The Daily DeX 07/23/2019: Trump Trauma (Shrinks On The Brink)

+“DC Types Have Been Flocking to Shrinks Ever Since Trump Won. And a Lot of the Therapists Are Miserable” | Washingtonian  | Britt Peterson

“Two and a half years into the Trump administration, it’s news to no one that the 45th President has generated angst in many people, regardless of party. The American Psychological Association has even documented the phenomenon. According to its 2018 Stress in America survey, 62 percent of Americans say the current political climate is “a significant stressor” for them; more than two-thirds say the nation’s future is stressing them out—a “significant increase” from 2017, the report says. “Trump May Not Be Crazy,” read a headline from Politico Magazine just before the survey came out, “But the Rest of Us Are Getting There Fast.”

In Washington, the malaise appears especially pronounced. I spent the last several months talking to nearly two dozen local therapists who described skyrocketing levels of interest in their services. They told me about cases of ordinary stress blossoming into clinical conditions, patients who can’t get through a session without invoking the President’s name, couples and families falling apart over politics—a broad category of concerns that one practitioner, Beth Sperber Richie, says she and her colleagues have come to categorize as “Trump trauma.”

In one sense, that’s been good news for the people who help keep us sane: Their calendars are full. But Trump trauma has also created particular clinical challenges for therapists like Guttman and her students. It’s one thing to listen to a client discuss a horrible personal incident. It’s another when you’re experiencing the same collective trauma.”

–>There’s some uber-liberal snow-flakiness here, as well as the now perpetually residual shock that one of the worst people actually became the worst president ever. However, in conversations with people who’ve expressed the sorts of feelings documented in this article, I’ve detected three distinct “Trump traumas.” First, a sense of guilt from some that they didn’t work harder to ensure the election of the first woman president. Second, a more vague sense of guilt from others for believing the polls right up to the election and thinking Trump had little chance of winning. Third, from just a few (and most curiously), another kind of guilt for being a Democrat but not really wanting Hillary Clinton to have been the first woman president. Interestingly, I’ve either seen or sensed higher levels of engagement in the 2020 election among those I’ve questioned, as well as another sense that they’re better informed. 

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