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What Your Politics Say About Your Mental Health

Democrats are more likely than Republicans to be depressed, according to a BuzzFeed/SurveyMonkey survey.

Posted on May 17, 2013, at 9:51 a.m. ET

Researchers are starting to study the ways Democrats and Republicans might think differently, but there's still not much data about the links between political party and mental health. Does being a Democrat — or a Republican — mean you're more prone to depression, anxiety, or other mental ailments? To find out, BuzzFeed partnered with SurveyMonkey to ask Americans about their political affiliation and whether or not they'd ever been diagnosed with any of 12 mental health conditions and learning disabilities. SurveyMonkey Audience conducted the online survey exclusively for BuzzFeed, gathering a randomly selected, nationally representative sample of 1,117 people. The results:

Graphics by Chris Ritter for BuzzFeed

Democrats were just under 4% more likely to report a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder than Republicans were.

They're about 5% more likely to have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder or ADHD.

Over 10% more likely to report a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder.

And close to 11% more likely to report a diagnosis of depression.

Above, how Democrats, Republicans, and people who identified as neither responded to questions about all 12 conditions. Respondents were people who had completed other SurveyMonkey surveys; SurveyMonkey gave them the choice to complete our survey afterward, and donated 50 cents to the charity of their choice if they did so. The margin of error for the survey was 3%, meaning it's hard to draw conclusions about some of the rarer conditions. But in our survey, Republicans were less likely than Democrats to have PTSD, ADD, anxiety, or depression — or at least less likely to admit it.

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