In 2016, the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States disturbed the global status quo. While his supporters were overjoyed, others have become concerned about the current president’s handling of affairs, both within the United States and with the rest of the world. In fact, a recent article published on quotes Senator Al Franken and others, as they question President Trump’s mental state.

Al Franken’s Concerns

Recently, on the American TV program “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Senator Al Franken from Minnesota expressed his “concern about the president’s temperament.” The following Monday, the New York Times revealed a letter, written and signed by a group of over 30 social workers, psychiatrists, and psychologists. In the letter, the professionals raised concerns about President Trump’s capability for rational judgement.

The Goldwater Rule

In most cases, mental health professionals and organisations steer clear of public political judgements such as the one expressed in the letter. The Goldwater Rule, an ethics code followed by many psychiatric and mental health professionals, prohibits this kind of stance. The professionals who signed the letter claim that they felt they could no longer keep silent. “Too much is at stake,” they say in the letter.

The Claims of Instability

In the document, the individuals who signed the letter cited Trump’s “inability to tolerate views different from his own, which lead to rage reactions.” They dislike Trump’s criticism of the press and the scientific community, claiming that Trump has a “personal myth of greatness,” a distorted view of reality, and a “grave emotional instability” that make him unfit for the Presidency.

Mental Health and the Presidency

It’s not the first time a politician has been subjected to accusation of having poor mental health by unhappy opponents. Whether or not President Trump is mentally unstable is uncertain; however, history reveals that the power and prestige of political office can sometimes attract individuals with specific kinds of mental health struggles, such as narcissism, a desire for control, mood swings, and obsessions. There are historical records of American Presidents Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, and John F. Kennedy taking psychotropic drugs or exhibiting behaviour consistent with depression or clinical paranoia. Evan Thomas, a historian and journalist, wrote a comprehensive biography of President Richard Nixon. “It’s a cliché that you have to be nuts to run for president,” he says. “Like most clichés, it’s at least partly true.”

Social Stigma and Mental Illness

Unfortunately, due to the prominence of the office, most politicians and presidents would face severe attack and scrutiny if they ever decide to seek therapy or treatment for a mental health issue. It would be viewed as a sign of weakness and would spell the decline, if not the end, of that individual’s political career. This holds true for politicians both in the United States and in other countries, such as Singapore. Mentally ill politicians would be forced to choose between their own health and the position they worked so hard to achieve.

Confidential Mental Health Treatment in Singapore

If you know someone in political office or in a prominent role who is struggling with mental illness, encourage that person to seek help from a psychiatrist in Singapore. At Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic, we emphasise confidentiality, and we protect our patients’ privacy. No one, not even a well-known political figure, should have to suffer with the hidden trauma of anxiety, anger, mood swings, depression, OCD, or other mental health struggles. With professional help and treatment, politicians and others can come out stronger and better able to fulfil their crucial responsibilities.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source:, 14 February, 2017

Source: Politico Magazine (n.d.)