Sunday, May 7, 2017

35 Mental Health Professionals Warn Of Trump's 'Grave Emotional Instability'

Yesterday, we wrote about how speculation regarding the president's mental health has grown with every reality-bending lie that Trump espouses and every rage tweet he spits in all caps. Now a group of 35 psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers has released a strongly-worded statement warning that Trump's "grave emotional instability" disqualify him from office.
The letter was sent to the NY Times in response to Charles M. Blow's column last week about Trump's tyrannical behavior in dealing with people and branches of government that disagree with his worldview: "He always wants to grind the opposition underfoot. This is how democracy slips away, not always by a singular eruption, but sometimes by slow, constant erosion, the way the river carves itself into the rock."
The letter in response, which was signed by Lance M. Dodes, Joseph Schachter and 33 others, directly addresses many of the issues we discussed in our piece yesterday, including the issue of whether it was ethical for medical professionals to speculate about a public figure's mental health:
Silence from the country’s mental health organizations has been due to a self-imposed dictum about evaluating public figures (the American Psychiatric Association’s 1973 Goldwater Rule). But this silence has resulted in a failure to lend our expertise to worried journalists and members of Congress at this critical time. We fear that too much is at stake to be silent any longer.
Mr. Trump’s speech and actions demonstrate an inability to tolerate views different from his own, leading to rage reactions. His words and behavior suggest a profound inability to empathize. Individuals with these traits distort reality to suit their psychological state, attacking facts and those who convey them (journalists, scientists).
In a powerful leader, these attacks are likely to increase, as his personal myth of greatness appears to be confirmed. We believe that the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump’s speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president.
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