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.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Comments on Daily Kos
by Daniel Shaw LCSW, who is a clinical social worker like me; but he's also a psychoanalyst. He is private practice in New York City and in Nyack, New York. He has gone published numerous psychoanalytic papers, and is the author of "Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation."
This analyst admits he is champing at the bit to make a diagnosis but is resisting doing so. Then he goes on to beat around the diagnosis book (i.e. the DSM-5). So without identifying Trump he writes: "Perhaps I could speak a bit about narcissism in general, without naming names ― especially about the kind of narcissistic person that seeks and attracts followers to form some kind of big religious or political movement, with him or her as its supreme leader.” He eventually gives Trump the non-diagnosis of malignant, traumatizing narcissism who is are capable of untold destructiveness. Most therapists have most agreed to constrain themselves by a so-called rule that keeps them from helping the public to understand better why Trump is unfit to be president. I see the reasons offered here and elsewhere by these therapists, I happen to think Trump is the except that breaks the rule! Something to think about: consider the history of psychology and the contributions by those who were willing to break the rules, starting with Freud.
His article begins:
Mental health practitioners generally agree that it is not appropriate to offer psychoanalytic diagnoses of public figures we’ve never actually interviewed or treated. However, many of us, myself included, are champing at the bit these days. It’s especially tempting for me, since I’ve been writing and thinking about narcissism for quite a while ― and one sees so much of what looks just like it these days, the minute one turns on the news.
Perhaps I could speak a bit about narcissism in general, without naming names ― especially about the kind of narcissistic person that seeks and attracts followers to form some kind of big religious or political movement, with him or her as its supreme leader.
Erich Fromm, famous in the 1960s for “The Art of Loving,” published his first bestseller, “Escape From Freedom,” in the ‘40s, when he witnessed the popularity and the horror of Fascism in Europe……. continued
If you have the interest and time here’s an excellent audio discussion on the Diane Rehm radio show about the ethics of “Tumpology” (diagnosis of Trump) in the mental health profession.
Debate Over Armchair Psychological Assessments Of Donald Trump
Weds, August 17, 2016
March 6, 2016
MORE: An article from MARCH [Inquisitr] Sam Valkin, narcissism expert studies 600 hours of Trump
Sam Vaknin, a mental health expert and author, has studied over 600 hours of Donald Trump footage and made the harsh conclusion that Donald Trump is not simply a classic narcissist — he is, in fact, a “malignant and, probably, psychopathic narcissist.”
In an extensive interview with American Thinker, Vaknin explains that he first connected narcissism to the political stage in a 2008 essaywhere he suggested that then-senator Barack Obama was, in fact, a narcissist, but he also wrote that Obama was intelligent and pro-social, and that while Trump repeatedly to be the former, he is “definitely not the latter,” and that he should be considered “much more of a menace than Obama ever was” to the United States.
There are, Vaknin explains, nine criteria that a narcissist meets, and there is little doubt that Trump is “writ large” on every one.
A narcissist feels grandiose and self-important, and often exaggerates to the point of lying his or her accomplishments and skills. A narcissist is obsessed with fantasies of “unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence.” The narcissist is convinced that he or she is special and, because of that, should be treated as a high-status person. A narcissist requires “excessive admiration” and feels entitled, demanding special and often unreasonable treatment. A narcissist is “interpersonally exploitative,” using others to achieve his or her own goals, and is also devoid of empathy. A narcissist is also envious of others and will seek to hurt or destroy people, and, lastly, a narcissist “behaves arrogantly and haughtily,” and “rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people he or she considers inferior to him or her and unworthy.”Comment here
Read comments here
2,200 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. While the mental health professionals who put together the manifesto do not diagnose Trump, they use their expertise to “analyze” his temperament, character, disposition, as well as his beliefs.
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, http://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.
My previous and controversial articles about Trump’s likely diagnoses, all published on Daily Kos, which combined I call Trump derangement syndrome:
Tuesday, April 16, 2016
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.