Understanding Derangement Syndrome
It's a real thing. Get in here. Hurry.
We are in the golden age of fascinating social behavior. If you are someone who enjoys social psychology, you know what I mean. Now is a great time to be an observer if you understand what is happening in the mind of the observed.
The term derangement syndrome has become the go-to label for anyone exhibiting irrational, perplexing behavior in public. You can insert any polarizing name or issue in front of derangement syndrome and chances are there is a group it describes. But most people do not understand what is happening to the person experiencing a form of derangement syndrome. Let me take you into the mind of someone with a form of derangement syndrome. Let’s raise our awareness by understanding that which we see.
I like using the following analogy in order to understand derangement syndrome. Imagine believing that dropping a water bottle on the ground would cause the world to explode. This would cause a lot of distress. Dread. Anxiety. Then imagine while you hold this belief, people are walking around tossing water bottles in the air and handling them loosely. Put yourself in this situation. You could observe water bottles hitting the ground and note that everything is fine. But what if you didn’t? You would begin to suffer from water bottle derangement syndrome. Not might-would.
The concept of the analogy is that someone who is certain that their strongly held belief is true, but then makes observations that contradict the belief, will develop a form of derangement.
Take Trump Derangement Syndrome. Millions held the belief that Trump would crash the economy, start wars, strengthen systemic racism, etc. All of these things could have actually been measured, right? Yes. But most things that could have been measured actually improved- for everyone. So what happened when all of the beliefs that people held about Trump and what he would do were violently violated? I’ll tell you what happened: derangement syndrome. When people have their deeply held beliefs violated by what they observe, they are in a state of dissonance. Just like the water bottle analogy, Trump derangement syndrome was the product of beliefs and observations not aligning. The majority of things that could be measured under Trump actually improved- they did not implode. Hence derangement.
Here is where it gets fascinating. People who suffered from water bottle derangement syndrome in our analogy could have adjusted their behavior, beliefs, or perceptions in order to re-establish harmony between their beliefs and their observations. These people could have avoided water bottles (changing behavior) or acknowledge that water bottles don’t actually pose any real threat in ending the world (adjusting beliefs and perceptions). But what if they don’t adjust their behavior, beliefs, or perception? Put yourself in this situation. Imagine what would happen to your brain. Derangement. Apply this to Trump derangement syndrome. When it became obvious that all of the doom predictions did not come true, but, rather, the opposite happened, people could have adjusted their beliefs or perceptions about Trump. But they couldn’t. They were so sure about their beliefs and predictions. So what happened? Derangement. TDS sufferers began criticizing Trump’s subjective characteristics, like empathy and compassion levels, and also began believing they could read his mind (literally. People literally observed Trump and then told you what his intentions were. This is insane behavior. Not normal).
Vaccine and mask derangement syndrome can also be understood. Masks and vaccines are risk management behaviors people practice in order to help them feel safe, compassionate, and helpful. But what happens when they observe others who do not practice the same risk management as them? Well, we know they could adjust their beliefs and perceptions. They could acknowledge that some people make different decisions, and that’s OK. But those who do not adjust their beliefs or perceptions are in a state of chaos. Derangement.
Now do Biden derangement syndrome on your own. What were the party of skeptics, better known as conservatives, fearful of with Biden? Radical socialism, confiscated guns, etc. If you notice any of these things not come true, there will be a lot of conservatives experiencing Biden derangement syndrome.
Next time you witness someone behave like they are deranged in public, you will understand why.