Presidential Campaigns Cause Election Stress Disorder

Posted at 5:57 PM, Oct 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-20 19:21:42-04

The drama of a historical presidential election has not only caused a great deal of stress for voters, but has also caused mental health issues for some.

Between the banter and the bickering, the presidential election campaign has neared its end and it couldn't come soon enough for voters like Brad Hughes who, like many of us, has been surrounded by election talk 24/7.

"It's going over my lunch hour every single day and then when I get home its conversations with my wife and my mother in law and seeing friends on the weekend is the same," Hughes explained. 

After casting his ballot Thursday, his role in this election is done but it's far from over.

"I'm going to see the coverage for another three weeks or so, the stress relief is minimal but at least I've gotten my action done," said Hughes.

Election stress disorder - it's a term being used far more often this election year. While psychologists said it's not a term used for a diagnoses, stress caused by an election is very real.

"I think there's a higher level of overall conflict and affect attached to this election," said Dr. Kimberly Brown. Brown is the director of Vanderbilt's Psychological Services, she said election stress is caused by three main factors.

First, the amount of conflict surrounding the candidates, particularly among women.

"It's bringing up topics of sexual assault and sexual misconduct towards women," said Brown.

There has also been a lack of confidence in both of the candidates.

"The candidates are basically telling the American people that either one is going to be a bad choice and it's going to be dangerous for our country," Brown explained

"What is it we want to tell the world about America?  Is this the best that we have to offer, being this quilt that we're supposed to be," voter, Rossi Turner said.

Turner was concerned how the turmoil surrounding this election will impact the next generation.

"We have to remember the children are watching and what kind of example are we presenting for the children," he asked.

In short, these voters said Election Day can't come soon enough. "Ready to be done," said Hughes.

The American Psychological Association recently conducted a poll which found that 52 percent of Americans consider this presidential election a significant source of stress.