Many people experience panic attacks at some point in their lives. The symptoms can include a racing heart, shortness of breath, dizziness and chest pain. People in the throes of a panic attack may feel like they are dying. Many end up rushing to the hospital, where serious physical issues can be ruled out.
Last week, President Donald Trump made a sudden, unplanned visit to Walter Reed Hospital, amid all kinds of speculation about what was wrong. Theories ranged from a heart attack to a fear that Trump had been poisoned.
The official White House explanation was that the President had a little extra time on his hands, so he “got a head start” on his annual physical. The physical that is not due until February.
Skepticism about this explanation was everywhere.
On CNN’s Reliable Sources yesterday, Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported that Trump’s doctor accompanied him in the car to the hospital. He stated that having a doctor ride along beside the President is highly unusual, especially for “routine tests”.
Further, Dr. Gupta said that the tests reportedly done on the President during his two hour visit to the hospital could easily have been done at the White House. He also questioned why this visit, unlike past Presidential “check-ups” didn’t include an announcement to staff, the closure of local roads or the closure of key hospital wings.
The President was only at the hospital for about two hours, which means that there were no signs of serious physical health issues. They checked him out, then sent him home.
All of this made me wonder: Could President Trump have experienced a panic attack?
There is certainly enough pressure on the man to have caused one, with the ongoing Ukraine scandal and impeachment proceedings.
This theory seems plausible to me, although I am neither a doctor nor a mental health professional.
This morning I read that the President is doing less and less work in the Oval Office. Instead, he prefers to remain in the residence, where he is insulated from most staff.
Again, this leads me to wonder about the President’s state of mind. Why does he feel like he needs to isolate himself? Is he afraid of leaks? Of spies?
Or is he afraid of another major panic attack, like so many people who have suffered through one of these terrifying events?
I don’t know.
But I sure do wonder.
And I am more than a little worried. For all of us.