11/15/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Obsessive Compulsive Election Disorder Takes Its Toll

I'm coining a new acronym. You read it here FIRST!

OCED: Obsessive Compulsive Election Disorder.

In this particular psychological response to variables, the person is unable or unwilling to tear themselves away from media coverage of the upcoming election.

Reports are flooding in from every corner of the country, red, blue, purple and green states alike. Ordinary people with no previous history of repetitive behaviors are suddenly checking polling websites every 1/2 hour. The words Zogby, Gallup, Fivethirtyeight, Rasmussen are now sprinkled in to conversations at playgrounds, coffee shops, parties and after the workout at the Y.

Others find themselves unable to relinquish the remote as they leap-frog between CNN, MSNBC, FOX, CBS, PBS & ABC, looking for the pundits, experts and talking heads with the latest updates on undecided voters from battleground states.

The symptoms of an informed electorate.

More informed electorate for sure, and for some, it's extreme, thus the name OCED, Obsessive Compuslive Election Disorder. Here's some signs that you might be afflicted:

* You check and re-check your favorite post more than twice a day hoping for an update
* You have commented on articles and blog posts using a clever pseudonym
* You can't sleep, worried about the how voters in West Virginia are going to decide
* You've watched Tina Fey more this week than in the past few years on 30 Rock
* You find yourself forwarding emails to every casual acquaintance who expresses even a mild like-minded opinion on the issues
* For the first time ever you understand the term Margin of Error
* You bounce between Huffington, National Review, The Atlantic & DrudgeReport

The side effects:

1. Nausea as events beyond your control unfold before your eyes
2. Headache as you try to understand Confidence intervals and Margin of error statistics
3. Upset stomach from too many Advil and Tylenol swallowed for #1 & #2 above
4. Putting off work related projects to check latest polling numbers from Missouri


* Besides Electric Shock Therapy, most people have found that the best thing to do is to shut down the computer and hide the remote.
* Get out of the house and go for a walk.
* Avoid counting and comparing the number of political yard signs.
* Research shows that when people with OCED volunteer for their candidate, get involved and direct that energy outward instead of inward, they sleep better at night without medication or alcohol
* Optimal treatment is, drumroll here , please: Vote.


Are you suffering from Election Anxiety? How has the election impacted your life? Tell HuffPost, and we may just quote you! Tell us your stories using this Survey Monkey form.


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