An estimated eight million Americans have been diagnosed with Post Snowden Anxiety Disorder since Edward Snowden first leaked to the press the existence of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, which log Americans’ phone and internet activity, ostensibly for the purpose of national security.
Post Snowden Anxiety Disorder, or PSAD, is characterized by extreme anxiety, paranoia, and a sudden flight from civilization, which makes the disorder especially hard to treat. Many sufferers can be found living in tents in the woods, although quite a few have unsuccessfully attempted to join the Amish. Nationally, the most popular destination has been the country’s surviving Native American reservations.
“Generally, sufferers of PSAD who move to a reservation go through two phases, one of idealistic elation at having evaded the United States government by moving out of their jurisdiction followed very quickly by a feeling of complete terror once they realize that the dispirited Native American population has been the victim of the most extreme and fatal forms of American government overreach,” said Dr. Stanley Johnson, a PSAD expert.
Very few people with PSAD have been successfully reintegrated into society, although a few have returned for brief periods. Generally, a sufferer will return for about one or two days, making contact with friends and families and even seeking treatment, before another major news story about government overreach comes out. Many of Dr. Johnson’s patients have come in to be treated for a day or two only to flee back into the woods.
“I was treating a young man just this week. He was progressing very well and was even able to read Al Jazeera online without having a panic attack. Unfortunately, while he was browsing through the news, he found a story on Reuters about how federal agents and law enforcement officials are secretly using NSA intercepts to initiate investigations, and creating phony investigations-called ‘parallel construction-to cover it up and make it valid in court. He’s been missing ever since.”
While some in the camping supplies industry have welcomed PSAD as a “way for every anxious American to begin their next camping adventure,” according to CampersRUs, many family and friends are devastated by the sudden loss of their loved ones. Others defend the actions of PSAD sufferers, declaring them to be the only sane Americans.
“I believe they need treatment, yes,” Dr. Johnson explained, “but do I understand why they’re so terrified? Of course. There’s so many programs and will you just listen to the names! Echelon, PRISM, X-Keyscore, Tempora, Stella Wind? The NSA collecting our browsing history and emails? Michael Hastings’ mysterious death while he was working on an investigative report on the FBI? A family investigated by a joint terrorist task force for searching for pressure cookers and backpacks on the same computer? A secret sub sect of the DEA tapping our phones and covering up their investigations? Sometimes I feel like they’re the only sane ones left.”
Since his interview yesterday, Dr. Johnson has been missing, although several campers have reported a man of his description hiking along the Appalachian Trail.