Let’s take a look at word choice by revisiting President Obama’s comments last week about PTSD and mental illness and contrasting it with Trump’s comments yesterday when he characterized veterans struggling with PTSD and suicide as people who “can’t handle it”.
“ If, as a consequence of the extraordinary stress and pain that you are witnessing, typically, [on] a battlefield, something inside you feels like it’s wounded, it’s just like a physical injury. You’ve got to go get help. There’s nothing weak about asking for help.”
“When you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat — and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over and you’re strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can’t handle it.”
Now the Trump campaign is saying Trump’s words are being misinterpreted and the media is creating yet another controversy. No, whether intentional or accidental words really matter when you’re President or running for President. Trump should own it and apologize – or perhaps he’s just not strong enough and can’t handle ever admitting a mistake?
Words also really, really, really matter when you are battling mental illness or are suicidal.
Whether it’s PTSD, OCD, or depression – anyone facing mental illness challenges needs support and encouragement.