Abnormal Psychology

The psychiatrist who briefed Congress on Trump’s mental state: this is “an emergency” – Vox

This article is an interview with Bandy Lee, an assistant clinical professor at the Yale School of Medicine who has spent her twenty year career studying violence as a global health issue. She is an expert in the prevention of violence and has consulted with a variety of state and national governments in violence prevention programs including initiating reforms at Rikers Island, the notorious prison.

She is a psychiatric expert in violence and violence prevention.

She is the moving force behind The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump. She’s listed as author, but each chapter has been written by other prominent psychologists. Her writing contributions are the forward and epilogue. She also hosted a conference by a similar title.

She makes several interesting points in the interview and the book. You should read the entire interview and the book, but I’ll summarize what I found most interesting here. Feel free to add the bits you found interesting to the comments.

First, she’s making the point that mental health professionals are legally and ethically bound to warn of impending dangers that others might pose due to their mental instability. A good example is Charles Whitman, the man who climbed the University of Texas’ tower on 1 August 1966 and shot 48 people, 17 fatally. He went to a psychiatrist at the university health center and told him he fantasized about shooting people from the tower. He was an ex-marine with a self-confessed history of violent outbursts and who owned guns, although it is not clear that the psychiatrist knew this. He shoulda asked, though. The doctor dismissed the threat as idle and sent Whitman off with an appointment that Whitman failed to keep.

In the interview Lee cites several indications of a crisis in the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s mental instability set off by the progress of the Mueller investigation:

He entered into a period of frenetic, irrational, and fallacious tweeting that hasn’t let up to date. Many people have speculated that his tweeting is (a) reflective of his state of mind and (b) directly related to the news. As I’ve said in previous posts, his tweets are evidence of his abnormality.

He denied his own voice on the Access Hollywood tape. Most of us would dismiss this an bald-faced lie, which it is. He admitted it was his voice after it came out. But, Lee cites it as evidence of him losing his grip on reality. If he truly believes it is not his voice on the tape when (a) it clearly is and (b) he’s said as much, then he is not dealing with reality as we all agree on it. So, the least bad is he’s just lying through his teeth for political expediency or at worst, he’s not dealing with reality. Hmmm…

When threatened, she notes, that he lashes out vehemently and even threatens violence. Although, Lee does not cite it, he has a well documented history of violence in his childhood and adolescence. So, when he re-tweeted violent anti-Muslim videos and belligerent threats of nuclear war, it caused her some alarm.

She is an expert in the antecedents to violence, so I take her concerns seriously. But, it is not just the possibility of war and intercultural conflict, it is the “laying a foundation for a culture of  violence.” She notes the increases in gun deaths, hate crimes, and incidents in school bullying as evidence of how much progress he’s made to laying this foundation.

In short, Lee is building an argument that the Ol’ Pussy Grabber is a clear and present danger to our republic, and she feels that mental health professionals have a duty to warn of this danger.

Her second point is that once the danger has been identified, the state has a vested interest in containing the threat. Containment means detention and evaluation of the person to ascertain whether he really constitutes a threat or not. Lee is arguing that the state has a vested interest in evaluating the mental health of the Ol’ Puss Grabber to establish whether he truly is a threat.

The psychiatrist who briefed Congress on Trump’s mental state: this is “an emergency”

The case for evaluating the president’s mental capacity — by force if necessary.

The longer Donald Trump is in office, the more he shocks and alarms us with his strange and extremely unpresidential behavior.

From the incoherent, fallacious interview he gave the New York Times on December 28 to Tuesday’s tweet about his “nuclear button” to his Saturday morning assertion that he is a “very stable genius,” the remarks keep getting more menacing, bizarre, and portentous of disaster.

Continue reading at Vox: The psychiatrist who briefed Congress on Trump’s mental state: this is “an emergency” – Vox

4 replies »

  1. I think the probability that Trump would agree to, or cooperate with a psychiatric/neurological evaluation is at best, zero, unless he was sufficiently grandiosely delusional to think he could “win” in it. It is also clear that whether by way of impeachment or application of the procedures of the 25th Amendment, the removal or suspension of this president from office would create both a Constitutional Crisis and be taken by some (Alex Jones, who already talks of civil war, for instance) as a signal that violent resistance to that action was called for. I do not envy those whose sworn duty (assuming they understand it) is to supervise a mad king.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      I’ve often wondered about the motivations of some of his advisors — his family and cabinet, I don’t wonder about as much — like Hope Hicks and Mathis. But, I guess it is grounded in a sense of patriotic duty to country to manage this fellow from day-to-day and moment-to-moment.

      Legally removing him from office is one thing, but physically removing him from office is another. The Congressional Republicans turned on Nixon when it became clear to them that their re-election was imperiled. I think a lot of the current Congress’ re-election is imperiled, but they are suffering from groupthink and just don’t believe it. That’s another post altogether, though. However, I don’t think they’re loyalty is real. I think they tolerate the Ol’ Pussy Grabber because he will allow them to rape and pillage as long as he gets a cut. If Mueller were to indict him, I don’t think they’d stand by him. They might not impeach him even then, but upon conviction, they wouldn’t do anything to protect him.

      They are attacking Mueller and the FBI now — Ryan’s collusion with Nunes to circumvent his “recusal” from the investigation and allow him access to the FBI documents concerning the Steele dossier is ample evidence of how far they’ll go to back the caricature in the White House and protect their position to rape and pillage the country from — but when the legal smurf hits the legal fan, I don’t know what they’ll do. I suspect it will be lay down their arms, shrug, and claim they always wanted him out but it was the other guys fault that they didn’t do anything about it.

      Hopefully their misguided delusional groupthink will endure long enough for them to be swept from office in 2018 freeing us from the worry of what they would do in the event of an indictment.


      Liked by 1 person

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