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Wounded Ronin
6th November 04, 11:58 AM
This article caught my eye because some people on this board got really depressed and disgusted over the election.

http://webcenter.health.webmd.netscape.com/content/article/96/103745.htm



Nov 2, 2004 -- Regardless of the outcome of the 2004 presidential election, polls suggest that as many as 49% of Americans may now feel a profound sense of loss or even deep-seated anger.

A high voter turnout was expected this election, and the stakes may never have been higher. You are either for President Bush or you are against him. The same holds true for Sen. John Kerry and the issues of the war in Iraq, guns, abortion, gay marriage, and stem cell research.

"There are a lot of folks that have gotten very, very involved and believe that the direction of our country is at stake, and many people that could have very acute reactions to the election results," says political leadership coach Donna Zajonc, a former Oregon state representative and mental health nurse.

"I do believe that there will be a psychological effect that can be long-term if not dealt with," says Zajonc, author of The Politics of Hope: Reviving the Dream of Democracy.

But turning off the television, spending time with friends and family, and eventually getting involved with the issues that matter most on a grass roots level can help stave off any lasting effects, experts tell WebMD.

Intense Election, Intense Reaction

"The intensity and polarization in this election almost feels like the 1960s and the Vietnam era, except that in the 1960s, you never saw bumper stickers saying, 'Anyone but ,'" agrees Robert R. Butterworth, PhD, a psychologist at International Trauma Associates in Los Angeles. "A significant number of people are going to be pissed and that anger can turn to cynicism and uninvolvement."

"We have gotten people riled up, and the bases have been energized and the opposite of energized is depression," he adds.

The closeness of this year's election may further intensify the situation, he says.

"If you are not backing a candidate that is leading in the polls, you are psychologically prepared [to lose], but the dead heat in this election adds a cliffhanger aspect, which means that when we do fall, we will fall hard," Butterworth says.

Another drawn-out election can also make things worse for millions of Americans who are so vested in the outcome of this election.

"My dad always told me that if I had a tooth that bothered me, I could wiggle it or I could tie a string to the tooth and to a door and slam the door to pull it out, and my feeling is always let's get the pain over with as quickly as we can and not prolong things," Butterworth says.

Sore Winners Breed Really, Really Sore Losers

"If winners say 'ha ha' and rub salt in the wound, that can also cause problems especially where people work," he says. Regardless of who wins, Kerry and Bush must come together, he says. "The problem with the last election is that this didn't happen because Vice President Al Gore was fighting tooth and nail with Bush," he says. "The leaders have to show people how to react."

This time around, "people must shake hands and say 'let's work together,'" he says.

And move on.

"The president is such a figurehead, but a lot of the issues that people care about are also states' issues," Butterworth says. "The issue that you care about shouldn't be put on hold for four more years," he adds.

"Even though the candidate that you are supporting may not be elected, the issues are still alive and you can focus on them on a grass roots level," he says. "When you give up or become cynical and drop out, the process grinds to a halt and your issues never do get addressed."

Zajonc agrees, adding that people should "build their own political habitat and really associate with more positive folks that look at the good that came out of election and build on the good things."

But there's even more you can do, she says.

"When there is a disappointment, the first thing you must do is take time and find something you love to do and have fun," suggests Zajonc.

And "take time and grieve," she says. "It's an essential step for renewal, and grieving really truly means crying and really understanding your sense of loss," she says. "It's like a death and in this case, it's the loss of a dream and that can mirror the loss just as though it were the death of a friend," she says. "You really have to understand this is an emotional big deal. Do not minimize the extent of your emotional feelings."

And, Butterworth adds, "turn off the TV for a while and, for the short term, escape politics and enjoy the holidays. Give yourself a political moratorium for two or three months, but don't forget the issue that you are involved in."

Invested Too Much Emotional Stock?

So how can you tell if you were too vested in this election?

Warning signs that perhaps you've invested too much emotional stock in this election include "feeling fatigued, stressed, despair with the news reports," points out Bedford, New Hampshire-based psychologist Pamela M. Brill, EdD. "For some, the physical signs of being too engaged include racing heart rate," she says. "When you get there, you can take that as a sign that it's time for a break, a literal breather."

So, "breathe [and] look for the roses -- the things over which you have control, then exert energy to turn those around," Brill says.

"Sour grapes, blaming the other party or candidate or their troops or the media -- waste of energy," Brill says. Find another pastime or passion, she suggests. "Go see those movies you missed while you were campaigning," she says. "Or rent a DVD and kick back with family and friends [because] letting go is much easier when we have other things to grab on to."

Peter H.
6th November 04, 01:14 PM
Someone actually got paid to write something I would say "No Shit" about.
Half the country is mad at the results?
People spent too much time and energy on this?
People took this way too personally?

