To anyone whose mental health is affected by the 2020 elections, I understand

Has the entire year of 2020 — the COVID-19 pandemic, the racial injustice and now the upcoming election — caused you to feel like your mental health just plummeted down 100 flights of stairs and went *splat* on the sidewalk? 

This week has been especially hard on me and my anxiety — because of that train-wreck of a presidential debate and because of the name calling and hatred spewed across social media by Facebook "friends" against anyone who isn't supporting "their" candidate.

First and foremost, I want to say, if you are struggling with your mental health like me, it's okay to not watch any more of the debates. If it affects your mental health, it's not worth it. And, with how much the candidates talked over top of each other, it's not like we're really learning anything new about their stances anyway. 

My friend Kate Hardy, founder of the suicide prevention nonprofit Six Feet Over, said, "To all of you who braved (the) debate, take some time to step back and breathe, reflect and don't let it all settle in. Keep the parts that are important to you. Let the rest go. Not to say you shouldn't remember them, but don't hold onto them. You have enough right now." 

So, that was a wake up call for me! I really need to take Kate's advice to heart, that's for sure!

I also want to say — you can disagree and talk bad about and call the opposing candidate a "liar" all over social media. I don't care. But please, please, please stop the name-calling and the hatred against the family members, friends and acquaintances who have different views than you. 

This week, I've had people actually call my mental health into question because of who I'm voting for. One person questioned me for taking Xanax for my anxiety disorder. Another person commented on my Facebook page, "I think you may need to double down on some Rx meds and come again proper." 

I'm sorry but...what?!

I don't see how bringing up and making fun of another's mental health is ever okay. Even during the debates, when Donald Trump started talking about Joe Biden's son Hunter and his battle with substance abuse disorder. That has NOTHING to do with politics! This election has gotten out of hand and has brought out the worst in people. 

So, yes, let me make it clear. I've had anxiety disorder for most of my life. Since I was 19, I've taken the daily medication Celexa to regulate it. I also take Xanax as needed to treat my panic disorder (a medication I previously took about once a week but now take almost daily during the pandemic to decrease my panic and anxiety attacks). 

Just like individuals with diabetes take medication that simulates the release of insulin, I too need to take medication for my health and to balance the serotonin in my brain. I'm not ashamed! I'll shout it from the rooftop, "I take Celexa and Xanax for my mental health!" (Well, maybe not because that would probably piss off my neighbors, but you know what I mean)


Some people are unfortunately still ignorant when it comes to mental illness. But just like any other illness you have, it's NOTHING to be ashamed of. One in four adults suffer from a mental illness. And that statistic was from BEFORE 2020 befell us all. So, to those of you struggling with your mental health right now, just know that you're not alone. And any illness, whether mental or physical, doesn't make your opinions and beliefs any less valid or valuable!

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