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  1. #1

    Default Fear, Anxiety, and Depression in the Age of Trump - Therapists/Patients Struggle

    Trump-induced anxiety is a real thing.


    Mods: I wasn't sure if this was better suited for psychology or politics, but I thought it was more fitting in psychology since that's the focus and put it here, and the focus I want to try and foster. Please move the thread as you see fit.


    Note: I really, REALLY do not want this thread to turn into a defense of Trump, attacks on Hillary, or an overall political debate. That is NOT the focus I want here. Not everything needs to be a debate. Please try and keep it focused.

    I am very happy that one of my facebook friends shared this. It's kinda validating for me. Many of us on the forum (myself included), and many out in the world have a real, visceral fear of Trump, and an even further fear of his supporters. Mine didn't really settle in until Bernie lost the primary, and Trump announced his desire to deregulate some primary infrastructure and announced Pence as the VP with the intent of having him run the show. I am so stressed and overwhelmed by all of this that it is causing me day to day stress, and I have lost sleep and social enjoyment from it. I feel like my life is going to be royally fucked, and that if I want to be safe I need to be elsewhere. I don't want to, but I feel may have no choice but to move to Canada or Germany when I graduate. I am counting my lucky stars that my degree should enable me to do that.

    This article discusses how therapists and their patients are struggling to cope with the anxiety, depression, and fear that Trump, and particularly his followers are feeling. I see a therapist regularly as ongoing support of my mental ailments, obviously other stuff comes up as well. I'd say in about 1/4th of my sessions, the 2016 election has come up. In a few sessions it's all I talked about, because I did not know how to manage my fear and anger associated with it. My therapist informed me that quite a number of her patients have been bringing it up.

    The article goes on to explain that a lot of therapists are reporting having a large number of patients discussing the stress associated with trump. Dozens reporting that they are overwhelmed with how much it has come up, often in the majority of their patients. Some old ones have come back after long absences to discuss and manage these very things. The therapists themselves are frequently overwhelmed and need additional support groups. It's anectodal, but it's extremely difficult to deny this is a large systemic thing that is hard to deny is valid, and it's very hard to deny the validity of these peoples feelings.

    I think this paragraph captures the article overall:

    Quote Originally Posted by Article
    Liz hasn’t agreed with past Republican candidates, she says, but she didn’t think they would “ruin my country, or cause civil war, or cause World War III.” But her fear also stems from her incredulous realization that so many of her fellow citizens inhabit a reality that barely intersects with her own. “I can no longer see where they’re coming from,” she says of Trump supporters. “I feel like I’m in The Twilight Zone.” Even if Clinton wins, she’s terrified of Trump’s followers responding with violence. “We’re getting closer and closer and closer to something that seems so insane,” she says, “The thought of him winning, or even the thought of her winning and parts of the country imploding in chaos as a result—it all just seems like a nightmare.”
    I am not entirely sure how to facilitate this discussion, but considering how many of us are having genuine concern, or out and out fear associated with the election, Trump, and his supporters, that there should be a discussion on this with the focus of the psychological and stress impact. Maybe as a vent, maybe a a discussion of what to do and how to manage, or a discussion of the issues associated with it. We'll see how it pans out.
    It is our duty to create meaning.

    If only it were that simple.
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  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I can't really delve into it tonight aside for a few comments....

    It just bothers me that when a candidate is actually unqualified for a position but is still in a position to get it anyway? I don't even care about the party, per se... Laying aside any regular political positions I might have or what party anyone is from, I'm just incredulous that this completely incompetent individual (and who doesn't even care about competence) is essentially bullying his way into office. If this country is an airplane, what we're seeing is instead of a choice between two actual pilots with different flying strategies (so even if you hate the pilot or think they are too risky or too reserved, you can still trust they know how to fly the plane and eventually land without killing everyone), you've got a guy with no actual flying lessons under his belt and who doesn't even care about knowing how to fly a plane pushing his way into the cockpit and insisting he will fly the plane mainly to make his own name bigger.

    I guess it will be a litmus test for how important the presidency actually is, to be honest, if he would happen to win. Either way we're kind of fucked -- either the presidency is irrelevant to the country's functioning and now we'll all know it (so watch for doubling in political apathy), or he'll create some major catastrophes that will take the country into shaky area at best. I also think the lines have drawn SO severely that no matter who wins, there's just going to be a lot of shit. No one can accept a loss at this point, because the fevered pitch has become a "life and death" struggle of good vs evil. (This was the same problem the Democratic party faced during the primaries, when Sanders made Hillary into as much of an evil as Trump, and after he lost, now somehow all those Sanders voters are supposed to support Hillary after coming to view her as evil, even if that derails their own long-term goals. The lines have just been drawn too deep.)

