Westminster is in chaos, the future is uncertain and there is no end in sight. What toll is the political crisis taking on the nation’s wellbeing?

Feeling low and anxious? Suffering from disrupted sleep? Could Brexit be damaging your mental health? A Britain Thinks poll of more than 2,000 people, the results of which were released this week, found that 83% of those surveyed were sick of hearing about Brexit, while 64% thought it was damaging their mental health. The poll found that the dominant words people use in relation to Brexit have changed: in 2017, it was “confusing” or “uncertain”; now, it is “broken” and “chaos”. No politician is singled out, because we’re blaming all of them equally; except for David Cameron, who has a special, individuated space in the nation’s psyche as the man who unleashed this hell. Wishing for the politics of a lost age is the last thing people do when they have given up: it isn’t an acceptance of the status quo, but rather frustration at not being able to put these hideous worms back in their can.

Brexit hangs over so many decisions: should I move house? Move cities? Get an Irish passport on some tenuous connection? Then there is the spectacle of...


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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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19 April 2019