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(34,844 posts)
Mon Dec 12, 2016, 10:31 AM Dec 2016

Trump presidency as a mass hysteria/mass psychogenic illness?

In sociology and psychology, mass hysteria (also known as collective hysteria, group hysteria, or collective obsessional behavior) is a phenomenon that transmits collective illusions of threats, whether real or imaginary, through a population in society as a result of rumors and fear (memory acknowledgment).

A common type of mass hysteria occurs when a group of people believe they are suffering from a similar disease or ailment, sometimes referred to as mass psychogenic illness or epidemic hysteria.


Mass psychogenic illness (MPI), also called mass sociogenic illness or just sociogenic illness, is "the rapid spread of illness signs and symptoms affecting members of a cohesive group, originating from a nervous system disturbance involving excitation, loss, or alteration of function, whereby physical complaints that are exhibited unconsciously have no corresponding organic aetiology". MPI is distinct from other collective delusions, also included under the blanket terms of mass hysteria, in that MPI causes symptoms of disease, though there is no organic cause.

There is a clear preponderance of female victims. The DSM-IV-TR does not have specific diagnosis for this condition but the text describing conversion disorder states that "In 'epidemic hysteria', shared symptoms develop in a circumscribed group of people following 'exposure' to a common precipitant."


It makes a lot of sense when you look at the commonalities and the symptoms.

Qualities of MPI outbreaks often include:
symptoms that have no plausible organic basis (Trump was seen as the 'healthiest person ever' by his doctor, if Michael Flynn has something that is wrong with him on the organic level then it must have started very recently);
symptoms that are transient and benign (It is literally just another day when Trump says something not true);
symptoms with rapid onset and recovery (Well, we have yet to see recovery);
occurrence in a segregated group (Can you get any more segregated than the KKK and alt-right celebrating Trump's victory?);
the presence of extraordinary anxiety (What was said about Hillary? Why do you need a wall? Why do Trump supporters attack Muslim women (out of hate primarily but what other reason)?);
symptoms that are spread via sight, sound or oral communication (You can get all three from tweets);
a spread that moves down the age scale, beginning with older or higher-status people (Older or higher-status people, as in the Trump administration itself?);
a preponderance of female participants

Symptoms of this particular psychogenic illness:
Inability to concentrate/trouble thinking (We've got John Bolton saying Russia hacking is a false flag by Obama, another start from the top as well, we've also got the Flynn clan spouting conspiracy theories, it's very easy to get to these conclusions by not being able to think clearly, by jumping to the first thing you consider a threat)
Anxiety (Over immigrants, over Muslims, etc.)
Confabulation and exaggeration (Saying and believing things that are simply not true like with Trump saying he got an electoral landslide or Trump voters saying they did not complain when Obama won. And this can be demonstrated in picture form as well.)
Disorganized thinking (Why attack Goldman Sachs on the campaign but hire their guys when he wins and then be OK with it?)

The Trump presidency exists, but his campaign has been intertwined with a mass delusion and his administration is already sharing in this mass delusion, it is possible to respond to this it though:
* Realizing that a mass delusion exists within and around the Trump presidency is the first step
* Realize and explain the contribution of anxiety to it all (Need to come outright and tell Trump voters that they can't let their fear and anxiety get the best of them, even the angriest sounding ones, especially the angriest sounding ones)
* Recognize what they are saying as symptoms ("I know the Flynn family believes that there are secret Arabic signs on the border and they believe in Pizzagate..." "I know you think you won the popular vote...&quot
* Explain to Trump supporters that Americans interact with immigrants, Muslims, liberals, gays, transgenders, etc. on a daily basis and nothing bad happens to them (Although I would not say that they interact with these groups on a daily basis and don't know it, that might just increase their anxiety)
* The Trump administration is the root of this hysteria, and the media will need to avoid covering them or the things they say as much as possible. We can also avoid quoting the Trump administration, don't spread the things they say, we need to keep them as far away from the bully pulpit as possible
* The media itself also has a role though, do the same thing with media that shows immigrants, minorities, Muslims, gays, transgenders as scary, don't let them spread anxiety either

Hopefully, if we all do these things, we might start to see some improvement with what's going on.

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Trump presidency as a mass hysteria/mass psychogenic illness? (Original Post) ck4829 Dec 2016 OP
Agree, and in short, a sick society ripe for serious manipulation. n/t RKP5637 Dec 2016 #1
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