Paranoid and Delusional.

Jim Cooke/FMG.

Doctors are speaking out, once again, about the Tiny Tyrant’s mental state. I don’t think it has escaped anyone’s notice that Trump is not exactly the most stable of individuals; nor that his ego is a monstrosity truly out of control. I have no doubt that even the Trump Faithful have noticed this, they just find justifications and rationalizations for it. The big problem here is power. The amount of harm Trump could cause outside of the political arena was high, on an individual level, however, the possibility for harm now is past the stratosphere. This is not someone you want in charge of a monstrously over-powered military and weapons. This is not someone who should even be close to knowing the nuclear codes. This is not someone who can pull off a brinksmanship game with nukes, because no sane person would even consider doing such a thing, the potential for catastrophe is simply too high. The other terrifying aspect to all that is that Trump has no resources other than his standby of bullying. He’s not knowledgeable, he’s not in the least shamed by his willful ignorance; he’s a 70something year old white man who relies completely on Fox News for his information. This does not make him different from all those other 70something white men who do the same, but they aren’t sitting in the perch of power, and no one really cares about whatever nutty stuff they might believe, thanks to Fox feeding.

As usual, there’s much talk about violating the Goldwater Rule, but we aren’t talking about someone who is campaigning anymore, we are talking about someone who has secured a position of great power, and someone who is not mentally or emotionally capable of handling such power. We should not be so cowed, as individuals or as a society, to hush everything up based on politeness, a la you shouldn’t speak ill of the dead. There’s a time and place for such courtesies, but this is not one of them. There’s a maniacal, knowledge-deficient bully sitting in the white house, who is swayed by the last person to speak with him. This is not someone who is a thinker, let alone an independent thinker. This is a person who is utterly dependent on the thoughts and feelings of others, and does most things on a whim, much like turning into Mr. Tweet in order to parrot Fox and Friends on Twitter. There should be a discussion of Trump’s overall health, and that most certainly includes his mental health.

Donald Trump has a “dangerous mental illness” and is not fit to lead the US, a group of psychiatrists has warned during a conference at Yale University.

Mental health experts claimed the President was “paranoid and delusional”, and said it was their “ethical responsibility” to warn the American public about the “dangers” Mr Trump’s psychological state poses to the country.

Speaking at the conference at Yale’s School of Medicine on Thursday, one of the mental health professionals, Dr John Gartner, a practising psychotherapist who advised psychiatric residents at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, said: “We have an ethical responsibility to warn the public about Donald Trump’s dangerous mental illness.”


The doctors have said that even if it is in breach of tradition ethical standards of psychiatry, it was necessary to break their silence on the matter because they feared “too much is at stake”.

It is not the first time Mr Trump’s mental health has been called into question. In February, Duty to Warn, which consists of psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers, signed an open letter warning that his mental state “makes him incapable of serving safely as president”.

The letter warned that the  President’s tendency to “distort reality” to fit his “personal myth of greatness” and attack those who challenge him with facts was likely to increase in a position of power.

The Independent has the full story.

Also see: Narcissist-in-Chief, A Psychological Take on a Political Reality.


  1. says

    Could be. I don’t care. I just want him out of office, and back to doing failed ventures that don’t involve the whole country and its inhabitants.

  2. Allison says

    Can we leave off with the armchair diagnoses please?

    First of all, psychiatric diagnoses are hard, and require contact with and the cooperation of the patient. Doctors screw it up often enough even with the most cooperative patients. These “diagnoses” are pure BS.

    Second of all, it’s yet another case of conflating mental illness with bad behavior, which harms people with actual mental illnesses by reinforcing the idea that being mentally ill means you’re going to be an egocentric asshole or a dangerous person or something.

    Finally, the only reason people do it is to tear the famous person they’ve “analyzed” down. It’s like when people use Christie’s fatness to insult him, or when they claim Michelle Bachman is a transsexual to show contempt for her. It simply reinforces the meme that being fat or being trans (like some bloggers here) is something to humiliate people for. It’s like the awful things they do aren’t enough to criticize them for, you have to throw in something irrelevant.

  3. busterggi says

    I can name a bunch of psychiatrists who won’t be awarded any federal grant money for a while.

  4. kestrel says

    Wow. I’m sorry, but if someone commits a murder, you can say they are a murderer -- even if you, personally, have not talked to them. Mental health is not some magical thing that only certain people can ascertain and only then through personal contact with the subject. If you know that Aunt Matilda will continually say one thing and do another, all the while denying she ever said what she said, well, you don’t have to have a degree to understand that something is a little off about the way Aunt Matilda thinks. Now, I completely agree: we should not go around diagnosing others. However, when you observe someone displaying all the characteristics of something, well, this can come down to factually reporting what is occurring.

    I have personally had a family member with NPD. There are certain criteria that the person will show, here is a site about that, including the DSM criteria for diagnosis: I spent a great deal of time trying to wrap my head around this mindset, and it’s a pretty weird one. In my experience, people who knew our NPD would consistently and persistently attempt to view the behavior as normal. I guess people just don’t realize that not all behaviors are normal.

    Interestingly these people almost never go in for treatment and even if they do they do not stay in for long. In their view, it’s the rest of us that are screwed up, and if only we would just accept their perfect worldview, which has nothing to do with reality, all would be well in their minds.

    When Trump was first being considered for candidacy and throughout the campaign, I had the eeriest feeling that our family member had come back to life, because what they both said was so weirdly similar. In particular, I remember Trump saying that “everybody loves me, I don’t know why” and our family member would often say the *exact same thing*. It was really uncanny and still gives me the creeps.

  5. Kengi says

    I agree with Allison. When conservatives claimed to remotely psychoanalyze Obama I rightly dismissed them for precisely the reasons Allison gave. I’m not convinced I should abandon those principles because I really hate the person in office now.

    I also don’t understand why the Goldwater Rule shouldn’t apply once a candidate becomes a public official.

    On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.

    — Principles of Medical Ethics with Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry

    I don’t see anything in that rule about only applying to candidates for public office. The APA didn’t abandon the rule when Goldwater lost his election bid.

    When they go low, we emulate?!?

    In addition, I question John Gartner’s motives. He makes money by hyping and selling his books where he does this kind of armchair remote diagnoses and sells them as as biographies, and his book about Bill Clinton was, based on several reviews, a great deal of hero worship.

    Maybe we should no longer allow anyone to hold such an office without undergoing a comprehensive psychological screening. I’m not even sure what standards of competency could be adopted for such a position. But I certainly wouldn’t have it done remotely by an obviously partisan popular book author.

  6. Allison says

    Caine @4:

    Allison, it seems a good many professionals disagree with you. I suggest you read the article.

    A good many well-known professionals would insist that my being trans means I am mentally ill and delusional (do I need to name some of them?) So why should I trust them over my own perceptions now? It’s obvious that they’re simply using psychiatric jargon to express their (understandable) dislike of Trump. When “professionals” say “who’re you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?” I know where I’m going to come down.

    Also, Trump’s behavior doesn’t need any fancy diagnosis to explain. For as long as I’ve known of him (something like 20 years), he’s been quite successful doing exactly what he’s doing now. Bluster, blatant lying, bullying, chutzpah, and making a big enough mess that those in a position to pull him down would be in trouble themselves if they do have gotten him rich, famous, and finally into the White House, all of them goals that we assume rational people would want to attain, so it would be irrational for him to do any different now.

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