“President Trump is mentally ill, ha ha ha!”

I realized recently how morally wrong this statement/joke is. Now that I’ve realized it I hear it everywhere and I just want it to stop. I must admit, in the not-so-distant past, I’ve been guilty of uttering similar phrases about the American president but I’ve stopped. Here’s why I think you might consider stopping as well.

Please don’t think I’m saying Trump is a precious snowflake and his feelings need to be protected. He signed up for endless scrutiny and he certainly behaves in a manner inviting much criticism but as a society we must be responsible with our criticism.

Once we make it ok to constantly question Trump’s mental health and also make his mental health a punchline on a regular basis we make it ok for this to be a real-world criticism, a real-world punchline.

This is not an ok trend to nurture. Hasn’t society supposedly been trying to destigmatize mental illness? Isn’t it supposed to be ok to be coping with mental illness and leading a rich and successful life? 

Sure President Trump, in my opinion, is not an example of the type of human we need in the world but please let’s stop using questions about his mental health as insults and punchlines to prove this point. 

Mental illness is very real for many individuals, including me. In order to make progress with destigmatization we must remember to shine positivity and hope onto mental health issues rather than using speculation about a person’s mental health to tear them down.

K