Feeling stressed out and anxious about what's happening in Washington, D.C.?
You're not alone. Since last November’s election, psychologists have seen an uptick in patients suffering from political anxiety, aka, Trump Traumatic Stress Disorder, or TTSD.
“The American Psychological Society did a study in January, and two-thirds of Americans were anxious about the future of the country because of the current political landscape,” said Portland psychologist, Dr. Aziz Gazipura. “My colleagues and I, we just call it TTSD, Trump Traumatic Stress Disorder, because that's the source ... people are anxious about the future, there's uncertainty.”
Gazipura, who's written two books on social anxiety and building confidence and is working on a third, has developed a process to help his patients cope.
“I've actually come up with a process that I guide people through, and if they practice those steps, then the anxiety goes down, dramatically, and their confidence and their sense of trust and belief in themselves and the future goes up,” he said.
Gazipura said 18 percent of Americans -- nearly 40 million people -- have been diagnosed with some sort of social anxiety disorder. He said Trump Traumatic Stress Disorder while not an officially named disorder, is an adjustment disorder.
Tips to Reduce Stress/Anxiety About the Trump Presidency
1. Choose Your Focus
What we focus on determines how we feel. Many of these will not even occur. Stay focused on what is in your control, not on what Trump is or is not doing.
2. Get Specific
Slow down and identify what you are afraid of about Trump. Facing each fear one by one in your mind helps you calm down.
3. Take Action
Anxiety creates a Fight-Flight-or-Freeze response in our bodies. Action alleviates anxiety. Concentrate on raising your children, growing a business, or contributing time or money to causes you value, etc.
4. Use Media Strategically
Avoid aimless scrolling through social media or random news articles many times per day. Tune out when needed.
5. Believe In Yourself
Remind yourself that you can handle whatever happens.
6. Find Humor
Watch or read satire and comedy shows as much as possible, joke with friends and loved ones to lighten your mood.
7. Trust in Something Greater
Strengthen your trust and faith in something bigger than yourself, be it humanity, the unfolding of life, or God.