Do shrinks not hold even themselves to such basic professional ethics as the “Goldwater Rule” anymore? Or do they just ignore them at Yale?
Everything MUST be politicized now. Even the medical profession. Sad!
She wrote a book on her opinions about Trump’s psychology even though he has never once sat in her office… in direct violation of every clinical ethical standard.
The White House doctor tested her claim about his mind. Or has she forgotten that memorable phrase ‘stable genius’ already? Or how people tried to laugh at the cognative test he took, only to wind up with egg on their faces?
For the New York Times to publish such an op-ed, and for a White House official to warn the American people and the world about a dangerous president is unprecedented in the country’s history. But the article was not surprising to at least one person. Bandy Lee, a professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, says she was contacted last year by White House insiders, who were “scared” that the president was “unraveling.”
Lee has been tracking the apparent decline in Donald Trump’s mental health for several years. She has convened a conference on the obligation of mental health professionals to warn the public about the dangers he represents, and is also the editor of the bestselling book “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.”
The title should have said something like — 27 shrinks kick their professional reputations to the curb by putting political activism ahead of standard medical ethics. But that’s another story.
Salon writer (no shock there) Chauncey Devaga interviewed Bandy Lee, a professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine about the President’s mental health.
So much of this is predictable from a clinical standpoint. Trump is not going to get better. What are his symptoms?
Donald Trump has shown a number of symptoms which are now quite obvious to even an untrained person. He is impulsive. He is reckless. He has shown a lack of empathy and a lack of concern about consequences. His grip on reality is loose. I suspect he is unable to tolerate reality for what it is. So, Trump has to make himself into a person who is infallible and an expert on everything.
Therefore, when reality does not comport with his emotional needs, he has to fabricate his own version of reality. Trump has also shown a tendency of needing to present himself as being strong and powerful. He is constantly preoccupied with his self-image, he is unable to tolerate criticism and he lashes out when there is a hint of anyone being against him or challenging his authority. The truth of the matter is quite the opposite. Trump’s behavior is a sign of weakness, not strength.
Is Trump’s behavior somehow strategic, as a means of keeping the public and his political enemies confused? Or is this all just impulse and instinct, a sign of his mental instability?
For her, it isn’t a question of is Trump erratic or deliberate in his Tweetstorms. It’s a question of which psychosis should she attach her animus of him to. Here’s the answer:
Both elements are at work. He tries to strategize. But when someone is behaving in a way that is caused by their mental impairment, their behavior becomes predictable and rather rigid. Normal behavior is actually very wide-ranging. You can choose not to behave a certain way, you can change your method, you can change your responses. That’s a more healthy response. In Donald Trump’s case, we find that his responses are almost always predictable.
For example, the denial of any failure or error in Puerto Rico. That can be very effective, and therefore be mistaken for strategy. But it is actually impairment. Donald Trump can’t, for example, decide to think more carefully or respond more thoughtfully to events. He simply reacts. That is one of the ways that we can determine that his behavior is more of a symptom than a thoughtful strategic response.
This makes Trump vulnerable to being manipulated by a foreign power (or others) who do not have the American people’s best interests at heart.
Those who have figured out that Trump is predictable can stroke his ego or present themselves as being “strong men,” autocrats and the like — he will start to worship you and behave in ways that are advantageous to you. This is why I believe Trump has been so difficult to remove through the 25th Amendment, impeachment or other checks and balances, because he is so amenable and easy to manipulate. This means that all variety of extreme policies which wouldn’t have passed under a healthier president are possible under this one.
So the psychological and emotional issues actually play into his authoritarian behavior and his demagoguery?
Authoritarian behavior is actually pathology. It is a certain set of traits which makes individuals vulnerable to being controlled. We think of authoritarian behavior as being strong and confident, but actually it’s more obsequious. There is a whole population following the authoritarian and being loyal to him no matter what. He leads them to destruction and the end results are almost always quite devastating — which is why it’s actually not a healthy situation. A system like despotism or tyranny or fascism is really not a political ideology so much as a collective state of poor health that leads eventually to harm for the collective body.
The professor moved on to say “Violence seems to be spreading in Trump’s America.”
Maybe she means that the Right and their supporters are habitually on the receiving end of violence.
Scalise? Rand Paul? The California candidate attacked with a switchblade?
But what kind of integrity should we expect from someone who won’t even abide by the Goldwater Rule in ethics? What’s the Goldwater rule?
That goes back to another blowhard leftist shrink who tried to tell the world that a Republican he had never seen professionally is somehow too crazy to hold office.
It was dishonest and unethical then, it is dishonest and unethical now.
If Yale were still an ethically-bound institution, they would have something to say about this repeated breach of ethical standards. But we don’t expect much from them anymore.
Those old ‘Ivory Towers’ of higher education sure aren’t what they used to be. They’ve been sadly …