During a recent physical, a doctor asked my neighbor if he experienced signs of depression.

“I have been on edge lately,” he confessed.

“Last week, I yelled at my wife for things that really didn’t matter. And I’ve been feeling down. Do you think it’s depression?”

“You’re a Democrat, aren’t you?” the doctor replied.

“Yes,” my neighbor said. “But what’s that got to do with it?”

“You’re a Democrat, and Trump has been president for nine months,” the doctor said. “If you weren’t depressed, I’d be worried about you.

“Heck, I’m a Democrat, and I’m depressed,” the doctor said.

That story is anecdotal at best.

But there may be something to the fact that people who six months ago were worried about the sanity of the president are now worried about their own mental health.

I know. I wondered about my own mental stability when I got caught up recently in President Donald Trump’s swipes at the National Football League.

I found myself making arguments about why it did, or did not, matter that a group of highly paid professional athletes had decided to drop to one knee when “The Star Spangled Banner” was played.

I liked Sen. Chuck Grassley’s comment that the only time he kneels is to pray, which is what I assumed the NFL players were doing: praying for an end to racism.

I found it amazing that these big guys, whose job is to beat up opponents, were kneeling, which is a sign of respect. They weren’t holding a fist in the air, like the Black Panthers did 40 years ago. They were kneeling.

And for that, their president called them a bunch of bums and worse and said they should be fired.

Almost in the same breath, Trump was saber-rattling at North Korea, threatening to use “devastating” military action and predicting that it “wouldn’t be around much longer.”

His rhetoric prompted North Korean officials to say, in effect, that they believed the U.S. had declared war, which led to denials from U.S. diplomats.

Up until then, I never could have imagined a situation in which U.S. officials would need to deny that the president of the United States had declared war.

It was a scene right out of the 1964 movie “Dr. Strangelove,” a political satire that thrusts the U.S. and USSR into nuclear war. The subtitle of that movie was “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”

Which seems to be what Trump wants us to do now.

But maybe things are not what they seem.

I have a friend who says that Trump isn’t insane, that he’s a genius who is using these situations as diversions because he knows he’ll never be able to do everything he’s promised to do.

My friend says that Trump knows he can distract attention by periodically throwing out meaningless pieces of red meat.

Banning transgender people from the military is one example. Questioning the patriotism of NFL players is another.

Trump knows that when we are arguing about those issues we won’t be asking about how he plans to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, or who will pay for his border wall, my friend says.

The president knows he can’t solve health care or get the tax cuts he wants. And he’d just as soon nobody talk about the budget deficit or the abysmal way we treat veterans, or climate change, or clean water and all of the dozens of other real issues.

But here’s what really worries me. Does Trump know the difference between calling NFL players a bunch of bums and threatening to nuke North Korea?