The Psychiatrists Board The 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck

It’s pretty simple. Professionals must be trusted, and when it becomes clear that members of a profession are allowing themselves to be influenced by emotion and partisan political bias, they cannot be. One of the most troubling results of the mass abandonment of fairness, prudence, proportion, fairness and common sense in the wake of the 2016 Presidential election has been the public meltdown of reserve and restraint by so many professionals, which will have long-term effects on their ability to serve the public in the future.

Journalists, as we have seen and continue to see, have completely abandoned their profession’s duties of competence, objectivity and independence to join the efforts on the Left to undermine President Trump and his administration. Educators and school administrators, whose roles in society should have no political component whatsoever, have done the same. Historians, whose profession requires careful and dispassionate analysis of past events with perspective and objectivity, chose this moment to try to influence history as it was being made, and to push it into directions they prefer as partisans, not professionals. Law professors and lawyers have debased themselves arguing for crackpot theories to justify undoing the election. Judges have embraced the opposite of a judicial process to halt a Presidential order their political allies find offensive: rather than evaluating the limited travel halt based on what it is, they have delayed it based on a presumed motive calculated from past comments made on the campaign trail.

Legal ethicists, as I discussed here,  abandoned legal ethics to make bogus, politically motivated charges against a Trump aide who is not practicing law, and whose conduct in question wouldn’t have breached professional standards if she had been. Last week, scientists demonstrated on the National Mall to argue for policies they say their research demands, though a preference for specific policy applications biases research and makes it untrustworthy. Great: climate scientists want draconian climate change policies? Good to know; now we also know that we can’t be sure their research results aren’t tainted by their bias….though coming up with a predictive climate change model that actually works would be nice. Even the linguists have succumbed to the epidemic.

Now a significant number of psychiatrists have joined their colleagues in other professions by behaving like partisan hacks.

A group consisting of dozens of psychiatrists claimed at a conference at Yale University last week that President Donald Trump has a “dangerous mental illness” and is not fit to be President of the United States. None of them have personally examined the President, but say they have an “ethical responsibility to warn the public about Donald Trump’s dangerous mental illness.” Dr. John Gartner, a practicing psychotherapist and former advisor to psychiatric residents at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, said during the conference that the president is “paranoid and delusional.” He continued,

“Worse than just being a liar or a narcissist, in addition, he is paranoid, delusional and grandiose thinking and he proved that to the country the first day he was President. If Donald Trump really believes he had the largest crowd size in history, that’s delusional.”

That statement alone drips with the unprofessional hackery that makes this development so damaging to Gartner’s profession. Boasting about the estimated size of a crowd “proves” The President is dangerous, does it? Dr. Gartner, is also a founder of Duty to Warn, an organization of mental health professionals who feel Trump is unfit to be President. That group is adopting the seriously wacko argument that the Cabinet should declare the President incapacitated so he can be removed under the 25th Amendment. This is, like so many of the delusions and plots arising from the Left these days, a Soviet-style totalitarian theory: non-conforming ideas mean one is insane. Trump wants to stop telling illegals that that they are welcome to cross our borders, remove unnecessary restrictions on energy and job creation, dismantle a crumbling and failed health care law, stop kow-towing to teachers unions to the detriment of our children, develop energy reserves, and enforce “red lines” when they are drawn? The man must be nuts!

During the conference, Psychiatrist and New York University professor James Gilligan said based on his experience working with “murderers and rapists” he can “recognize dangerousness from a mile away.” This came as the group openly defied the the American Psychiatric Association, which cautions its members to abide by a principle commonly known as “the Goldwater Rule,” prohibiting psychiatrists from offering opinions on someone they have not personally evaluated. The wisdom of the Goldwater Rule should be obvious, especially in the context of judging public figures in a political context. Are these psychiatrists really so naive that they assume that what a public figure like Trump shows the world is necessarily an accurate portrait of his real personality and character?

