President Donald Trump is making some leftists sick … literally.
Politico Magazine reported this week that the oresident is causing all sorts of maladies in his political opponents, from sexual dysfunction to flat-out depression, and in some cases the president is so single-handedly responsible for patients’ psychological instability that qualified therapists have made him into a diagnosis: Trump Anxiety Disorder.
“During normal times, therapists say, their sessions deal with familiar themes: relationships, self-esteem, everyday coping. Current events don’t usually invade. But numerous counselors said Trump and his convulsive effect on America’s national conversation are giving politics a prominence on the psychologist’s couch not seen since the months after 9/11—another moment in which events were frightening in a way that had widespread emotional consequence,” Politico reports, citing a number of psychologists, therapists, and counselors who have reported seeing a spike in Trump-related anxiety among their patients.
The American Psychiatric Association has found that “39 percent of people said their anxiety level had risen over the previous year—and 56 percent were either ‘extremely anxious’ or ‘somewhat anxious about “the impact of politics on daily life,'” all because of the president.
In some cases, couples are reporting that fear of Trump has extended into their love lives, and that merely seeing the President on television — or hearing cable news talk about politics involving Trump — is enough to completely kill the mood. Others report that they feel they are victims of “abuse” or “gaslighting” because the president describes news stories as “fake.”
“Gaslighting is essentially a tactic used by abusive personalities to make the abused person feel as though they’re not experiencing reality, or that it’s made up or false,” said one “behavioral health care expert” who penned an article on Trump’s “abusive” tendencies. “The only reality one can trust is one that is defined by the abuser. Trump does this on a daily basis—he lies, uses ambiguities, demonizes the press. It’s a macroscopic version of an abusive relationship.”
In many cases, Trump seems to merely exacerbate existing psychological distress, and those who might be prone to anxiety are responding to the 24-hour news cycle that feeds it. But in other cases, psychologists have actually had to invent a diagnosis to explain why people — mostly leftists — have a heightened sense of unease at the mere sight of the president.
Left-leaning publication Raw Story reports that this new diagnosis, made by a psychologist in the liberal enclave of Evanston, Illinois (home to Northwestern University), is called “Trump Anxiety Disorder.”
“According to a therapist … the president — as an omnipresent figure — looms darkly over everyone’s lives,” Raw Story reports. “Authority figures represent the parent, [so] President Trump seats in the seat of parent for all Americans…So now, my ‘father figure’ is a bully, is an authoritarian who doesn’t believe in studying and doing homework. … [Rather than reassurance] he creates uncertainty.”
“Trump’s distinctive brand of ‘provocation, brinkmanship, and self-drama,’ is leading to what [psychologist Jennifer Panning] calls ‘Trump Anxiety Disorder’ that is affecting even those who don’t follow politics,” Raw Story claims. The symptoms include “increased worry, obsessive thought patterns, muscle tension and obsessive preoccupation with the news.”
Treatment, as with most anxiety and depressive disorders, ranges from therapy to medication. They may also want to try turning off the television.