Mental Health Issues Affecting Americans
In 2017, John Kelly, then-White House chief of staff, secretly purchased a book in which 27 mental health professionals warned that President Donald Trump was unfit for office. Entitled The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, it contains essays from psychiatrists and psychologists outlining Trump’s narcissistic behavior.
This book has become a bestseller and been referenced extensively in research on narcissistic personality disorder. Written by Bandy Lee, then a forensic psychiatrist, it includes essays from hundreds of other psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, social workers and counselors.
A study on the effects of COVID-19, a pandemic outbreak, found that many American citizens were struggling with depression and anxiety. Children, older adults, and people with disabilities were particularly vulnerable; during shutdowns these groups were significantly more likely to report mental health problems than others.
Trump’s immigration policies, particularly the separation of families at the border and deportation of immigrants, were linked to negative emotional experiences and internalizing symptoms in Latinx children and adults. Furthermore, these policies were linked to higher rates of depression, anxiety, and behavioral difficulties.
The American Psychiatric Association, unlike other professional associations, adopted the Goldwater Rule which prohibits mental health professionals from diagnosing public figures without first conducting a personal examination and receiving consent from them. But some authors argue this rule should only be suspended when there is clear evidence that a politician’s mental state poses danger to society. They suggest this could be achieved if psychologists made public diagnoses that alert voters about such risks before elections take place.