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McCain Attempted Suicide Twice, But Won't Release His Mental Health Records During This Campaign

The John McCain Campaign is hoping to ride the shallow message of don't vote for Barack Obama because he's young and popular all the way to the White House.

But this inch deep and very shallow campaign is also concealing some huge vulnerabilities of John McCain. Buried in the 1500 pages of medical records released by the McCain Campaign is information that McCain attempted suicide twice, yet his campaign won't release his full mental health records to the public. This is a serious issue that the McCain Campaign hopes to skirt; his full mental health records after years of physical and psychological abuse by his North Vietnamese captors and whether McCain is currently receiving any psychiatric care or medications.

If you want to make John McCain go ballistic, just suggest to him that his campaign should release his full mental health as well as medical records. McCain has no problem releasing his medical records, which did show that he is cancer survivor with a current clean bill of health and very healthy for his age. But when it comes to McCain's mental health records, this becomes a closely guarded secret of the McCain Campaign, and likely for very good reason. There is likely some significant issues to hide from the public here.

The fact of the matter is that one out of every eight servicemen returning from Iraq are experiencing serious mental health problems such Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and examples of depression, alcohol, drug abuse or suicide are high among returning vets suffering from this other serious mental health disorders.

However, virtually none of these servicemen were captured by the enemy or tortured like John McCain was for five years at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors. The North Vietnamese often received instruction from Soviet KGB or military intelligence officers in techniques of brainwashing, psychological abuse and other methods to break down a soldier and gain false confessions out of them.

It is highly likely that anyone who has suffered such serious abuse has lifelong mental health problems and likely has received treatment for depression or other serious mental health disorders which could include medication, hospitalization or even electro-shock therapy. It is no wonder that the McCain Campaign wishes to conceal the extent to which John McCain received mental health services, or whether he is still undergoing mental health services or is on any mental health medications.

Even anti-depressants can have significant side effects and are controversial because some people have done very disturbed acts under the influence of them. In Oregon, a 12 year old boy who was put on antidepressants killed his parents and shot up his school, killing two students and wounding many more. The fact of the matter is that mental health medications can have significant side effects that cloud judgment or can lead to erratic and bizarre behavior.

John McCain's long history of sudden anger and outrageous outbursts both in the Senate as well as with reporters calls into question whether McCain is still suffering from significant mental health problems as a result of his captivity or whether he is currently under psychiatric care or medications.

The fact of the matter is that good judgment is the most important trait needed in a president, and if John McCain has a history of mental health disorders as a result of his abusive treatment as a POW or is currently under mental health treatment, then his ability to command the largest military in the world, command the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, or make other vital life or death decisions could be greatly clouded. The voting public has a right to know this information.

You know that the McCain Campaign will attempt to run out the clock on the 2008 campaign and ignore any request for his mental health records from reporters or the public. But this information is vitally important.

If John McCain has any mental disorders or is under current psychiatric care or medications should be an important and valid issue in this important election. McCain claims that all of his trauma as a POW had left by 1977, yet the fact that he twice attempted suicide according to the 1500 pages of medical reports from his doctors released to the public so far indicates some history of mental health problems that the McCain Campaign should be upfront about.

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Comments (26)


sources for all the allegation and statistics you threw into that post please, paul. these are some very serious charges you are putting forth.


Linkage, Paul?
Page numbers?
Even Dan Rather thought he had documents.


I don't why a presidential candidate would release his records these days.
Who was the last one that did? I am pretty sure that Kerry, Bush 43, Gore and Clinton did not (ok, I am sure about all but Gore, I may be wrong but would be pretty surprised).
Bush 41?
With all of the muckracking and now the 24x7 news-beast to feed... even the slightest issue becomes fodder.

Ray H:

In the world of business, obtaining and/or using mental health records to determine someone receiving a job is a clear violation of the American's with Disabilities Act of 1990. After the individual is hired, which is based solely on the individuals ability to perform the critical functions of the job, then this information can be brought in so the employer has the opportunity to provide a reasonable accomodation.

Releasing this information would only provide an opportunity for individuals such as you Paul to illegal discriminate against the man.

"John McCain's long history of sudden anger and outrageous outbursts both in the Senate as well as with reporters calls into question whether McCain is still suffering from significant mental health problems as a result of his captivity or whether he is currently under psychiatric care or medications."

Your assumption is fatally flawed, Paul. McCain had a LONG history of "sudden anger and outrageous outbursts" before he was in the Senate, before he was in the House, before he was in Vietnam, before he was a commissioned officer.

