Category Archives: Trump anxiety disorder

Psychoanalysis is that mental illness for which it regards itself as therapy

An American psychologist by the name of John Gartner argues that Donald Trump should be removed from office on psychiatric grounds:

We live in a pre-fascist society…The German psychiatric association said nothing during the rise of Hitler…We are facing a crisis that threatens to engulf the world in flames…Trump meets standards for commitment and should be required to undergo psychiatric evaluation, whether he wants to or not…The man is threatening to murder an entire country…We cannot call the authorities because the homicidal patient is the authorities.

Dalrymple notes that Gartner

displays no knowledge of or imaginative insight into what it is like to live in a totalitarian dictatorship—his Jewishness notwithstanding—despite countless memoirs, academic books, and films attesting to and describing life under authoritarian rule. Such ignorance or lack of imagination is culpable. For an American to compare contemporary life in the USA, no doubt unsatisfactory as it is in many respects, with life in a fascist dictatorship is self-dramatising, self-pitying, and an insult to those millions who suffered or died under totalitarian dictatorships.

It is legitimate to oppose the government and to despise the person of the president;

it is another thing to claim jurisdiction over whether he should be entitled to be president and whether he ought to be removed by committal to a mental institution. In the Soviet Union, psychiatrists occupied the kind of commissarship that Gartner is appealing for.


shows an implicit contempt for US institutions and history if he thinks that the election of one allegedly unstable man can turn his country into a fascist dictatorship almost overnight.

He is

what Kraus said of psychoanalysis, a cause of the disease it pretends to cure. He believes that people who show instability, anger, paranoia, feelings of persecution, and cognitive confusion would and should be involuntarily committed for psychiatric evaluation.

Dalrymple suggests that Gartner read Chekhov’s 1892 short story Ward No. 6, in which Dr Ragin is committed to his own asylum.

Trump anxiety disorder

In the trenches: Jennifer Contarino Panning, Psy.D.

Safe place to discuss troubled feelings

Leafing through The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump (2017), Dalrymple comes across a chapter titled ‘Trump anxiety disorder: the Trump effect on the mental health of half the nation and special populations’, by Jennifer Contarino Panning, Psy.D. Panning explains that her experience derives from psychotherapy ‘clients’ in Evanston, Illinois,

a suburban, liberal, higher-socioeconomic status, and educated suburb . . . a college town, home to Northwestern University, with much of its sixty-five thousand residents comprising professionals who work at Northwestern . . . Most notably, the clients who came in the day after the election were still in disbelief. As their therapist, I concentrated on validating, normalizing and maintaining a safe place for them to discuss their troubled feelings. We also discussed basic self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, connecting with friends and family, and limiting consumption of election news stories.

Importance of bowel regulation

The liberal élite exposed: the book inadvertently helps to explain the rise of Trumpism

Dalrymple notes that if his grandmother were still alive,

she would have stressed the importance of keeping the bowels regular too, preferably by a weekly dose of castor oil.

In the trenches

Panning says that her work

helped me not to feel as helpless; being ‘in the trenches’ with clients was a way to feel productive.

Dalrymple comments:

In the trenches! And these people dare to accuse Mr Trump of not being able to distinguish paranoid fantasy from reality!

In another article in the book,

a therapist draws a comparison between a woman abused by a jealous and violent partner and the population of the United States and Mr Trump. She means her analogy to be taken seriously and almost literally, not merely metaphorically. She seems not to realise how demeaning and insulting this is both to the population (particularly those actually abused by their partners) and the country’s traditions and history.

Rise of Trumpism

The book, says Dalrymple,

inadvertently helps to explain the rise of Trumpism. With a liberal élite like this, is it any wonder that a man should come forward who thinks that an offence given it is a blow struck for liberty and good sense? This book gives the liberal élite away.