    But getting this back to psychology: I guess I'm dealing the way a Five deals... I've basically withdrawn into my own smaller world and focused on the things I can control and trust my ability to ride out any turbulence over the next four years if the worst happens. Aside from my single vote in November, I don't have any real control over the outcome of what happens. So I'm getting my own life in order and am prepared to carry on no matter what happens. It stresses me out, but I choose to not focus on it because there's no point in derailing my own efforts to maintain my own life. And then I'll deal with the fallout of whatever happens in November and redetermine my level of investment in terms of what to fight for and who to help, etc. I do feel stress, but I've been dealing with underlying stress in situations I can't control since I was five, so... I've had lots of practice.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft
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  3. #3
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    I'm not at all surprised you and others are having real problems due to the election. I said it would make people crazy and it has, good and bad. One thing that's concerning to me is seepage of right wing, anti-Semitic, anti everything rhetoric, much more than I ever saw before. I came across this one on Twitter but if that stuff bothers you, don't click.

    Grandpa Lampshade (@pawpawlampshade) | Twitter

    To be fair, Trump isn't saying any of ^^ those things. But his constituency is. He won't go against them now, of course but if he is elected and still doesn't, that will be a problem.

    I started thinking - instead of getting mad or upset that this sort of fucked up mentality exists, I should be happy that I can see and read this stuff and exactly where it's coming from. Free speech aside, they're entitled to it. If I saw a confederate flag on a house, I read anti-Semitic shit or racist vomit - I'm aware of who and where they are. Who I want to know and who I don't. That feels better to me than having them hidden and protected as they have been in the past. That's a great thing about the internet, you know?

    In no way am I trying to belittle your concerns, they are valid. To be honest, I think the people at the other end of the spectrum, the ones posting as much info as possible to sway others, they have a parallel set of issues. They're equally anxious about Hillary, it just comes out in a different way.
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  4. #4
    Meat Tornado DiscoBiscuit's Avatar
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    The safe space is crumbling.
    Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
    - Edmund Burke

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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by ceecee View Post
    To be fair, Trump isn't saying any of ^^ those things. But his constituency is. He won't go against them now, of course but if he is elected and still doesn't, that will be a problem.
    This gets to the root of it for me. At the end of the day, it's Trump supporters that scare me more than Trump, and their reasons for why they support him. It has on a number of cases made me feel physically ill, like a number of the patients mentioned in the article. I am even having a difficult time even leveling with people who support him in spite of Hillary (whom I hate). @Totenkindly expressed this quite well in her analogy; he doesn't have any qualifications, and that's ignoring everything else that is wrong. How that can be overlooked I don't understand, and don't think I ever will.
    It is our duty to create meaning.

    If only it were that simple.

  6. #6
    heartland values Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Meh... I don't know. People told me the world would end if Bush was re-elected. I was young enough to believe them, and it seriously fucked me up. I've heard the same thing pretty much every election since then. I have to wonder if it's just crying wolf.
    A path is made by walking on it.

    -Zhuangzi



  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Osprey View Post
    Meh... I don't know. People told me the world would end if Bush was re-elected. I was young enough to believe them, and it seriously fucked me up. I've heard the same thing pretty much every election since then. I have to wonder if it's just crying wolf.
    It did: middle east wars. The collapose of Wallstreet. Considering how Trump is hundereds of orders of magnitude worse, and with all of the issues he's supporting, pushing, all of the lies, hatred, and everything in between, I do not see how this is crying wolf even if the best case scenarios turn out.
    It is our duty to create meaning.

    If only it were that simple.
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  8. #8
    Meat Tornado DiscoBiscuit's Avatar
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    Power passes back and forth. No one gets to be in the sun forever.

    It's our turn now, and we are an equal and opposite reaction to the last 8 years. Behold what you hath wrought.
    Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
    - Edmund Burke

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    heartland values Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    It did: middle east wars. The collapose of Wallstreet. Considering how Trump is hundereds of orders of magnitude worse, and with all of the issues he's supporting, pushing, all of the lies, hatred, and everything in between, I do not see how this is crying wolf even if the best case scenarios turn out.
    I'm still alive. I guess there was a time when I thought being really politically engaged would make people like me... and now I'm smart enough to know that's not the case.
    A path is made by walking on it.

    -Zhuangzi



  10. #10
    stable genius Powehi's Avatar
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    There is a lot of anxiety about both candidates for different reasons, and in some ways I wonder if Trump is the manifestation of social political fears. There has been an ongoing cultural change that is more angry, anxious, and hateful of certain demographics. I was noticing even the race issue in movies from the 1990's and everything felt more relaxed in the social presentation of various races, genders, etc. Now there are actually more prejudicial undertones in some movies and shows. I'd have to think through more of the specifics because right now it is a general impression.

    I have an underlying feeling of urgency to move to Canada, but I don't see a way to work it out logistically. By the time I can it will likely be overrun with immigrants and it will no longer be an option. I feel like the world is unimaginably corrupt.
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