Trump Isn't Mentally Ill, Psychiatrist Who Defined Narcissistic Personality Disorder Says


Trump Isn't Mentally Ill, Psychiatrist Who Defined Narcissistic Personality Disorder Says

According to Allen Frances bad behavior is not a synonym for mental illness. Image credit Affinity Magazine

According to Allen Frances bad behavior is not a synonym for mental illness. Image credit Affinity Magazine

Among other things, Trump slammed the media and the intelligence community during the press conference for leaking information that led to the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn. "The news is fake because so much of the news is fake".

President Trump has faced protests ever since he won the U.S. Elections. "Are they friends of yours?"

He went on to explain that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) instituted a policy against "taking a political confrontation and again turning [it] into psychiatric name-calling" in response to mental health professionals calling then-presidential candidate Barry Goldwater "mentally unstable" in 1964.

Read the full letter here. His words and behaviour suggest a profound inability to empathise. Individuals with these traits distort reality to suit their psychological state.

The public, psychiatrists and politicians have all weighed in on President Donald Trump's mental health.

First, the op-eds. Last week, The Times ran a letter signed by 35 "psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers" who banded together to lend clinical credence to the oft-repeated sentiment that Donald Trump is unfit to be the most powerful man in the world.

Allen Frances, professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical College, told the newspaper that he wrote the criteria for narcissistic personality disorder ― and Trump doesn't meet it.

Well, doing so serves no real goal in terms of fighting Trump's decidedly risky agenda, and, as Frances wrote, does stigmatize the mentally ill.

"It is a stigmatizing insult to the mentally ill (who are mostly well behaved and well meaning) to be lumped with Mr. Trump (who is neither)".

In addition to narcissistic personality disorder, armchair psychologists have diagnosed Trump with everything from ADHD to bipolar disorder. Frances, who helped write the standard manual of psychiatric disorders, said that bad behavior is not a synonym for mental illness. I am not a mental health professional, so I don't know in terms of any sort of medical expertise on this.

And these details have made many people wonder whether the president mental state was stable.

However, people might wonder if it is ok for mental experts to give such opinions. In other words, the president is not insane, although he drives other people insane. "If you know your history", says Martinez, "it makes what is happening in the news look less scary".

It can also contribute to the false notion that being in a position of power and having mental health issues should be mutually exclusive, Martinez says. So we owe it to ourselves - as well as all the people openly and silently struggling with mental illness in this country - to find a way to talk about him that focuses on his specific actions, rather than disparaging an enormous and broad group.

Saltz also points out that many past presidents were either diagnosed with or thought to have had mental illnesses, including those who are celebrated for their presidencies. We're not going to find any satisfying answers in accusing Trump of having a mental illness - and we're also not going to find any ways to move forward.

Numerous petitions have either declared Trump "psychologically incapable" of serving as president, or else urged the Republicans to insist that Trump be evaluated for his mental fitness.

But now, some professionals have spoken out, including those who have signed a petition asking for Mr Trump's removal. "When these labels are taken out of a treatment context and used as weapons, they lose the meaning they are meant to impart".