POST-TRAUMATIC EMBITTERMENT DISORDER
Mental health professionals create a new source of income:
The disorder is modeled after post-traumatic stress disorder because it too is a response to a trauma that endures. People with PTSD are left fearful and anxious. Embittered people are left seething for revenge.Christopher Lane, Professor of Literature at Northwestern University, pinpoints the source of this widespread, devastating trauma:
"They feel the world has treated them unfairly. It's one step more complex than anger. They're angry plus helpless," says Dr. Michael Linden, a German psychiatrist who named the behavior.
Now I grant that there's a lot of anger and bitterness out there. Part of it, I'd wager, is targeted appropriately at a Republican administration that managed in eight years to bring a largely healthy economy to its knees.This disorder already has a name: Bush derangement syndrome.
Do we need to give additional reasons for bitterness at that outcome? The Bush administration managed to lead the country into a protracted, illegal war, based on trumped-up evidence; ignored memos that said the country faced credible terrorist threats; locked up large numbers of suspects afterwards without trial or due process; lied to its citizens about the widespread use of torture; eliminated every sensible, necessary check on financial regulation to prevent a fiscal meltdown; mocked the facts of climate change; and dithered as Hurricane Katrina devastated a large city.
Heaven knows, there are reasons enough to be bitter about the untold number of opportunities squandered, the problems that have escalated in their place, and the crises now with us that were once entirely avoidable.