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Why J.K. Rowling's Tweet About Donald Trump Matters

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Today, J.K. Rowling quoted a tweet about President Donald Trump and wrote “A Trumpersonality Disorder.”

For many people who don’t have a personality disorder, they assume this is a harmless tweet with the aim of making a joke at the expense of Donald Trump. But to those of us who struggle with personality disorders of any and all kinds, this tweet further stigmatizes these mental health conditions and is harmful to those struggling.

It implies all people with personality disorders are violent, bad people. Not only that but labeling someone as mentally ill based on a person’s immoral behavior or the way they portray themselves also strengthens the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Just because we have personality disorders does not mean we are awful people. And just because Trump is viewed as an awful person does not mean he has a personality disorder. These are not interchangeable.

It took a long time for me to accept and acknowledge I had a personality disorder, exactly because of views like this. It alienates us and implies we are awful, violent, dangerous people when actually so many of us are kind, compassionate human beings who simply have a condition.

To make a joke about mental illnesses at the expense of Donald Trump is harmful, regardless of whether it was tongue-in-cheek – especially coming from a powerful and influential person of our society such as J.K. Rowling.

People need to be more careful about the things they are saying and the effect these words can have on someone else.

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Originally published: May 3, 2017
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