ON MENTAL ILLNESS: The Bad Effects of Trump on People in Recovery

Jack Bragen
Friday October 21, 2016 - 12:41:00 PM

I can only speak for myself, but that is typical of my column which consists of the opinions of one man with mental illness--me. However, I can guess that at least in this case, numerous other mentally ill people may feel the same way.  

The current Presidential campaigning is causing additional trauma for those with post-traumatic stress—something from which numerous mentally ill people suffer. While trauma may not be at the root of most mental illnesses, those of us who have a mental illness are usually traumatized because of the circumstances that often arise upon becoming mentally ill.  

Persons with mental illness lead difficult lives. It is traumatic to have the illness happen initially, and, additionally traumatic, are the things that happen to us as a result of being in institutions, such as jails, psychiatric wards, and board and care homes. If you talk to a typical mentally ill person, they may very likely answer "yes" if you ask if he or she has been raped or molested at some point in their lives.  

It is probably harder for men than women to speak of this, but it is very hard for women to speak up about it. It is something many of us would rather put behind us, submerge the memory, and pretend it never happened. There is an undeserved sense of shame that comes with being a victim of sexual abuse.  

Trump's pattern of public abusiveness toward anyone who isn't Trump lends believability to the allegations of sexual misconduct. He attempts to use intimidation as a weapon whenever anyone opposes him at anything. His whole pattern of campaigning is laced with abuse. This is massively bad.  

Donald Trump doesn't get it that by virtue of being a billionaire and well-known public figure, as well as having a good chance at attaining arguably the highest office on Earth, responsibility comes with that power.  

This campaign reopens old wounds for many of us, and re-traumatizes us. Anyone who has been a victim of an abusive individual is likely to be negatively affected by this horrible, ugly campaign.  

Reopening old wounds and re-traumatizing us may cause us to lose ground mentally, it may cause us anguish, and it may cause us to have more difficulty in doing the things necessary toward getting our basic needs met.  

There is something wrong with our culture if we allow someone to have that much power, fame, and money, who has repeatedly demonstrated completely irresponsible and destructive use of his position. If you would like to put a stop to this abuse, the least you can do is to vote, the second Tuesday in November, or right now, by mail.  

A final note: If evidence arises that Trump is in collusion with the Russian government, he ought to be charged with treason after he loses or wins the Presidency.  

Thanks much to more people who have bought my book, "Instructions for Dealing with Schizophrenia," available on Amazon. Those who have generously purchased this book have helped support the continuation of this column, and have received a valuable, readable self-help manual.