No matter which political party you aligned yourself with last night, as the results rolled in and swing state after swing state remained too close to call, an undeniable sickness swept over the Americans keeping up with live polling data. As Trump and Hillary’s lead see-sawed back and forth in Pennsylvania and Florida, our stomachs twisted, our temperatures rose, our heart rates escalated, and many of us puked – not just from all of the alcohol either, although I’m certain that didn’t help.
So what’s the deal? Did we all collectively get food poisoning? Did Zika finally spread throughout the 50 states on November 8th, 2016? Not quite – it was the election. Living through the 2016 Presidential election actually, seriously, truly made us all genuinely, physically ill.
To those of us who are generally anxiety-ridden, this comes as no surprise, but the physical effects could be felt throughout the rest of the population who may not normally experience anxiety so intense it actually results in illness. Today, psychologists are coming forth with their studies to let us know that, really, it’s not just you. Harvard psychologists report that “uncertainty makes unpleasant events more unpleasant.” The University of Madison-Wisconsin tells us that we get anxiety from observing uncertainty about our future when we don’t have any power to change what’s happening. Applied to last night’s election, it meant that from 7 p.m. until 2:30 a.m., we were experiencing peak anxiety so severe that it began to manifest itself physically.
Unfortunately for half of us, the impacts of anxiety were more prominent among Hillary supporters. As the majority of polls showed Clinton coming out ahead, Hillary supporters had the additional anxiety of having what we believed to be certain become uncertain in front of our eyes, making the effects that much more severe according to an NYU psychologist. While this offers little consolation to us now, you now know exactly why you felt so terrible last night, and as an added bonus, a bunch of people who are way smarter than you just gave you an actual, medical excuse for why you’re almost definitely late to work today. If you haven’t already, go ahead and call in sick, because you have a doctor’s note from the nation’s leading psychologists. You deserve it. .
Image via Twitter / Tamara Keith