Saturday, December 04, 2004

PEST: The first session of counseling

Boca Raton News reports that Kerry supporters suffering from Post Election Selection Trauma (PEST) have recently had their first meeting with a pyschologist. Part of the counseling involved "screaming epithets at President Bush as they shared their emotions with licensed mental health counselors." Read on for a few more laughs:

“If I had a cardboard cutout of President Bush, and these people wanted to throw darts at it, I would let them do it,” Robert J. Gordon, AHA executive director, told the Boca News after the session. “It’s no joke. People with PEST were traumatized by the election. If you even mention religion, their faces turn blister-red as they shout at Bush.”...

“I’m scared,” said one man. “Democracy is at stake and nobody is rising to protest this president.” “I want to be a patriot, but it’s impossible to be a patriot in an immoral war,” said another participant, a woman. “Bush is breaking up marriages and dividing families by keeping our troops in Iraq.” ... “The media outlets, especially Rush Limbaugh and his ilk on talk radio, scare our patients to death,” said Gordon, facilitator for the meetings. “More than anything else, people with PEST tremble physically.” ...“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.” ...

“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.” ... Gordon said his patients’ emotional problems typically started with the “hanging chad” debacle of 2000. “First, they need to realize they’re not going to overturn the 2004 election,” Gordon said. “They have to live with it. The problem is they have no faith because they think the religious right has hijacked the political system. We try to tell them there is still an election in 2008. You can’t just give up and be apathetic.” ... “These people talk about the 2000 election being stolen,” Gordon said. “They talk about Theresa LePore and the Ohio recount. They feel it’s the ‘Right House,’ not the White House. They feel the world is not safe with George W. Bush as president. They spewed out a lot of anger. They are angry at the Democratic Party for being aimless and leaderless. They have a right to these feelings.”


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