Trump Anxiety Disorder Is More Fake News


It’s a strange thing when going down a rabbit hole of a thought actually leads to something more interesting. When writing for my blog I try and avoid bashing easy targets too often, if nothing else because I get bored and frustrated. Despite what those who know me personally may think, there’s only so many times an hour I can wish hellish eternal torment on the perpetrators of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) atrocities, or Piers Morgan, or those who insist that depression and suicidality are choices consciously made by an individual. So when a couple of friends drew my attention to a recent article claiming that Trump Anxiety Disorder is a thing, it pushed several of my mental health buttons but I resolved not to post about the ridiculousness of this. Besides, I could only find references to it on Fox News affiliated content and Mail Online — sources hardly known for journalistic integrity of late. But with the rush to label almost any type of mental distress as disorder in today’s culture, I feel these arguments cannot be ignored completely — the biomedical model of mental illness is so prevalent that TAD seems like a bandwagon that people will jump on, even if it is completely laughable.

Annoyingly, some news stories and ideas refuse to shut up, and it’s rattled around my brain for the past few days. So here I am writing about it, but I want to take a broader view of it. I often complain in my corner of the internet about the overarching dogma of the social model within disability circles. Now for those that don’t know the social model of disability was devised towards the end of the 20th century, and is summed up rather neatly by the disability charity Scope, who say that:

“…people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment or difference. Barriers can be physical, like buildings not having accessible toilets. Or they can be caused by people’s attitudes to difference, like assuming disabled people can’t do certain things.

The social model helps us recognise barriers that make life harder for disabled people. Removing these barriers creates equality and offers disabled people more independence, choice and control.”

There is, of course, a huge amount of positivity and empowerment in this view of disability, and I do not wish to remove it altogether. The social model has done a huge amount for disability perception, activism and identity as well as giving the public a very simple way of understanding the limitations that an abled society puts on disabled people. As I’ve written elsewhere, the social model in my view is such a dogma as to be a way of stamping out discussion about inherently negative aspects of, and emotions surrounding, impairments and disabilities. In a lightning bolt moment, it really struck me that the social model view of disability is something that the mental health community needs to look at in more detail and possibly adapt. And when I say adapt, I’m reminded of the satirist Tom Lehrer in one of his monologues using it as a synonym for ‘steal’… I’ve said before that emotional complexity is not pathology — a purely medical view of mental ill health is outdated and cannot be simply explained away by genetics and faulty brain chemistry; a broader view is required to look at what is happening in a person’s life.

Let’s apply this to ‘Trump Anxiety Disorder’. Straight away the idea of a genetic or chemical predisposition to anxieties concerning a fascistic, narcissistic, tiny-handed orange moron can be seen for the nonsense it is. Maybe such genetics are in fact to be found in certain populations though? I would class Latinos as an especially at-risk group even as very young children… and speaking of children, younger people seem more at risk of TAD — is this down to these genes becoming more prevalent in later generations as natural selection takes its course?

For the one person reading this who needs to be told that the above is satire — I am sorry…

But those anxieties are not inherent, they are down to people’s freedoms, liberties and welfare being under threat. They are down to a profound shift in the political climate since the start of 2016. The idea of these things being classed as disordered is nonsense because if people justifiably feel under threat from a change in the political and social weather around them, then there is no disorder to be found! The US may be seeing a rise in TAD, but on this side of the pond, not to be outdone, the UK has seen an increase in something that some mental health professionals are terming ‘BAD’ or ‘Brexit Anxiety Disorder’. And again, their application of a medical model of mental ill health means they miss the point. In July of 2016, I had a mild episode of BAD — but this was down to the fact that as a disabled person, I feared (and still do fear) the consequences for me and people like me in a post-EU Britain. The EU provides certain human rights protections for people like me which I do not necessarily believe that the current government will uphold after Brexit. Is this disordered thinking? I would argue absolutely not given the conservative record on the treatment of the disabled. BAD and TAD are merely ways to put people’s concerns in a box and leave them unaddressed.

For many people, the current political situation around the world is intensely frightening and not without cause. Depression and anxiety are on the rise, but we need a social model revolution in order to look at why this is happening. Instead of immediately hitting upon medical causes such as genetics and brain chemistry as causal factors — for which there is scant evidence — we must be brave and address some of the deeper problems that cause so much mental distress. It is no coincidence to me that in talking to fellow depressives, when we talk about causes, we talk about the things that happen to us. We’ll never speak of our serotonin or dopamine levels acting up. But we will talk about barriers caused by society. Inequalities, lack of job security or prospects, financial pressures, declining social safety nets, looking after an ageing population, the looming spectre of global warming, the rise of the far right, struggles with identity, body image issues, physical, sexual or emotional traumas…

I could go on. These are just some of the things people will talk about as reasons for their mental ill health. We are often called disordered. Deemed to be this way by a world that is often unprepared and ill-equipped to deal with root causes. We are fast approaching a point where the cozy facade of the medical model of mental illness will reach a breaking point. We need the social model to start looking at ways to actually deal with people as people rather than a diagnosis.