I discussed the Goldwater Rule last August. It flushed out a psychiatrist named Hal Brown, who had written a post for the Daily Kos arguing that Trump was an exception to the Goldwater Rule (Trump uniquely justifies the suspension of professional ethics: That’s the New York Times Rule), and for a while even posed here as an objective commentator. But of course Dr. Brown, like the group at Yale, was not objective. The rebellious shrinks are selectively alarmed regarding leadership proclivities. Put it this way: somehow the same personality variations that they tend to find terrifying in Donald Trump, Richard Nixon, and George W. Bush never seem to trouble them when they appear in Presidents whose policies they approve of.

From that post, written before the election:

Most professional organizations are dominated by Democrats, which means the members are likely to be biased. Thus there is a greater likelihood that the force of medical expertise will be used as a partisan weapon…Why, for example, wasn’t there any need to remind members of the American Psychiatric Association about the Goldwater Rule when Barack Obama was first running for President? He is certainly not a poster child for Narcissistic Personality Disorder like Trump, but he displays a lot of the traits. …Many U.S. Presidents, good, bad and great, have scored high on the narcissism scale. A psychiatric professional pronouncing Trump or any candidate as a narcissist is likely to be simplified by the news media and the public into a simple “he’s crazy,” with crazy equaling “dangerous.”

It ain’t necessarily so. In a 2013 article in Psychological Science (it costs 35 bucks to download it) psychiatric researchers examined  42 Presidents through George W. Bush…This study concluded that “grandiose narcissism,” characterized by flamboyance, immodesty and dominance, was associated with greater  Presidential success.  The two highest scores on grandiose narcissism were Lyndon B. Johnson and Theodore Roosevelt., with FDR close behind. The lowest scores were relative White House flops James Madison and Millard Fillmore.

Did the Yale bloviators know all this? I doubt it. Their meeting sounds like a typical “resistance” rally. I concluded that suspending the Goldwater Rule for Trump was a bad idea all around…

1. Amateur diagnoses, like mine,  are likely to be taken as opinions only, without the enhancement of special expertise and authority. They help inform the public, but are not so powerful that they mislead.

2. Experience teaches us the professionals can’t be trusted to issue such diagnoses fairly and objectively, and tend to create the mistaken impression that only conservatives and Republicans have mental and emotional problems. Bill Clinton and Eliot Spitzer sure seem like sociopaths to me, but I haven’t encountered any psychiatric professionals who have been eager to say so.

3. When such a diagnosis becomes another label reducing a complex individual into a stereotype, it impedes rather than assists rational evaluation by the public.

4. Narcissism, as with other mental disorders, isn’t necessarily disabling. It was remarkable how often experts in Ken Burns’ recent documentary “The Roosevelts” described Teddy as “crazy,” while saying that he “managed it” well, in part because he knew he was crazy: mental illness, including depression, ran in his family. I’ll take Crazy Teddy as my President any day. I’ll take Teddy now, dead and all. How I wish we had that option…

The statement made last August by the head of the APA reaffirming the wisdom of the Goldwater Principle could have been issued yesterday in response to the Yale fiasco for his profession, especially when he wrote,

“This large, very public ethical misstep by a significant number of psychiatrists violated the spirit of the ethical code that we live by as physicians, and could very well have eroded public confidence in psychiatry… I can understand the desire to get inside the mind of a Presidential candidate. I can also understand how a patient might feel if they saw their doctor offering an uninformed medical opinion on someone they have never examined. A patient who sees that might lose confidence in their doctor, and would likely feel stigmatized by language painting a candidate with a mental disorder (real or perceived) as “unfit” or “unworthy” to assume the Presidency.

Simply put, breaking the Goldwater Rule is irresponsible, potentially stigmatizing, and definitely unethical.”

Definitely.

 

 

49 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Health and Medicine, Leadership, Professions

49 responses to “The Psychiatrists Board The 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck

  1. Agreed. The Yale University conference’s speaker’s comments have been picked up by some of the web-based news sources. I especially liked this comment from Dr. John Gartner: “This notion that you need to personally interview someone to form a diagnosis actually doesn’t make a whole lotta sense.”

