Mental Health & Politics

mental health & politics


The 2020 findings show that about 40% of American adults feel significant stress thanks to politics. And between 50 and 85 million Americans believe politics are to blame for increased fatigue, anger, compulsive behavior and loss of temper. In Kenya 2022 is a year of politics and people anxiety is high. As a country we have had a history of violence after elections, politicians not accepting results and supporters demonstrating, looting business and causing instability is a picture Kenyans have seen and the thought of that happening this year puts them more on the edge and worried. Companies are minimizing output because 2022 is an election year and employees are anxious too. Much of the function of our anxious thoughts as human beings are to protect ourselves from threats of harm, whether immediate or in the future, and one way that politics activates stress and anxiety is that we tend to look to politicians to lead our societies in certain directions (courtesy of very well mind).

While many people hope that a new administration will bring welcome change, we’ve been left with much of the same, including an inadequate response to a global health crisis, broken promises and failed legislature. A study conducted in the US (courtesy of

  • Nearly 40 percent of people say that politics has caused them stress.
  • More than a quarter felt depressed when their candidate lost an election.
  • Nearly 20 percent have lost sleep over politics.
  • Fatigue is also attributed to politics, with 20 percent reporting feeling tired because of political news.
  • Relationships suffer too, with 29 percent of people reporting losing their temper over politics and 26 percent feeling hateful toward those with opposing political views.
  • More than 20 percent of respondents say political disagreements have damaged friendship


  1. Educate yourself about the systems in place and how they should work.
  2. Find support from friends and family.
  3. Practice self-compassion.
  4. Motivate healthy coping strategies e.g. practicing self-care
  5. Have realistic expectations.

As we show love and support to the politicians we support, we also need self-compassion and self-care.

lucy wanjohi bio pic
By Lucy Wanjohi,

Hospital Psychologist,
Chiromo Hospital Group.

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