I would argue that the social model of disability has gone as far as it can go in most contexts around disability (though at the exclusion of a few areas — access to work being the main one). I hope that the mental health activism community can pick it up and make use of it and start addressing barriers, rather than building new (diagnostic) walls.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


Mad in America has made some changes to the commenting process. You no longer need to login or create an account on our site to comment. The only information needed is your name, email and comment text. Comments made with an account prior to this change will remain visible on the site.


  1. Full disclosure: I couldn’t and wouldn’t vote for either, major candidate in the previous presidential election.

    I grew up on the Right, and even though I have moved toward the center, I understand the fears on the Right, which were stoked during the Obama years, which the Left dismisses out of hand. But I also have learned to appreciate the fears on the Left, which have been stoked by Trump, which the Right dismisses out of hand. This article does nothing except continue the misunderstanding and dismissiveness by BOTH sides, and that’s unfortunate.

    Report comment

    • Hi Sam,

      I feel that wasn’t really the point of my piece. It was that dismissing these fears out of hand through pathologising them is the wrong approach. This is why I argue for the application of the social model of disability when looking at this.

      Thank you for reading.

      Report comment

      • I do understand it wasn’t your main point, but that’s how this article comes off because of what seems to be your strong tilt to the Left. When you caricature Trump the way you do(a fascistic, narcissistic, tiny-handed orange moron ), you immediately lost 1/2 of your audience. Even though I agree with your main point and consider myself a centrist at this point, I really struggled with the rest of the article as I internally told myself this was just another partisan hit job.

        Your main point deserved better.
        Wishing you well,

        Report comment

        • Sam,
          He’s right in his characterization of Trump. Some people will not like this reality, but the facts certainly indicate that Trump is a narcissistic egomanic who makes too many (dangerous) impulsive decisions. If someone needs to defend the size of their manhood in a national debate, we should immediately disqualify the person from political office! Of course there is no DSM category for TAD, so it’s not really being patholigized. But it is a real phenomenon. Many of my clients over the last 18 months have expressed significant levels of distress with this man being in office. He does impact all of our lives, after all!

          Report comment

          • shaun f,

            I get that you have clients who are truly distressed, and as I pointed out from the start, I did NOT vote for Trump because of his many personal faults, foremost for how he treats women because my wife is an abuse victim. Hence, I would never vote for a man like that.

            But what I tried to do was put TAD in the context of the larger cultural war where both sides dismiss the real distress that each feels. By framing this the way that Chris did his main point got lost in the partisan rhetoric. And so, he effectively ‘preached to the choir’ rather than having any hope of reaching beyond the far Left. He even made it difficult for those of us in the center…because I personally am tired of the dismissiveness and partisan attacks from both sides.

            Report comment

          • Honestly, I try to stay away from using psychiatric terms to refer to Trump and his minions. I don’t want to give more credence to DSM labels, nor ignore the fact that Trump’s agenda has been embraced by many folks who don’t like him personally but are themselves corrupt enough to see how they can profit from his fear-mongering approach to politics.

            Report comment

          • Sam,
            You are correct that all sides of this feel some level of distress. There is a reason that both Bernie and Donald had large audiences and support, because the middle class and poor are hurting in this country and have been for quite some time. Part of the problem, however, is that all criticisms of Trump are basically ignored by his base. It doesn’t matter what Trump says or does, and they look the other way. So the truth doesn’t really matter to them. They believe what they want to believe and ignore the realities which should be smacking them in the face. Trump is dangerous because he’s an authoritarian and a bully. There is no convincing his supporters that this is true. There is very little which is redeemable about Trump, and until people on the Right acknowledge this, we aren’t getting anywhere as a country. The man panders to his audience and lies with reckless abandon. Stephen is right, Trump is a malignant narcissist. Trump will turn on anyone, except maybe his closest family members, if he perceives they’ve wronged him. If people have wonderful things to say about Trump, he’s their buddy. Just look at how Trump treated McCain.

            The author probably should have left out the name calling. But when the shoe fits. By the way, most centrists these days don’t support Trump, either. They don’t need to be convinced that he’s unfit to be president. There is ample evidence which the middle of this country actually pays attention to.

            Report comment

          • shaun f,

            I don’t support Trump! but my greatest concern is that both sides have become so tribal that neither even attempts finding a place of common ground anymore. No one talks of us all being Americans and assuming the goodwill of the other side even if we disagree. Hence, Stephen Gilbert’s Stalin and Hitler reference.The rhetoric is full, self-righteous, tribal war as the leaders on both sides fearmonger in order to keep people from calming down and realize where we are heading if things don’t change.

