Archive for president trump

Should Psychologists Diagnose President Trump?

Posted in Not By Me, Op/Ed, Print with tags , , , on February 2, 2017 by Lupa

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Mark Saligan commenting on a Psychology Today article:

Yes. The so-called “Goldwater Rule” does not apply if and when an individual is as clearly disturbed as this man is. I hear people saying that Mr. Trump suffers from NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), Malignant type. While that may indeed be true as he does meet DSM-V criteria, I believe that writers are failing to factor in the differential diagnosis of Dementia. Given his family history (his father died of Alzheimer’s), his predilection for conspiratorial thinking, and his odd speech patterns/digressions I don’t think that one can rule Dementia entirely out. One final thought on the “Goldwater” issue. One did not need to have personally interviewed Hitler, or Manson, or Bundy to render a diagnoses. While I am not directly comparing Mr. Trump to these men in terms of diagnosis I DO think that just as it is foolish to hand car keys to someone who is obviously ‘impaired’ , it is reckless for professionals to ignore the fact that Mr. Trump continues to evidence behavior that at least on the surface seems indicative of some form of mental illness. * In the interest of full disclosure, I hold two advanced degrees in the mental health field and have nearly 20 years clinical experience in the treatment of mental illness.

One final thought here. All mental health professionals are mandated reporters which means they are required by law to report whenever they believe a person poses a significant threat to himself or others. It’s their professional obligation to do so. A person does NOT need to give their consent and they have no right to confidentiality if they are deemed to be a threat. I read these arguments that you shouldn’t diagnose someone if you don’t talk to them or if they don’t give consent – that is ridiculous. Forensic psychologists create personality profiles of criminals all the time. Teachers form opinions based on classroom observation and while those opinions are subjective, they are no less valid than that of a school psychologist who may spend a mere 50 – 90 minutes evaluating a student. Clinicians are professionally obligated to speak out . Period. It is indeed interesting that the same people who argue that we shouldn’t diagnose a public figure are the same people who believe it’s perfectly alright to profile someone at the airport or at the border based on their religion, the color of their skin or their national origin.

 

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