For many of us, the end of the presidential race can’t come soon enough. The bitter exchange between the two major candidates is causing a ripple effect, with many heading to psychologists, saying the stress of this election is getting to them.
“There’s a lot of fear that’s involved in this political process and it’s been going on for the better part of the last two years,” Dr. Joe Taravella, a licensed clinical psychologist at New York University Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Rehabilitation, told FoxNews.com. “This process is invoking a lot of fear, a lot of resentment, a lot of irritability, that’s masking a lot of anxiety and powerlessness.”
Psychologists have coined the term “Election Stress Disorder.” While this type of fatigue is hardly new— and not even uniquely American— it can cause trouble if you let it.
“The polarizing figures that we are dealing with… will affect the stress centers of our brain, specifically the limbic system, which is the emotional center. That really affects chemistry [and] physiology,” Dr. Pete Sulack, a chiropractor in Knoxville, Tennessee, and founder of StressRx.com, told FoxNews.com.
According to a study, one in four Americans feel less productive at work because of the political discussions happening in the workplace, Taravella said.
A recent American Psychological Association survey found that 52 percent of adults are stressing over the election, regardless of their party affiliation.
“Anxiety is running high, emotions are very intense, and everyone is going to be looking to see what happens in this election,” Taravella said. “Some of us are not gonna be happy with the choice, and some may. But regardless, we need to have faith in the political process and be able to move forward together.”
Before you get in a bitter battle over who to vote for today, you may want to try to keep your calm by putting some distance between you and the political discussion.
“Get away from some of that social media and the media that’s bombarding our emotions and causing us to be stressed out,” Sulack said. “Provide some time for yourself… got take a break, get a massage… go have a good laugh.”
Remember, after your vote is cast, there is a reason why our electoral process has lasted so long.
"[The] democratic political process has been going on forever. It will come and it will go. You might not like the outcome, but over time, you need to feel that we are making gains and we are moving forward collectively as a country,” Taravella said.
Experts say if you feel you’re getting too heated over a political discussion, try taking a good look at why the campaign has been angering you, which may lead to a personal breakthrough in how you manage conflicts.