            Report comment

          • Many now refer to him as a malignant narcissist

            Then it is our job to confront them about this, and explain that they are enabling psychiatric oppression by engaging in psychiatric labeling of ANYONE. Let’s not trip over our emotions.

            Report comment

          • Olhead,
            Would you prefer we call him pathological liar, egomaniac, womanizer, self-centered, demonizing, childish, intellectual infant?

            I’m cool with this, too. It’s not emotional. It’s descriptive of his behaviors.

            Report comment

          • pathological liar, egomaniac, womanizer, self-centered, demonizing, childish, intellectual infant

            Let’s see — that would be two psychiatric labels and two ageist insults. (And one very ironic term, i.e. “self-centered.”)

            This is in place of any systemic analysis, which plays into the system’s hands just like I said.

            Report comment

      • “Let’s apply this to ‘Trump Anxiety Disorder’. Straight away the idea of a genetic or chemical predisposition to anxieties concerning a fascistic, narcissistic, tiny-handed orange moron can be seen for the nonsense it is.” This statement shows your bias completely. It is not a useful or productive statement if you wish to engage in a real discussion. I find your rhetoric inflammatory not thoughtful.

        Report comment

        • Well, the author isn’t wrong. Trump acts like a child. Maybe the author should have not said the “orange” comment to avoid controversy, but otherwise his analysis seems reasonable (unless you own a MAGA hat and go to Trump rallies).

          Report comment

          • Trump is arrogant and loud. Both essential qualities in any presidential nominee nowadays. 🙂 If someone is soft spoken, modest, and wise he or she won’t get elected.

            Neither “arrogant” nor “loud” is sciency enough. These are descriptive words a novelist, philosopher, or clergy member might use. Not good enough for psychiatry.

            Not enough to judge someone’s bad deeds or character now. We have to tag at least a couple polysyllabic “diagnoses” onto him/her to impress people with how “sick” aka hopelessly evil/stupid the individual is and how super scientific we ourselves are.

            Weird how a few think Trump Derangement Syndrome or Anxiety Disorder are “mental illnesses” when most people regard them as jokes. Shrinks haven’t voted these disorders into existence yet, therefore they don’t exist. And probably never will since they aren’t Latin based enough to sound sciency.

            Not that “mental illnesses” are a social construct or anything. *Cough. Cough.* 😀

            Report comment

        • Heidi,

          I’m OK with that. Sometimes inflammatory rhetoric helps to make a point. I have political biases and I’m not shying away from those. Being an outsider watching events from afar (I’m British), my experience and interpretations are different and so I don’t necessarily fit neatly on either side of the US political divide.

          So I do not deny that maybe some will see this as inflammatory. I would merely point out, that this doesn’t preclude thoughtfulness in the same writer – and I would hope that reading the rest of the piece that this was apparent.

          Thanks for reading,

          Report comment

  2. I’ve only seen it described as “Trump Derangement Syndrome”, and it is just as real as any entry in the DSM-5. But not more real….
    If I’m driving down the road, and thinking about killing myself, and I decide to swerve into that oncoming large truck to commit suicide, but then I change my mind, and don’t do that, and then years later I ask this question, have I, or have I NOT, “survived a suicide attempt”?
    Am I, or am I NOT, a “suicide attempt survivor”?
    So, is MiA now publishing satire without disclaimer, or only part doing so?
    Maybe the DSM-5 is social satire, too? I love this stuff! I’m all like

    Report comment

  3. Trump Anxiety Disorder is an affliction developed by experts suffering from Political Commentator Disorder.

    Phony diseases (DSM categories) equate with phony disabilities (i.e. welfare fraud). It seems to me that a whole lot of people need to reconsider their career choice (criminality). That. and/or, they need more career choices than what they have been given.

    Getting professionals in self-indulgence to see beyond the ends of their noses can be a real challenge, can’t it?

    Report comment

    • Hi Frank,

      I’d argue it has more to do with EED (Easy Excusemaking Disorder). TAD and similar afflictions come from the fact that EED causes people to look for simple explanations and not engage with the wider societal issues that are at work in our culture.

      Thanks for reading,

      Report comment

      • There’s a lot of that EED out there, surely, and it is a big part of the problem. EED, PERD (perpetually evading responsibility disorder). and WKBTYWBFYD (we know better than you what’s best for you disorder) are becoming endemic. Not to lose sight of hope, there are also many people seeking to find treatments for these disorders. Here’s to their success, and yours, at successfully eradicating the world of TAD and other debilitating conditions such as those just mentioned.

