When can we write about something else than Trump being unhinged?
Ethicist and lawyer Jack Marshall’s blog.
Last month: Terry Tao’s blog
My photo blog is here. +++ Links to all the several dozen articles I cross-posted to Daily Kos with comments are here.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Shrinks diagnosing Trump: The Goldwater rule goes mainstream (in the New York Times):
"The Psychiatric Question: Is It Fair to Analyze Donald Trump From Afar?"
Count me among the mental health professionals (as a retired clinical social worker and mental health center director who was licensed to diagnose and treat patients) who disagrees with the Goldwater Rule under special circumstances. These exceptions occur when a candidate offers ample evidence that he has one or more psychiatric diagnoses that make him or her unfit or even dangerous to be president.
Now, while Republican physicians are speculating about Hillary Clinton’s physical fitness to be president while Trump himself has started not only saying she is (mentally) unhinged, but that she looks like she had a stroke, and has trouble walking up a flight of stairs unaided, and needs to sleep between brief speeches.
Obviously the physicians that speculated on this have scant evidence to go on. Physical diagnosis requires an examination and often tests. Psychiatric diagnosis is usual accomplished with a face-to-face interview or two, and infrequently psychological tests like the Rorschach and MMPI.
However, because Trump has been unscripted in so many of his rallies and demonstrated a wide variety of symptoms of disorders that make him temperamentally unfit to be president. Even if we don’t count his lack of empathy (a characteristic of narcissistic personality disorder), there’s his pathological lying (pseudologia fantastic) and fantastic confabulation and his impulsiveness. Add to this that his narcissism makes him highly unlikely to heed advice that challenges his beliefs.
While not showing enough symptoms to make a likely diagnosis of paranoid personality disorder he does seem to believe a lot of conspiracy theories. Also not a true anti-social personality (aka sociopath) he seems to relish being a bully and his NPD lack of empathy is also a characteristic of this with anti-social personality.
If Trump was somehow persuaded to undergo a psychiatric examination knowing the results would be public he’d be guarded and I’d wager figure out that he’d better not let his unhinged stream of conscious and word salad speech take over. I wouldn’t be surprised if he took some Xanax prior to his interview. In fact, if I was his campaign advisor I’d suggest he do so.
Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times article:
The 2016 Republican nominee’s incendiary, stream-of-consciousness pronouncements have strained that agreement to the breaking point, exposing divisions in the field over whether such restraint is appropriate today.
Psychiatrists and psychologists have publicly flouted the Goldwater Rule, tagging Mr. Trump with an assortment of personality problems, including grandiosity, a lack of empathy, and “malignant narcissism.” The clinical insults are flying so thick that earlier this month, the psychiatric association posted a reminder that breaking the Goldwater Rule “is irresponsible, potentially stigmatizing, and definitely unethical.”
Putting a psychiatric label on a candidate they oppose can be a “seemingly irresistible tool for some in the field,” said Dr. Paul Appelbaum, a professor of psychiatry, medicine and law at Columbia University who disapproves of the practice. “This year, perhaps more than most, they’re persuaded they’re saving the nation from a terrible fate.”A group of professional mental health therapists have a website, citizentherapists.com , with a manifesto which over 2,000 therapists have signed:
Here’s another excerpt from the New York Times article:
Dr. Steven Buser, a psychiatrist who with his colleague, Dr. Leonard Cruz, coedited a new book, “A Clear and Present Danger: Narcissism in the Era of Donald Trump,” stressed, “We are careful not to make a clinical diagnosis here, to say that Donald Trump has narcissistic personality disorder.” The contributing writers include psychiatrists and psychologists, but Dr. Buser said, “We are focused on the image he projects, on TV, in tweets, in quotes.”
Dr. Appelbaum ( a professor of psychiatry, medicine and law at Columbia University who disapproves of diagnosing politicians) calls this distinction a convenient splitting of hairs. “It takes a skilled therapist months, sometimes longer, seeing a person regularly and asking probing questions to make a determination of whether a disorder is present,” Dr. Appelbaum said.
Just a thought: Trump wants extreme vetting for VISA applicants. How about requiring extreme vetting for presidential candidates? Start with requiring they release their income tax returns. A Rorschach Test and MMPI should also be required.
|Not fit enough to fight World War II?|
In what was billed as a major foreign-policy address in Ohio, Donald Trump suggested—as he has in the past—that Hillary Clinton is somehow secretly ill. This time though, he said Clinton lacks the “mental and physical stamina” to take on ISIS, a declaration that comes just a week after conspiracy theories bubbled to the surface once again saying that the Democratic presidential nominee has some terminal ailment. Daily Beast
Monday, August 15, 2016
A rare gift to the electorate from Donald Trump
Simply put, Donald Trump has demonstrated his dark side more that any other candidate in this election and possibly in history. The only candidates in my memory that come close are George Wallace and Pat Buchanan. Add to this that we have seen so many examples of his bullying and mean and/or threatening reactions to slights that even without making a psychiatric diagnosis we can make judgments about his temperament.
Trump believes in himself with such conviction that he sees no need to heed advice from those who want him to win that he has to “act” presidential. Give Trump credit for refusing to act a role that would be dishonest.
As an evil Popeye, he proudly lives by the credo “I yam what I yam.” And that is good for us!
New to this blog… read previous “editions” here.