I’m not a psychiatrist, but it strikes me as a physician that we may be dealing with a somewhat unique type of psychosis in the U.S. characterized by widespread delusion shared among large numbers of people. There are precedents of shared delusion disorder (SDD, ICD 10 code f24), but when it occurs it is usually in a small number of people such as between two people who are in a close relationship. The French term for this is “folie a deux” which translated loosely means “madness for two.” Occasionally it can include larger groups such as a family in which case the term “folie a famille” has been used, “family madness.”
However, now we appear to be witnessing the evolution of a new delusional or psychotic disorder involving huge numbers of people who in their delusional state believe that their home country, the United States of America, is a monstrous place rife with hatred, bigotry, injustice, and evil. All of which characteristics they paradoxically have assumed onto themselves. One might believe that this mass delusional state is an extension of the previously described “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” but it is far more serious than that disorder often manifesting itself in violent and destructive ways including the burning of buildings, destruction of businesses, savage beatings, and even murder. These activities are often portrayed by their perpetrators and by those who propagate their delusions as justifiable and righteous acts which should be condoned and praised by all in the U.S. even those who do not agree with them and those who have been tormented by them. Destruction of society as we know it seems to be the goal.
To make matters worse from a sociological and psychiatric point of view, this delusional disorder seems to have spread to many of our political leaders in an epidemic fashion the consequences of which in the long run may be far worse than that of the Covid-19 epidemic. Yet the origins of this epidemic may not have stemmed directly from the general population of our citizens and spread upward to the leadership. Rather it seems more likely that the origins of this disorder can be traced to many of our politicians who have completely lost the ability to discern truth from falsehood. These political “leaders” have become very adept at developing their own alternate reality which they then feed to their followers as truth that cannot be denied or refuted. The term “liberalism” has now developed a new meaning much more akin to that of “fascism” since alternative thought and speech is prohibited by the new liberals who are replacing the old guard of the Democratic Party. Groupthink takes over in this new environment, and the mob absorbs a unifying mentality seeing only the “reality” that they are being fed by leadership who have usurped individual freedom of thought. Think differently from the new fascists and run the risk of being assaulted verbally if not physically. That’s why we see many of our so called “leaders” on the left ignoring the violence and mayhem that they intentionally or unintentionally provoked all over the country. They have lost control of the situation, and they don’t know what to do about it. They can’t put out the fire.
Their position in the new social framework they were trying to create has been usurped by anarchists like ANTIFA and the fringe elements of Black Lives Matter. The old guard of socialist ideology is befuddled now and does not know how to gain back control of the social monster they have created. So they try to convince the rest of us that the protests are peaceful when we see rioting, looting, mayhem and worse. We are told not to believe our eyes. They have no way of dealing with the monster they created except to say that it doesn’t exist. We see this in the media all the time now as a blatant display of denial, deflection, downright lying and perversion of the truth. For example, we are told that saying “all lives matter” is wrong and somehow a demonstration of racial prejudice and bigotry when in fact it is just the opposite. It is a statement of equality. What could be a greater statement about equality than valuing all life equally? It is madness not to realize this.