'Trump Anxiety Disorder': Psychologist warns the president is making Americans sick

'Trump Anxiety Disorder': Psychologist warns the president is making Americans sick
Donald J. Trump/Shutterstock
Donald J. Trump/Shutterstock

While psychologists have speculated from afar about President Donald Trump's mental instability, a psychologist said his manic episodes and the need for constant attention is making Americans anxiety-ridden and in need of mental health care.


According to a psychologist who spoke with Politico, Trump's distinctive brand of "provocation, brinkmanship, and self-drama," is leading to what she calls "Trump Anxiety Disorder" that is affecting even those who don't follow politics.

Jennifer Panning, the psychologist from Evanston, Illinois, who coined the malady, explained it as marked by such symptoms as “increased worry, obsessive thought patterns, muscle tension and obsessive preoccupation with the news."

According to a therapist Cynthia Baum-Baicker, who is treating a couple whose sex life has been undermined by conflicting opinions about Trump, the president -- as an omnipresent figure -- looms darkly over everyone's lives.

“Authority figures represent the parent, [so] President Trump seats in the seat of parent for all Americans,” explained Baum-Baicker. “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 deleterious effect on peoples' mental health isn't just affecting liberals --even conservatives are having anxiety issues.

"Conservatives are hurting, too,” Washington D.C. psychotherapist Elisabeth Joy LaMotte added. “I view this anxiety as collective in a very strong sense. They’re hurting in part because they feel they don’t have permission to share their real views, or they feel conflicted because they agree with things that the president is doing but they’re uncomfortable with his language and tactics.... And they feel alienated and isolated from friends and family who differ from their views, as if there’s not permission to view it in a different way in D.C.”

“Human beings hate two things,” contributed New York psychiatrist Michael Dulchin about Trump's unpredictability. The ability “to look to the future and think you don’t have enough energy to succeed and live up to your expectations. The other is to not be able to predict the environment.”

He then added the two put together have only one result: “Anxiety and depression.”

You can read the whole report here.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close