The American Psychological Association reports that 52 percent of U.S. adults say that the 2016 U.S. Presidential election process has been a very or somewhat significant source of stress.
Recent reports tell us our political culture is affecting our health and damaging our relationships. A national survey showed that roughly 60 percent of Americans are sick and tired of the election — and that was back in July!
In recent months, anger and divisiveness between political opponents intensified to a fever pitch. Therapists have been increasingly treating patients for election-related anxiety, and in October the American Psychological Association produced coping tips for the more than half of Americans who are suffering from election stress.
Dr. Robert Glatter — an emergency room physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, and contributor to Forbes magazine — calls the combination of election and nonstop media attention a “life stressor” with serious physical effects. Dr. Glatter has counseled voters about increased blood pressure, fluttering heartbeats, headaches, nausea and other telltale symptoms of “election-related stress.”
Though voters have remained interested in the election, they are tired of news about the nominees’ personal lives, back-and-forth comments, and ever-changing polls. A recent Gallup poll had the headline “Americans less sure they’ll vote for president.” The survey found that 69 percent of the nation are sure they will vote today, but this is down from 76 percent in 2012 and 80 percent in 2008.
This presidential election has certainly taken a toll on the health of the United States. Will the upcoming months and years see the nation become healthier? Time will tell.
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The P.A.C.E. Fitness Foundation, Inc.
P.A.C.E. is a non-profit organization aimed at Promoting Active Children Everywhere.