    Here is a sampling of sources that picked up the story:

    From AOL:

    https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/04/21/dozens-of-psychiatry-experts-claim-trump-has-dangerous-mental-i/22049682/

    The Independent:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-dangerous-mental-illness-yale-psychiatrist-conference-us-president-unfit-james-gartner-a7694316.html

    The Daily Kos:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/4/21/1655223/-Donald-Trump-is-Too-Mentally-Ill-to-Serve-Say-Doctors-Academics-at-Yale-Psychiatric-Conference

    jvb

  2. Wayne

    Well fortunately it is a small group of extremely partisan psychiatrists who will probably be charged by ethical violations by the APA. They truly bring discredit on their profession and have cooked their own goose.

  3. RomanBW

    So very, very many diverse groups finding all sorts of flaws in Trump. Maybe we should just neglect their so called biased views as well as our own, and simply blindly put our faith, hope and trust in the POTUS. Am really not looking forward to getting hammered for the above stated opinion.

    • JutGory

      I think Jack’s point was that they were not diverse at all. They are all liberal groups. That is their common trait. And, they have demonstrated their unwillingness to treat Trump the way they have treated his predecessors.

      Trump derangement syndrome is a cut above ODS or BDS, or even CDS.

      -Jut

    • Junkmailfolder

      Who’s blindly trusting Trump? Just because lefties love giving the executive branch as much power as possible doesn’t mean everyone does. I’d rather put my trust in the brilliant system that makes each branch of power beholden to the other two.

      It’s already been well established that no one is kowtowing to Trump. What, exactly, are you afraid will happen if we don’t listen to the half of the country that hates Trump for idealogical reasons and wants to redo the election?

      • RomanBW

        Hatred towards Trump by more than half of Americans is not solely due to ideological reasons, however that is defined. Much of the antagonism towards him not only has to do with the kind of personality he has portrayed himself to be for the past several decades, but also, lately, with the kind of policies he has implemented. No one, except a fool, should blindly put their faith, hope, and trust in anyone, most especiallly in such a one who is presently POTUS.

        • Wayne

          Strengthening the military, authorizing a carrier task force to go into South Korea to deal with the psychopath that runs North Korea, attempting to get rid of Obamacare which is unsustainable, and sucessfully appointing a highly qualified Supreme Court Justice. Do you really have a problem with those decisions and policies?

        • Ethics please. That has nothing to do with the post, and is nothing but a political opinion. He was elected in the manner we elect presidents, and “hate” is not a rational opinion, but an emotion. Nobody should blindly put their faith in any leader, and Trump has never inspired bling faith. That was the bag of our last President, and placing blind faith in any leader who has neither the experience nor the skills to do the job because of his color and cant is, as the shrinks would say, nuts. Also incompetent citizenship.

          By the way, the much-cited Washington Post poll showing low levels of support for Trump also suggests that he would still beat Hillary. Go figure.

    • Really, really stupid and useless comment. Do better, or leave. This blog isn’t for everybody. If that’s your idea on incisive commentary, it may not be for you. This just pollutes the discourse. Read the comment rules.

  4. Wayne

    Narcissism isn’t symptomatic of “being crazy” i.e. psychotic. In my humble opinion TR wasn’t psychotic in the least. He knew exactly what he wanted to do and was such a charismatic speaker that he was able to sway the public to embrace his programs. He was shrewd, intelligent, brave and outmaneuvered the robber barons, got the Panama Canal built, created the Great White Fleet, expanded the National Park Service, etc. We can only hope that our country produces another Teddy Roosevelt in this century.

  5. Chris

    I agree; this is completely unprofessional behavior.

    • Chris,
      Here is something else we completely agree on. 🙂

    • You better not let your Liberal friends know that you’re leaning Conservative on some things, you’ll be ostracized as a traitor. 😉

      • You better not let your Liberal friends know that you’re leaning Conservative on some things…

        See, this is why we can’t have nice things, Z. Let Chris enjoy the moment 🙂

        • I suppose I should be hanging my head in shame. (casually grabs hair on top of head with right arm and pulls head down, holding it there for and appropriate length of time to properly show self-loathing shame)

          🙂

      • Chris

        I don’t think it “leans conservative” to say psychologists shouldn’t diagnose someone they’ve never met. And I have seen liberals condemn people for saying things like “Trump is mentally ill,” on the basis that it perpetuates stigma against mentally ill people.

