So. This stuff about how Trump might actually be mentally ill? I’m gonna call it a cop out. Mental illness isn’t an excuse to be a bigot. Suggesting that straight up assholery, bigotry, misogyny, etc., is a result of mental illness is a diversion tactic that once again allows us to blame something other than the person that is being a bigoted asshole.
I’m on medication for depression and anxiety. Sometimes this makes it difficult for me to act how I want. At my worst, I get irritable, emotional, obsessive. I get reclusive and introverted. I isolate myself and distance myself from my friends. I get clingy and needy. I share too much. I cross boundaries that can damage friendships. I get overwhelmed and angry and sometimes I don’t get out of bed or open my front door on my days off. I eat too much junk food or don’t eat at all. A walk around the block can be a landmark accomplishment. I don’t know when to stop watching Netflix, coloring, playing stupid mindless games on my phone, or, sometimes, when I should stop drinking gin. I don’t know when I should stop talking, sometimes, or I’ll hear a voice in my head telling me to shut up but I keep going instead.
All of this makes me a difficult person to be around sometimes, I’m sure. It certainly makes me not want to be me, sometimes. But what my depression and anxiety don’t do? They don’t make me racist. They don’t make me homophobic. They don’t make me xenophobic. They don’t make me violent, hateful, childish. They don’t make me adopt ideologies that are dangerous to others. Anxiety and depression don’t change my moral center. Anxiety and depression may make me act like an asshole sometimes, but they don’t make me become one at my core.
Trump is just an asshole, so let’s not act like he’s anything else, and let’s not make excuses for him. Hold him accountable, hold his supporters accountable, and let’s not further stigmatize mental illness by making that his scapegoat.