WALNUT CREEK (CBS SF) — New evidence shows that Campaign 2016 is having an emotional impact on people, stressing many out and, in some cases, even ruining relationships.
The fighting and acrimonious campaigning between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump has gone on for months over television airwaves and across the Internet.
“This election is one of the nastiest ones that I’ve seen,” said voter Randall Piona.
“It’s like two high school kids fighting back and forth passing bad notes,” agreed voter Antrone Bradford.
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Studies are indicating all the election drama is starting to take its toll on the voting public.
According to a new survey from the American Psychological Association, nearly half of Americans say the 2016 presidential election is stressing them out.
“It has become emotional. It has become polarized,” Dr. Douglas Haldeman of the American Psychological Association.
Dr. Haldeman said the stress comes down to how we are processing the information.
“Because of the emotional tone of this campaign we’ve bypassed the part of our brain that does the rational logical thinking and gone straight to the emotions,” explained Dr. Haldeman.
And the campaign is triggering emotions for just about every group. According to the survey, the election stress cuts across demographics and party lines.
The anxiety is so bad for some they are turning off their computers and phones and turning away from social media.
“I just really don’t use it as much. Its just really inflammatory,” said Walnut Creek voter Kay Kensington.
“There’s definitely a lot of people who saying things like, ‘If you don’t agree with my political beliefs or you don’t have same political views that I do, I am going to have to unfriend you.’ And I think that’s because the candidates are extreme,” said voter Lauren Edberg.
But Dr. Haldeman says you may not want to burn bridges, though you should try limiting your exposure to election coverage.
The American Psychological Association recommends voters try to avoid conversations that could turn into confrontations, control their own actions and keep your eye on the big picture.
“Remember whatever the outcome, this country will survive,” said Dr. Haldeman.
His message: keep calm and remember the bitter end of the election is only three weeks away.