Fri, Dec 3, 2004 at 12:27:59 pm
The scourge of PEST (Post Election Selection Trauma) continues to exact a horrible toll from its victims in Florida: Voters shout epithets at President Bush during first PEST counseling session. (Hat tip: The Pulchritudinous Patriot.)
“The media outlets, especially Rush Limbaugh and his ilk on talk radio, scare our patients to death,” said AHA executive director Robert J. Gordon, facilitator for the meetings. “More than anything else, people with PEST tremble physically.”
Gordon said the Kerry supporters in therapy are predominantly Jewish and older than 50. Most are registered independents and all live in Palm Beach County.
“We mostly let them vent during the first session,” Gordon said. “By the third session, we’ll be doing some meditation exercises to aid some of their symptoms. We may use visualization and some techniques designed for bipolar disease and other mental disorders. That might help them adjust to reality.”
According to AHA officials, symptoms of PEST are similar to post-traumatic stress disorder. They include nightmares, sleeplessness, hostility, listlessness, and emotional outbursts including threats to leave the country.
“There’s an overall sense of emotional helplessness and abandonment,” said Sheila Cooperman, a licensed AHA psychotherapist from Delray Beach. “In psychology, we call it ‘learned helplessness.’ After you zap a caged dog twice, he stops moving because he knows there is no place to go. That’s what happened with these Kerry voters. They’ve been zapped so many times that they’re on the verge of giving up on politics.”
Cooperman, also a practicing psychic, added, “One person today said he thinks the country is now run by fascists. Another felt personally threatened by the president’s love for big business. Many believe Bush is going to draft their grandchildren. The anxiety may not affect them every day, but it affects their energy level.”