It’s no secret that voters are entering this election on edge. Research shows that the election of Donald Trump in 2016 affected the mental health of Americans more than any political event since 9/11. And that anxiety has only gone up in 2020, with over two-thirds of Americans reporting election-related stress.
“If you’re worried about things that might happen in the future and the possibility of that feels intolerable, you’re going to experience a lot of distress around the anticipation of that event and if you don’t get the outcome you wanted,” says Dr. Nili Solomonov of Cornell University, whose 2018 study tracked the ways the political climate impacted client-therapist relationships after the 2016 election. “If you’re going into an election thinking, ‘It’s fine either way. Whichever candidate wins, it doesn’t have a strong impact on my life or on my value system or on my wellbeing,’ then you wouldn’t be as impacted psychologically.”