These U.S. Presidents Suffered from Mental Illness

After reading a variety of articles about whether Donald Trump has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (e.g., in Vanity Fair (link is external) as well as Psychology Today), I became curious about whether having a mental illness would put the kibosh on a candidates chances of getting elected. So I did some research and the answer is a quite clear—not so much.

According to a study by Jonathan Davidson (link is external) at the Duke University Medical Center, half of U.S. presidents were afflicted by mental illness—half! The authors of the study reviewed biographical sources for the first 37 presidents (1776-1974). Most alarming of all, they reported that 27% of the presidents met those criteria while in office—something that would have clearly affected their ability to perform their jobs.