Feature Archive

Are You Heading For an Election Meltdown?

Some Experts Predict Epidemic of Post-Partisan Depression

By Denise Mann
WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Michael Smith

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.