A Harvard Psychiatrist Just Gave Congress An Ultimatum On Trump’s Mental Health

Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Lance Dodes issued an ominous warning to the U.S. Congress last night on MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.”  He told them that they are “kidding themselves” if they think that President Trump “is not an extremely incapable, disordered, sick individual” and a clear and present danger to American national security and democracy.

“Going forward, I would not be surprised by anything,” cautioned the top mental health expert:

If he would try to dissolve Constitution, that wouldn’t surprise me, fire the Supreme Court, wage nuclear war North Korea. These things might seem shocking, but they’re consistent, he has always been consistent in this. Once you understand he is about him, and it’s a very deeply disturbed issue. He has to protect himself from what he sees as an existential threat by denying the reality. Once you understand that, everything else follows, and it’s extremely dangerous.

Citing the president’s recent behavior — reiterating the long-ago disproven Obama birth certificate lies that brought him to power; alleging that the “Access Hollywood” tapes were faked, even though he admitted on-air they were real at the time; and his tweet yesterday showing an Islamophobic propaganda murder video from a far-right British extremist group —  Dodes classified Trump as “being close to psychosis when he is stressed”:

When he goes back and denies reality, people have trouble understanding that . . . The simple explanation for it which people don’t want to hear, he is not in control of himself. This is what we say when somebody is becoming psychotic or briefly psychotic. So all of his delusional ideas come up when he is stressed in some way and then he loses track of reality because it doesn’t fit what he needs to believe.

The retired Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Training and Supervising Analyst Emeritus at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, said that Trump’s signs of declining mental health are:

An extremely dangerous thing for anybody, especially somebody who has been so wantonly unconcerned about the welfare of others and willing to do anything to promote himself . . . He is an enormous present danger to us from the standpoint of creating a nuclear war and even from the standpoint of doing what he can to destroy democracy as well as attacking ethnic groups the way he has done . . . this is a very sick man, he is truly very sick.

He added that the most insidious thing about Trump is that, although “he’s not at all clever,” he can sometimes appear charismatic and charming to his supporters, giving them reason to believe he is not mentally ill:

The worst possible case for America to have somebody who is not grossly psychotic—which everyone would know and throw them out—but close enough with a veneer to get by.  That’s Donald Trump . . . He’s villainous because of his sociopath and psychopathy, but with a tremendous veneer which he is extremely good at.

Dodes is not the only member of psychiatry’s upper echelon who, for the good of the nation, has dared to override the Goldwater Rule that prevents mental health professionals from diagnosing a public figure that they have not examined themselves.  In fact, a good number the nation’s top psychiatrists have published a book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President, to try to activate the citizenry, the Congress who have the power to impeach, and the Cabinet who have the power to vote for the 25th Amendment. 

The professional opinion of the crème de la crème of the psychiatry community, supported by evidence we all see with our own eyes, adds up to a three-alarm argument for removing the president from office using the 25th Amendment.

Unfortunately, the so-called “adult daycare” babysitters in Trump’s Cabinet are supporting his mad agenda, as are the craven congressional cowards who only care about passing their Republican tax scam to steal from the poor and give huge dividends to the 1%, ballooning the national debt by more than $1 trillion.

The onus, therefore, rests with us.  We, the People must clamor so loudly for the naked emperor’s removal that every last politician in Washington fears for his or her job if they don’t acquiesce.

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Lucia Brawley

Lucia Brawley is a Harvard- and Yale-educated writer, producer, actor, and political organizer. She runs the progressive political Facebook group Consenting to Lead. To learn more, please go to luciabrawley.com.


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