Do you feel anxious over the election of Donald Trump? Depressed? Then you’re likely not alone.
Mental health experts say that Trump’s election has kicked off an uptick in mental health issues among Americans who have faced a greater deal of stress and anxiety as a result of his presidency. Pacific Standard explored the condition referred to as “Trump Anxiety Disorder” and found that there is strong evidence of it in the American Psychological Association’s “Stress in America” survey. This survey found in 2016 that 63 percent of Americans felt a significant amount of stress over the future of the country and 56 percent felt stressed by the current political climate. Those numbers jumped to 69 percent and 62 percent by 2018.
The report went on to cite a 2018 study in Psychoneuroendocrinology that found young adults were particularly vulnerable to higher stress from Trump’s election.
“Individual responses to sociopolitical events, like an election, are not distributed evenly across different groups of people,” Lindsay Hoyt, the lead author of the Psychoneuroendocrinology paper, told PsyPost.
“In terms of this study, we found that most individuals reported an increase in negative mood in the days leading up to the election, and a spike on election night, but, overall, emotional and physiological responses were largely dependent upon gender, ethnicity/race, and political attitudes.”
The phenomenon known as “Trump Anxiety Disorder” has been reported since the earliest days of his presidency, with some questioning whether the constant news cycle dedicated to Trump and his controversies could be a contributor.
Psychologists’ couches are filling up as Americans seek relief from Trump Anxiety Disorder https://t.co/xQP5yJzuiw
— POLITICO (@politico) October 13, 2018
Donald Trump could be having a double effect on the rise in mental health disorders. As Teen Vogue noted, Trump has proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid that would pose a major risk to those suffering mental illness and make it more difficult for Americans — especially low-income people and people of color — to seek mental health treatment. Trump’s Justice Department has also backed a Republican-led lawsuit seeking to allow insurance companies to once again refuse coverage based on pre-existing conditions, which often includes mental illnesses like anxiety and depression.
The Teen Vogue report also claimed that Donald Trump has inflamed racial tensions, which is another contributor to the rise in mental illnesses and overall anxiety for Americans.
But Donald Trump’s election has not been all bad for the mental health of Americans. The Pacific Standard report noted that other medical studies have found an increase in “psychological well-being, pride, and hope for the future” among Trump supporters.