There hasn’t been a more controversial president than Donald J Trump in the recent history of America and Americans. According to many, even the much-censured George W Bush pales in comparison to Trump’s bigoted leadership. The biggest evidence of discontent against the present government comes from the psychologists’ offices across the United States. Trump Anxiety is now a legitimate phenomenon validated by therapists, who say that the problem is politically-related. They have noticed that people often bring up Trump’s name during therapy, expressing their fear of his policies and rhetoric. A mental health problem, motivated by the present President’s actions, may soon be on the rise and Americans better watch out.
Therapist Elizabeth LaMotte told CBC News that people fear the end of the world, and it’s a constantly unsettling feeling. One of her patients also asked her whether the President would “blow us up”. The word was coined by Jennifer Panning, a psychologist, who defined it as “increased worry, obsessive thought patterns, muscle tension and obsessive preoccupation with the news.”
Experts are not surprised, considering the atmosphere is largely politically-charged and there is constant reporting of negative news. What doesn’t help is President Trump’s online presence where he’s constantly typing out menacing tweets to political opponents and critics. Christmas Depression: How to Beat Stress, Anxiety and Blues This Holiday Season.
Those with Trump anxiety have been showcasing symptoms similar to patients raised by parents with personality disorders – people with feelings of grandiosity, attention-seeking, megalomania and lack of empathy.
The American Psychological Association (APA) backs the observation after a February 2017 survey, "Stress in America™: Coping with Change", on the mental health of US citizens. The poll results show that two-thirds of Americans are stressed about the future of the nation, which includes both Democrats and Republicans although the former is more affected than the latter.
"The stress we're seeing around political issues is deeply concerning, because it's hard for Americans to get away from it," said Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, executive director for professional practice, APA. She says that the stress is mainly due to the conversations, news and social media that constantly remind us of all the issues that stress us out the most. Can Positive Thinking Cure Depression? Symptoms, Care & Treatment of Mental Health Disorders Explained By An Expert.
Trump figured prominently in APA’s findings and they were able to connect stress levels to consumption of electronic news. Stories of hardships faced by migrant families and the president’s own equation with some of the world leaders are factors that are adding to the stress.
Although it hasn’t been considered as an official diagnosis, the effects of the collective anxiety are real and it's slowly eating away at American's mental wellness.