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Politics

Pre-election stress disorder

Tom Purcell on

I’m already anxious about the outcome.

I speak of next week’s elections, and a modern malady the Mayo Clinic refers to as “Election Stress Disorder.”

“We notice it in our bodies, the tension in our shoulders,” says Dr. Robert Bright, a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist. “Sometimes people get GI (gastrointestinal) upset or headaches. People have trouble sleeping.”

Bright says the scary negative political ads aren’t helping our stress levels.

“He is the candidate who voted in favor of puppy mills and sugar rationing and making chocolate chip cookies illegal!” such ads may as well say.

Every time there’s an election, we’re told that it’s the most important in our lifetime — that if candidate XYZ wins, the sky will collapse, Earth will become a giant sinkhole, the Sun will stop shining….

 

If we let the hyperbole get to us, it’s no wonder it induces such a powerful stress response.

The origin of stress goes back to the early days of humans, when many creatures didn’t view us as their superiors, but as their lunch.

When a human saw a lion coming his way, he was overcome by stress. The stress brought on an adrenaline rush, and the adrenaline sent one message, loudly and clearly: RUN!

“Fight or flight” stress was an essential natural response to threats and it kept many humans from becoming another creature’s dinner.

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Copyright 2022 Tom Purcell, All Rights Reserved. Credit: Cagle.com
 

 

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