In the aftermath of the 2016 elections, many Americans reported increased levels of stress, some labeled as & # 39; post-election stress disorder & # 39 ;.
A number of psychologists jumped on board with the term, confirming that their clients were unusually tense, but others clapped back and said that calling this stress a & # 39; disorder & # 39; was to trivialize PTSD.
Now a new study is trying to analyze who was actually pushed to an emotional bond by the election and whose stress was more closely related to political outrage.
Researchers from Stanford University and Microsoft analyzed post-election seekers for mental health assistance and found that the stress levels of the Democrats did not lead to a mental health problem, but Latino's did.
Many Americans reported that their mental health suffered after the Donald Trump election in 2016. New research on online search data suggests it & # 39; really & # 39; was for Latino & # 39; s – but the Democrats were not looking for more information about depression, anxiety or therapy
Research has shown that violence spiked in cities that had organized campaign rally on behalf of Trump, while other studies showed an increase in women who opt for long-term birth control following his promises to appeal against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) , which restricts access to short-acting contraceptives.
Meanwhile, the economy rose on the heels of Trump & # 39; s promises to make the best deals.
Among all this were messages about paralyzing anxiety, news fatigue, emotional eating to cope and & # 39; post-election stress disorder & # 39; in abundance present.
& # 39; Emergency & # 39; is much more difficult to measure than other aspects of society after an election, such as concrete data on the economy, rates of violent attacks and contraceptive options.
Dr. Jennifer Sweeton wrote an article in Psychology Today in which & # 39; post-election stress disorder & # 39; is described and CNN and Kaiser Health News reported that the number of people who made an appointment with the only Talkspace therapy platform tripled after the elections.
Some suggested that they saw this need with customers of all political preferences.
But – as even Dr. Sweeton points out – post-election stress disorder is not mentioned in the diagnostic and statistical handbook, the list of psychological disorders of psychologists.
The team of Microsoft and Stanford staff went one step further and wondered if the increase in psychological distress that Americans reported – both anecdotally on social media and in surveys was purely psychological or perhaps some form of political reason.
In particular, they wondered this & # 39; Democrats and Spanish-speaking Latino & # 39; s & # 39 ;.
They compared more than a million Bing mental health searches before and after the elections of the Democrats compared to the Republicans, and of the Spanish speakers compared to English-speaking speakers.
Democrats, they discovered, were unlikely to do more online mental health seekers after the election than before, and their searches remained as high as ever compared to Republicans.
Women no longer looked for & # 39; anxiety & # 39 ;, & # 39; depression & # 39; or the names of antidepressants after the election, and seekers of & # 39; suicide & # 39; took off.
But women were more likely to experience & # 39; stress or therapy & # 39; to search.
However, the election did have real mental health effects for Spanish speakers only, according to the Stanford and Microsoft methodology.
For five of the six search terms the authors of the study used to measure psychological concerns – suicide / suicidal, anxiety, depression, antidepression / anxiety disorders, minus therapy – the Spanish speakers made considerably more online users after the elections.
& # 39; This clear and consistent result shows that Spanish-speaking researchers, and in the case of proxy, Latino & # 39; s, are indeed more likely to search for psychological health-related terms after the election than before, while searchers in the English showed no consistent change, & # 39; wrote in Sage Journals.
Admittedly, other groups may have expressed their stress with therapists if they already had it, with friends and family, through activism, or not at all.
The authors of their study saw this as follows: & # 39; Some Democrats reported that mental health is declining after the Trump election as a form of reverse cheerleading, with partisans reporting evaluations that are more negative than their true beliefs of poorly reflecting on an opponent's president party. & # 39;
But for Latino & # 39; s and Spanish speakers – some of whom promised to build a wall to keep out, & & # 39; rapists & # 39; – the anxiety and mental health issues that followed the election were very real, according to the study.
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