You know how I said that good governments should aim to minimize their citizens’ collective mental burden? Yeah, about that.

I’ve touched on the effect Donald Trump’s election has had on the mental burden of people in the US and around the world, but I didn’t go into the detrimental effects of his relentless gaslighting. An acknowledged form of psychological abuse, gaslighting involves deceiving the victim in a way that makes them question their own sanity and grasp of reality.

In my mental-burden-as-suffering model, gaslighting is nothing short of torture. It is imposed, unproductive mental burden, creating uncertainty and the need for hypervigilance, which depletes working memory and energy reserves. Beyond reducing people’s capacity to properly resist, the added mental burden will be a barrier to innovation and productivity. Four years of this bullshit will cause untold harm to people’s mental health and to the economy.