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Presidential Election Linked to an Increase in Depression - KOAM TV 7

Presidential Election Linked to an Increase in Depression

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Many Americans may be looking forward to the end of this election season. That’s because for some, it’s bringing up negative feelings. Experts say this election is actually leading to an increase in depression and anxiety.
Many voters say this election is unlike any other.
“I think it’s really hateful. So much negativity than the past elections that we have had," says Joplin resident Susan Bragole.
“I believe that this election has been divisive,” adds Allan Gray.
“I have a hard time finding either party's platforms because of all the mudslinging and accusations and saying the accusations are true and that sort of thing," says Joplin resident Diane Parker.
Negative campaign strategies are having a big impact on voters, but not just on who they'll mark on their ballot.
“With all of the negative energy and everything that’s out there, you're starting to see an increase in depression depending upon okay my candidates not doing well,” says certified counselor Christine Whitworth with Renewed Mental Health, LLC in Joplin.
Social media is playing a huge role in this election season, many saying they can't even scroll through their Facebook page without seeing a negative political post. Experts say being surrounded by all of that negativity can have an adverse effect on your mental health.
“It’s just this constant battle back and forth and that’s where you really start to see this incongruence and you're seeing these emotional impacts,” says Whitworth.
She adds that many develop anxiety over sharing which candidate they support on social media, fearing backlash. But many are actually sick of seeing those posts.
“I’m definitely tired of it for sure. I'm tired of seeing all the hatred,” says Joplin resident Christopher Dumas.
But when it comes to social media, there are ways to ensure it doesn't affect your life.
“Use your deep breathing, use your progressive muscle relaxation, and in all honesty for some people deflection works well, which is where they just don't go to that actual stimuli, you kind of avoid it,” says Whitworth.
Whitworth also says she’s not sure if the anxiety and depression will subside after the election, depending on how people feel about the candidate that is elected.

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