Elections are never necessarily good for mental health, but this year’s has been especially brutal, according to licensed therapists across six states and the District of Columbia. “I’ve never seen this level of stress and anxiety over an impending election in my 26 years (of practicing),” one clinical psychologist told Reuters.
Another said his patients’ sense of anxiety is comparable to the aftermath of September 11, and the crash of America’s first space station, which caused the more nervous among us to worry they’d be hit with falling debris — “Things where, for everybody, the sense of control is gone,” he said.
According to the psychologists’ anecdotes, some of the election-related anxiety stems from having to choose between two of the most historically unpopular candidates of all time. But the majority of their patients’ fears have to do with a potential Donald Trump presidency. Lynn Bufka, the executive director for practice research and policy at the American Psychological Association, told Reuters that one of her clients was specifically concerned about how Trump’s treatment of women reflects on her:
“What does this mean for her as a woman? Have things really changed that much for her in terms of what she can do?” Bufka recalled the patient wondering.
Her advice? “Turn off the news feed. Stop reading everything if it just gets you more stressed.” Pretty sure that won’t stop November 8 from hurtling toward us, but do what you need to do.