Donald Trump is once again using mental health terms as insults on Twitter, this time targeting his insensitive language toward MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski.
Trump, who has previously expressed his discontent with the morning show, claimed Brzezinski had a “mental breakdown” when discussing him on air Friday.
“Just heard that crazy and dumb [Mika Brzezinski] had a mental breakdown while talking about me on the low ratings at [Morning Joe],” he wrote.
Experts say that education about mental health disorders is the best way to eradicate the stigma surrounding them. So allow us to drop a little knowledge on what a “mental breakdown” actually is for Trump and anyone else who might be confused.
When someone has a mental breakdown, or a “nervous breakdown” as it is commonly called, they often skip work and avoid social situations. They experience higher volumes of stress and sometimes levels of depression or anxiety. They also have changes in appetite and sleep patterns. It’s not necessarily a confirmation of a serious mental illness, but it is a wakeup call that there could be an underlying psychological issue.
In other words, someone who is simply expressing her opinions on her own morning show does not fall into this category.
Of course, we all know this and Trump probably knows it too. But the GOP nominee has a long history of diminishing mental illness and using language associated with mental health as a way to insult others. And it’s stigmatizing and wrong.
Last year, he directed similar sentiments toward media personality Glenn Beck, calling him a “mental basket case.” He also retweeted a tweet in March from a user who said former GOP rival Ted Cruz was having a “mental crisis.”
Approximately one in five U.S. adults live with a mental health disorder. Despite how common it is, mental illness is still treated as a punchline rather than a serious health issue. There’s still a large, negative stereotype attached to mental health conditions ― partly due to comments like Trump’s. That’s dangerous because research shows the judgment and shame surrounding the disorders often prevents people from seeking medical support.
So, enough of the insults. Please.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.