The insanity of being a news junkie in the age of Trump.


Every day when I wake up, I check the news headlines. Maybe it’s just hypervigilance and wanting to reassure myself that Trump hasn’t started nuclear war yet.   This presidency makes me feel like I’m back in an abusive relationship and as a result I feel on guard all the time.

But at the same time, there’s a certain thrill I get from reading stories that seem like they would have been headlines from The Onion just a year ago.   It’s not a good kind of thrill, but the kind of thrill you get from doing something you know might kill you but feeling compelled to try it anyway — like, oh, maybe sky diving or trying methamphetamine.    Only the sick thrill is always accompanied by that awful, sinking, helpless feeling you get when you realize you are totally fucked and there’s not a thing you can do about it.    Maybe it’s a familiar feeling to me and somehow comforting, but I know people who didn’t come from narcissistic families or abusive relationships and report they feel exactly the same way about this presidency and the endless stream of unthinkable news that it’s unleashed.

I want my news to be boring again.

On the plus side, more people than ever before are getting an education in basic civics (now that civility is a thing of the past) and how government works (now that it doesn’t).

I think we’re also learning to be more discerning about which news is fake and which is not.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell, especially when the president is waging war on truth.

If you can get angry and stay angry instead of allowing the news to make you depressed or emotionally numb, then there is  hope.    Every revolution in history began because a lot of people were mad as hell and weren’t gonna take it anymore.

12 thoughts on “The insanity of being a news junkie in the age of Trump.

  1. I limit my exposure to the news, mostly by not watching TV. That constant repetition would be horrible. Once or twice a day for the same headlines is more than enough. We have to seek out glimmers of hope wherever we can find them.

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  2. For many years, I almost never watched or read a news report, because so much of the news is about violence, which triggered my PTSD.

    But now, after the 25 or so neurofeedback treatments that I have had since February of this year, my therapist believes that I don’t have PTSD anymore, and I agree. To test myself, a couple of months ago I started reading and watching the news on a daily basis.


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      • Yes, OMG is an understatement. You know, I am old enough to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. My narcissistic, abusive, MPD/DID dad was a church pastor then, and he was constantly talking and preaching about the end of the world. At my school — I was 10 years old — we were having “duck and cover” drills. I had several terrifying nightmares back then about an “atomic bomb” falling out of the sky.

        But this is waaaaaaay worse. Almost enough to give me PTSD again.

        I’m so glad you have a new laptop. So I will keep my new one, which I got in anticipation of my crippled 15-yr-old laptop eventually biting the dust. However, I am going to send you the book I told you about in my email, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. It was published on October 3 of this year, and immediately became a best seller. I’m reading it now. I keep thinking of you as I read it.

        Lauren, I have to confess that due to my news ignorance, I thought you were being an alarmist in your posts since DT was elected. But now I know I was wrong, and you have been right all along.

        I am sending you that book from Amazon today. It was backordered, the first printing sold out almost overnight, but I think it is back in stock now.

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        • I ordered that book, so no need to send me yours! I am literally ITCHING to read it. Yes, this president and his regime is CAUSING people to develop PTSD, even those who never had it before. One good thing, is those who have had to deal with people like him in our personal lives, are equipped to see what we are dealing with.

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          • No kidding. Trump reminds me of my malignant parents, and my sociopathic ex husband. The political climate today is the scariest that I have ever seen in my lifetime.

            By the way, I was 9 when the Cuban Missile Crisis happened, not 10 like I said in my last comment. I was thinking that it happened in 1963, but then I looked it up and the year was 1962. That terrifying time only lasted 13 days. How long is this nightmare going to last? I’m doing a lot of praying, these days!

            I’m glad you are getting Bandy Lee’s book. It is eye opening. I also bought a copy for my daughter. She is studying to be a psychologist at Whitworth University. I’m looking forward to hearing her take on the book, and yours, too.

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    • I agree. Rachel Maddow is a voice of sanity and truth, and she presents the unthinkable and complicated in a way that’s easy to understand. I do like the entire weeknight lineup on MSNBC though — Chris Hayes and Lawrence O’Donnell are also great. Chris Matthews is good too, even though he can be combative and interrupts all the time.

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  3. Our tastes seem to run alike. I especially like Lawrence O’Donnell, and Chris Matthews but, Rachel is my favorite for all the reasons you describe.


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