Two Spins On How Election is Screwing With Everyone’s Head

Two Spins On How Election is Screwing With Everyone’s Head

Recently Dr. Paul Hokemeyer was interviewed by thestir.cafemom about the impact of the general election on our sanity. He even has a name for what is going on with all too many of us. And yes, it is not just you. A second story, which was curated by WebMD News, underlines what Dr. Paul has to say.
Dr, Paul

Dr, Paul

We’ve got less than a month to go until the presidential election. Which doesn’t seem that long until you consider the angry bile we’ve been marinating in for months. If you’re angrier, more anxious, less opitimistic or full-on freaked out about now, you’re not alone.

Choosing our new president is taking a toll on pretty much every American’s mental health.

A recent Politico article pointed out that over the summer, some 3,000 therapists signed a manifesto declaring that Donald Trump’s overt sexism, intolerance, and scapegoating behavior posed an actual threat to the well-being of their patients. Months ago, these mental health professionals were already seeing an uptick in their clients’ feeling of anxiety, fear, shame and helplessness.

And when a University of Minnesota psychologist polled 1,000 voting-age Americans, he found that 43 percent were feeling emotional distress because of Trump’s campaign. (In turn, 28 percent said Hilary Clinton was stressing them out.)

Do we really need to unpack why this campaign is torturing us so? Is “Good vs. Evil”/”Love vs. Hate” not clear enough?

Okay then. Let’s break it down.

“Many people are more anxious [about] what’s going to happen because the two [political parties] are so polarized. They fear the other side winning and the consequence of that changing their lives,” explains Dr. Gail Saltz, MD, a psychiatrist in New York City and host of “The Power of Different” podcast.
Our anger’s bubbling up, she adds, “because the gloves are off in terms of politicians modeling civilized behavior and curbing what they will say. That’s given many people permission to speak angrily and disparagingly, which has inflamed our collective way of relating and feeling.”
Some people are bummed about what they perceive as no good choices for president, says Saitz. But let’s face it — confidence in politicians has been on the wane for a while now. And feeling like no one you trust is at the wheel leaves people with “a degree of hopelessness about being able to control and protect their futures,” Saltz says.
There’s a name for what you’ve been feeling
Paul Hokemeyer, PhD, JD, a licensed marriage and family therapist who practices in New York City, has a name for this phenomenon: “Election Neurosis.”
“I’ve observed a definite spike in anxiety and depression in my patients that’s directly related to this election cycle,” he admits. The emotion that comes up again and again, Hokemeyer says, is betrayal.
“My patients feel betrayed by the very system that is supposed to protect their liberties. They feel the vile and base actions of the candidates violate their very beings and the American promise of the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness,” he says…
About Dr. Paul Hokemeyer:
A Telluride local, Dr. Paul Hokemeyer is an internationally recognized expert on treating the clinical issues that arise at the intersection of relationships and behavioral health. He is frequently quoted in a host of media outlets including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Hokemeyer serves on the panel of experts for the “Dr. Oz Show” and is a Fox News analyst. He served on the board of directors for the New York Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, is a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and received his certification as a clinical trauma professional. Hokemeyer also holds a law degree.
And it turns out that stress is a non-partisan bummer, as reflected in this article from HeathDay by Robert Preidt, which appeared in WebMD News.
As Donald and Hillary duke it out on the campaign trail, Americans are feeling pummeled, too, a new poll finds.

The 24/7 coverage of the acrimonious U.S. presidential election has caused stress for more than half of American adults, regardless of party affiliation, according to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA).

“We’re seeing that it doesn’t matter whether you’re registered as a Democrat or Republican — U.S. adults say they are experiencing significant stress from the current election,” said Lynn Bufka, APA’s associate executive director for practice research and policy.

“Election stress becomes exacerbated by arguments, stories, images and video on social media that can heighten concern and frustration, particularly with thousands of comments that can range from factual to hostile or even inflammatory,” she added in an association news release.

You can minimize your discomfort, however, by reducing your media exposure and avoiding political discussions, the association suggests.

Overall, 52 percent of Americans aged 18 and older said the election is a somewhat or very significant source of stress. That included 55 percent who align with Democrats and 59 percent with Republicans.

The survey also found that 38 percent of respondents said political and cultural discussions on social media causes them stress…

Continue reading this story here.

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