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Post-Election Depression: How to Cope

Post-Election Depression: How to Cope

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By    |   Wednesday, 09 November 2016 01:08 PM

After an election, it’s common for people who backed the losing candidate to experience a period of depression and anxiety, but rebounding after this year's fractious presidential contest is likely to be tougher than most for many people, a top expert says.

“I’ve already had people call me about their reactions today. They are suffering from nausea, heart palpitations, and emotional reactions that include shock, severe sadness, and even fear,” David Kessler tells Newsmax Health.

“It’s almost like they’ve suffered a death or been in an accident,” adds Kessler, a licensed psychotherapist.

While such reactions may seem extreme, Kessler says he’s not surprised, given the nature of the 2016 campaign.

“This is very different than the kind of loss usually felt in a normal election, where you have candidates that are similar with minor differences. These were candidates that were on opposite ends of the pole,” adds Kessler, a certified life coach who practices in Miami.

Indeed, this campaign period so dominated major and social media that, last month, the American Psychological Association reported that 52 percent of Americans – no matter whether they were Republicans or Democrats – were finding the campaign a “very or somewhat significant source of stress.”

In order to deal with such depression, Kessler offers these recommendations:

  • If you feel like you’re in a crisis situation, acknowledge that such feelings are normal. Give yourself time to process what happened. Don’t rush or pressure yourself to go forward. Give yourself time to heal.
  • Be patient with yourself. Don’t criticize or judge yourself or others over what happened.
  • It’s not the end of the world, even though it may feel like it right now. Such thoughts are known as "catastrophizing," which is an irrational thought process that leads you to believe something is actually worse than it is. Remember that you are alive, you are breathing, and that you will find ways to deal with this.
  • Severely limit the time that you spend watching TV news or interacting on social media for now.
  • Make a list of the things that you do that make you feel better and then do them. Such activities might include exercise, going to a movie, reaching out to family and friends, interacting with your community, or going to your place of worship, like a church or synagogue.
  • If your depression interferes with your ability to function normally seek help from a qualified professional.

 

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After an election, it’s not uncommon for people who backed the losing candidate to experience depression and anxiety. But rebounding after this year's fractious presidential contest is likely to be tougher than most for some people, a top expert says. Here are some ways to cope.
Presidential, Election, US, depression, mental, health
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2016-08-09
Wednesday, 09 November 2016 01:08 PM
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