Conservatives are celebrating a study that they say proves liberals are “insane.” The data is undoubtedly interesting – but the results don’t necessarily mean what right-wingers think. The research was conducted on people who identify as liberal, moderate, and conservative.
The World Isn’t Black and White
Between the ages of 18 and 29, over 50% of liberal White women received a mental health diagnosis. On the other hand, both moderates and conservatives exhibited lower rates of mental illness – 28.4% and 27.3% respectively. The latter group have been quick to use this as proof that liberals are “insane” but, as is usually the case, things aren’t so black and white.
Many Factors Influence Mental Health
It’s important to avoid oversimplification and generalization. As such, to suggest that someone’s political stance directly determines their mental health status is grossly inaccurate. A plethora of factors can influence mental health, including genetics, environment, and socioeconomic status. It may be more accurate, however, to suggest that mental health status can inform political beliefs.
Compassion, Social Support, and Inclusivity
People who struggle with their mental health might be likely to hold liberal political beliefs for a variety of reasons. Liberals tend to emphasize empathy and inclusivity, which can resonate with people seeking acceptance for their differences. Similarly, working-class individuals – who could be more likely to suffer with mental health problems due to financial stress and lack of access to therapy – are often likely to support policies that prioritize safety nets and healthcare access.
Racism and Discrimination
Furthermore, ethnic minorities may lean toward liberal political beliefs due to concerns about systemic racism and the right’s refusal to listen. Non-White individuals often experience heightened discrimination in society, on top of prejudice in the medical system. As such, they may be more likely to experience mental health conditions due to high stress and a lack of support.
Complex and Multifaceted Relationship
The relationship between political beliefs and mental health is intricate. While the study in question revealed some interesting patterns in mental health diagnoses among different political groups, it’s vital to approach the findings with caution and to recognize the multitude of factors that contribute to a person’s mental health status and political stance.
The Internet Responded
News of the study’s results was shared across the internet and opinions were divided. Conservatives accused liberals of being insane, liberals accused conservatives of being more insane, and leftists urged both groups to stop looking at the issue through a black and white lens.
Liberals Don’t Pledge Loyalty to an Ex-president
As previously noted, many liberals accused conservatives of being the “crazy” ones. “All I can say is I don’t see liberals going around with flags waving in the pickups. I don’t see liberals on the side of the street holding signs pledging loyalty to an ex-president. I know a lot of conservatives and I can tell you that their elevator does not reach the top floor.”
A “Useless” Study
Others said the study’s results were unlikely to be accurate. “Look at the methodology. It was self-reported, not a blind study, small sample size. Pretty much all the data there is useless,” one person said. “Has anyone actually looked further into the study? There is no way these results are accurate,” another echoed.
Liberals Are Clinically Insane, Apparently
Conservatives were delighted by the results. “Proof that liberals are clinically insane, not that we needed it,” one person said. “You needed a survey for this? Take a walk through downtown Portland,” another echoed. “Ha! Liberals will never be taken seriously ever again,” another wrote.
Liberals Weren’t Surprised
A fair few liberals weren’t surprised by conservative responses. “Why am I not surprised that conservatives consider empathy, compassion, and kindness to be mental health problems?” one person wrote. “Conservatives think being trans is a mental illness so I’m gonna take this with a grain of salt,” another echoed.
Leftists Were Frustrated
Leftists shut both groups down. “Conservatives, shut up. Liberals, shut up. Your ideologies are so close together, I don’t understand how you argue so much. Things aren’t as black and white as this. If not leftist, people with mental health problems are more likely to be liberal than conservative because liberals are more caring and accepting. Use your heads, please. This is beyond infuriating,” one person wrote.
A Lack of Understanding
Others criticized the conservative response specifically. One person wrote: “I think the conservative response to this speaks volumes about their lack of understanding of mental illness. You think that having depression means someone isn’t as educated? That their political opinions don’t come from a place of understanding just because they have depression? Anxiety? PTSD? Gross.”
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