Mar 28, 2017

Donald Trump is everyone’s favorite person to target, mainly due to the fact that he is so reactive towards the jabs made at him. From his hands, to his hair, to his orange skin tone, everything has been scrutinized, picked apart and people have gone back for more.

Nonetheless, his erratic behavior, particularly during his press conferences has raised questions, particularly, ‘Is Donald Trump mentally ill?’ Certain psychiatric specialists have speculated that he might have a narcissistic personality disorder due to the fact that he has exhibited such traits.

Trump’s Emotional Instability

Trump has always been a man that has been easy for people to goad. Even celebrities have loved to push his buttons, before and after he got elected. The taunts, teasing and outright confrontation have led to rather heated responses from Trump.

Some of the most notable of these confrontations were between Trump and Alec Baldwin and Meryl Strep. It doesn’t help that he’s made statements that are untrue, picked less than savory individuals to be a part of his administration as well as pass certain laws that have made him a global target for political activists everywhere.

The Opinions of the Experts

However, when it comes to figuring out whether Trump is mentally ill or not, the answer has finally been given by Dr Allen Frances.  In a letter to the editor, Dr. Frances has stated that, “Most amateur diagnosticians have mislabeled President Trump with the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. I wrote the criteria that define this disorder, and Mr. Trump doesn't meet them.”

Dr. Frances is the professor emeritus of psychiatry and social sciences at Duke University Medical College as well as part of the team that helped compile the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV which is now on its 5###sup/sup### edition.

For a person to truly exhibit mental illness caused by a personality disorder, they must be experiencing significant impairment or distress in an occupational, social or functional capacity. According to Dr. Frances, ‘He may be a world-class narcissist, but this doesn't make him mentally ill, because he does not suffer from the distress and impairment required to diagnose mental disorder.”

Why It’s a Bad Thing

Assuming that Trump is mentally ill stigmatizes mentally ill people who already have to deal with gross misrepresentation in the media and everyday life. Furthermore, as Dr. Frances highlighted, Trump doesn’t showcase the symptoms that are associated with a certain mental disorder.

Dr. Frances has opinioned that, “Mr. Trump causes severe distress rather than experiencing it and has been richly rewarded, rather than punished, for his grandiosity, self-absorption and lack of empathy. It is a stigmatizing insult to the mentally ill (who are mostly well behaved and well meaning) to be lumped with Mr. Trump (who is neither).”

Dr. Frances further stated that, “Psychiatric name-calling is a misguided way of countering Mr. Trump’s attack on democracy. He can, and should, be appropriately denounced for his ignorance, incompetence, impulsivity and pursuit of dictatorial powers.”

 Just because we don’t like Trump doesn’t mean we get to call him mentally ill or unstable.

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