You can’t place the symptoms, all you know is it started shortly after the electoral body declared the parties were free to start election campaigning.

Funny thing is you don’t belong to any political party, so why are you being affected this way? After all, when the elections are over, either way they go, you return to your own dreary existence, none the better, none the worse.

But the symptoms won’t go away…

It is everywhere you turn.

You go to work. ‘Who are you voting for?’ Your colleague asks you before you seat down . You are not ready for this – there is only one way this could end – loud voices and arguments – you smile and deftly change the topic to the only topic that can drown this one – salary alert!

The newspapers have finally arrived, a good reprieve from having to talk about elections.

You open a newspaper and there it is, right on the front page, an advert with the smiling face waving at you… You close your eyes, not again. You skip and turn two, three, four pages and another face, not smiling beckons at you, as if to say, this is serious business, give me your vote.

You feel like running away. Work is finally done, you run home, maybe the TV will offer some solace.

You turn on the TV, they are there! How did they know you would turn on the TV at this very moment? They have something important to say to you. You don’t want to listen, you just want to watch a comedy, but sorry there is no longer time to air comedies.

Disappointed, you turn to your sure bet for stress relief – Twitter and Facebook. Immediately you regret this move.

The hashtags are every where, the arguments and counter arguments, the digging of facts and the burying of other facts, from the sensible to the outright ridiculous. You mute and block people, even your close friends, but more silly talk emerge.

You can’t possibly block everyone – or can you? Since you can’t beat them, won’t it be better to join in the arguments?

By now, the headache is intense, you can actually feel your stress level rising; you don’t even want to check your blood pressure –
surely all this animosity in the air can’t be worth it.

But the worst thing is – you don’t even belong to any party!

Now you can’t sleep. They’ve finally taken away that last bit of control you had.

You feel it once again, the dreaded election distress syndrome.

What symptoms / attitudes have you developed since the election campaigns started? Is it even worth it?

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