The American Psychiatric Association has recently published the fifth edition of its “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual” (DSM V), updating the diagnostic criteria for psychiatric disorders. I haven’t seen it yet, but no doubt phobias — fears not based on realistic threats — are still a diagnostic category in the new edition.
Phobias such as acrophobia (fear of heights) and arachnophobia (fear of spiders) are well known, but I suspect that the most prevalent current phobia in this country is Obamaphobia. It seems to be an epidemic among conservative Republicans, due to a media campaign by fear-mongering pundits and propagandists.
Symptoms of Obamaphobia include the belief that President Obama (1) is an illegitimate president, because he wasn’t born in America; (2) is secretly a Muslim; (3) is an America-hater who wants to take away our freedom; (4) is secretly a socialist or a fascist, like — take your pick — Stalin or Hitler; and (5) has a secret agenda to disarm all gun owners.
I characterize these beliefs as “phobic” because they’re fear-based and have no proven basis in objective fact. If you have one of these beliefs, I think there’s a good chance you qualify as an Obamaphobe. If you have two or more, you definitely meet the diagnostic criteria.
But don’t worry about the cost: People afflicted with Obamaphobia might find that their treatment is covered by Obamacare.
Jeffrey C. Koob