True Colors: The Effects of Politics on Mental Health of the People

The world comprises various sectors in different aspects of our lives which either bring amelioration or difficulties to people and society. One aspect is the politics that govern the country and its people. According to Boswell (2020), politics is about the people who get what, when, and how. This statement shows that some areas of politics are only focused and concerned with resolving disputes over the allocation of goods that abandon the crucial aspects of every human being, which are peace and harmony. As politics continue to evolve in different kinds of leadership, it divides and worsens people's mental health because of the disjointed belief of the society and politicians that affects them mentally in this world.


People not only need material things, promises, and sugar-coat words, they need assurance that they will have a better life with happiness, contentment, and most significantly, a healthy mind from the governance of the politicians in the country. Politics, as confirmed by many therapists, was harmful to health. Many of us are affected by the transition of political powers and the uncertain future of our country. In the study of Smith and his colleagues about the cost of politics to friends, relatives, sanity, and health, they concluded from more than 800 Americans that politics causes stress. Some became depressed when their candidate did not win; almost 20 percent lost sleep; some felt tired because of political news. In addition, 29 percent of respondents said they lose their temper over politics, and 26 percent said they detest those who disagree with them on a political issue. Friendships have been harmed by political conflicts, according to 20% of those surveyed.


The fact that many people described politics as a source of chronic stress and a threat to their mental health implies that politics isn't helping people's mental health, and in fact, it's likely harming it. Negative consequences were more likely to be reported by young, politically active, politically engaged, or on the political left (Smith, 2022). In terms of the mental health of politicians, since they are the ones who lead the society and the country into a better world, they are just as likely as other vocations to experience stress symptoms and to react badly to circumstances beyond their control by displaying heightened psychological strain (Weinberg, 2015). On the other hand, there was a sense of humiliation, failure, and a crushing lack of confidence among those defeated after the campaign.


Since politics affects people's mental health negatively in general, it is essential to manage its effects and start to be mindful for us to have a healthy mind amidst the political madness. With that, practicing self-care by having a good regular sleep cycle, being healthy, and exercising regularly can help regulate the mood and lessen the risk of depression. Unplugging from toxic social media sites is also crucial, which allows us to unwind and have a more excellent balance in life. We must excuse ourselves from the political debates with family members and friends to avoid conflict in the relationship. Lastly, taking action and being open with others' opinions can promote understanding and reduce fear and stress about the uncertainty of politics.


As we continue to live with politics in this world, it is essential to take care of our mental health for us to be equipped not just to find and vote for the right people for our country but for us to be part of building a promising future for ourselves, for others, and the next generation. We must save our country by protecting our mental health.


 

References:


Boswell, C. (2020). What is Politics? Retrieved from What is politics? | The British Academy


Collins, D. (2020). How to Manage Your Mental Health in a Tense Political Climate, Retrieved from How to Manage Your Mental Health in a Tense Political Climate | One Medical


Ellis, M. E. (2021). Politics and Mental Health: Providing Care During Times of Social and Political Unrest. Retrieved from Politics and Mental Health: Providing Care During Times of Social and Political Unrest – Constellation Behavioral Health


Mental Health Foundation. (2019). Political change and mental health. Retrieved from Political change and mental health | Mental Health Foundation


Roberts, J. (n.d.). Politicians and Mental Health. Retrieved from Politicians and Mental Health (palgrave.com)


Smith, K. B. (2022). Politics is making us sick: The negative impact of political engagement on public health during the Trump administration. Retrieved from Politics is making us sick: The negative impact of political engagement on public health during the Trump administration (plos.org)


Smith, K. B., Hibbing, M. V., and Hibbing, J. R. (2019). Friends, relatives, sanity, and health: The costs of politics. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0221870

Styx, L. (2022). No Matter What Party Is in Power, Politics Cab Harm Mental Health. Retrieved from No Matter What Party Is in Power, Politics Can Harm Mental Health (verywellmind.com)


Weinberg, A. (2015). A longitudinal study of the impact of changes in the job and the expenses scandal on UK national politicians’ experiences of work, stress and the home-work interface. Parliamentary Affairs; 68 (2): 248–271.


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