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Professionals Should Talk About Trump’s Mental Health

Some argue that professionals shouldn’t talk about Trump’s mental health, mostly comparing him to anyone else. For example, I wouldn’t want, nor would I think it was appropriate, for a mental health professional to make judgments about my mental health based solely on my public actions. But then again, I’m not The President of the United States. And that makes the situation just a wee bit different. It’s because of this that professionals should openly talk about Trump’s mental health and fitness as a president.

Mental Health and a President’s Public Actions

Again, the difference between my public actions and The President’s public actions is that my life is not on display 24 hours a day – his is. I do not sign my beliefs into extensive numbers of Executive Orders. I do not make copious speeches to The Nation. My actions cannot possibly cause a worldwide catastrophe because I refuse to bow to basic social mores.

No matter what I do, I do not put lives in danger – The Present can do this every, single day.

The Public Deserves to Know About The President’s Mental Health If It Affects Job Performance

Some say talking abut Trump's mental health is inappropriate, but this writer argues that mental health professionals need to talk about Trump's mental health.For example, if it was proposed that Trump had depression, I really couldn’t care less. While I have no doubt that any medical condition would affect The President, in my opinion, simple depression generally doesn’t affect someone’s job fitness.

Narcissistic personality disorder, on the other hand, is a mental health condition that absolutely affects job fitness as a president.

In the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), narcissistic personality disorder is defined as comprising a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), a constant need for admiration and a lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by the presence of at least five of the following nine criteria

  • A grandiose sense of self-importance
  • A preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  • A belief that he or she is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions
  • A need for excessive admiration
  • A sense of entitlement
  • Interpersonally exploitive behavior
  • A lack of empathy
  • Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of him or her
  • A demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes

I’ll let you and professionals decide whether President Donald Trump has exhibited the characteristics required for the above diagnosis. What I can say is that if he did, it would certainly impede his performance as The President of the United States.

If President Trump Is Mentally Ill, Professionals Need to Talk About It

I know that mental health professionals have a rule about diagnosing people who are not their patients. They have an agreement that states they shouldn’t do that. I get that. And if mental health professionals started diagnosing pop stars and actors, that would be careless and useless, but these people don’t have the keys to nuclear missiles.

So I get it, people don’t want professionals to diagnose others with incomplete information; but I would suggest that President Trump has been in the spotlight for so long and so much, that the information needed to make certain diagnoses is complete. So professionals absolutely should be talking about Trump’s mental health because the public has a right to assess his fitness to lead a nation.

Check out Natasha Tracy’s book: Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar and connect with her on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter or at Bipolar Burble, her blog.

Image by By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar Burble, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

20 thoughts on “Professionals Should Talk About Trump’s Mental Health”

  1. All of this debate about Trump’s mental health is a poor attempt at ‘ad hominem’, trying to reduce his credibility through attacking his character.

    Advocates for people with mental illnesses know that this only increases the stigma of mental illness.

    ‘Bad person’ is different from ‘mentally ill’. Conflating these two increases the stigma of mental illness. Natasha, you have tried to deflect the stigma of mental illness onto personality disorders. This is not helpful.

    Trump is clearly an awful person, a misogynist, a liar, and so forth. Sure you can match up ‘symptoms’, if you’re an amateur. Professionals know that there should not be any other reason or explanation for his behaviour for a diagnosis- but there is. His behaviour is deliberate and has made him successful.

    Try to differentiate the politics from the apparent ‘psychiatric condition’. You can’t, because the politics are much bigger than that. Diagnosing Trump is like looking at the part without seeing the whole. The cat has four claws, if you only look at one leg.

    Mental illness cannot account for terrorism, war, and genocide; yet people go around diagnosing Hitler in an attempt to explain these things.

    There is a lot more to this situation, then whether Trump fits into a diagnosis of NPD or not. A lot more. Mental health professionals should stick to helping individuals, they should not use their paradigms to try to influence politics.

    Find another way, to solve the problems in your country.

  2. This is my first time at Healthy Place and I was getting excited about the quality of the articles, the various communities and helpful advice. I’m involved in a mental illness support and education organization in my community and am always on the lookout for quality resources. This article brought me to a screeching halt. Can’t we focus on wellness and get off our personal political and religious soapboxes for the greater good of those who suffer from mental illness?

  3. I’ve heard many conflate Mr. Trumps billionaire status with commercial success. The fact is that he inherited his wealth from his father, and has managed to not squander it away, which is a significant fact. But not the same as building that wealth on your own.

    Regardless of his competition in the race, his fitness to hold office is a valid topic of discussion, as it is for every president.

  4. Americans have a right to know all health issues from the neck up and neck down of a sitting President. Those running for office should disclose tax returns, financial statements, all their little trusts created in others name, and pee in a cup like any other American applying for a job. And why should other countries care? Trump effects the entire world.

  5. There are MANY examples of true geniuses with mental health issues that accomplish amazing things in life. Politics doesn’t mix well when you’re running a “healthy place” for people to refer to. POTUS Trump is no more mentally ill than anyone else. Just because u didn’t vote for him, don’t go labeling him or anyone else you dislike. A very unprofessional thing to do. I would never confide anything to someone that mocks another person with mental illness and mask it as concern when it’s truly that you merely dislike the person

  6. At least he doesn’t have absolute power like Putin. There are still a few checks and balances in place… If he’s not careful he can still be impeached

    Not that I wish anyone dead, but did you know that of the 4 American presidents that were assassinated, 3 were republican.

  7. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know by now that Trump is a liar and master manipulator. He persistently uses classic gaslighting techniques in an attempt to weasel his way out of difficult conversations. But aren’t many successful businessmen and ruthless politicians adept at gaslighting? Many psychopaths and narcissists also employee these same gaslighting techniques.

    For anyone wanting to know what makes a man like Trump tick perhaps try reading one the following books

    The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power
    By Joel Bakan

    Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work
    Paul Babiak, Ph.D.,

    Without Conscience: The Disturbing World Of Psychopaths Among Us
    By Robert D. Hare, Ph.D

    Trump is a billionaire and you can safely bet he didn’t get there by being nice.

    It is said that money is power and is at the root of all evil. I find it ironic that some American money is stamped with the words “In God We Trust”

    Satan (the embodiment of evil) is sometimes referred to in the bible as father of lies…

    America is a rich and powerful country. Don’t be fooled into believing it got that way by being nice!

  8. I didn’t vote for Trump and loathe the man. Nevertheless, this diagnosis from afar by Democrat psychiatrists is intended as a slur, and this is no good for the stigma issue. Let’s discount people by calling them mentally ill. Ah, by psychiatrists, too. It’s troubling to me. Not good for us labeled folks. Trump represents and is a product of widely held views. People live in bubbles and don’t realize.

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