I know I’m not alone. According to the American Psychiatric Association, in 2017, 36 percent of adults described themselves as feeling more anxious than they did previous year. Also in 2017, more than 17 million American adults and three million between the ages of 12 and 17 had at least one major depressive episode. A psychologist, Jennifer Panning, has even assigned a name to mental health problems attributed to this presidency: Trump Anxiety Disorder.
Some of us broke four years ago and haven’t recovered. Along with so many others, I had to ask myself what it meant to live in a system that allowed for a proudly racist and sexist representative of the capitalist class to seize presidential power. I mourned for the younger version of myself that had cast his first vote for the first Black presidential candidate on a major party ticket and had his cynicism challenged when that candidate actually won.
In the beginning, I tried taking up Muay Thai, thinking that the endorphins and supposedly healthy space to place my anger would be able to buoy me. But as much fun as it was to strap on gloves and beat a heavy bag, I lost interest within a couple of months and gave in to my desire to do nothing. I saw all the familiar signs: I wasn’t answering phone calls. I was taking days and weeks to respond to texts, if I responded at all. I slept infrequently, fitful and afraid.