Donald Trump promised to put Americans back to work again.
He’s already got one profession working overtime.
A psychoanalyst who lives in Westport, and practices here and in another city, emailed “06880.” Speaking anonymously — I’ll call him or her “T,” because of confidentiality — the therapist said that even before the election, patients were expressing anxiety.
One woman had a panic attack on election night. At 1 a.m., she texted T.
“It reached a fever pitch right afterward,” T says. “Then it abated. It kicked up again after the Muslim ban.”
The therapist said that patients with trauma issues in their past find it hard to regulate emotions. In times of uncertainty — when the world seems unpredictable — agitation increases.
People across the political spectrum feel anxious, says T. The nation’s polarization causes concern for everyone. Trump supporters can feel angry and threatened, especially in this part of the country.
Patients are not always conscious that they’re reacting to the political climate. Some say they find themselves more tense at work, or angry with their partners. “They just think there’s something in the air,” T says.
These are tough times for therapists as well. “We have our own strong emotions,” T observes. “We have to distinguish between our histories, and our patients’. We’re constantly checking in on ourselves.”
Sounds like therapists need therapists. So there is indeed plenty of work for all!