PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The midterm elections are over but doctors say political anxiety still remains high. A lot of people are feeling political fatigue as there have been weeks of commercials and coverage about the elections.
The voting may be over for now, but the turmoil many are feeling is not going away.
The midterm elections ignited a new round of consternation for many Americans. With the country divided and emotions at a boiling point, therapists say it’s impacting the nation’s collective psyche.
“One of the things that elections produce in us is some tension and anxiety because we have an interest in particular outcomes, and we perceive that we don’t have a whole lot of control over them, and that’s a great formula for tension in any atmosphere,” said psychologist Scott Bea of the Cleveland Clinic.
Even though the results are in, there’s no stopping the political bickering for many people and that’s likely to continue. Experts say living in political turmoil can create stress and some might want to think of giving themselves a break in social situations.
“You want to be direct if you find yourself increasingly uncomfortable,” explained Bea. “You can say something simple like, ‘You know, I prefer not to talk about politics,’ or, ‘I really like you, let’s not talk about politics.”
Therapists say they’ve also seen an increase in political bullying. The best advice from experts is not to engage because political views are rarely reversed.
Experts say there’s a fine line to be drawn. People might want to ignore politics, but it’s important to stay informed because voting is the one way Americans can make their voices heard, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.