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More than half of Americans say the election is a significant source of stress in their lives, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association. One surefire way to spike your anxiety? Constantly refreshing poll results. Stephen Holland, a psychologist who specializes in anxiety disorders, told STAT he jokingly calls it “Obsessive-Compulsive Poll-Checking Disorder.” The name might be funny, but the issue is very real.Share on Pinterest
If you look at a poll and see your favorite candidate winning, you'll probably feel a sweet sense of relief. But that only lasts a few minutes until you feel the need to check again. Then, if your candidate is down a few points, you'll likely feel tense. Holland says election-related worrying comes with similar side effects to anxiety and OCD: increased heart rate, trouble sleeping, irritability, overeating, drinking problems, and depression.
The takeaway? If you're feeling anxious (and really, how could you not be?), take a step away from all the election coverage. That means don't look at the polls and consider steering clear of Facebook and Twitter-the APA found nearly 40 percent of Americans say social media is a major source of election-related stress. Then check back in on Tuesday night when the real results are finally rolling in.