Mental health experts say political anxiety is the highest they’ve ever seen in clients

Amarillo counselors share people’s reactions that involve in their political views

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Amarillo counselors say more people are asking how to cope with politics than ever before in their careers.

Amarillo mental health experts say the fear surrounding politics is driving people to lose sleep, not eat, and cut ties with the people closest to them since the election.

“A lot of times when talking about politics, what happens is it becomes an argument instead of a discussion, which than can cause problems within relationships, so instead of saying this is my view, I respect your view, it becomes if you don’t see it my way, you’re wrong and your an idiot,” said Katy Geist, licensed professional counselor associate.

Geist says politics has joined the list of the main concerns bring to her with relationships, their job or big changes they make in life.

She says that is because more people currently have a fear of not knowing what is going to happen.

“I think the stress comes from a lot of not knowing what’s going on, what’s to come, no matter what you want to happen, there’s a lot of things up in the air and so, a lot of people have fear, there’s a lot of fear going on of what’s going to happen and when your trying to talk about that fear with someone, that’s how it escalates,” said Geist.

“There’s some things going on in our country that we’ve never seen before and we don’t know what’s happening,” said Ken Haney, licensed professional counselor.

Haney believes with things being uncertain like this, people are overreacting to what others with a different stance say to them.

“We tend to do worst case scenario whenever things are uncertain, I don’t know what’s going to happen, I just assume that its going to be the worst and that causes me to feel anxious, that causes me sometimes to be more harsh than I normally would,” said Haney.

When we think the worst of someone, he says we begin to lose trust and eventually can break off relationships.

“There is just this distrust in the other side. They just think how could you hold those beliefs and how can you support that position and it makes it really difficult for us to connect with each other and build trust,” said Haney.

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