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Wacko, Nut Job? How Does Trump Impact Mental Health Perceptions?

Posted by Brian Spence on Apr 18, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Mental Health, Donald TrumpDonald Trump is always in the headlines these days. Whether you support him or are rallying against him, there is no question that he is good at drawing attention. Many times the attention he receives is negative because he says extreme things that people are quick to comment on.

He has used put downs that have drawn outrage from the press. There have been plenty of news stories about negative remarks he made about women and immigrants.

However, a recent article in the Washington Post questions why no one is outraged when Trump uses words like "wacko" "nut job" and "basket case" when he is referring to his political opponents.

Words like this may feel benign in our society because they are used so casually by so many people. However, their impact on people who struggle with legitimate mental health concerns is anything but benign. The article talks about how nonchalantly we all refer to people as "crazy." When is the last time you told someone, "I feel like I'm losing my mind?" Do you even stop to consider what the negative connotations of these phrases feel like to someone who has a diagnosed mental illness?

The Washington Post article, by Colby Itkowitz quotes Bob Carolla, a spokesperson for the National Association on Mental Illness, who believes that comments like these impact the identity of a person with a mental illness, saying,

"It’s a loss of self-esteem, self-devaluation, and creates a barrier to recovery. People in general come to recognize and feel the stigma that exists, and if they think they might need help, they don’t seek help because they don’t want to be isolated or rejected."

If you are passionate about helping people with a mental illness, and restoring their self-esteem through the management of their illness, please contact us to find out about job openings in your area.

If interested in learning more about this and related topics, visit the Behavioral and Mental Health sections of our blog.

Image courtesy of GrAl /


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Topics: Behavioral Health, Mental Health

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