“Donald Trump is finally gone from the White House, so you must be filled with joy, right?”
That was the type of question I heard from various people after Inauguration Day. Yes, I was happier the day after Joe Biden was sworn in. But even now, days after Trump is out of the White House, I’m still not “filled with joy.” And as I learned from countless others—in addition to three psychologists I spoke to in in connection with this article—I’m not alone. There’s a deep unease that still lingers that is consistent—as the doctors explained—with suffering an emotional trauma that may take an extended period to resolve.
Dr. Sam Roth, a clinical psychologist with over 25 years of experience, explained that for many Trump’s presidency was a “slow rolling trauma over a four-year period.” This trauma, per Roth, was made more painful for many given that Trump was in essence able to get away with his horrific behavior—lies, bigotry, bullying, and corruption—while in the White House, adding to a sense of powerlessness many felt.