FROM THE GRIO — No one wants to think the unthinkable: That their presidential candidate won’t win on the big day. Yet, similar to the eager anticipation that builds for sports fans before a big game, growing legions of self-professed political junkies and those deeply engaged in the Election 2012 outcome are gearing themselves up for a stressful disappointment. Let’s face it: whether you are rooting for Obama or Romney, one man must lose. Could this winner-take-all reality be a set up for a resulting depression?
MSNBC contributor Keli Goff reports that, although not as closely studied as the sports-related version of the phenomenon, political defeats can bring on a funk as blues-inducing as one caused by the losses of one’s most beloved athletes.
“There are some people who do become depressed because of the sports team or politician’s loss because they are so invested in those entities,” mental-health expert Dr. Jeff Gardere told Goff. “In fact, if they are consumed with the politician or the sports team and that becomes one of the few avenues of pleasure, it is quite possible that a loss becomes devastating to that fan.”
As emotions intensify in the days leading up to the presidential election, there is a growing risk that the impact of seeing one’s candidate fail could deeply impact individuals, families — or even regions — according to experts interviewed by the political correspondent.