        • Chris wrote, “I don’t think it “leans conservative” to say psychologists shouldn’t diagnose someone they’ve never met.”

          But it’s not following the crowd trying to demonize Trump as being fit for office, that’s heresy. 😉

          Chris wrote, “And I have seen liberals condemn people for saying things like “Trump is mentally ill,” on the basis that it perpetuates stigma against mentally ill people.”

          Please elaborate on that a bit. Ask those Liberals what the stigma that it is perpetuated because someone calls Trump mentally ill. No joke; ask the question see what you get for an answer.

          • Duh seriously bad typo…

            That should be “unfit” for office.

          • Chris

            But it’s not following the crowd trying to demonize Trump as being fit for office, that’s heresy.

            He is unfit for office. This is still unprofessional. I don’t see the contradiction.

            Please elaborate on that a bit. Ask those Liberals what the stigma that it is perpetuated because someone calls Trump mentally ill. No joke; ask the question see what you get for an answer.

            I already know the answer, and I agree with it: it uses “mentally ill” as a slur, as a way to say “I don’t like this person.” The implication is that anyone who does bad or incomprehensible things must be mentally ill; but sane people do bad and incomprehensible things all the time. So in addition to making mental illness into a way to insult someone, associating the term with “bad people,” it also spreads ignorance about mental illness.

            • Chris wrote, “I don’t see the contradiction.”

              I’m not going to explain this to you Chris, just forget it.

              Chris wrote, “I already know the answer, and I agree with it: it uses “mentally ill” as a slur, as a way to say “I don’t like this person.” The implication is that anyone who does bad or incomprehensible things must be mentally ill; but sane people do bad and incomprehensible things all the time. So in addition to making mental illness into a way to insult someone, associating the term with “bad people,” it also spreads ignorance about mental illness.”

              I’m not buying it Chris; I think you made up that nonsense on the fly.

              Tell me Chris, if saying that “Trump is mentally ill” is a slur and perpetuates a negative stigma against mentally ill people, then why don’t Liberals condemn people for saying “Trump is a fascist” isn’t that a slur that perpetuates a negative stigma against people who are fascists, or maybe “Trump is Hitler”, or “Trump is a racist”, or “Trump is a billionaire”, or “Trump has orange hair”, or “Trump is an idiot”; all those things are used as slurs to insult Trump and they don’t create this nonsensical secondary stigma you mentioned?

              Do you want to try again?

              • Chris

                I’m not buying it Chris; I think you made up that nonsense on the fly.

                I did not. Get informed about mental illness and stigma.

                Tell me Chris, if saying that “Trump is mentally ill” is a slur and perpetuates a negative stigma against mentally ill people, then why don’t Liberals condemn people for saying “Trump is a fascist” isn’t that a slur that perpetuates a negative stigma against people who are fascists,

                This is obviously a ridiculous comparison, as I’m sure you could have determined for yourself had you thought about it. We want fascists to be stigmatized. Fascists are inherently bad people. We do not want people with mental illnesses stigmatized, because people with mental illnesses are not inherently bad people. See the difference?

  6. John Billingsley

    Because Dr Gartner is actually a PhD psychologist not a psychiatrist (Psychologists have degrees in psychology, they are not doctors of medicine; by definition all Psychiatrists are doctors of medicine who have additionally completed a four year residency in Psychiatry) the American Psychiatric Association rule does not apply to him. In discussing this issue Dr Gartner said, “This notion that you need to personally interview someone to form a diagnosis actually doesn’t make a whole lotta sense.” As far as I can determine, Psychologist do not have an equivalent to the Goldwater Rule and feel perfectly OK with diagnosing anybody they feel deserves it.

