The election has caused mental health problems for millennials

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This map shows the top 25 places for millennials to live based on the number of millennial residents, job opportunities, affordable housing, and access to bars and restaurants.

The 2016 election was possibly one of the most divisive elections the United States has seen in some time. The repercussions of the election are still happening as President Donald Trump has called a “war” on the media and continues to make decisions that spark protests worldwide.

Dr. Farha Abbasi, assistant professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University and expert on mental health post-election, says there seems to be anxiety issues when it comes to our identities and a worsening of depression because of the election. She also says that this falls on both sides of the political aisle.

Over the summer, around 3,000 citizen therapists signed a manifesto against President Trump. This was written and circulated by University of Minnesota psychologist William J. Doherty.

Some of the election effects these therapists are seeing in their patients include anxiety, fear, shame and helplessness, especially in women, LGBTQ people, minority groups and non white immigrants.

With this being the first time younger millennials had the chance to vote in a presidential election, it’s even more noteworthy. According to Psychology Today, millennials have higher rates of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse and self-injurious behaviors.

“Millennials are already facing a lot of challenges,” Abbasi says.

She says that during their lifetime, millennials have already dealt with more war and its effects, a recession, finding employment, the cost of education, student loans, as well as their own personal issues.

“There’s a struggle between apathy and being engaged,” Abbasi says.

As shown on the map, 22 out of the 25 top cities millennials live in voted for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate. According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), a nonpartisan research institute focused on the young adult vote while informing them on policy and practice, 50 percent of the 18-to-29 year old demographic voted in 2016, while 49 percent voted in 2012.

Clinton was extremely popular among the same demographic and took more of their vote in battleground states. This was the case with Florida and North Carolina, where she earned 57 percent and 60 percent, respectively, of the millennial vote.

Many millennials don’t know what kind of system they’ll be living in over the course of the next four years, which is causing a lot of uncertainty and anxiety, Abbasi says.

Millennials are also concerned that they aren’t seeing many policies for them. Especially ones dedicated to mental health problems.

There is also the concern with the recently introduced health care bill that people with mental health problems, such as bipolar disorder, won’t be able to afford the high costs of the necessary medications.

“We, as a society, have to invest in mental health,” Abbasi says.

She recommends starting at the grassroots level with ourselves by getting in touch with spirituality and religion, and meditating. This also isn’t just relative to millennials as all generations have faced similar situations or may be feeling the same thing.

“Everything starts with mental health and ends with mental health,” Abbasi says.