POLITICAL DEPRESSION

‘Political Depression’ is a term being increasingly used to define the phenomena of uncharted and intense feelings of helplessness, grief and anxiety which occurs due to distressing social and political events. 

Politics plays a large part in a rapidly growing society and nation like India. Similarly, the political structure of a society can play a dominant role in the basic socialisation, ideology and lived experiences of an individual. However, what we tend to gloss over is the mental and physical impact of politics on the masses, especially those who involve themselves extensively into the political happenings in their nations and across the world.
Political Depression’ is a term being increasingly used to define the phenomena of the uncharted and intense feelings of helplessness, grief and anxiety in people which occurs due to distressing social and political events around them. Political Depression has mostly been observed amongst Millenials who are in the process of forming their own political understandings and in some cases, loyalties.
In April 2020, the Journal of Experimental Psychology in the United States conducted a research on ‘Political Depression?: A Big-Data, Multimethod Investigation of Americans’ Emotional Response to the Trump Presidency’. The study delved into how the 2016 presidential elections gave rise to pathological levels of election-related distress in liberal Americans. The study also addressed the likelihood of how public and professional discourses have increasingly overgeneralized concepts of trauma and psychopathology. The complex interconnections between the personal and political spheres bring us an unprecedented view of the psychological consequences of political events on human minds. However, this concept has not been studied in India, even though India is one of the youngest nations in the world which has the cheapest access to 4G internet services and a constant exposure towards politically distressing themes at home and across the world.
Is there an ideal way to deal with these crucial political differences amongst family members? “Just like any other concern, there is no stipulated way of dealing with difference in opinions. Having said that there are certain things that can be kept in mind to reduce anxiousness and helplessness. It’s important to understand that political exposure and news can be overwhelming and draining for some,” said Dakshita Sabharwal, Counseling Psychologist at LimeLighting Life.