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Dealing with post-election depression

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post-election depression

Dealing with post-election depression

post-election depressionWith the election victory of Republican candidate Donald Trump, it may not be surprising to realize that some of us in the LGBT community may be suffering from post-election depression.

Given the anti-LGBT platform of the GOP, a lot of us are worried about what’s going to happen in the next four years.

Because of this, suicide prevention organizations have been getting a lot of calls for help.

Reports of post-election depression

According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, they got 660 calls from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. last Wednesday, which is 28 times the average.

“It clearly is and was an indication that there’s a lot of anxiety and fear around the election,” director John Draper told The Daily News.

Though events like disasters and elections produce calls like these, Draper said the recent elections resulted in higher number of calls.

Another suicide prevention network for LGBT youth, the Trevor Project, also received an onslaught of calls.

“There’s just a general feeling of anxiety and fear for the future. The youth are concerned and worried that all the progress we made in the past four years will be reversed,” said Trevor Project spokesman Steve Mendelsohn.

Meanwhile, a third group, Trans Lifeline (a crisis line for transgender people) reported receiving 426 calls in a single night. This was higher than its previous record of 250.

Likewise, Crisis Text Line had double the number of messages within the past 24 hours, with majority of it coming from LGBT teens.

Dealing with post-election depression

Whether collective trauma or post-election depression, the LGBT community needs to be able to handle the stages of grief.

“Both denial and anger– and we know that you don’t go through those stages step by step anymore. They get mixed up,” said Mary McNaughton-Cassill, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

“Isolation makes people more vulnerable,”” said Jack Saul, the director of the International Trauma Studies Program.

“[Collective trauma] has an impact on people’s relationships– the stress people feel can be expressed in irritability and conflict can develop between people. Strengthening connections with families, communities, and organizations is the most important preventive approach,” Saul added.

To deal with this, McNaughton-Cassill recommended the ACT acronym taken from the book Rapid Relief from Emotional Distress: Accept Reality, Create a Vision, and Take Action.

“I think that picking a cause that you think may be threatened and getting involved will be a way to feel like you’re not just watching bad things happen,” McNaughton-Cassill said.

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