Therapists across the United States say that ever since president Donald Trump took office patients have been experiencing more anxiety – and it’s affecting both Trump critics and supporters.
Several therapists spoke to Canada’s CBC News saying that many of their patients have a fear about the country’s future and if Trump will ‘blow us all up.’
‘There is a fear of the world ending,’ DC therapist Elisabeth LaMotte said. ‘It’s very disorienting and constantly unsettling.’
LaMotte said there is a ‘collective anxiety’ about how Trump’s decisions could affect everyone. Patients and therapists refer to it as ‘Trump Anxiety Disorder’, although it is not an official diagnosis.
Therapists say that more and more patients are experiencing an increase in anxiety due to president Donald Trump
She said the ‘disorder’ has been on the rise since the 2016 election, and mimics patients who have been raised by a parent with a personality disorder. LaMotte said those patients typically display traits such as ‘grandiosity, excessive attention-seeking and severe lack of empathy.’
‘Whether it’s conscious or not, I think we look to the president of the United States as a psychological parent,’ she said.
Clinical psychologist Jennifer Panning, of Illinois, wrote a 2017 essay on Trump Anxiety Disorder saying the symptoms include patients feeling a loss of control and helplessness, and fretting about what’s happening in the country. She said they also spend an ‘excessive’ amount of time on social media.
LaMotte said one patient experiencing Trump-related anxiety asked her: ‘Is he gonna blow us all up?’
In January, Twitter users called on Twitter to block Trump’s account or remove his tweet after he told North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un that his nuclear weapons button was ‘bigger and more powerful’.
‘North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works,’ the president tweeted.
Many people feared that Trump’s Twitter post could lead to a nuclear conflict.
Last week, Trump tweeted a warning to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani: ‘NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!’
One therapist said her patient asked her if Trump was going to ‘blow us all up’ after his tweet (above) to Kim Jong Un that his nuclear button was ‘bigger and more powerful’
Another patient said she was constantly checking social media because of her increased anxiety about what Trump was saying
Therapists said the disorder called Trump Anxiety Disorder affects both Trump critics and supporters
Last week, Trump tweeted the above warning to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani not to ‘ever threaten the United States’
John Hawkins, a therapist in Mississippi said his LGBTQ patients worry that Trump’s policies could ‘void’ their marriages. Panning said the same, telling the CBC that one of her lesbian patients is ‘significantly concerned about the legitimacy of their marriage in the future’.
Kevon Owen, a therapist in Oklahoma City, said a lot of his patients fear there could be a war.
Another therapist located in Kentucky said Trump comes up quite a bit in his sessions.
‘Both from people feeling the president is being persecuted and people just beside themselves with worry about the direction of the country,’ he said.
Connie Sherman, the manager of a dental practice in San Diego, told the outlet that she’s been having trouble sleeping since Trump took office and found herself constantly checking her phone all times of night.
‘When [special counsel] Robert Mueller’s indictments news dropped, I wound up staying up in the middle of the night when I should have been sleeping, just thinking about it, just worried for our country,’ she said.
Trump Anxiety Disorder is also affecting those who are in favor of the president. LaMotte said one patient who is a Trump supporter expressed feeling ‘socially or familially isolated’.
Steven Stosny, who works in DC, said a Trump official said he felt anxious at work because of the high-pressures of the job and the criticism directed towards the White House.
The official also said his support of led to his daughter hating him and him and his wife filing for divorce, even though he left his position at the White House.
Jaime Gale, a Trump supporter in Ohio, said her symptoms remind her of how she felt following the September 11 attacks when she felt ‘fear of the unknown and unfamiliar’.
‘It scared the crap of me. Now I’m scared of getting pounced on by somebody who doesn’t like me because of Trump,’ she said.