Malignant narcissist. Sociopath. Deranged. Crazy. “A combination of waking hallucinations, verbal tics, lies surpassing even his usual fabulist standard, aphasias and lunatic blurtings.”
Those are just some of the lay person descriptions of Donald Trump’s mental state that have been thrown out there by folks like Rick Wilson, George Conway and others.
Mary Trump, the president’s niece and a practicing clinical psychologist, thinks it’s time for professionals to publicly diagnose the president’s mental health. In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, she writes, “Every day legal experts weigh in on Donald’s unconstitutional or norm-breaking behaviors. Since his COVID-19 diagnosis, medical experts have speculated about the course of his illness and the potentially dangerous side effects he may be experiencing as a result of the experimental treatments he’s received. Only the mental health experts have been effectively sidelined.”
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The president’s niece is advocating that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) do away with the “Goldwater Rule,” which says that its members are not permitted to comment on the mental health of public figures. The APA adopted that position after Fact magazine in 1964 published an unscientific survey asking psychiatrists whether they thought Barry Goldwater was psychologically fit to serve as president. Many of the opinions were bizarre and unfair because they were based purely on speculation and not on an evaluation of Goldwater, leading to the APA’s action.
“In March 2017, shortly after my uncle, Donald Trump, was inaugurated,” Mary Trump writes, “the APA didn’t just reaffirm the rule — it expanded it past the point of coherence. Not only were members prohibited from diagnosing public figures, now they could no longer offer a professional opinion of any sort, no matter how well supported or evidence-based, even if they believed that a public figure posed a threat to the country’s citizens or national security.”
Even without the president undergoing an in-person examination, Mary Trump says it’s possible for mental health professionals to render an informed opinion of her uncle’s mental health based on the countless hours of video of him from the past several decades.
By preventing its members from publicly stating their professional evaluation of the president’s mental health, Mary Trump writes, “the APA is essentially granting Donald’s campaign an in-kind contribution while the American people remain subject to his often deranged and unpredictable behavior, without the tools necessary to evaluate it or understand how it renders him unfit for the office he holds.”
Mary Trump is the author of the book “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” in which which she details the family dynamics that she believes made Trump the person he is today.