We’re Getting Frontal Lobotomies: Trump and trauma through false proximity

We have half the nation suffering with TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) it appears. It many ways it does not look significantly different that PTSD. People have similar responses of fear in face of otherwise mundane events, inability to navigate basic social situations, depression, mood swings, and uncontrollable angry outbursts.

This was not difficult to predict. People are being traumatized by the news, the agressive leadership style of the president, and an apocalyptic fear of our future. Even when people do not directly experience the traumatic events, they are being traumatized by the false sense of proximity to the offending experiences. The news and the man in the White House are loud enough to make everything appear closer than it really is to our personal lives.

In Burning Religion, I describe this effect. People who have been hearing over and over about the evils and hypocrisy of religion appear to be affected by information as though they were present during religion’s darkest moments. This is true of politics as well.

In our media drenched society, the intimately betrayed may include those who read and hear the horrific stories day in and day out. Our senses are jolted with the grotesque over-telling of the darkest abuses. We become excessively traumatized, and are placed into the position of the intimately betrayed, not by actual experience, but by sleight of hand manipulation of a false proximity created by a world of media frenzy.

Wyman, Phil. Burning Religion: navigating the impossible space between religion and secular society (Kindle Locations 1121-1124). . Kindle Edition.

David Brody writes about TDS and highlights a similar proess occuring in Trump supporters that I saw in post-Evangelical Christians struggling with the loss of their religious affiliation.

“While Lustig is adamantly anti-Trump, he can still step back and acknowledge that the president has afflicted people with the unofficial “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” He says there’s a science behind it.
“It’s all about two chemicals: dopamine and cortisol,” says Lustig. Dopamine is the reward or pleasure neurotransmitter. Cortisol is the chemical that is released in response to fear. It all goes to the prefrontal cortex, a filter that comprises the thinking part of the brain. When stress becomes persistent, your mental state changes.
“You lose your filter, you lose your prefrontal cortex,” Lustig explains.


Add the oh so real experiences like plagues and protests, and the lid is about to blow off the pressure cooker. It’s like everyone is losing their filter…like everyone is getting a frontal lobotomy.

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