    Psychiatrists believe that one has to examine a patient in order to make a diagnosis and then having done so there is an ethical obligation to keep that information in confidence. Psychiatrists who have opined on Trump’s mental condition without examining him have invoked Rationalization 31 The Troublesome Luxury to justify breaking their professional code of ethics and should be censured.

    I would be surprised if the APA, being a bit left leaning itself, does anything more than making the same statement it made in August. To be fair, there is not a lot it can do other than verbally censure or kick the Psychiatrists out of the organization. Membership in the APA is not required to practice psychiatry. It would be up to the individual state medical boards to take action to revoke or limit a license to practice medicine. Besides, speaking out against Trump is going to advance their careers in academia despite their ethical failings or perhaps because of them.

    Dr Gartner’s has two of his books listed on his web page. One of them is a psychological biography of Bill Clinton. I haven’t read it myself but one of the blurbs from Publishers Weekly says in part, “The author himself unabashedly surrenders to Clinton’s magnetism and genius intellect: [H]e has been walking in the footsteps of moral giants, Gartner rhapsodizes about Clinton during an AIDS-relief junket, comparing him to Jesus as a healer of the sick.” His other book is “The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (a Little) Craziness And (a Lot) of Success in America”. I leave it to you to draw the conclusions. I’m busy picturing Hillary as Mary Magdalene and wondering when Bill is going to cast out the seven demons.

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a psychiatrist and member of the APA.

    • Observations of a laymen…

      Regardless of whether a person is a Psychiatrist or a Psychologist, they should not be presenting a definitive diagnosis of a person that they have not properly evaluated as a patient in a reasonably controlled environment to observe the responses to specific stimuli; that said, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for a Psychiatrist or a Psychologist to make non-definitive statements similar to “could be” or “trends towards”, this is where criminal profilers come in handy to help identify generalized traits that might be consistent to the behavior of a criminal to help narrow the field of suspects.

      Something to think about John; if Psychiatrists and/or Psychologists are diagnosing from afar that Trump is paranoid and delusional because he thinks the Left leaning press and the political left is out to get him, their diagnosis would be false. In my opinion; the Psychiatrist and/or Psychologist presenting their definitive diagnosis that Trump is paranoid and delusional, that’s exactly what these self-validating virtue professionals did, without some kind of an unbiased in-person psychological evaluation of Trump then the Psychiatrists and/or Psychologists are quacks, political hacks, and should be stripped of their license to practice.

      • dragin_dragon,
        What say you?

        • dragin_dragon

          Pretty much agree. I have long sense allowed my licensure lapse, and have had very little interaction with the Texas Psychological Association. However, I will say that I, personally, would never, EVER, attempt a differential diagnosis without seeing, interviewing and probably doing some testing on the possible client.

          • John Billingsley

            All of the Clinical Psychologists I’ve worked with always see and evaluate the patient before they make a diagnosis. My perception is that a lot of the psychologists and psychiatrists making comments like the ones about Trump are primarily academics and not practicing clinicians. Aside from the ethical implications of diagnosing someone you haven’t seen, in clinical practice you don’t get paid unless you see them.

            • dragin_dragon

              There is that, Doctor. After I retired, many of my friends would ask me, when they found out that I was a retired psychologist “Are you psychoanalyzing me?” My response was almost always “Are you paying me…there’s your answer.” Hate to sound mercenary, because I did take a few pro bono clients, but that is pretty much the way of the world. Wonder who’s paying these guys for their diagnosis?

