Speed Reads

a reason to be nervous

Psychologists report cases of Trump anxiety in patients

Donald Trump has struck fear in the hearts of many Americans — and psychologists are starting to notice. Washington, D.C.-based psychologist Alison Howard reported to The Washington Post that she has spoken with two different patients this week alone about the GOP leader. "He has stirred people up. 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," Howard said.

Data supports psychologists' findings, too — a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll showed that 69 percent of Americans were nervous about the idea of "President Trump."

"It's like a hurricane is coming at us, and I don't have any way of knowing which way to go or how to combat it… I feel totally powerless and it's horrible," Emma Taylor, 27, said. Some Republicans also agree: "If he were to become president, I fear that our world would come tumbling down," Republican Whitney Royston, 30, said.

Art teacher Nancy Lauro, 52, said she has already investigated moving to Italy or Ireland. "This is not a pathological response to a normal situation, but a normal response to a pathological situation. Picking up one's life feels impossible, but I keep flashing on those people who fled Germany when the writing was on the wall and those who didn't. When do you take action to get out?" she said.

Like Howard, Psychologist Judith Schweiger Levy said she has noticed a rise in Trump anxiety among her patients. "Part of the reason he makes people so anxious is that he has no anxiety himself. It's frightening. I'm starting to feel anxious just talking about him," she said.