Trump, Clinton and election stress disorder: how to deal with your political fears?


"Who are you voting for?" Those five words are striking fear, anxiety, and anger in so many Americans as they prepare to make a decision in one of the most highly-debated elections in history.

Clinton and Trump; at first glance, the names seem so innocent, yet the very sound of them are causing people to "pick sides" when it comes to friendships, co-workers, and family. And the most surprising fallout from this political disaster is the never-ending list of health ailments that people seem to be suffering from.

In general, the most common reaction to the uncertainty that is being generated as a result of this election is generalised anxiety as people worry about the future. Symptoms like restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, fatigue,panic attacks, depression, concentration or sleep difficulties, seem to top the list of most common complaints.

So what is at the root of all these mental, emotional, and physical health issues? Experts point to the prolonged election cycle; a year and a half in the U.S. compared to typically six months for a UK general election and only 78 days in places like Canada, as a major culprit in the rise of anxiety-related disorders.

A recent article in The Washington Post reported that the political climate has gotten so bad that Steven Stosny, a therapist in suburban Washington, has even characterised what he's seeing in patients as "Election Stress Disorder."

While there's no debating that personal and familial relationship are taking a hit when it comes to conversations about the election, it seems that the workplace is also becoming overrun by the constant talk of this impeding day of doom. Results from a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association released on September 14th, found that one in four employees are negatively affected by political talk at work, making them less productive in their job.

As the political debates continue to heat up and we creep closer to November 8th, many people are starting to look for ways to detox from all of this political chaos. The following tips may be helpful in reducing anxiety, relieving stress, minimising headaches, and getting you back on track for a better night's sleep.

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