With the insanity of the 2016 election affecting most people’s lives (besides those living in blissful ignorance under a rock – have any vacancies?), it’s little wonder that what’s going on in the race to the White House is having a very real affect on Americans’ mental health.

According to research published in Psychology Now, a new psychological phenomenon being dubbed “election stress disorder,” is affecting many Americans.

Steven Stosny, Ph.D, identified this phenomenon and explained that when our brains are confronted by stress caused by political discourse, it fails to distinguish this non-threatening stress from threatening stress and therefore believes that the body is in danger. As a result, individuals are more likely to engage in extreme and reckless behavior in order to blow off steam.

Similarly, psychologists and therapists have revealed that more than half of their clients bring up stress from the election during their sessions. In particular, stress over a possible president Trump has many Americans feeling an extreme amount of stress.

Anyone reading this article can likely relate to the election-induced stress, though many may not realize the affect Trump and Clinton are having on our mental health.

if you are one of the many who feel imminent danger from the 2016 election, it might be helpful to try to take mental breaks from political information. Engage in relaxing, entertaining material in-between presidential election coverage and 24/7 political commentary. Spend time outdoors or exercising and try to forget about what may happen in November.

If you succeed in this endeavor, please write to me and let me know how it feels to be free. Those of us who earn their living from political commentary have forgotten what a Trump-free life feels like. Is it nice?

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com