CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Post Election Stress comes with each presidential election, but experts claimed this year to be the most difficult.
Ahead of the Election, the American Psychological Association found that more than two-thirds of U.S. Americans sourced the presidential election as a main reason for their stress. Where as in 2016, the same poll showed 52% of Americans identified their stress from the election.
Dr. Sarah Coker, a Psychiatrist with Roper St. Francis, said this year’s stress began with the pandemic. Dr. Coker noted with the isolation, increase in unemployment, and nosophobia or hypochondria, there’s many things that tie into intensifying the anxieties than previously.
The election has proven to have a bigger impact on individuals’ day to day lives and left many with symptoms in addition to a generalized anxiety.
Increased anxiety, increased worry so fear of the unknown, so this is causing some changes in appetite for the better or for the worse. This is definitely causing more people to have fatigue and exhaustion, especially when it’s effecting their sleep. So more difficultly falling asleep or staying asleep. Often with anxiety from the election they have more thoughts on their minds so they’re waking up more often at night.Dr. Sarah Coker, Psychiatrist Roper St. Francis
As for how you can manage this, Dr. Coker said some ways are to focus on your diet, exercise, and to mediate. Another method is to create a routine to allow structure into what can be an unstructured time.
Even more, Dr. Coker suggested to remove yourself from triggering situations or conversations and to avoid continually checking in on results as it could turn obsessive.
It’s remembering you don’t have control over anything right now, you did your part hopefully and you made your voice heard and you voted. And that’s about as much say as you have in it now. So now it’s the part of where you have to step back and realize you have no control over anything else.Dr. Sarah Coker, Psychiatrist Roper St. Francis
If your anxiety does start to interfere with your way of living and your relationships, it’s best to seek additional help. Furthermore, if any thoughts of suicide do come to mind, go to your nearest hospital.