WHAT IS POLITICAL STRESS?
Political stress involves significant feelings of stress, anxiety, or uncertainty related to politics, current events, and other world affairs. It is a highly specific form of stress, one that we have seen a major increase in as a result of recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and various political conflicts.
Even if you do not consider yourself to be deeply involved with politics, you can experience the effects of political stress. In fact, you may not even realize the source of your chronic stress and anxiety.
It is not uncommon for every one of us to experience a certain level of stress, particularly during times of political unrest, conflict, intolerance, or bigotry. However, if political stress is interfering with your ability to lead a normal life and not experiencing any periods of respite from high levels of stress, it may be time to seek treatment.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF POLITICAL STRESS
Like virtually all forms of stress, political stress can be expressed in both emotional/mental and physical symptoms. The result can be a significant toll on your quality of life, as well as extreme difficulty in conducting your normal, everyday activities.
Some of the common signs of political stress include:
- Mood swings
- Trouble concentrating
- Prolonged feelings of anxiety
- Emotional avoidance
- Obsession with frequently checking the news, social media, and other sources of information
- Feelings of anger, aggression, and hostility
Physically, political stress can manifest itself as:
- Higher blood pressure
- Weight gain or loss
- Disruptions in normal sleep patterns
- Body aches and physical tension
- Loss of appetite or an increase in unhealthy eating habits
- Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as stomachaches
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF POLITICAL STRESS
If you are experiencing significant stress that you feel may be tied to recent world events or political conflicts, Elevate Psychiatry can help you develop the tools and strategies to rebalance your life and mental health. Together with one of our mental health professionals, you can discuss your symptoms and determine the next best steps for treatment.
Treatment for political stress may include:
Therapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy
Medication (if a diagnosis of depression or anxiety is made)