Get a clue Paul, and read a few books before you write your stuff. Here's one I recommend:
The Nightingale's Song by Robert Timberg (1995 Touchstone). It documents McCain's life going back to the Naval Academy class of 1958. He had a well established reputation for being hot tempered, disrespectful, outrageous behavior and anything else that would give him an identity separate from the two well known Admirals (father and grandfather) who preceded him there.

I know about ONE time, not two. Where's the second, Paul.

....and the ONE time was while INSIDE a prison AFTER being in solitary confiment and tortured severely for 3 years by his captors, and AFTER being forced to sign a "confession" against his country by the very same assholes...

Heck, next to that, the pressure of being President is a walk in the proverbial park. I have zero doubts about the man's mental stability. And HughS is right, he's always been that way.

And in full disclosure, reverse the tables and say this is Obama, I definitely hold the same line.


Hooson should be ashamed of himself.

Fred, you have to remember how John McCain built his career in politics. While most members of the Senate and many members of Congress are lawyers who carefully choose their words, McCain got himself elected to office by appealing to a sympathy factor in his state as being an abused POW.

Certainly, I have both respect and sympathy for his cruel treatment at the hands of his ruthless Communist captors who were expert at breaking a man and forcing false confessions to war crimes, etc. But I raise a very serious issue about whether there are any psychological scars from this mistreatment that still remain and argue that the McCain Campaign can simply put any of these concerns to rest if they will release John McCain's mental health records just like they did his medical records. This is only a reasonable request in my view for someone who would have complete command over the world's most powerful military and arsenal of nuclear weapons.

In 1972, Senator Thomas Eagleton soon found himself off the Democratic ticket after it was discovered that he had once received shock treatments because of psychiatric problems with depression. And there are currently estimates that as many as 80,000 of the returning 500,000 soldiers from Iraq are suffering some sort of mental health issues. However, none of them faced 5 years of brutal physical and psychological abuse like John McCain did as a POW. So I've raised some good legitimate questions here that I feel that the McCain Campaign should answer by the full disclosure of any mental health records of John McCain.


Still no backup of your assertions, Hooson.

SCS, I'm actually working on a new piece right now, and doing the research to offer enough background information to satisfy just about anyone. The piece should be ready in a little while.

Ray H.:

The only proof Paul has offered up so far is that the democratic party has a history of discrimination. Following your logic, in 1968, someone with a mental disability was forced off the ticket, and also in 1968, someone that was a minority candidate would have been forced of the ticket, Barak Obama now should be forced off the democratic ticket.

Ray, you have your facts a little wrong here. It was 1972, and after it was revealed that Senator Thomas Eagleton had received shock therapy treatments for mental health problems he had faced from 1960-1966, with three mental health hospitalizations and shock therapy twice, although he was a brilliant professor of Public Affairs at Washington University. George McGovern had claimed that he supported the senator 1000%, but as story after story emerged about Eagleton from reporters such as Jack Anderson, who also wrongly reported a drunk driving arrest of Eagleton which never happened, Eagleton withdrew from the ticket at the request of McGovern. And this hurt McCovern because it seemed like he had poor judgement picking a running mate, and then abandoned him wrongly rather than sticking by him and defending him.

Eagleton was popular enough in his home state of Missouri that he remained in office until 1987. But McGovern's 1972 bid for president was badly damaged by the Eagleton mess, and even worse, McGoveern had difficulty finding another running mate as there were rumors of one senator after another declining his offer. McGovern actually wanted Ted Kennedy, but had to settle for Sargent Shriver, another relative of the Kennedy family instead. The Eagleton mess was just another serious problem for the McGovern Campaign that really seemed to have all it's wheels fall off after he captured the Democratic Nomination in 1972, and things only got worse and worse by election day. At some point the party really should have ran another candidate for the race, but couldn't.

Ironically, some polls indicated that if the Watergate Scandal had only broken out earlier, McGovern would have been the landslide winner over President Nixon who had to resign in disgrace in 1974.


What an astonishing litany of innuendo and allegations, with nothing to verify ANY of it. How on earth can one postulate such drivel with a straight face?

I'ts time, I believe, that the left realize that there isn't anything to ding McCain with, unless it is fanciful, wishful thinking.


We'll see Ray.
For now, I predict Macbeth, 5, 5 will be the response.

Ray H.:

Paul, you wrote "In 1972, Senator Thomas Eagleton soon found himself off the Democratic ticket after it was discovered that he had once received shock treatments because of psychiatric problems with depression."

