Psychiatrists say that mental illness is not contagious. However, a mentally ill person can influence others. Cults are proof of this. We know that one unstable family member, through the family’s interdependence, love and excessive empathy, can cause other family members to become unstable. One paranoid, aggressive family member can expose the latent paranoia or aggression in others. Soon every family member’s sanity is affected, and the whole family needs counseling.

I think we’re seeing this psychological phenomenon with Donald Trump in office.

His relentless tweets and erratic thoughts were upsetting the American people and worrying citizens around the globe. The whole world was being sucked into the vacuum of his egotism. His base tagged along while the rest of us felt like the abused children of a self-centered, tyrannical father. Journalists reported that he doesn’t drink, but some of us wished he did because that would have explained everything, and we could stop blaming ourselves for our inability to cope with his unpredictability.

Our entire American family needed group therapy. Many of us who had given up on prayer were praying our heads off for divine intervention.

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. We elected Joe Biden, and that put us on the road to recovery. It’ll be a long road back, but our national group therapy has begun.

Maybe we should also continue our prayers, just in case.

Richard Mullins, Dixfield

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