Political uncertainly puts 'perfect storm of emotional stress' on Americans, mental health experts say

Elaina Athans Image
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Political uncertainly puts 'perfect storm of emotional stress' on Americans, mental health experts say
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Everyone is on edge. Whether that's from the COVID-19 pandemic or politics, there are some things you can do to cope.

Everyone is on edge.

Folks have already been struggling to cope with a pandemic, which has left millions unemployed and forced parents to become teachers at home. Now, the race for the White House is the latest ingredient tossed into the pressure cooker

Mental health professionals say all of it is taking a toll on the public.

"(It's) just this perfect storm of emotional stress that I really have not seen before," said WakeMed Behavioral Health Community Case Management Dr. Nerissa Price.

The race is being noted as one of the most divisive presidential elections in decades.

Republican incumbent Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are battling it out in a political chess game where there is still no named winner.

The uncertainly is consuming our country. Millions of people are desperate for answers and some relief.

WATCH: Stressed out? Watch 5 minutes of soothing sights and sounds

Election Day can be stressful. We're here to help. Take a breath and watch this video, which features calming music and soothing images like puppies, baby ducklings and the beach.

About 68 percent of US adults say the presidential race is a significant source of stress in their lives, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the American Psychological Association.

Price says it's important to concentrate on what you can control when managing the psychological effects of the 2020 elections. She suggests limiting how much time you spend watching the news or scrolling through social media.

Price is encouraging folks making more time for self-care or things that make you happy.

That could mean putting up the Christmas tree early or watching holiday movies.

SEE ALSO: North Carolina therapist says 'election stress' is real and you're not alone

"A lot of times, focusing on the things that are out of our control only makes us more anxious." Price said.

Price says it's good for parents talk to their children about the situation, whether that's asking how they're doing or exploring their level of understanding of the topic. Taking that stop toward your children, helps offer a life lesson.

"It helps to model for kids that we deal with difficult emotions by talking," Price explained.

SEE ALSO: 4 strategies for helping kids manage their mental health

Virtual help is available during this time.

Currently, WakeMed Virtual Behavioral Health is available to offer support and services Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, patients can contact their WakeMed primary care provider or call 919-235-1733.