hershey, Pa. “The campaign is arousing fears about the unknown. Both sides are aroused, because the results feel so consequential. It’s like when Lincoln was running against Douglas and Jefferson was up against Adams.”
(the image above was from the New York Times article)
As much as I will admit to having a lot of anxiety, I have not been having "election anxiety." I last saw my psychiatrist last week and I could not imagine having to tell him this. I did not even know it existed until I saw the news story last night. You will see the article linked above were dated from last month.
I have been staying away from watching the presidential debates and will not be watching the election coverage on TV tonight. I have never bothered watching these things. I just wait to hear the results later. One of the things the psychiatrist interviewed on the local TV station suggested was to stay away from all social media until November 9. I'll admit I can't seem to stay off my computer, but I have been ignoring most of the presidential posts and stories, though I have "liked" or shared some of the ones I've seen others share on Facebook or Twitter. I've mostly been quiet about the whole thing. as those who regularly read my blog will notice I haven't been talking about the election, but the news story I saw last night made me want to blog about it today. And last night I posted about this on Facebook.
BTW, I vote by mail and have thus already done so.
Again, I will not be watching the election coverage tonight. During the last presidential election, I went to a movie that night. I may do the same this year, or watch a DVD I have at home, or just read or write.