If elections are stressful, then elections in a snowstorm are doubly so.
A study conducted by University of Nevada, Reno, economics professor Dr. Sankar Mukhopadhyay suggests that the 2020 presidential election had a negative impact on mental health.
Mukhopadhyay’s research will be published in the December 2022 volume of Economics and Human Biology.
The director of graduate studies in economics at the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Business, Mukhopadhyay said data from the Household Pulse Survey on self-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression showed a steady increase in self-reported symptoms approaching November and peaking during the presidential election.
The level of anxiety and depression during the peak in November surpassed the levels reported during the mandatory stay-at-home orders in place in April 2020.
Data from the survey about mental-health-specific office visits and prescription usage showed similar patterns. After the end of the election, the number of self-reported symptoms began to decrease.
“Elections are becoming more stressful all the time for the entire population,” Mukhopadhyay said. “It is both a public health issue and an economic one.”
The research methods considered and ruled out other potential explanatory factors such as a surge in coronavirus cases, the introduction of the coronavirus vaccine, and seasonality.