No Shit

Just look at this board, they way people are foaming and sniping at each other over this. I have someone who used to be a friend who flamed me in E-mail and refuses to talk to me and booted me out of my daughters' play group because I didn't vote for Kerry (I also didn't vote for Bush, but that doesn't matter to her, since I didn't vote for Kerry, I'm a right wing nutball who is too dangerous to have children of my own or be around hers).

Politics has replaced religion for too many people. It's not that big a deal, if shit is really getting messed up as bad as the Bush detractors say it will, in 2 years, you get another shot at it. Pack the House with Demo's and Bush can't do squat. 2 years after that, he's gone anyway, and everyone gets another poster boy for Satan to throw darts at.

Boyd
6th November 04, 03:56 PM
Pete's right. It's not like worldwide war, the economy, gay rights, abortion, the appointment of several Supreme Court Justices, and terrorism at home and abroad matters that much. It's just a game. Lighten up people.

Wounded Ronin
6th November 04, 04:46 PM
What disturbs me the most is how a lot of the people who voted for Bush don't seem to realize that occupying a Middle Eastern country and having to deal with the crap that goes down there is a *bad* thing for the country which hurts the economy, kills soldiers, and is diplomatically embarassing.

bushi51
6th November 04, 06:41 PM
What disturbs me the most is how a lot of the people who voted for Bush don't seem to realize that occupying a Middle Eastern country and having to deal with the crap that goes down there is a *bad* thing for the country which hurts the economy, kills soldiers, and is diplomatically embarassing.

No, we just see it as a lesser of two evils. We are just to ignorant to see the left's way is much better. What was the left's way again?

Wounded Ronin
6th November 04, 07:34 PM
I'd be the first person to admit that leftist ideologues can be just as silly as right wing ones. So I'm not going to go into the vanilla pacificism that would be the basic left wing argument, because you have already heard that and it would waste both our time for me to rehash it.

However, my personal conviction comes from a historical perspective. Occupations historically have almost always been long and messy affairs which end up sucking tremendous energy from the occupying country.

When Bush first invaded Iraq, I thought, "Well, at least he's just going to bust up their military and leave lik Bush Sr. did; he wouldn't occupy!"

And then when we did occupy, I almost shat my pants. "What!? He's trying to occupy a middle eastern country and force it to become democractic!?!? Dosen't he know what happened to the French when they went and occupied Algeria?! Dosen't he understand that when you occupy a place and destroy the government, you then have to deal with all of their problems!?"

From a historical perspective, it seems like an absoultely ridiculous thing to stumble into.

There was never any doubt in my mind that destroying Saddam's government and taking Baghdad would be relatively easy. The problems would occur with subsequent occupation, dealing with cultural differences, and with the diplomatic fallout among US allies.

Add on top of that that the war seems to have hurt our economy rather than helped it, the embarrassing lack of WMD that has damaged our international image, and the death of 1000+ courageous soldiers, I'd call it a total disaster.

Is the nation stronger and better off after the invasion than before? Absolutely not, I say.

Jenfucius
6th November 04, 07:42 PM
haha. arnold told america that democrats are girlie men! i advise you to quit your crying and pump some iron

SLJ
8th November 04, 08:47 AM
"Quit your cry'in", would have worked better.

Omar
8th November 04, 09:03 AM
haha. arnold told america that democrats are girlie men! i advise you to quit your crying and pump some iron

That's why I say fuck the Dems. I'm staying in Red China for another 4 years!!!

Stick
8th November 04, 09:08 AM
:: stabs Omar ::

Anywho, now that the traitor is dead, let's get on with the healing.

:: decimates a tub of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and cries like a bitch ::

WE'RE ALL FUCKING DOOMED!

Peter H.
8th November 04, 09:17 AM
Pete's right. It's not like worldwide war, the economy, gay rights, abortion, the appointment of several Supreme Court Justices, and terrorism at home and abroad matters that much. It's just a game. Lighten up people.

No Boyd, I don't make light of the election and the improtance of it, but people act like Bush being re-elected is the end if the freakin world.
We'll live. If you are having to pop prozac over the results of this election, hell, I got some real worries you can borrow off me for a while, then I can watch you go in to a catatonic state, roll your fetal curled ass into the closet and forget about you. More oxygen for the rest of us.

100 years from now Bush will be a footnote in history, maybe a paragraph in a history text book, not much more.

Here you go, prime example of the kind of people I am talking about: http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/11/07/ground.zero.suicide.ap/index.html

Omar
9th November 04, 12:45 AM
Last year, during the primaries, my Dad, my brother and myself were all pretty damn depressed about the political scene these says. We were also all in one place because I was visiting from China and we wanted to go visit Grandma. While there we spent a lot of time hanging out with septa- and even octa-generians. They were all equally liberal/democratic but WAY more optimistic. One of my Grandma's friends reminded me that he had seen the McCarthy era come and go. Things change. They get worse. They get better. He said when you get to be his age you worry less about the George Bushes of the world.