Exactly how exhausted are you from all the political ads, Obama/Romney rants on Facebook, bickering by party members, angry Tweets and palpable tension from every debate, interview and negative political commentary? If you’re completely sick of this election, you’re not alone. You’re also not alone if it’s affecting your mental health.
Don’t think so? Take a look at some of the angry rhetoric on Twitter this week over the election:
If you support Romney, I will automatically hate you.
obama & romney are both jokes & clowns pandering to idiots who will justify their vote for them cause they hate the other guy more
I hate both Obama and Romney but I think I hate Romney more.
and @DitaObama commented:
Everytime I think about how rude and disrespectful #Romney was to the President, I become enraged. I truly hate the man!
Then there’s all the name-calling of Obama and Romney that we’ve been privy to on Facebook. Some of the ones I saw after the third debate included: douchebag, idoit, liar, asshole and racist. And let’s not forget all the anger between the candidates themselves. During the second debate, in particular, it’s a wonder a fist-fight didn’t break out right then and there (although if Romney’s son, Tagg, had his way, it would have).
Clearly, the stress, the anger, the emotions and the hatefulness is mounting. So what does all of that do to our mental health? Plenty–including depression, according to a recent report on The Root.
Mental-health expert, Dr. Jeff Gardere, an assistant professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine explained to The Root how it’s plausible that the performance of a particular candidate can, in fact, lead to depression in some cases:
There are some people who do become depressed because of the sports team or politician’s loss because they are so invested in those entities. In fact, if they are consumed with the politician or the sports team and that becomes one of the few avenues of pleasure, it is quite possible that a loss becomes devastating to that fan.
Not only that, but getting too emotionally involved in the election can affect our overall health and happiness.
One political activist, Michaela Angela Davis, explained to The Root how the debate affected her health:
I have never become as anxious and upset about something that is not directly connected to my personal life as I was about that first debate.
And Amanda Loureiro, a NYC small business owner, told them how the debates affected her sleep:
I was in a great mood the next day because I got a great night’s sleep. But I was really upset — really upset — after that first debate.
As if that’s not enough, Loureiro went on to explain how the overall mood of the city changed after each debate, and ultimately affected her business.
It’s an interesting phenomenon for sure. Yes, it’s essential that every American become knowledgeable and informed on politics and the issues surrounding this presidential race, but this year, in particular, seems to be inspiring the worst in some people. Hateful comments, negative reactions, emotional debates, stress, anger, loss of sleep and noticeable mood changes–all things that are hazardous to our overall mental health. Let’s hope that come November 6, some of that will subside.
Tell us, has this election affected your mental health?
Photo: video posted on huffingtonpost.com