‘Election anxiety disorder’ just the latest stresser driving many to seek mental help

PITTSBURGH — With the election continuing to drag on for days, it’s just another stresser added to the list for 2020. It’s caused strains in relationships, and more people report feeling anxious and depressed.

“We’ve tripled in the number of calls from new clients and doubled the calls from previous clients seeking to come back in to meet with a therapist,” James Shamlin said.

Shamlin said calls have really ramped up this years, especially in the past week. It’s causing a client backlog, and in some cases, people are reporting weeks before they can get in to see a doctor.

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“In the 20 years I’ve been in practice, I have never seen it to this extent,” Shamlin said.

He said all types of people have been booking appointments. College students report feeling isolated and depressed while older adults feel stressed about the pandemic and politics.

“We are seeing a growing number of the elderly reaching out for help in numbers we haven’t seen in years,” Shamlin said. “As therapists, its very important to treat clients that call in immediately. Strike while that iron’s hot because they are really looking for that help now.”

Shamlin suggested limiting alcohol intake, increasing your exercise, getting outside more and spending more time with friends and family if you’re feeling stressed. He also suggested limiting your time on social media and limiting your news intake as well.