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Fri Feb 17, 2017, 11:12 AM

Is It Time to Call Trump Mentally Ill?

The Opinion Pages | Contributing Op-Ed Writer

Is It Time to Call Trump Mentally Ill?

Richard A. Friedman FEB. 17, 2017

A lot of people seem to be questioning President Trumpís mental health. This month, Representative Ted Lieu, a California Democrat, went so far as to say he was considering proposing legislation that would require a White House psychiatrist. ... More controversial is the number of mental health experts who are joining the chorus. In December, a Huffington Post article featured a letter written by three prominent psychiatry professors that cited President Trumpís ďgrandiosity, impulsivity, hypersensitivity to slights or criticism, and an apparent inability to distinguish between fantasy and realityĒ as evidence of his mental instability. While stopping short of giving the president a formal psychiatric diagnosis, the experts called for him to submit to a full medical and neuropsychiatric evaluation by impartial investigators.
....

But the attempt to diagnose a condition in President Trump and declare him mentally unfit to serve is misguided for several reasons. .... {I}n 1973 the A.P.A. developed the Goldwater Rule. It says that psychiatrists can discuss mental health issues with the news media, but that it is unethical for them to diagnose mental illnesses in people they have not examined and whose consent they have not received.
....

... Diagnosis requires a thorough examination of a patient, a detailed history and all relevant clinical data ó none of which can be gathered from afar. Narcissism, for instance, isnít the only explanation for impulsive, inattentive and grandiose behavior. Someone could be suffering instead from another clinical problem like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; the abuse of drugs, alcohol or stimulants; or a variant of bipolar disorder, to name just a few. ... This is all to say that when mental health professionals label public figures with mental illnesses, it is not just unethical ó itís intellectually suspect. We donít have the requisite clinical data to know what we are talking about.
....

There is one last reason we should avoid psychiatrically labeling our leaders: It lets them off the moral hook. Not all misbehavior reflects psychopathology; the fact is that ordinary human meanness and incompetence are far more common than mental illness. We should not be in the business of medicalizing bad actors. ... So the nation doesnít need a shrink to help it to decide whether President Trump is fit to serve, mentally or otherwise. Presidents should be judged on the merits of their actions, statements and, I suppose, their tweets. No experts are needed for that ó just common sense.

Richard A. Friedman is a professor of clinical psychiatry and the director of the psychopharmacology clinic at the Weill Cornell Medical College, and a contributing opinion writer.

In other words, maybe ***** is just an @$$hole, and it's not fair to the truly mentally ill to associate them with *****. It gives them a bad name.

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Reply Is It Time to Call Trump Mentally Ill? (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 17 OP
putitinD Feb 17 #1
ginnyinWI Feb 17 #2
pat_k Feb 19 #5
Demit Feb 17 #3
dixiegrrrrl Feb 17 #4

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 11:18 AM

1. everybody I know has for a couple years now!

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 11:28 AM

2. It might be safer to say, "emotionally disturbed"

Not being a professional, and not examining the patient, who knows what's really wrong.

He seems to have several things going on--longstanding problems, possibly from childhood, that are now a permanent part of his personality. He acts out of his disturbed emotions, and in the real estate business, it was an asset rather than a liability. He became successful as a bully and unpredictable character. Lying was part of the package.

You don't want someone like this in a position of power! They are too unpredictable.



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Response to ginnyinWI (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 04:19 AM

5. Psychopath / Antisocial personality disorder

His public conduct can be evaluated against the criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder. I think there is very little doubt that he meets the criteria. I also think there is very little doubt that he would score extremely high on the psychopathy scale.

DT breaks "every rule in the book" in pursuit of his own ends. He lies and distorts reality to rationalize and justify his wrongful conduct. To puff up his over-inflated ego he stereotypes and denigrates those he sees as "out-groups." His callous disregard for others and sense of entitlement appears to know no bounds. He weaves grandiose tales of his fearsome power, omnipotence, and unequaled brilliance. He is proudly abrasive and offensive. He clearly enjoys humiliating and embarrassing others, but reacts to any perceived slight to his own person, appearance, or accomplishments aggressively and vindictively.

These are the traits of a psychopath. Of someone with Antisocial Personality Disorder. Sure, he may have other things going on too that would we exposed with extensive evaluation. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is undoubtedly in there too, but I think his psychopathy is more significant. I think labeling him a psychopath is useful. It captures so many of the malignant traits he exhibits.

I don't think labeling him a psychopath unfairly maligns psychopaths. And psychopaths are definitely capable of doing the sort of harm that can only be characterized as evil. So labeling him doesn't "let him off the hook."

My two cents. FWIW

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 11:34 AM

3. The essay says "even if you posit that a president has a mental disorder

...that in itself may say little about his fitness to serve. After all, Lincoln had severe depression. Theodore Roosevelt was probably bipolar. Ulysses S. Grant was an alcoholic."

And none of them had access to the nuclear codes.

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Response to Demit (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 01:57 PM

4. Shrub was a drunk......Nixon retreated into the bottle more and more in his 2nd term..

Even Kissinger expressed concern for Nixon's mental state.
Reagan, now we come to find out, was rapidly sliding into dementia in his 2nd term.

We are lucky to have escaped a bomb all those times.

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