What is prebudget syndrome (PBS)?
Prebudget syndrome (PBS) is a group of symptoms linked to the budget cycle. PBS symptoms occur 4 to 6 weeks before the budget is announced. The symptoms usually go away after budget night though, in severe cases, PBS symptoms can remain until the next budget. PBS can affect voters of any age and the effect is different for each person. For some people, PBS is just a yearly bore. For others, it may be so severe that it makes it hard to even get through the day.
What causes PBS?
The causes of PBS are many with several factors involved. Changes in promises during the electoral cycle seem to be an important cause. These changing promises may affect some voters more than others. Ideological changes in the brain may also be involved. Stress and financial problems, such as poverty, do not seem to cause PBS, but they may make it worse. Some other possible causes include:
- Low levels of trust
- Being fed a lot of bullshit
- Reading the Murdoch press, which may alter your mood and energy level
What are the symptoms of PBS?
PBS often includes both physical and emotional symptoms, such as:
- Feeling despondent
- Trouble sleeping
- Upset stomach
- Appetite for change or social justice cravings
- Cost of living pain
- Trouble with reconciling what is being said now with your memory of what was promised
- Tension, irritability, mood swings, or crying spells
- Anxiety or depression
Symptoms vary from person to person.
What is the treatment for PBS?
Many things have been tried to ease the symptoms of PBS. No treatment works for every voter. You may need to try different parties to see what works for you. Some treatment options include:
- Government changes
Some lifestyle changes may help you feel better. Below are some steps you can take that may help ease your symptoms.
- Read regularly. Each week, you should get information from independent media
- Avoid the Murdoch press, interviews with Hockey and Cormann, and talk back radio, especially when you’re having PBS symptoms.
- Find healthy ways to cope with stress. Talk to your friends, exercise your democratic right to protest, or write to politicians. Some people also find social media helpful.
- Don’t give up.
Researchers continue to search for new ways to treat PBS. To learn more about current PBS treatment studies, visit the Australia Institute website. Talk to your family and friends about whether taking part in politics might be right for you.