2020 U.S. Election Stress

Goals

To understand how the U.S 2020 election impacts the mental health of Americans, illustrate this phenomenon with reference to recent statistics. Further, investigate how the election process (such as mail-in ballots), campaign advertising, can contribute to public anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Also, report the dual impact of the pandemic and the elections, on mental health.

Early Findings


Indirect impact on mental health:


Concerns over mail-in ballots


Election Stress Disorder:


Methods to reduce Anxiety and Depression during an Election:

1. Limiting new exposure
2. Limiting new sources
3. Limit substance abuse

Methods to cope with election-related anxiety and depression:

1. Exercise the right to vote
2. Finding ways to contribute to positivity
3. Search for hope
4. Focus on physical health
5. Seek professional help

Recommended reading on how to cope with election stress, can be viewed online here.


Research Methodology:

Most of the scientific research regarding stress and election have extrapolated data from the 2016 U.S. elections or post-2016 era. Though we attempted to cite recent publications from 2020, most of the data is representative of population statistics post-2016 elections. Relevant statistics have been highlighted in this document. Our preliminary research was aimed to understand the impact of elections on the mental health and well-being of Americans, impact on individuals in the office environment, and how changing political dynamics (pre-elections) influence fear tactics, spur anxiety, rise to hate speech, and increasing offenses towards minority communities.
We used the PubMed database to identify scientific literature using the keywords: "stress," "elections," "insomnia," "depression," and "election stress." Mostly, the scientific publications of the year 2020 used the data between 2016-2019. It is believed that due to the pandemic, surveys/interviews, and research-related activities have been halted/delayed, which did not allow fresh statistics from 2020 to emerge into scientific publications. Moreover, to investigate the effect on mental or physical health, pre- and post-data is usually required, which is the reason most of the studies have already begun, amongst which one such study proposal can be seen here.
Kindly note that this document is meant to serve as a research strategy, accompanied by one hour of preliminary research presented as 'early findings'. This document merely serves as a groundwork for Wonder Researchers to better understand the topic and conduct in-depth research if the research strategy is approved.

Proposed next steps:

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