Psychologist shares how the repair bill can affect your health - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Psychologist shares how the budget repair bill can affect your health

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By Julia Fello - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) -- You may not be able to go anywhere without people talking about Gov. Scott Walker's budget Repair Bill.

The debate has not only grabbed national attention, it's sprung many people into action, on both sides.

We spoke to a Madison psychologist on how this could affect your mental health by just watching everything unfold on T.V.

The budget repair bill has taken over many people's lives, including Michael Kuenzi.

He says he was sick after demonstrating in the snow last month.

"I was out here 12 hours with my family protesting. I got so sick I couldn't leave the house for six days," said Kuenzi, who lives in Fitchburg.

"The whole state is being affected and people from Appleton, Rhinelander are being affected personally," said Dr. Richard Levine, a clinical psychologist.

Dr. Levine says feeling stressed is okay.

"Regardless of political sophistication, if we feel our democratic processes are not being adhered to, it's a threat to our sense of stability," said Dr. Levine.

The doctor says even if you haven't been at the Capitol, you could still be affected.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of stress include feeling powerless, having nightmares or sleeplessness, fear and anxiety about the future and difficulty concentrating.

There are ways to take care of yourself.

"Being together with other people, friends people with whom you may not even agree but have a sense of having concern and respect for each other," said Dr. Levine.

For Michael, he's channeling his emotions through the signs he holds at the Capitol.

"It's very freeing to be down here," said Michael Kuenzi.

Dr. Levine says putting energy into what you believe, such as demonstrating or going to political events is good for you because it's empowering and it's a way to express yourself, rather than keeping it in.

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