According to a number of psychologists in the Washington, D.C. metro area, more and more of their clients are coming to them with symptoms from anxiety brought on by the ever-increasingly real prospect of the GOP choosing Donald Trump as its presidential candidate.
“He has stirred people up,” psychologist Alison Howard Psy.D told The Washington Post. “We’ve been told our whole lives not to say bad things about people, to not be bullies, to not ostracize people based on their skin color. We have these social mores and he breaks all of them and he’s successful. And people are wondering how he gets away with it.”
It's easy to understand why people who might consider themselves republicans, but not the type to support racist demagogues, might find themselves dealing with something of an existential crisis right now. Despite his implicit condoning of the Ku Klux Klan, co-signing of violence aginst black protestors, and holding poor Chris Christie hostage, Trump is still the frontrunner to snatch up the most delegates for the Republicans.
While the prospect of a Trump presidency has prompted many to (jokingly?) consider moving to Canada, others are turning to their shrinks to voice their stress, some of which can be linked to Trump.
“[My patient] was so upset and worried that she could have a sister — someone so close to her — who would have zero problem with Trump,” New York-based psychologist Judith Schweiger Levy told the Post of a client who was shocked to learn that his sister was a Trump supporter. “Another patient—also a woman—all she could talk about was Trump and how he’s crazy and frightening.”
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Psychologist Paul Saks also told The Post that Trump's recent refusal to explicitly condemn former KKK leader David Duke has caused one of his patients, whose grandparents were Holocaust survivors, intense distress.
“This is really resonating with him, and troubling him,” Saks said. “Just that Trump has survived and that there’s such a cataclysmic shift in the Republican Party—an institution that’s part of our way of life even if you’re not a Republican— is going to disturb a lot of people.”