Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Review: The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President by Bandy X. Lee

2 stars for The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President by Bandy X. Lee.

Is Donald Trump "crazy like a fox" or is he "crazy like a crazy"?

This book is a collection of articles written by 27 different mental health professionals, citing all the reasons, to the moon and back, why Donald Trump, the 45th and current President of the United States, is now the most dangerous man in the world.

These articles, categorised into 3 parts: The Trump Phenomenon, The Trump Dilemma and The Trump Effect, are interesting and even educational in the sense that we see the application of psychological concepts on Trump behaviour. Some of these mental health professionals associate Trump with a variety of diagnoses, such as narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder, delusional disorder, malignant narcissist, and even some form of dementia.

I get it that these psychiatrists and mental health experts recognize the urgency of the situation in which they come to the conclusion that the most powerful man in the world is also the bearer of profound instability and untruth. Yes, I dig it. What I don't understand is the need for repetition. Reiteration. Be it personality disorder, or dangerous individual psychological patterns, or creation of own reality, or inability to manage the inevitable crises, it is not necessary to harp on the same over and over, again and again. Seriously! I have lost count of the number of times it has been mentioned about Trump's assertion that President Obama wiretaps Trump Tower during the election campaign, or Trump's claim that he has the biggest inaugural crowd in history, or Trump's firing of FBI director James Comey, to name but a few.

In any case, the die has been cast. The choice made. What's done is done. Barring an impeachment, resignation or assassination, Mr Donald John Trump will remain president until at least the end of his four-year term: 20th January 2021.

Well, the world as we know it may cease to exist with a 3:00 a.m. nuclear tweet. If it comes to pass, so be it.

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1 edition
Publication date: 3 Oct 2017


The consensus view of two dozen psychiatrists and psychologists that Trump is dangerously mentally ill and that he presents a clear and present danger to the nation and our own mental health.

This is not normal.

Since the start of Donald Trump's presidential run, one question has quietly but urgently permeated the observations of concerned citizens: What is wrong with him? Constrained by the American Psychiatric Association's "Goldwater rule," which inhibits mental health professionals from diagnosing public figures they have not personally examined, many of those qualified to answer this question have shied away from discussing the issue at all. The public has thus been left to wonder whether he is mad, bad, or both.

In The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, twenty-seven psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health experts argue that, in Mr. Trump's case, their moral and civic "duty to warn" America supersedes professional neutrality. They then explore Trump's symptoms and potentially relevant diagnoses to find a complex, if also dangerously mad, man.

Philip Zimbardo and Rosemary Sword, for instance, explain Trump's impulsivity in terms of "unbridled and extreme present hedonism." Craig Malkin writes on pathological narcissism and politics as a lethal mix. Gail Sheehy, on a lack of trust that exceeds paranoia. Lance Dodes, on sociopathy. Robert Jay Lifton, on the "malignant normality" that can set in everyday life if psychiatrists do not speak up.

His madness is catching, too. From the trauma people have experienced under the Trump administration to the cult-like characteristics of his followers, he has created unprecedented mental health consequences across our nation and beyond.

It's not all in our heads. It's in his.

*Blurb from Goodreads*

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