I misquoted your date, but otherwise, you insinuated that he got bumped off the ticket solely for mental issues, which even after your follow seems that he dropped probaby because of pressure from his others within the party.

If that's not the case, stop trying to back up your points with only half the story. Regardless, now it's in 1972, someone with a past mental issue wasn't allowed on the ticket, so today someone who may have had a mental issue in his past shouldn't be allowed on the ticket. Logic still follows that in 1972 a minority also wouldn't been allowed on the ticket, so they shouldn't be allowed today.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

I don't get this comment thread -- what part of "McCain Attempted Suicide Twice, But Won't Release His Mental Health Records During This Campaign" is in dispute here?

These are facts - is the reality-challenged right in deep denial again?

Ray H.:

If you read the thread of comments, A) the second suicide attempt isn't a fact, Paul hasn't provided anything to prove his assertation, the second thing is his assumption that because he attempted suicide that his right to be president is somehow compromised. Although, his state of mind 40 years ago is irrelevant now. The logic both of you use is so flawed that it laughable. It's like saying when you were a baby you wet your bed, so now that you are an adult you must still wet your bed, as if it's impossible to get better.

Regardless, McCain has no legal reason to release his mental health records!

I'm not sure why I keep coming to this site.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Without seeing his mental health records we don't know if he's better or not.

The fact that he won't release his mental health records indicates that he has something to hide -- while he has already released his medical records that detail his prior bout with cancer.

Now what in his mental health record could be worth hiding? What's worse than cancer?

And I've seen several accounts indicating that McCain attempted suicide twice. Are you telling me that McCain supporters aren't aware of McCain's past suicide attempts (plural)?

Good thing Paul wrote this post then, eh?

Ray H.:

Honestly, it doesn't matter if it was one, two or a hundred suicide attempts. His past suicide attempts are irrelevant to his ability to manage our country today. There are laws that protect people with mental illnesses from discrimination. If it's illegal to use the informaiton, why would it need to be made public? You can only use it for a non-legal reason.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

It doesn't matter if it's one time or two?

It seems to matter a lot to ke-future:

"sources for all the allegation and statistics you threw into that post please, paul. these are some very serious charges you are putting forth."

"very serious charges..."

It also seems to matter to Peter:

"I know about ONE time, not two. Where's the second, Paul.

Now apparently you don't care if the President of the United States suffers from some form of mental illness, but it does matter to others, Ray, I assure you.

Ray H:

It matters to them because they were asking for sources for the allegations, which Paul still has failed to provide.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

It looks like Paul has included several links to this information at the bottom of the next post.


Well, I was proven correct

...a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.


According to


from Brave New Films he hasn't released his medical records, of any kind.

Red Stater:

His health looks terrible and I looked into it... this should be raised as a serious concern given his #2. The 5 year survival rate on 3a Melanoma is scary enough, but check these out..

I think McCain needs to be honest about his health... here's some of the following symptoms he displays:

Blepharoptosis: Droopy upper eyelid. The condition may be caused by such things as stroke, brain tumor, diabetes and myasthenia gravis.

Tardive Dyskinesia: Tardive dyskinesia is a neurological syndrome caused by the long-term use of neuroleptic drugs. Neuroleptic drugs are generally prescribed for psychiatric ...
**This is text book on the grimacing and lizard tongue flipping**

Tourette Syndrome: Tourette Syndrome (TS) is an inherited neurological disorder characterized by repeated involuntary movements and uncontrollable vocal sounds called tics.
**The vocal spams and eye blinking are typical in mild cases***


Since I can't seem to shake the sight of Senator McCain flicking his tongue during the debate Friday, I had to look a little farther for an explanation.

Turns out this could be an involuntary movement sometimes associated with tartive dyskenisia, a side effect of prescription drugs for psychosis (the phenothiazines group) or Parkinson's disease (L-dopa for example).

In its less severe form, dyskinesia can be consciously controlled most, but not all of the time. As symptoms become more severe, the movement is harder to control, becoming more frequent and exaggerated.

I've seen some suggest it was simple nervousness or a nervous tic, another blog discussion focused on the movement as a tell-tale sign of lying, but it was not unique to Friday night. There are references to this condition that go back for at least several months.

This very visible symptom, coupled with the stare and shuffle that many have noticed (US soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan commented on this during his visits) and associated with drug side effects or early-stage Alzheimers, reinforces the critical need for an unbiased mental and physical evaluation of this candidate.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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