In the news recently, certain outlets set out to try to paint a picture of Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump as being someone with a mental illness. This magazine is going to nip that narrative in the bud right now.
Calling Trump mentally ill is an insult to those with actual mental illnesses, and it only continues the unfortunate narrative that depicts the mentally ill as dangerous or just plain bad people. Don’t believe us? What do you hear whenever there is a mass shooting or a terrorist attack? The perpetrator is called a loner, or, more often, someone with a mental illness. This draws an involuntary correlation in the public’s mind- mental illness equals dangerous person. This is not the case whatsoever, and continuing this narrative only intensifies the stigma against the mentally ill.
Whether or not Donald Trump is actually afflicted with a mental disorder is not the problem at hand. It is the fact that his “excuse” for being a xenophobic, racist bigot is a mental illness is not only distasteful, but is also perpetuates a stigma against actually mentally ill people.
Yes, there can be bad people who are simultaneously mentally ill. Maybe Donald Trump is one of them. Who can be sure? But there are also very lovely mentally ill people, people who smile at babies and pet strangers’ dogs on the street. The media needs to make note of these people as well. There shouldn’t be this stigma against those with mental disorders, and we need to take the first step towards eradicating it…