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Mental health experts warn of ‘election fatigue’

Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 6:31 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) — As Americans wait for ballots to be counted in the presidential race for the White House, mental health experts are warning of election fatigue.

More than two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) say the 2020 election season is a significant source of stress for them according to a study by The Harris Poll for The American Psychological Association.

In 2016 presidential election 52% said the same.

The study found that election fatigue is a problem on across the board regardless of party affiliation as 76% of Democrats, 67% of Republicans and 64% of Independents report significant election stress this year.

Mental health experts say election stress has been heightened by other coinciding traumatic events.

“We have so many things that are all occurring at the same time,” said Kristy Donaldson, a licensed professional counselor and owner of Premier Neurofeedback & Counseling Services in Waco.

“Between the presidential elections, the pandemic, the racial turmoil and the natural disasters all falling in the same time period are just putting people at the highest level of stress they have ever experienced in their lives,” she said.

Even though the majority of Americans say the election is a source of stress, the survey found that for some groups, stress about the election is significantly higher compared with 2016.

The Harris Poll found that Black Americans are experiencing an especially high increase in stress.

During the 2016 election 46% of them reported the election as a source of stress.

This year, 71% report the same.

The American Psychological Association offers the following evidence-based advice to help people manage their stress related to the election:

-Focus on what you can control

-Engage in meaningful activities that are not related to the election.

-Stay connected with friends and family socially.

-Stay active to help release the energy that comes with feeling stressed.

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