        Report comment

  4. Hi Chris, you use an interesting choice of words in your satire, with, ‘down a rabbit hole of a thought, intriguing me most. It made me think of the koan question “where are you between two thoughts?’ Which is an existential question related to the limits of rationality and the conscious sense that we know reality because we can name and number it?

    While paradoxically, no human being under the sun can give a first-person description of ‘how’ they walk and talk. Not ‘what’ they do when walking and talking, in that paradox of being that post-modernists call the third-person (outside looking in) dichotomy of the human mind. While the word ‘adapt’ really peaked my interest in your paragraph description of a personal epiphany about a social model worldview. You write:

    “In a lightning bolt moment, it really struck me that the social model view of disability is something that the mental health community needs to look at in more detail and possibly adapt. And when I say adapt, I’m reminded of the satirist Tom Lehrer in one of his monologues using it as a synonym for ‘steal’… I’ve said before that emotional complexity is not pathology — a purely medical view of mental ill health is outdated and cannot be simply explained away by genetics and faulty brain chemistry; a broader view is required to look at what is happening in a person’s life.”

    And here’s the thing, from the perspective of a profound paradox in human motivation and perception, that the ancients phrased through the aphorism (a short pithy comment full of meaning), they seeing see not and in no wise perceive. While in the context of a broader worldview required to look at what is happening in a person’s life.

    Should we start with acknowledging the spell-binding affect (not a typo) of human languages and our unwitting postured pretense that language is our human nature? And that even the well-educated priesthood of academia suffer from the same early-life adaptation to numeracy and literacy skills and imagine themselves fully conscious in their artful word formulations, of what they do to make a living.

    In my experience and humble opinion, we are all creatures of habit and largely in denial about our human nature as we give voice to words that enable our social inclusion and self-differentiation, never pausing to ask; what am I, between two thoughts?

    I am my body, how about you Chris?

    Report comment

  5. “For the one person reading this who needs to be told that the above is satire — I am sorry…”

    Apology not accepted, Mr. Coombs. It appears that *I* am that “one person”. Until I came to the line I quoted above, no, I had no idea that you were writing “satire”. Even now, going back and re-reading your piece, I still can’t quite see it as “satire”. Is your WHOLE piece here “satire”? Or only the section(s) above the disclaimer?
    I can appreciate your trying to make jokes, or satire, or whatever you want to call it, but I still don’t really understand what your point is. Are you in fact making a serious point about the so-called “social model” v. the “medical model? So why go on so much about Trump? Do you consider Trump to be a “Fascist”, or merely “fascistic”? There’s a world of difference.
    You see, Mr. Coombs, I really don’t think it’s “about Trump” at all. It’s about YOU, and ME, and US and WE, and what will be OUR response(s) and reaction(s) to Trump? Will we act as courageous rational adults, or scared and silly children? What most appalls me is the very real “Trump Derangement Syndrome”/”Trump Anxiety Disorder” that YOU PEOPLE are so vividly displaying here.
    I actually voted for Trump, for 2 main reasons.
    1. The media was so blatantly PRO-Hilary, and anti-Trump, that it was my way of saying “screw you” to the media.
    2. I STILL think Trump is better than “Huck Filary”
    There’s something you really don’t understand, Mr. Coombs. Changing puppets in the puppet show doesn’t change the puppet-masters. BOTH Trump and Clinton are puppets to the “GREG B.’s”, the Global Ruling Elites and Global Banksters, as I call them. See, Mr. Coombs, I do have respect for you, but at the same time, I get a perverse pleasure out of watching you libbies get your panties in a bunch over Trump.
    Because you see, I was once captured in combat, taken captive, held hostage in a secret prison, and tortured with drugs for 6 months. That really, actually, literally happened to me. It was decades ago, now.
    I got over it. I’m very comfortable and happy with my PTSD. And I think that MiA made a very serious editorial error by printing your anti-Trump diatribe disguised as “satire”. I can understand that humor is the tool you’re using to self-counsel you own case of TAD. Maybe the DSM-6 will include it. But that’s satire….
    (c)2018, Tom Clancy, Jr., *NON-fiction
    ps: Please clarify, – you ARE writing from England, aren’t you? I heard Europe is going to nuke Britain for Brexit. But that’s satire, too….

    Report comment

    • You weren’t the only one who couldn’t tell it was satire, Bradford. I couldn’t tell whether or not Coombs realizes Trump Derangement Syndrome is meant as a joke either. And I still can’t. No one I have heard use the term thinks that it’s in the DSM.

      But it would be pretty funny if they did and got some shrinks to interview from opposing political sides. Watch the XXXX hit the fan and all the quacks dodge for cover as their beloved thesaurus of fancy-pants insults goes everywhere.

