Trump's Win Aggravates The Nation's Fragile Mental Health

No one wants to be called a crybaby for complaining about Trump, but how can people cope when his election is causing real damage to the nation’s mental health?

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Considering that the majority of voters were opposed to Donald Trump, the public’s discontent with the nation’s new president-elect is palpable.

The United States is facing a mental health crisis. Suicide rates are already at a 30-year-high, according to federal data. An estimated one in four adults suffers from some form of mental illness. And, this was before the election.

Throughout Trump’s campaign, he targeted the fragile mental health of military veterans, namely those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. The extensive media coverage of his sexual assault history, which he bragged about, triggered anxiety for rape survivors.

According to The Washington Post, the number of calls to suicide hotlines skyrocketed in the 24 hours following Trump’s election. The need for mental health services soared during the days after Election Day. A number of psychological care providers offered free services online during this time.

Nicole Sievers, a small business owner in New Jersey, told MarketWatch how she needed a therapist to cope with the election. “This election has brought me so much anxiety — anxiety I truthfully didn’t even know I had,” she said. “I decided I need to talk to a neutral party to help me move past this and forgive some of the men in my family who I just can’t understand right now.”

The American Psychological Association (APA) posted self-care tips for coping with the stress of the election cycle in October. According to an APA survey released prior to Election Day, four in 10 adults indicated that social media discussions surrounding political and cultural topics caused them stress. A whopping 52 percent of Americans in the survey reported that they felt stress from the election cycle, even prior to Trump’s election.

Photo: Reuters

Lynn Bufka, an associate executive director at APA for practice research and policy,  said, “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.” Needless to say, occasional avoidance of social media may be necessary to get a reprieve from an otherwise tense atmosphere.

With four years of Trump lying ahead, the future for many looks grim. While there may be no quick fix for the election blues, the bottom line is, if you need help, seek it. Don’t be afraid to talk out your feelings with professionals or friends. 

Banner photo: Reuters

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