Washington, Oct. 6 – Earlier this week, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said that “strong” veterans do not have mental health problems like post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), implying that those who do are “weak” and “can’t handle it.”
“When you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat, they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in the room have seen many times over. And you’re strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can’t handle it,” Trump said to a room full of military veterans during an event in Northern Virginia on Monday morning. “And they see horror stories, they see events that you couldn’t see in a movie — nobody would believe it.”
People with mental health disabilities, especially in the military, often do not seek help because of stigma surrounding mental health issues and the idea that asking for help is seen as being weak. When a major party presidential candidate perpetuates the idea that PTSD is a sign of weakness, that is dangerous for veterans and other people with PTSD who may not disclose their symptoms for fear that they are a sign of weakness.