Hold the MAGA hat. Feel its embroidery. Try it on. Now look at yourself in the mirror. Tell me your stress levels right now.

A California mental health professional believes a presumed joke on the internet is quietly being taken very seriously by colleagues.

‘I’ve seen this a few times over the last couple years, and I finally put two and two together,’ the mental health worker told me. The source, who requested anonymity citing workplace bigotry, was scrolling through a private message board for professionals in the field and saw a therapist asking where to find ‘Trump paraphernalia to be used in sessions with patients.’

‘I realized, oh wow, they’re doing exposure therapy to treat TDS!’ the source said. TDS, Trump Derangement Syndrome, also known as Trump Acceptance Resistance Disorder, or TARD, is a derogatory classification used to mock leftists who have had an unhinged, irrational, even violent reaction to the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. According to one Reddit user, symptoms are said to include threats to move to Canada, ‘fantasies about the electoral college,’ ‘acute change in demeanor from pompous and arrogant to fearful and combative,’ ‘sudden weight gain,’ ‘Insist rioting and killing is the only pathway to peace and love,’ and ‘exclamations that “Someone” should do “Something.”’

‘If they are using exposure therapy, then this is real,’ the source said. ‘It would be the appropriate and most effective technique.’ Exposure therapy is used to treat cases of extreme anxiety, like obsessive-compulsive disorder, and requires a person to be exposed in increasing measures to the source of their debilitating stress. You may have it on television shows. If someone is an extreme cleaner, for example, and is obsessed with dirt and germs, the therapist will make the patient climb into a dumpster and fondle trash. Or someone deathly afraid of dogs will be locked in a room with a bunch of puppies.

‘It has one of the most quantitatively positive outcomes. It is extreme, but that’s the methodology and it’s a brilliant methodology,’ the source said. A TDS patient in therapy might be required to look at photographs of President Trump, watch 2020 campaign ads, read his Twitter feed, attend a rally, caress oranges, grab a pussy, hug a wall.

‘Although it requires you don’t put the patient in any danger, so wearing a MAGA hat outside in California is probably out of the question.’

Dr Ron, who runs a private practice in California, says he’s seen TDS before. ‘This is a more extreme form of Bush Derangement Syndrome and Reagan Derangement Syndrome.’ He described a far more aggressive and controversial approach to treating TDS, one possibly illegal in California. ‘Frankly, I think that looking at the alternative is the better remedy for TDS. The financial implications of the Green New Deal, or Medicare for all, or how much $30 trillion would cost the average American. Looking at those makes any actions by Trump deemed “non-presidential” seem all the more acceptable,’ the quack said.

TDS is not listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Considering the most recent addition includes drinking coffee, cigarette smoking, being a jerk to your neighbors, and, to the ire of feminists, PMS as mental disorders, it seems reasonable that membership in the Democratic party should at least be studied. After all, 90 percent of Americans drink caffeine every day, but only half of them are liberals. An APA report showed that nearly 80 percent of Democrats had increased anxiety after Trump’s election and visits to therapists in blue states spiked after 2016. When’s the last time conservatives remained this irrational, three years on, because they came second place in a contest?

Sadly, it’s unlikely our nation’s psychologists have any plans to look more deeply into this. The mental health industry skews very far-left. The industry has mostly stayed out of politics but that’s changing as these desperate times summon our nation’s quivering Ivory Tower dwellers to take up arms on the front-lines.

The weaponization of mental health for political ends is one of the more frightening, and Soviet, developments of recent years. ‘It’s like the Frankfurt school has taken over mental health,’ the source said.

In 2017, nearly 30 shrinks decided to break ranks with all known ethical guidelines and publish a book diagnosing someone they’ve never met, the president, as mentally ill. Last year the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists published an open letter condemning the so-called family separation policy of illegals at the southern border. No word yet on mental health concerns of the children being raped, trafficked and exploited down there, forced to remain in a cell with their kidnappers.

‘The profession is full of bleeding-heart people who impart their bleeding hearts onto all of their patients,’ the source said.  The source recalled attending a group clinical session with other therapists immediately after the election entirely devoted to processing the results. There were boxes of tissues in the room, people were crying, some couldn’t bear to make it in.

Perhaps there’s a reason why TDS has never really been just a joke. And why the mental health industry remains suspiciously silent about it.