Posted on 9/23/2016, 3:19:54 PM by Lorianne
With the presidential race staggering into its final stretch, the once inconceivable prospect of a Trump victory is becoming, if not likely, then definitely possible.
(As of this writing, FiveThirtyEight gives Trump a 42.4 percent chance of prevailing, though that might change by the time you read this.) As that reality sets in, a hallucinatory sense of slow-motion doom is descending on many liberals. (Though not only on liberals.)
Victims of Trump-induced anxiety describe nightmares, insomnia, digestive problems, and headaches. Therapists find themselves helping their patients through a process that feels less like an election than a national nervous breakdown.
There is, of course, no way to quantify the scope of mental anguish caused by Trump’s campaign; these stories are entirely anecdotal. There are, however, a lot of anecdotes, as I discovered when I started speaking to both therapists and panicking voters. I’ve covered four elections as a journalist, but this is the first one to regularly poison my dreams; at least once a week I wake up in the middle of the night in clammy, agitated horror.
I was curious if other people were suffering in similar ways, so I reached out to a therapist I know. She queried two email lists of mostly New York–based colleagues, asking them to contact me if they’d seen Trump-related distress in their practices. Responses quickly started pouring in; soon I had almost a dozen.
Some of the therapists told me they are talking their patients through their Trump terror while trying not to succumb to it themselves. “The therapists that I know are pretty overwhelmed by managing their personal feelings, which we have to do and we’re doing, but it’s a lot,” says psychologist Heather Silvestri.
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com …