      If Coombs wants to succeed as a humorist maybe he should read Mark Twain, Mencken, Thurber, and watch more Seinfeld stand up routines. There’s a dearth of humor today. We need more funny people.

      Report comment

  6. Chris

    I appreciate your analysis and the humor you are using to make those points.

    HOWVER, I would completely avoid ever using the phrase “fake news” in the title. Of course not all the news is true and it definitely is slanted in the direction of defending the status quo and vilifying those who who promote significant rebellion against the system.

    But the term “fake news” has become the code words for a rising fascist narrative in this country supporting so-called “alternative facts’ and an “alternative reality.”

    When criticizing the media (which does need to happen) we should use terms like “wrong” “biased” “slanted” “distorted” etc., but NEVER use the fascist code words, “fake news.”

    Respectfully, Richard

    Report comment

        • This is one of the most concerning things for me about Trump. How his base, many of whom were probably very anti-communist when the communists were around can ignore this is very interesting to me. Also, the Republican party was the most hawkish about the Russians and now they don’t even blink an eye when Trump proclaims his great admiration for Putin. Only a very few Republican congressmen spoke out about the debacle in Helsinki this summer. I don’t understand the people who make up Trump’s base at all.

          Report comment

          • Stephen,
            It’s a real head scratcher. The Reagan supporters in the 1980s would be very confused by what is happening today. Seems to me that until Trump came along, Russia was not viewed positively by the American public. Certainly, one would think that Russia’s meddling in our election would concern most American people. The fact that Putin murder’s his political opponents and journalists should be reason enough to be weary of Russia. I would say that Trump’s base is highly emotional and rarely has much logic for their support of the man. I mean, how did anyone think a billionaire who has always cared about himself first would somehow change his ways and prioritize the middle class and poor? Not gonna happen. His base will not be economically better off in the next decade, and somehow they’ll blame the democrats. Certainly Trump has made that case anytime anything hasn’t gone his way. “It was the Democrats fault!!!!!”

            Report comment

          • Communists are still around, Stephen. Plus there’s lots of bs propaganda about Putin, who is no different than any other “elected” dictator, Clintons, Bush & Trump included. If you examine Clinton’s actions in Libya, etc. you will see that she is far more murderous than Trump has been, at least so far. The point is however that to get people bickering back & forth over which figurehead is worse side tracks us from recognizing that imperialism and colonialism are supported by both parties, and that the system itself is what needs to be “voted out.” As the old saying goes, “Don’t vote, it only encourages them.”

            Democrat/Republican is the political version of “good cop — bad cop.”

            Report comment

    • Serious question, Richard:
      What exactly do you mean by saying “fake news” is “fascist code words”?
      How is that different from “Fascist code words”?
      My understanding is that Hitler and Mussolini are really the only 2 “Fascists”,
      but that there are many “fascists”.
      Personally, I think that psychiatry is the personification of “medical fascism”, but I wouldn’t call a psychiatrist a “Fascist”. I might ask a psychiatrist how it feels to be a “fascist”, but I wouldn’t call them a “Fascist”, and I’d probably get in trouble if I did.
      Please note that I have been very careful here with upper- and lower-case “F’s” & “f’s”….
      I think you’re skating on paper-thin ice by over-using and abusing the OTHER “F-bomb”….

      Report comment

    • Hi Richard,

      Thank you for your comment. I used the term ironically and I agonised about whether to use inverted commas around the phrase, in the end I can see your point, and while I’d agree that these things must be taken extremely seriously, there is room for humour too.

      I should also note, that as a Brit, my perspective is going to be different from the majority of commenters on this thread. Maybe that gives me some detachment from the reality, but also a different outsider’s perspective?

