This is how the Trump administration continues to hurt my—and all of our—mental health

It’s been nearly six years since physicians diagnosed me with bipolar 1 disorder. While living with this condition and facing the many life changes that accompany it, I’ve often managed to cope without pharmaceutical drugs… up until November 2016, that is. Ever since El Presidente 45 stepped into office and broke my beliefs about the reality of our society, I’ve struggled to maintain my “ill but functioning” norm because of the overall upheaval of our country and the toll of seemingly endless horror stories coming out of the Trump administration. When we talk about mental health issues, we need to face the reality that mental health under Trump’s regime is surely plummeting, and there will be long term effects.

Perhaps that sounds overdramatized to some, but I am not alone. I’ve noticed that strangers and friends alike are more tense and more secluded, so I wanted to explore why the mental health of those around me seems to be declining. I spoke with Kiaundra Jackson, an LMFT, who asserts that, within her practice, she has “seen an increase in worry and hopelessness which affects [patients’] daily functioning of going to work, school, taking care of kids and involvement in the local community.” She also adds that she has noticed an “increase in suicidal thoughts”—though not an increase in actual suicides. Could this be a collective mental state because of the current political reality in the U.S.? If this sounds familiar to many of us, then we can at least try naming where that discontent originates and aim to make changes—like doing what we individually can to ensure that no politician so heinous can rise to power.

There exists a study titled “Nervous Nation: An Inside Look at America’s Anxiety in the Age of Trump,” which perfectly highlights the reverberating effects of the election day results and the ensuing anxiety and depression our country has faced since. Both Ted Chan, founder & CEO of, and Radius created the study and found that “more than half of Americans (59%) report being at least somewhat anxious because of the November election results, with nearly three-fourths (71%) of Americans aged 18-44 reporting feeling anxious due to the results. Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) agree that Donald Trump as president is causing more people to have anxiety.”

Perhaps I shouldn’t be too surprised that others have been looking into the same problem and finding important correlations, just as I have. But, during this time, I’ve disconnected from most online media that could be potentially triggering—which has also kept me in the dark. Could this further feed into my devastated and demotivated state? Perhaps in my more motivated state, I can begin to ask, “Now what?”

For starters, improved mental health services—quality mental health services—could actually enable positive change if they survey what exactly a community would benefit from the most. As we develop coping mechanisms in order to heal from the devastation of Trump’s presidency, we must center the most downtrodden, misrepresented, and economically disadvantaged first, and build up from there.

The mental turmoil and palpable civil dissatisfaction resulting from Trump’s presidency cannot be denied, and in this moment—even with all the impeachment talk—is nowhere near rectified. As long as we as a society try to understand this moment and recognize the need to rebuild and reimagine, then we can improve ourselves and the world around us. If we learn from this darkness and strive to energize and support one another, then we might be able to mentally survive one of the biggest political setbacks in American history.

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