In the current post-fact / "alternative fact" political climate, what is a word to describe the feeling that one has while listening to or conversing with a person who absolutely refuses to acknowledge plain facts (or conversely, proffers unsubstantiated claims as fact)?

I thought maybe "flummoxed" but that doesn't seem strong enough to convey being one step away from banging your head against the wall in frustration.

  • Thouroughly confounded, at wit’s end, dumbfounded, exasperated.
    – Jim
    Jan 24 '17 at 21:53
  • 1
    "utterly frustrated"? :-)
    – Hellion
    Jan 24 '17 at 21:54
  • @Jim I was about to post exasperated then I saw your comment. I think it's a great answer
    – Tom22
    Jan 24 '17 at 21:56
  • @Tom22 - Go ahead and post it. It’s too time consuming to do a good answer with citations on my phone.
    – Jim
    Jan 24 '17 at 21:59
  • 'drives me mad' might be an phrase that works
    – Tom22
    Jan 24 '17 at 22:21

I think this word convey's the an emotionally trying, angry sort of (frustration?):


google's definition of exasperate

ex·as·per·ate verb

past tense: exasperated; past participle: exasperated

  • irritate intensely; infuriate.

"this futile process exasperates prison officials"

synonyms: infuriate, incense, anger, annoy, irritate, madden, enrage, antagonize, provoke, irk, vex, get on someone's nerves, ruffle someone's feathers, rub the wrong way; More

The only issue issue I have with the word is that we've probably watered down it's intensity by frequently applying it to our reaction to children's or teen's poor behavior. (behavior which while maddening might be expected to come with the territory).

How a word is perceived is as important as it's dictionary definition sometimes.


Consider consternation or dismay.

Consternation: a feeling of worry, shock, confusion or resentment; an emotion experienced in noticing something shocking (more or less accompanied by a desire to flee or fight)

dismay: sudden disillusionment ; agitation of mind; perturbation; alarm ; a feeling of unhappiness and disappointment.


Consider demoralize:


  1. to deprive (a person or persons) of spirit, courage, discipline, etc.; destroy the morale of:

    The continuous barrage demoralized the infantry.

  2. to throw (a person) into disorder or confusion; bewilder:

    We were so demoralized by that one wrong turn that we were lost for hours.

or alternatively unnerve:


  1. to deprive of courage, strength, determination, or confidence; upset:

    Fear unnerved him.

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