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Trump And Mental Health: How A Signature Campaign Casts Light On The President's Sanity

19 February 2017, 9:38 pm EST By Athena Chan Tech Times
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A signature campaign calls for President Trump's removal due to supposed mental illnesses. Other mental health professionals disagree.   ( Mario Tama | Getty Images )

It's no secret that the new president's words and actions have been controversial to say the least. From questionable cabinet picks to executive orders that had many enraged and utterly confusing press conferences, President Trump's first few weeks have definitely sparked strong reactions.

One group of mental health professionals in particular are thoroughly convinced that the president has a serious mental illness, so much so that they have started a petition to remove him from office. Other professionals are unconvinced.

The Petition

A petition in change.org has been gaining the attention of many for many reasons. For one thing, the petition was started by, and is aimed at, mental health professionals who believe that President Donald Trump has been exhibiting signs of a serious mental illness that makes him incapable of competently performing the duties required in being the President of the United States. The petition points to specific articles in the Constitution, requesting that the president be removed from office.

As of Feb.18, three weeks after the petition was started, it has already garnered over 25,000 signatures from mental health professionals across the country. Upon completion, the petition will be sent to New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

'Stop Calling Him Crazy'

Though the petition has garnered the support of many mental health professionals, others do not quite feel the same way. Other professionals also caution many professionals on the dangers of claiming and "diagnosing" the president's mental health from afar or based on his television appearances or Tweets.

On one note, they see diagnosing a person with a mental illness without the proper process, face-to-face interaction and thorough medical history review as poor medicine. Further, the stigma that people associate with the words "crazy" and "mental illness" may strongly and negatively affect members of the population who do need psychological help and treatment.

On another note, other professionals believe that marking people who perform morally questionable acts with a mental illness is not just inappropriate, but it also trivializes the seriousness of his actions. What's more, the vision impressed upon individuals with mental illness that renders them incapable of sensible and responsible actions is not quite fair when many of them live successful and fruitful lives.

"Just like you can be a CEO or hold high office with a physical illness, who's to say you can't do it with a mental illness?" said Arthur Caplan of New York University's medical ethics division.

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