Mainstream media outlets are promoting a story that claims therapists are treating more patients for anxiety because of the words and actions of President Donald Trump.
Who gets it?
The alleged disorder supposedly affects both Trump supporters and non-supporters, and is related to some of his policies and tweets, according to reports.
In a piece that sounds more like satire, Canada’s CBC News cites several therapists who say their patients are afraid Trump may "blow us all up."
“There is a fear of the world ending,” Washington, D.C., therapist Elisabeth LaMotte told the news outlet. “It's very disorienting and constantly unsettling.”
The supposed stress and collective anxiety is referred to as “Trump Anxiety Disorder,” but there is no official diagnosis.
Still, LaMotte says signs of the “disorder” have been increasing since the 2016 election.
She claims the symptoms mimic those seen in patients who were raised by a parent with a personality disorder. Those patients typically show behaviors such as “grandiosity, excessive attention-seeking and severe lack of empathy.”
How could a president be responsible for that?
“Whether it's conscious or not, I think we look to the president of the United States as a psychological parent,” LaMotte said.
She's not alone.
According to published reports, clinical psychologist Jennifer Panning of Illinois wrote a 2017 essay on Trump Anxiety Disorder. The disorder causes patients to feel “a loss of control and helplessness, and fretting about what's happening in the country," the report stated.
Those supposedly afflicted by the disorder are also spending too much time on social media.
The story goes on to rehash Twitter word battles in January between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, even though the two have met and appear to be on more amicable terms.
Similar fears were rekindled last week, when Trump tweeted to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, in all caps: "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!"
Another patient reported that she constantly checks social media over anxiety about what Trump is saying.
Jaime Gale, a Trump supporter in Ohio, said her symptoms are similar to the "fear of the unknown and unfamiliar" she felt after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
"It scared the crap out of me. Now I’m scared of getting pounced on by somebody who doesn’t like me because of Trump," she said.
John Hawkins, a therapist in Mississippi, was among other therapists who joined in the conversation. Hawkins said his LGBTQ patients are stressing over the possibility that the Trump administration could void their marriages.