'Election Stress Disorder' taking toll on Americans' mental health

Mental health professionals across the nation say they're seeing a rise in anxiety, and not just because of the coronavirus pandemic.

With less than two weeks to go before Americans vote, a growing number of people are reportedly suffering from something called “Election Stress Disorder.”

From the debate state to social media and even to our dinner tables, the upcoming election has emotions running high for people across the political spectrum.

“It’s the anxiety a lot. People are unsure about everything right now. There’s nothing to believe,” one woman told FOX 5 NY.

“The unknown. It’s just we don’t know where it’s going to go. That and the uncertainty with COVID. There’s a lot going on,” another man said.

Election Stress Disorder was a term therapist Dr. Steven Stosny coined back in 2016 when the presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton reached a fever pitch.

Now, that same therapist tells FOX 5 NY that the current election year may be the most stressful yet.

“This is stress on steroids,” says Stosny. 

Dr. Stosny says he attributes this year’s heightened sense of anxiety to social media. But he warns people that this feeling can go well beyond November 3rd.

"It's going to morph immediately into headline stress disorder," Stosny said. "You're still going to begetting those alerts about distressing headlines and that's what happened in 2016, it never really went back to baseline."

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