      Thanks for reading,

      Report comment

      • Gee, what happened to the “social model of disability”??? I appreciate your willingness to engage with the rabble here in the comment section, Mr. Coombs. And I regret what’s happened in the comment section. I’m seeing a whole lot of mutual mental masturbation here. It sure feels good, but produces nothing but a sticky mess, regardless of gender. Look at ALL the comments here. EVERY one is all about TRUMP, and OUR REACTIONS expressed in words. Political bickering. ARGUING over the PRECISE definition of provocative CODE WORDS. How many comments even MENTION the “social model of disability”? NONE! (Except *mine*, of course!) And all *I* do is mention it. My point, Mr. Coombs, is that you have fallen for the “con”. You don’t understand that there is no real difference between the Republican and Democrat political parties, in terms of what they actually *DO*. Sure, they have 2 very different sets of rhetoric, designed to appeal to a wide range of people, but that’s deliberately deceptive. The Dems appeal to the feminine, liberal left. The Repubs appeal to the masculine conservative right. (Yes, that’s both an over-simplification and over-generalization.) So by defining and limiting “both ends” of the “political spectrum”, the whole of the population is better controlled. And, by encouraging debate ONLY within these 2 artificially limited and controlled parameters, the *perception* of a full and open debate on the issues is both created, and controlled. This dynamic largely shapes and defines the larger culture, the SOCIETY from which that “social” emerges. So we have all ignored any serious discussion of your precious “social model of disability”. See what I mean? What’s more important to you, Mr. Coombs? Pointless political arguing about Trump? Or actually helping disabled people? I think you have done NOTHING in this article to either present and educate the ideas behind the “social model of disability”, *OR* to help disabled persons. As we learn in Alcoholics Anonymous and addiction recovery services, a key feature of the addict and alcoholic is DENIAL. Denial is an inability to clearly see the damage and harm our drug and alcohol use is causing us. Addicts and alcoholics BOTH resist and deny the idea that they are truly “sick”, or have a problem with their substance use and consumption. To my diagnostic eye, you yourself have a very serious, perhaps terminal case of “Trump Anxiety Disorder”. You’re far from alone. Thanks to a Global-scale FAKE NEWS media, we’ve ALL been infected. I’m sorry you chose to write about Trump at all, and I’m sorry MiA chose to publish your article. Maybe next time you can write an article about the Social Model of Disability. (Personally, I think the U.S. should invade Britain, topple the Monarchy, and convert the subjects of the Crown into citizens of a true democracy. But that’s satire, Mr Coombs.)

        Report comment

    • But the term “fake news” has become the code words for a rising fascist narrative in this country supporting so-called “alternative facts’ and an “alternative reality.”

      All news, at least corporate news, has been “fake” since before we were born. Are we to concede all language to the right? If it’s fake we shouldn’t hesitate to call it fake.

      Report comment

  7. People are discussing their anxieties about the Donald Trump presidency with their counsellors and therapists and the media has latched on to the fact that one of them had, tongue-in-cheek, described the phenomenon as Trump Anxiety Disorder.

    You think this is wrong because calling peoples’ anxieties about the Donald Trump presidency a disorder, even if doing so jokingly, strips their anxieties of social context.

    I fail to see how jokingly referring to people seeking out therapists and who discuss their anxieties about Donald Trump as having a disorder strips them of their social context.

    Firstly, the social context is that people are seeking out therapy for their sociopolitical anxieties. In other words, to some extent, they are pathologising themselves. There is something wrong with me, there is something wrong with my anxieties about the Donald Trump presidency, therefore I must strip myself of social context by individualising my anxieties and seeking a one-to-one individualised context.

    Secondly, and by consequence of the first, if said people are desocialising their anxieties, through seeking individualised therapies for their sociopolitical anxieties, is it sensible to consider them and their motivations to be ordered (ie. not disordered)? I mean, if a person has a tendency towards individualising sociopolitical anxieties, and seeking therapy for them, rather than engaging in social action, might they fall under the umbrella of narcissistic?

    And — I mean neither to condemn nor support the Trump presidency, as I experience it as pure entertainment — but you condemn him as narcissistic — a veritable disorder — and yet seem to fail to see the narcissism of seeking out individualistic solutions to sociopolitical anxieties.

    Report comment

    • Nobody in the mental health world is seriously treating TAD as a real thing (It’s not in the DSM yet!). People get anxious about a number of things which are scary, and no surprise that marginalized people in particular are worried how Trump will make their lives more difficult given his rhetoric and unpredictable behavior. Trump is scary and dangerous, so we have all the reasons to feel concerned for our future. People willingly seek out counseling to talk about any number of reasonable anxieties they face in life. Trump is just one of many reasons to worry about the state of the world.

      Report comment

      • “People get anxious about a number of things which are scary.” As well as things which most people would not consider scary at all. “Trump is scary and dangerous” to some people. “People willingly seek out counseling to talk about any number of reasonable anxieties they face in life.” I wish I wasn’t so troubled by other peoples’ language use as much as I am at times, but why the “willingly”? And people also seek out counselling to talk about any number of unreasonable anxieties too.

        In fact, why would anyone seek out counselling for reasonable anxieties about things that most people find scary? Why give someone money except to help you with unreasonable anxieties about things most people don’t find scary?

        Any ideas, Shaun?

        Report comment

        • Let’s be clear, I doubt many folks are coming to therapy primarily because of their anxieties about Trump. I have yet to see it. In the first six months of his presidency, many of my clients expressed concern and worry that Trump will harm them in some way. But they had other anxieties which were more pressing, like basic survival of paying their rent or being homeless.

