Washington, A leading mental health advocate and former Democratic Congressman has asked Americans to stop calling Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump "crazy" as it demeans those who suffer from real mental health issues.
"We can reject Trump without resorting to making baseless diagnoses of his mental health," Patrick Kennedy, a member of the famous Kennedy family, wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post.
The founder of the Kennedy Forum said perpetuation of stigmatising, outdated stereotypes makes it harder for those experiencing mental illness to seek the treatment they need. He said that rhetoric surrounding the 2016 election discourages anyone suffering mental health issues from seeking help.
Kennedy, who himself struggled with mental illness and addiction, co-authored a book on his experience called "A Common Struggle."
"Is Donald Trump experiencing a mental illness? That's the question making the rounds these days. The answer is: I don't know. And neither do the commentators, tweeters and psychiatrists both licensed and armchair who've diagnosed him from afar as 'crazy', a 'psychopath', not 'sane', having 'narcissistic personality disorder' and a 'screw loose'," he wrote.
"What I do know is that we ought to stop casually throwing around terms like 'crazy' in this campaign and our daily lives," Kennedy wrote.
The president of the American Psychiatric Association has said that even for professionals, these sorts of diagnoses, made from afar, are "unethical" and "irresponsible." And they only serve to demean and undercut people.
"Crazy is never uttered with compassion. I have never heard it used in the context of trying to get someone the treatment they need. When that language is commonplace, it becomes that much harder for those experiencing mental illness to openly seek treatment that works," he said.
Kennedy also said that stopping Trump from becoming president should be a high priority.
"He lives in a world divided by us and them, weak and strong, winners and losers. His grim vision for America is not one that I recognise or want for my children," he said.