Is it possible to suffer from Brexit anxiety?

28 January 2020, 08:10

Thomas Dunn

By Thomas Dunn

Brexit - A topic that has divided families and friends across the UK since the result fo the EU referendum in 2016.

Over the last three and a half years, mental health experts have reported a rise in the number of people becoming stressed or anxious due to the result.

In March 2019 - The Mental Health Foundation reported almost 1 in 5 said it had caused them ‘high levels of stress’.

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy accredited Counsellor Louise Tyler, from Altrincham in Cheshire, agrees with the findings:

"In the period of uncertainty we had running up to Brexit Day (Jan 31st) there was certainly a feeling amongst the counselling community that we were seeing a massive upsurge of enquiries. My practice is currently full and I'm finding it difficult to refer clients on.

"If you were feeling anxious anyway - I think Brexit would have added another layer to that."

Brexit has caused a rise in mental health anxiety according to experts
Brexit has caused a rise in mental health anxiety according to experts. Picture: PA

On Friday 31st January, from 11 pm onwards, Britain will cease to be a member of the EU with many leave supporters calling it 'Brexit Day.'

The study from the Mental Health Foundation also found millions across the nation have felt powerless, angry or worried over the last year.

Counsellor Louise Tyler says many of these will have voted to remain: "There was a feeling of impotence, powerlessness.....They felt like their voices weren't being listened to.

"I think it translated that if they were already feeling anxious about other areas in their personal life it was just going to add fuel to the fire.

"There were two layers of worries for many when it came to Brexit... There's practical worries like food supplies, medicines and what the future will hold for businesses.

"But there was also a general sense of emotion related to this political uncertainty which I believe many of the population were still feeling.

"People that wanted change voted for change, really thought that things were going to be fantastic after Brexit and I think it's slowly sinking in that these changes they thought were coming may take much longer than they had anticipated."