      • Michael

        Yes, Dr. Gartner is a clinical psychologist, not a psychiatrist. He has personally argued that this difference means the Goldwater rule does not apply to him. The person who drafted the NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) criteria, wrote to the NYT after seeing the letter signed by “mental health professionals” last fall. What did he have to say? “Most amateur diagnosticians have mislabeled President Trump with the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. I wrote the criteria that define this disorder, and Mr. Trump doesn’t meet them. He may be a world-class narcissist, but this doesn’t make him mentally ill…”. He also said “He’s a terrible person and classic schmuck – not mentally ill.” Under APA (American Psychological Association) ethics rules, the pertinent standard is probably Section 9. Standard 9.01(b) emphasizes the central role of an examination in the diagnostic process. It also requires that psychologists clarify the limited information and “appropriately limit” their conclusions. While Dr. Gartner is not a psychiatrist and thus argues that the Goldwater rule does not apply to him, the analyses and explanations of the Goldwater rule seem equally apt to any psychological “diagnosis” — be it by a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist. To quote from the Principles of Medical Ethics with Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry: “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 him/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.” There is an interesting discussion of the issue in the NPR archives, Aug 13, 2016, entitled “Psychiatrists Reminded to Refrain from Armchair Analysis of Public Figures.” It includes the arguments about why (beyond just a “rule”) it is unethical to do so, with an especially pertinent contribution from Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at NYU. I also like the conclusion of the piece: “In other words, the cause of someone’s conduct — whether mental illness or not — is beside the point.”

        • John Billingsley

          Thank you. I had previously read the article by Dr. Frances and forgot about it. Being the world expert in the topic certainly gives his words weight. I thought the classic line in the article was “Trump isn’t crazy; he makes other people crazy.” Of course, “classic schmuck” also hit the spot.

        • Comment of the Day, M…thanks. Very helpful.

      • John Billingsley

        I agree with your conclusion. As for the validity of their diagnosis, there is none. At best they have looked at publicly displayed behaviors and then picked a number of DSM diagnoses that seem to match up. As the DSM-V itself says, “The case formulation for any given patient must involve a careful clinical history and concise summary of the social, psychological, and biological factors that may have contributed to developing a given mental disorder. Hence, it is not sufficient to simply check off the symptoms in the diagnostic criteria to make a mental disorder diagnosis.” By the criteria of the APA as set forth in the DSM they have not made a diagnosis and by implying that they have they are lying and unethical.

        I am having difficulty understanding the relevance of Dr. Gilligan’s statement that “based on his experience working with “murderers and rapists” he can “recognize dangerousness from a mile away.” “ Unless he is claiming that Trump is a murderer or rapist this statement makes no sense. Another statement he made regarding Trump clears this up though.“When you add all these elements,” he said, “this is a class of people of whom Hitler is a member.” Ah, now I understand. Trump is in the same circle of the Venn Diagram as Hitler and Hitler was certainly a murderer. I would like to see his analysis of why he would put Trump there and where he would place other Presidents and his reasons why. I am not studied enough in presidential history to feel comfortable naming candidates for the honor.

        I think there is another point that has not been emphasized enough and that is that acting “crazy” is not the same as having a mental illness. It is easy to label anyone who makes us uncomfortable, does not follow the usual norms, or who does not think the proper thoughts as being mentally ill. According to the DSM-V, “Mental disorders are usually associated with significant distress or disability in social, occupational, or other important activities. I’m thinking that being a billionaire and being elected to the highest office in America are not only not indicators of significant distress or disability they are not indicators of any distress or disability. Being a braggart, being an ass, being a bigot, being a bore, being a pussy grabber, believing in deporting illegal aliens and building a wall, or not believing in the progressive agenda does not meet the criteria for any mental illness.

        Soviet psychiatry was rightfully denounced for assigning a mental disorder diagnosis to political dissidents and then locking them up and “treating” them. Are we going to reach a point where people who express thoughts the progressive establishment deems unacceptable are defined as having a mental disorder and sent to involuntary treatment to help them get back to proper thinking? I would like to think that would never happen in America but the mental health professionals who are active in Duty to Warn clearly believe that they know what is best for us and have clearly demonstrated that they don’t believe ethical rules apply to them.

        • John Billingsley wrote, “I am having difficulty understanding the relevance of Dr. Gilligan’s statement that “based on his experience working with “murderers and rapists” he can “recognize dangerousness from a mile away.” “ Unless he is claiming that Trump is a murderer or rapist this statement makes no sense.”

