Election Stress Disorder

Doctor Gives Tips on How to Manage ‘Election Stress Disorder'

A study says hospitalizations for things like strokes and heart attacks almost doubled in the two days after the 2016 election

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Does this election have you stressed out? "Election Stress Disorder" is real.

In fact, doctors say hospitalizations for things like strokes and heart attacks almost doubled in the two days after the 2016 election.

"Now in 2020, we're nine months into a pandemic and also the two parties are so divided that the only thing they agree on is that the end of the world is coming if the adversary gets elected, so now we're faced with enormous stress,” said Dr. Allan Stewart, who leads the Cardiovascular Surgical Programs for HCA East Florida’s Miami-Dade facilities such as Mercy Hospital, Aventura Hospital and Medical Center and Kendall Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Stewart says if you have a normal heart and don't have coronary artery disease, you can't really stress yourself into a heart attack.

“What we are focused on are the people who do have pre-existing problems and now have this huge increase of adrenaline in their bodies, so their hearts racing, they're short of breath, they start sweating, and really get themselves worked up into a frenzy,” Dr. Stewart said.

To protect yourself and your well-being during this time, Dr. Steward says to remember M.E.D.S. -- meditation, exercise, diet and sleep.

Living through a global pandemic has been stressful for almost everyone. Add in a polarizing presidential election and you have millions of Americans experiencing what experts have dubbed "election stress disorder."

“Those are the four things you should be focusing on at least in the next two days," Dr. Stewart said. He also suggested using app that provide free meditation to focus on your breathing and to remain calm.

"Aside from voting and getting everyone else to vote, we really can’t do much for the outcome," he advised. "So it’s going to be what it is and we are going to have to move forward as a country."

The study was published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences with data collected by Kaiser Permanente Southern California.

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