Mental health professionals say 2016 election brought increase in anxiety, other disorders

Feeling stressed about the election? You are not alone, according to a report from STAT.

Mental health professionals told STAT this year's election has brought about an uptick in a number of anxiety and mental health disorders, such as obsessive compulsive behaviors, avoidance, seep disruption, irritability, drinking and depression.

Though most of these issues are harmless in the short-term, experiencing some of these disorders for long periods of time can be detrimental to health. Long-term stressors can elevate heart rate and cholesterol levels, among other effects, according to the report.

The best way to know if you are overly invested in the election is to reflect on work and personal relationships, and see if the election has changed any of these, according to STAT. If so, it may be time to take a step back.

The American Psychological Association, which reported earlier this month that 52 percent of Americans are experiencing election-related stress, recommends limiting media consumption, avoiding discussions about the election if they will result in conflict and remember that life will go on after Nov. 8 no matter who is elected.

"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," Lynn Bufka, PhD, APA's associate executive director for practice research and policy, said in a press release.

Read the full STAT report here.


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