          He was using a self-validating virtue rationalization. Yeah, my “trust me” bull shit meter went straight through the roof when I read that.

          Using the observations of a non-professionally trained laymen, I think Trump is almost certainly a narcissist with the possible exception of this symptom “inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others”; yup I know that’s a big one. This symptom “might” not fit Trump. What I don’t know, and what the professionals at that meeting don’t know is, are the traits that Trump displays in the eye of the public a persona or is it truly his personality? All that said; being a narcissist doesn’t make a person dangerous. Yup, I know; I’m no better than the professionals at that meeting. 🙂

        • John Billingsley wrote, “Another statement he made regarding Trump clears this up though.“When you add all these elements,” he said, “this is a class of people of whom Hitler is a member.” Ah, now I understand. Trump is in the same circle of the Venn Diagram as Hitler and Hitler was certainly a murderer.”

          As a friend of mine says when people start whipping out the Hitler references to smear public figures; Clinton has a penis and he uses that penis to have sex with women, Hitler had a penis and he used that penis to have sex with women; Hitler is a monster, Clinton is like Hitler.

          I call Dr. Gilligan method of reasoning regarding Hitler Salem Witch Trial School of Thought.

          Dr. Gilligan is a political hack.

  7. Seems to me that these psychiatrists are using what I like to call the “trust me” rationalization; “Trust me is an expression of self-validating virtue, appealing to one’s own authority as a paragon of virtue. #14.” Jack Marshall, Feb 28, 2017.

    • I wrote, “Seems to me that these psychiatrists are using what I like to call the “trust me” rationalization.”

      The exact same thing applies to psychologists.

      • dragin_dragon

        It does and should. Psychologists (as well as psychiatrists) often pass themselves off as “scientists” when, in fact, all they do is read other researchers journal articles. Admittedly, both fields are, or should be, schooled in analyzing other peoples research, but that does NOT make them “scientists”

        • John Billingsley

          Having previously gotten a degree in chemical engineering, I agree that except for the few involved in serious research there are few scientists in the mental health field (don’t even get me going on social science or political science). I agree with what Heinlein said, “If it can’t be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion.”

      • dragin_dragon

        As a matter fact, as I recall, you once called me out, rightly, for using that very term. Again, as I recall, I was being unnecessarily “superior”, trying to flaunt my access to knowledge that I assumed you did not have. My bad, and I mean REALLY bad…nobody should EVER do that in any context. It only makes you look small and petty.

  8. isaac

    As objective an observation as I can make…I think Trump actually seems to spend less time praising himself than Obama did…and more time praising his team. Though I can’t accurately measure this.

    I admired Obama’s oratory skills from the start, but I was always amazed at how much love that man expresses for himself. It was like nothing I’d seen before.

    Also, we should all roll over and let “science” take the place of moral character and ethics. Remember what a good job scientists and doctors did explaining to us less-educated folk, for DECADES, that sugar was only bad for your teeth, but fat was evil? They would never steer us wrong!

    • Exactly. About Obama and about science.
      When people place faith in science the way they would religion it always surprises me. The history of the world is marked with examples of how “science” can be used to commit atrocities. Certainly as many deaths at the alter of science as at the alter of religion.

  9. 4TimesAYear

    Psychiatry itself is actually fraudulent and/or medical malpractice. They don’t base their “diagnoses” on any biological basis. They invent the names and vote them in or out of the DSM.
    Brain disorders are not “mental” illnesses – they are biological in nature and treated by neurologists.
    Something w/o a biological cause cannot be an illness. As Dr. Szasz said, “No behavior qualifies as an illness.”
    If you have a thyroid problem that affects your behavior, it’s biological, and it is cured by treating the thyroid. If you have a brain tumor causing behavior problems, they deal with the tumor.

    But no psychiatrist can get into your head and know whether the noise keeping you awake is coming from the apartment next door or if you are imagining them.
    If it’s coming from the apartment next door, but your psychiatrist has a conflict of interest, you will have a psychiatric “diagnosis” of psychosis slapped on you so fast it will make your head spin.

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