Opinion: Does Donald Trump have a mental illness?


Matt Poe

Matt Poe

Yes, dear reader, I did just ask that.  

I wish I could see the reactions of those who read that headline and what their faces convay. I imagine some of you may blatantly think “yes” to that question, while others may wonder why I’d pose such a question in the first place.

Nevertheless, I believe it’s something that needs to be asked, even if a definitive answer is unlikely attainable.

We all know by now that Donald Trump says and does whatever he sees fit. His audacity and ability to somehow blend fact and fiction and convey it to millions of people is both frightening and quite impressive on a commitment level; ladies, find a man committed to you in the same way His Orangeness is committed to fabricating his own version of truth.

Just look to his comments from this past weekend’s rally for further proof. God, I hope the Swedish are OK.

Obviously, none of this is new to myself or the rest of the world and, as consequence, we’ve developed a typical pattern with how we assess the outlandish things His Orangeness says: He says something bewildering, the media and public discuss it ad nauseam. He says something even crazier, we move on to that latest comment.

Wash, rinse and repeat, sure enough to happen as the sun is to rise tomorrow.

I always believed His Orangeness said and did the things he does because he is a power hungry, egotistical, narcissistic pile of goo that is hellbent on ensuring our earth ceases to spin around the sun and rather revolve around his every doing.

While most of that is true, I came across a great op-ed in The (failing) New York Times asking a question that had somehow elude me all this time. It goes something like this: Does Donald Trump act the way Donald Trump does because Donald Trump is mentally ill?

One congressman from California even stated The White House should have a psychiatrist on staff to see if His Orangeness is suffering from a mental illness or if he is just a bonafide megalomaniac. In short, the article concludes that it’s a dangerous from an ethical standpoint for psychiatrists who have not treated Trump to speculate on the state of his mental health, leaving no definitive answer our question.

I encourage you to read the full article because I’m low on word space, not as knowledgeable on the subject and it comes from a respectable publication like The (failing) New York Times, while I work for The (failing) Kent Stater. It provides some great insight into some of the other mental health issues past presidents have and whether or not our current president is exuding any of those symptoms.

For whatever reason, I had never pondered on a serious level if Trump has a serious mental health condition that needs to be diagnosed. After all, his father, Fred Trump, suffered from Alzheimer’s disease at the end of his life, and those who have had a family member with Alzheimer’s are more likely to develop it as well.

One out of nine people over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s, and that’s just one of the many mental illnesses there are. Trump is 70 years old, even though he doesn’t look the part because he’s been taken apart and reconstructed more times than Darth Vader.

As you know, I love making fun of His Orangeness (see above) in whatever area I can. That being said, mental illnesses and how we treat people with them in this country is something I’m passionate about and have written on the matter before.

For as many things that are on limits to poke fun at, that’s certainly not one of them. I’ve already broken a critical rule of speculating if he does have a mental illness, but thankfully — for my sake and yours — I’m not a licensed psychiatrist.

When it comes to His Orangeness and his mental health, I believe it’s something we’ll have to consider keeping a close watch on (if we haven’t already) for the next hopefully only four years. Maybe he is suffering from some disease or illness that, with the proper care, could inhibit some of the behaviors he shows.

If that is indeed the case, I’d hope he gets the proper help.

But that would require him to ask for help and, from what we’ve witnessed during this young presidency and for most of his public life, Donald Trump is not the type of man to seek guidance or help from others. No amount of medication, care or treatment can alleviate that.   

Matt Poe is a columnist, contact him at [email protected].