How Stress Affects Politicians

Politics is stressful.

It’s stressful to the people, who have to bear with the varying degrees of stupidity their leaders have. It’s also stressful for the politicians, who have to balance so many things that being one is a slow march to becoming a quivering, stressed-out wreck.

One thing to remember is that even if they don’t always look like it, politicians are human. That means the impact of stress happens to them just like everyone else. They feel the same effects, struggle under the same damage.

We get the same stress headaches everyone else does. We feel the same pain when someone attacks us on social media or criticises us as people for our decisions. We are always exposed to the sources of our problems, much like anyone whose job is also the cause of their worst stress.

There are a few differences between ordinary people and politicians, though. The first thing that sets them apart is the isolation.

Many politicians, especially at a local level, feel a sense of isolation. They feel set apart from the people around them. There’s a feeling of a lack of psychological support, a sense of being exposed to the rigours of a campaign or the nature of their work.

This is exacerbated by a lack of peer support. Non-politicians don’t always understand the pressures. In most other professions, they can turn to their peers. This isn’t the case in the political arena because your peers are very often your opponents. Opening up to them could mean career suicide.

There is also the physical stress that comes with being a politician.

People who get into politics do a lot of work, especially during a campaign. You’re always walking, on the road, giving speeches, or pressing the flesh. All of that wears you down little by little, and it can reach a point where just walking can be excruciatingly painful.

Sometimes, doctors and therapists – like the ones from this website – can help. But on a campaign or other busy period, you don’t have the time to go to one. So you end up letting the problem fester until you can’t take it anymore.

There’s also the tendency for politicians to turn to one source for their news. Ideology can be a hell of a drug.

The problem with this practice is that it strengthens our biases. The more biased we become, the more stressful it is when we discover not everyone agrees with us. Or worse, that what we believed to be true was a misconception and reality is more complex.

At least this one has a simpler fix. Consult more than one news source. Sure, it takes up more time, but it gives you a different perspective.

There’s also the problem of politics being omnipresent.

When you’re a politician, that defines you in ways that other jobs don’t. Everyone has an opinion about political issues, in ways when they don’t for things like game development or metalwork. So when you tell people you’re a politician, it will define the conversation from that point on.