          Report comment

  8. Sorry but fake news is fake news, it’s what we’ve been reading all our lives and I’m not changing anything because a different figurehead is in power. In fact I won’t feed into the whole “fear Trump” scenario. The Democratic Party is the biggest enemy of democracy, as it pretends to stand for justice and equality while in practice being firmly behind the death-dealing corporate state. It’s function is to draw in idealistic people and either co-opt them or turn them off to politics completely. If they’re really talking about a Trump Anxiety Disorder and not a fascism/capitalism anxiety disorder this should say a lot to people who aren’t drinking the Kool-Aid.

    Report comment

    • Well, Trump lies like his job depends on it. He doesn’t like it when anything critical is said about him. That is why he falsely proclaims this information is “fake’. This is dangerous behavior.

      “The Democratic Party is the biggest enemy of democracy…”

      Next you’ll tell me that Trump is the second coming of Jesus! Frankly, there are many enemies of democracy, none of which you listed. It really has little to do with party affiliation. The real enemies are super pacs, big business, Russia, and people like Trump who reduce peoples’ faith in our government and system in general. When people stop believing in our government, they will stop voting and participating, which will allow very powerful, wealthy interests to further take hold of our system.

      Sure seems like the Trump administration is following a certain Putin-esk playbook:

      Just remember what Trump said about the election if it doesn’t go the Republican’s way. What a lovely guy.

      Report comment

      • I really don’t have the patience for this. The only significant difference between Trump and the Democrats (or Republicans) is that so far Trump has killed far fewer people. As long as Democrats think “the Russians” are the reason people hate them they will continue to fail, for good reason, as they remain in denial. And anyone who wastes their energy favoring one “side” over the other is drinking the Kool Aid big time. (Incidentally Putin is a better statesman than any of them; check his NYT editorial on “American exceptionalism.”)

        I thought MIA was going to eliminate these Trump bashing posts. We are watching a slow coup, and anyone who cheers it on because the masterminds employ egalitarian rhetoric is a fool. If they can do it to one “side” they can do it to anyone.

        Report comment

        • How many journalists and political opponents has Putin have murdered?

          Sure Putin is smarter and more strategic than Trump, but that doesn’t make him a moral leader. He’s sure good at getting positive attention for Russia through the Olympics and World Cup in order to try and legitimize his corrupt ways.

          For the record you have bashed Democrats, calling them the greatest threat to democracy. So pot, kettle.

          Report comment

          • And let’s also be very clear about the fact that Trump is certainly no moral leader either. Any man who grabs women by their privates and who lies at the drop of a hat about everything (I think that they’ve certified almost four thousand lies so far is less than two years in office), who claims that there are good people among the KKK, White Nationalists, and racists is not a moral leader.

            I hear people stating how terrible it is that the two sides in all of this can no longer sit down and hash things out in a compromise. This didn’t start with Trump’s move into the White House. It began the day of President Obama’s first inauguration when prominent Republican congressmen met for lunch to plot out how they could obstruct each and every last thing that President Obama proposed during his presidency. It started with the rise of the Tea Party, not in opposition to federal government taking over from the states but in opposition to an African American president. The unwillingness to be civil to one another has gone on for almost ten years now when Congress has been able to accomplish nothing except gridlock in everything. And in this I would agree that neither party is the true friend of the average person just trying to make a living and provide for her or his family. All Trump has done is inherit this situation, which he capitalizes on each and every day. He’s not stupid when it comes to knowing how to manipulate the fears and feelings of people in his base.

            Democracy is strong but ours may be much more fragile than we think it to be. How many times can the rule of law be assaulted, and Democrats and journalists be labeled as the “enemy of the people” before it begins to crack and splinter. How many elections are we going to allow the Russians to attempt to influence before we say enough is enough. Instead of pulling the different factions in our country together Trump has performed only to his base. Pulling the country together is one of the things that presidents do; offering the hand to those who didn’t vote for you so that all may move forward together.

            Report comment

          • Again Stephen, this is how the system works to distract us from the real issues by focusing on personalities. It doesn’t make any difference that Democrats often seem to support all sorts of noble causes (and allegedly noble causes). As you can see from practice they are LYING and always will; this is how they draw in idealistic people, as I mentioned before, to be either corrupted or disillusioned from political activity altogether. Their agenda is unfettered capitalism, just like the Repugs. I urge you to look past the p.r. imagery — that Democrats are less racist, or support women — to examine what structural changes Democrats intend to effect. The answer is zero. People need to move beyond this endless pendulum of deception.

            PS This is not a democracy, nor does it pretend to be; it is a republic.

            Report comment

          • I agree Oldhead that both parties maintain the status quo in most ways. Neither one is particularly radical. They do stand for different values, such as gay marriage vs. marriage for heterosexuals only, environmental protections vs. most things go to make a buck, abortion vs. banning abortion, etc. We do elect our officials, so on some level we are still a democracy. We aren’t Russia after all, where there is only president (I mean, dictator, who will have his opponents murdered) indefinitely. The fact is that in America regular people can and do run for and win political office. Obama wasn’t particularly economically privileged, but he is smart, intelligent, goal oriented, and has clear leadership abilities. In the US his presidency was possible, but in most other places around the globe he would never had a chance to get to that level of politics. I miss him everyday. He is a good man, much like McCain, and now we have a man child running the free world. God help us all. Obama was truly inspirational. Trump only inspires me to throw up into my toilet.

