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Negative political ads may be bad for your mental health

Negative political advertisements could be bad for your mental health
Negative political advertisements could be bad for your mental health(wabi)
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 6:02 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Many people grow tired of political advertisements by the time election day rolls around, but could they be harmful to your mental health?

Dr. David Prescott, a psychologist at Acadia Hospital, says a divisive political climate has long been identified as contributing to stress, anxiety, and depression.

He says political ads could be a significant source of that anxiety.

It’s a common political strategy to use negative advertising to cast doubt on opponents.

Dr. Prescott says that kind of generalized negativity is similar to what he hears from patients with clinical depression.

“Everything is awful. Nothing is going right. All of the people in the world are happier than I am. Those are kind of broad statements. Now if you break them down, and this is what we do in therapy, those statements in and of themselves are not really true.”

Dr. Prescott says looking for nuance and complexity can be helpful when presented with generalizations.

And just like when social media gets to be too much, sometimes you may just need to turn away from the ads.

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