Election’s Impact On Mental Health
The 2016 election is wreacking havoc, not only on your Facebook and social media feeds, but it’s also causing people mental health problems. Hillary supporters, women, people of color, and LGBTQ folks are now feeling more and more mental health triggers after the results of this election.
During the last few months of the election, over 52 percent of Americans, according to a survey, stated that the election was their biggest stress trigger and that the outcome of the election would impact their amount of stress directly. This statistic is not influenced by political party, meaning the election was both stressful to major party voters in both the Republican and Democratic parties. But, it was one voter group which therapists and counselors said would be affected more.
Women, according to therapists, are said to now experience what is known as the “Trump Effect,” which is an increase in masculine bullying towards women. Trump’s comments, like “grab her by the [expletive]” and “like an [expletive]” are normalizing comments of misogyny, which will affect how men in school, the workplace, or any other place treat women.
Over 3,000 therapists signed and detailed a manifesto stating that Trump’s behavior will create an increase in depression and anxiety among women of all nationalities. The professionals also stated his rhetoric is a “threat to the well-being of the people we care for.”
Trump’s actions are causing more and more problems with how society feels about mental illness and actually causes more people to believe that mental illness is taboo. The therapists and psychotherapists stated to the press Trump’s behavior, “normalizes a kind of hyper-masculinity that is antithetical to the healthy relationships that (therapy) helps people to achieve.” Trump’s actions prove that his win in the election and his way of speaking to others, while never apologizing, is changing how men will act towards women. This change is bad progress when it comes to feminism and sexual equality.
There is some hope for individuals who are struggling with both depression and PTSD from the election results. Colleges across the country are now offering group and individual therapy sessions for students who are struggling with symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Cornell, which is an Ivy League University, actually held its first ever “cry in,” which allowed students to stay indoors while drinking hot cocoa, and cry and discuss the results of the election. This probably wasn’t the most effective way to handle things, and probably won’t be used moving forward, but it at least acknowledged people’s feelings.
Teachers spoke out themselves, stating that therapy and canceled class was needed after the results of the election. University of Maryland professor Alan Peel stated, “Given that the nation in which you currently reside decided last night to elect a president whose own words have painted him a moral and possibly physical hazard to many of us.”
The election campaign and the results of the election itself posed a threat to voters who are Muslim, LGBTQ, people of color, and women. Donald Trump’s invasive and hate speech has now sparked violence and acts of aggression towards these groups, causing more fear, depression, and anxiety among non-white, non-male voters.