            Report comment

          • McCain was shot down while bombing a light bulb factory, a civilian target.

            “No infrastructure target should be an exception – factories, water supply networks, schools, hospitals, shops, anything.” — John McCain on Serbia

            Bombing civilians and hospitals is a war crime.

            Report comment

          • How many times can the rule of law be assaulted, and Democrats and journalists be labeled as the “enemy of the people” before it begins to crack and splinter. How many elections are we going to allow the Russians to attempt to influence before we say enough is enough.

            We really need to talk Stephen, maybe on another forum, because I know you’re a reasonable and compassionate person. I’m tired and stressed about other matters at the moment but still need to say, respectfully, that you’re falling for some con jobs here:

            a) The Democratic Party IS an enemy of the people. So is the Republican party. The only differences are in style.

            b) “The Russians” had ZERO affect on the election. But they should be praised for helping expose the corruption within the Democratic Party and the screwing over of Bernie Sanders by the Clinton faction. If you’re worried about democratic elections being compromised you can start with the U.S. orchestrated overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iran in the 50’s — resulting in the Shah — and the overthrow of the democratically elected Allende government in Chile in the 70’s. This Russian stuff is pure bs, and even if it weren’t would pale next to this. Plus, I grew up during the cold war — now its resurrection is being championed by the Democrats? I thought they were the peace party!

            Report comment

          • ““The Russians” had ZERO affect on the election.”

            Did you complete an investigation into the matter? How many Russians have been indicted by Mueller? 12. They did hack the DNC at the very least, which was an attempt to discredit her.

            I was a Bernie supporter and see no evidence that the DNC “screwed him over”. They clearly favored Hillary, but that is how politics goes. Bernie was a long shot to get the nomination because of his leftist views.

            We need to look no further than the Kavenaugh hearings to see which party is still much worse. The Republicans didn’t give the Democrats time to read over the thousands of pages on K before the hearings began. It’s a sham. The Republicans in Congress just want their guy in no matter how corrupt the process is. Sad.

            Report comment

          • To continue with my “Democrat-bashing” (which is very enjoyable):

            Did you complete an investigation into the matter? How many Russians have been indicted by Mueller? 12. They did hack the DNC at the very least, which was an attempt to discredit her.

            Clinton doesn’t need any help discrediting herself, her words and actions do that just fine.

            You want to use Mueller to prove something, who is using the most blatantly heavy-handed tactics possible to get people to say what they want? The Mueller affair is a clear example of the silent coup currently underway, which should frighten people immensely, far more than any of the so-called issues involved, i.e. simply the fact that they’re so close to pulling it off. Trump may be a bastard in your view, but he’s not one of “their” bastards, which is why he has to go.

            Again I’m not going to do your research, but whoever hacked those DNC emails and put them on Wikileaks should get a Nobel. And if you read them you will see very clearly how Sanders was subverted by the right wing of the Democratic Party. And they never claimed those emails were fake. (Actually they weren’t professionally “hacked” either, the DNC simply didn’t use some rather basic protection against phishing attempts. The RNC did, which is why such attempts failed with them.)

            Report comment

          • Obama wasn’t responsible for Serbia, that would be Clinton, another war criminal. You really need to brush up on recent history.

            There are no “heroes” in a criminal war, any more than there are in a home invasion.

            Report comment

          • I think this article make some important points on this subject:

            The truth is that the military industrial complex is driving American politicians to go to war. Money is made when we are at war after all! The Halliburtons and Lockeed Martins of the world make bank while everyday people suffer and die in these conflicts. Our system has been corrupted, and probably always will be corrupted, by monied interests. This is why all forms of big business thrive and have amazing balance sheets while the average worker is not much better off, or worse than, they were 30 years ago. The fact that our laws now consider corporations to be “persons” is just one example of how far we’ve devolved. I agree that both dems and repubs are to blame for this mess. We can’t expect the decision makers to hold themselves accountable. It’s human nature to be self-interested. I do see dems as the lesser of two evils, but frankly both sides are corrupt. We need to have publicly financed elections so politicians can no longer be bought off by corporate interests. We also need to get rid of super pacs.

            Regarding Vietnam, we had no business being there, just as we have no business in Afghanistan. And for the record Trump has pushed for continued military activity around the world and increasing the military budget, so if you think he’s not pro-war, you are kidding yourself.

            Report comment