We are living in an era of presidential firsts: George W. Bush was the first MBA president, Barack Obama was the first Black president, and now with Donald Trump we likely have the first ADHD president.
I do not make, or take, a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) lightly, nor, for the record, am I formally diagnosing Mr. Trump with the disorder. However, as a clinical psychologist who has seen his share of adults and children with ADHD, I can tell you that there is ample evidence of this condition in Mr. Trump.
Here are the main symptoms that clinicians look for when diagnosing someone with ADHD. I have included links to articles from various news outlets providing evidence of how Trump’s behavior fits the symptoms. Take a look and decide what you think:
- Often makes careless mistakes and lacks attention to details
- Often has difficulty paying attention to tasks
- Often seems to not listen when spoken to directly
- Often fails to follow through on instructions, chores, or duties in the workplace
- Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
- Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to participate in tasks requiring sustained mental effort, like preparing reports, completing forms, or reviewing lengthy papers
- Often loses things like tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, and mobile phones
- Often easily distracted by other things, including unrelated thoughts
- Often forgetful in daily activities, such as running errands, returning calls, paying bills, and keeping appointments
There are plenty of additional links that you could find, as well as evidence of behaviors that are consistent with serious personality pathology.
Trump has been in office for less than two weeks and his erratic behavior has already directly negatively impacted the lives of thousands of ordinary citizens, not to mention the people who fear his unpredictable and inconsistent decision-making and behavior.
ADHD is a real disorder with serious consequences. People who have it are at risk for other mental and physical ailments, and if it goes untreated it can lead to a whole host of other problems for the affected person, who the people who depend on him or her. For example, they have difficulties following rules, meeting deadlines, sticking to a routine and managing complicated information. Fortunately, most of the people who have it seek and get treatment and are able to live rich and meaningful lives and function at very high levels, but it is not something to be taken lightly.
Since candidates routinely provide information regarding their physical health, shouldn’t they also be required to provide a statement regarding their mental health? Doesn’t America and the world deserve to know if Trump has ever been formally evaluated for ADHD, or if he has been treated for the same, and if not, why not?This article was originally published on Medium.com