Ashley Zucker, MD, says election-related stress can impact ‘mind, body, and spirit’

Chronic stress and anxiety related to the upcoming national election can impact physical as well as mental health, Ashley Zucker, MD, a psychiatrist with Southern California Permanente Medical Group, told Healthline.

“People react differently to stress, but if that stress or anxiety goes untreated over a long period of time, it can affect a person’s total health — mind, body and spirit,” said Dr. Zucker, chief of Psychiatry for Kaiser Permanente in San Bernardino County.

The article, “How to Handle the Stress Between Now and Election Day,” describes how stress and anxiety related to the November 3 election has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, racial and civil unrest, natural disasters, and a struggling economy, which can all lead to deteriorating emotional and physical health.

“Emotionally, stress and anxiety can cause people to feel overwhelmed, confused, sad, or irritable. They may withdraw socially,” Dr. Zucker said. “Chronic stress and anxiety can also trigger physical health problems such as tension headaches, stomach aches, insomnia, and elevated blood pressure.”

The immune system may also become suppressed, which can cause people to get sick more often, Dr. Zucker told Healthline. “Therefore, it’s very important for people to recognize the signs of mental health issues and get help or help a loved one or friend.”

Note: To read the full story, visit the Healthline website.