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Mental health vs Donald Trump

Hold back your tears, try not to throw up and get on with your life. This is a mantra I need to tell myself even before last night’s election results. Breathe in… one, two, three, four. Breathe out… one, two, three, four. Repeat for the next four years.

Anxiety, such a loaded term, is a feeling of dread, nervousness or uncertainty due to specific uncertain circumstances. Everyone has felt anxiety. The anxiety disorder part comes in when these feelings are persistent and work their way into your daily life.

It can come in waves. For weeks you can be fine and dandy, then you wake up and the world is on fire, metaphorically of course. But it could literally burn, and oh, God, my family, what about them? And my dog? It’s not like anybody cares about me anyway. You really are the worst, you know that?

These invasive and intrusive thoughts are what myself, and anyone who experiences anxiety, face on a regular basis. The best way to come down from these thoughts is to reassure that the world is in fact not on fire and that everything will be okay.

Until it’s not.

I’m sure you all know that last night over 300 million Americans elected Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.

This man, to me, is the personification of hatred, misogyny, bigotry and corruption. For someone with anxiety, these results are catastrophic. This mentality, this aura he carries around with him is the type of social danger that fuels my general and social anxiety disorder. He is the physical manifestation of all the traits I fear.

And he was just handed the nuclear codes.

For over a year, the idea of him becoming president was a running joke, a gag we would see on TV or a sharable meme. Those memes, now have a dark and bitter truth to them as I and many other levelheaded individuals pick up the pieces of what is left of our shattered faith in what is right.

As our dropped jaws start to close and we come to terms with what a Trump presidency will be like, we also have to take care of ourselves and our own well-being.

This election was poisonous. It made me feel gross both physically and mentally, and unfortunately, these feelings will persist for another four years. I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent Nov. 9, the day after the results, hiding in my apartment feeling incredibly helpless and afraid.

Since the announcement of Trump’s victory, I’ve had four panic attacks, taken three Zolofts, and screamed into a pillow until my voice was harsh. This historical moment is causing serious mental unrest and it is crucial that, in the days to come, we take care of ourselves so we are strong enough to fight back against hate.

If you yourself are feeling this level of heartbreak and helplessness, know you’re not alone. This is a valid reason to feel depressed or anxious. Even as Canadians, we feel the shock and terror over the choice our southern neighbours made.

Over the next few days, try to avoid Twitter, Fox News or the colour orange. Let’s give us a break from Trump and reflect on the progress that has been made within this election. I’m still way too cynical so I don’t know what that progress is, but if you look hard enough, I’m sure it’s there.

Is this lament a tad dramatic? Sure, but the world’s biggest superpower just elected a fucking moronic reality star as their nation’s leader.

 

If you’re feeling like you need professional help due to Trump related or any other mental distress here are some national and local resources:

Kids Help Phone, speak to a councilor: 1-800-668-6868

Canadian Mental Health Association, Halifax/Dartmouth line: 902-455-5445

Self Help Connection: 902-466-2601

Further materials: http://suicideprevention.ca/

https://www.dal.ca/sites/oneinfive/topics/suicide.html

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