Presidential election causing stress to local voters


DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – The presidential elections are less than three weeks away, some people in the Quad Cities say that day can’t get here soon enough.

“I’ve been ready for a long time, wishing they would just hurry up and get it over with,” Joe Watson, a voter in Davenport said.

People in the Quad Cities say it’s been a long election season.

“Things have been tense since like July to be honest,” Kari Muether, a voter in Davenport said.

“I think more with the two candidates cause the name calling, I think people are feeling a lot of anger and frustration about that,” Watson added.

As Nov. 8 gets closer, some say the stress is just getting worse.

“I have concerns, there’s a candidate that I’m lukewarm on that has a chance and there’s a candidate that I hate that has a chance,” Muether said. “It’s the apprehension, I think that is stressful more than anything else.”

Clinical Director at Vera French Community Mental Health Center, Chris McCormick Pries says that stress is being felt across the nation.

“More than half of the voters in this country are by self-definition stressed out, concerned, worried,” McCormick Pries said.

She says a big concern for voters is how different the presidential candidates are from one another.

“Their personalities are different, their style is different and what they stand for is very different, so it has been extremely polarizing to see the news, to watch broadcasts to listen to the debate,” McCormick Pries said.

She says that stress can impact people’s health and even relationships.

“It is very difficult, I think for people who think differently to even engage in civil conversation about what they think each of the candidates bring to the forefront, what they think each of the candidates can do or not do for the country,” McCormick Pries said.

“I’m very glad that the election will be over by Thanksgiving because otherwise […] I think there’d be fist fights,” Muether said. “I have told my family that they need to just not tell me how they voted because I know which way they’re voting and it’s not going to be the way I’m voting.”

McCormick Pries says in the next three weeks, people should just focus on what they can do.

“If you feel passionately about the election, go out and vote, it is a wonderful privilege and right that we have,” McCormick Pries said.

The American Psychological Association [APA] has a few tips for voters to help ease concerns:
– If constant media causes stress, limit your media consumption. This includes social media sites.
– Channel concerns into making a positive difference in your community.
– Avoid discussions that escalate into conflict.

McCormick Pries says these tips can help keep stress from taking its toll on your health and relationships.

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