Don’t you know a snarky comment when you read it — of course there’s no “duty” as a Kos diarist to write anything as you well know having posted several hundred diaries, and besides anybody who posts within the guidelines can be a Kos diarist. However, if you want to get technical there is a “kind of ethical duty” for those who understand mental illness because of their training to speak out when they see it manifest in a public figure (when that illness may make them unfit for office).
If the emperor has no clothes and someone sees it, they need to shout it out, and the Internet is a way of doing this.
It’s not like I am some loony or unethical loner deviant therapist writing about Trump’s apparent symptomatology. Pundits and shrinks with the bona fides of having written books and being professors are already weighing in on indications of Trump’s psychopathology, but they parse their words carefully because of what’s called “the Goldwater Rule.”
The Goldwater rule is the informal name for a precept of medical ethicspromulgated by the American Psychiatric Association. It forbids psychiatrists from commenting on individuals' mental state without examining them personally and being authorized by the person to make such comments. The rule has no official name; it is simply Section 7.3 of the APA's ethics principles.
The issue arose in the 1960s when Fact magazine published the article "The Unconscious of a Conservative: A Special Issue on the Mind of Barry Goldwater."The magazine polled psychiatrists about American Senator Barry Goldwater and whether he was fit to be president.
The rule itself reads:
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. Wikipedia
I call this out as a load of crap, because who else is more qualified to warn the public about a candidate having a real psychiatric disorder (which may or is likely to make them unsuitable to hold office)? Those psychiatrists and other mental health professionals who do publish seem to think that they can get around the so-called Goldwater rule by offering the disclaimer that they have not seen the individual in person and then gotten an authorization to please information to the public. Right! Does anybody think for a moment anyone who has published clinical impressions of Trump has done a real diagnostic interview with him? I think it is high and mighty for psychiatrists and other therapists to say they need “proper authorization” to diagnose somebody who is a public figure.
It’s not just me who is willing to go public with a diagnosis.
For mental-health professionals, Donald Trump is at once easily diagnosed but slightly confounding. “Remarkably narcissistic,” said developmental psychologist Howard Gardner,a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” echoed clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis. “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics,” said clinical psychologist George Simon, who conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior. “Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come true.” from
IS DONALD TRUMP ACTUALLY A NARCISSIST? THERAPISTS WEIGH IN!
As his presidential campaign trundles forward, millions of sane Americans are wondering: What exactly is wrong with this strange individual? Now, we have an answer.
As for the Goldwater Rule:
As evidenced by the Vanity Fair, story, however, not all mental health professionals believe it’s that clear cut. What’s more, disagreement over the Goldwater Rule isn’t as simple as “here’s what psychiatrists believe and here are a few bad apples who break the rules.” Last week, the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (JAAPL) published a paper questioning the foundations of the Goldwater Rule and arguing that the rule stifles psychiatrists’ ability to speak their conscience. And that perspective is nothing new. The Goldwater Rule has been controversial within the field of psychiatry since it was enacted in 1973, said Brian Cooke, a forensic and clinical psychiatrist at the University of Florida who wrote a 2014 paper, also published in JAAPL, arguing in favor of the rule.
Dan McAdams said that he was very careful not to make a psychiatric diagnosis in his article about Trump’s narcissism. But he as much as said he had a narcissistic personalty disorder. Still he “protected” himself by dancing around making a diagnosis, and still manage to be published in The Atantic, a cover article no less.
Every day were hear and read about Trump being a narcissist — and not just narcissistic — but I’ve heard him called a malignant narcissist — so it’s not like this is new.
When psychotherapists attempt to diagnosis Trump, there is little if any risk that readers will be misinformed about the nature of psychological evaluation done with a client for the purposes of treatment, and everyone understands the sanctity of the therapist-client relationship.
Even Hillary Clinton said the following:
In a speech last week, Hillary Clinton took her befuddlement with Donald Trump and dropped it squarely at the feet of America’s mental health professionals. “I’ll leave it to the psychiatrists to explain his affection for tyrants,” she said, in response to comments Trump had made marveling at the political effectiveness of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
On another diary comment section I wrote in a response to a psychiatrist with a similar complaint chapter and verse explaining the long history (which he should have been familiar with) dating back to Freud of using the insights of psychology to understand public figures. The first analysis of a nation’s leader was a report prepared for the OSS analyzing Hitler. Obviously nobody interviewed him. It is now in the public domain and makes interesting reading.
I’ll end with referring you to the article I just found, and quoted above, which I will add to the diary because it is so relevant to the topic you raise.
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