Election Campaigns
12:57 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

The Leak Of Dan Patrick’s Mental Health Records May Have Helped Him

Republican lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick outside the Alamo ahead of his debate with San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro.
Republican lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick outside the Alamo ahead of his debate with San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro.
Credit Dan Patrick via YouTube

Just before start of this week, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who is supporting Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's bid for re-election in the runoff, leaked documents detailing state Sen. Dan Patrick's treatment for depression during two separate hospitals stays 30 years ago.  

Professor Mark Jones, the head of the political science department at Rice University in Houston, said Dewhurst and his associates have made the impossible, possible.

"It’s taken Dan Patrick, who is not especially a sympathetic figure, and turns into him into a sympathetic figure,” Jones said.

Dr. Richard Pesikoff, a psychiatrist with the Baylor College of Medicine, said the release of these records doesn’t insure confidence for people being treated or seeking treatment, and may delay treatment for some people.

“It certainly would do nothing positive to a current patient or a future to-be patient if they had to worry not just about whatever their medical illness was, but also about whether this would be kept private,” Pesikoff said.

Pesikoff said it also stigmatizes those who may at one time have been treated for clinical depression as being incapable of doing various jobs.  

"It encourages that segment of the population who have negative attitudes about mental health and it does stigmatize,” he said.

Either way, politicos say it’s a sign that the campaign has yet to hit bottom.