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Mental health professionals: Trump incapable of serving safely as president


    As the news breaks around us  and around Trump, this may be threatening to lead the president to a narcissistic rage reaction, mixed with something Trump has never dealt with before: fear.

    Few rational people are seriously thinking Flynn would have done this on his own. The talk on TV and in the news is that Trump had to have been in on the phone call with the Russian ambassador.  As unstable as the president anything could happen from a rage reaction to a deep depression if his reality testing is intact and he sees impeachment as a real possibility.

     With all of this going on this important letter to the editor of the New York Times may get lost. 


To the Editor:

Charles M. Blow (columnnytimes.com, Feb. 9) describes Donald Trump’s constant need “to grind the opposition underfoot.” As mental health professionals, we share Mr. Blow’s concern.

Silence from the country’s mental health organizations has been due to a self-imposed dictum about evaluating public figures (the American Psychiatric Association’s 1973 Goldwater Rule). But this silence has resulted in a failure to lend our expertise to worried journalists and members of Congress at this critical time. We fear that too much is at stake to be silent any longer.

Mr. Trump’s speech and actions demonstrate an inability to tolerate views different from his own, leading to rage reactions. His words and behavior suggest a profound inability to empathize. Individuals with these traits distort reality to suit their psychological state, attacking facts and those who convey them (journalists, scientists).

In a powerful leader, these attacks are likely to increase, as his personal myth of greatness appears to be confirmed. We believe that the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump’s speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president.


(35 signatures)



James Gilligan, a psychiatrist and professor at New York University:

“I’ve worked with some of the most dangerous people our society produces, directing mental health programmes in prisons,” he said. “I’ve worked with murderers and rapists. I can recognise dangerousness from a mile away. You don’t have to be an expert on dangerousness or spend fifty years studying it like I have in order to know how dangerous this man is.”

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