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Elham AbolFateh

Health

Was 'post Trump stress disorder' real?

Monday 20/May/2019 - 08:57 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
In the aftermath of the 2016 election، many Americans reported elevated levels of stress، which some labeled 'post election stress disorder، the DailY Mal said.'

A number of psychologists jumped on board with the term، and affirmed that their clients were unusually tense، but others clapped back، saying that to call this stress a 'disorder' was to trivialize PTSD.

Now، a new study attempts to parse out who was really pushed to an emotional brink by the election، and whose stress was more closely akin to political outrage.

Researchers from Stanford University and Microsoft analyzed post-election searchers for mental health assistance and found that while Democrats' stress levels didn't rise to a mental health issue، Latinos' did.
Research has shown that violence spiked in cities that had hosted campaign rallies on behalf of Trump، while others studies showed an increase in women choosing long-lasting birth control following his promises to appeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA)، which could affect access to shorter-acting contraceptives.

Meanwhile، the economy surged on the heels of Trump's promises to make the best deals.

Amongst it all، reports of crippling anxiety، news fatigue، emotional eating to cope، and 'post election stress disorder' abounded.

'Distress' is much harder to measure than other aspects of society after an election، such as concrete data on the economy، rates of violent assaults، and birth control choices.

Dr Jennifer Sweeton wrote a Psychology Today article describing 'post-election stress disorder' and CNN and Kaiser Health News reported that the number of people making appointments with the only therapy platform Talkspace tripled post-election.
Some suggested that they were seeing this distress in clients of all political affiliations.

But - as even Dr Sweeton notes - post-election stress disorder is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual، psychologists laundry list of mental conditions.

The team of collaborators from Microsoft and Stanford went a step further، and questioned whether the the increase in mental distress Americans were reporting - both anecdotally on social media and in surveys was purely psychological or perhaps a form of political speech.

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