Sunday Reads: On Donald Trump’s mental state and exit date

It has been all about Donald Trump these past four weeks, as in what madness is he up to today?

Not a day has gone by since this American president took office has he not made ridiculous and untruthful public statements through Twitter and/or at press conferences.

To call him a narcissist would be putting it mildly, and perhaps incorrectly.

True, he seems to be caught up in his own grandeur and has an unquenchable desire for public attention. But he also appears to be mentally ill. And unstable.

An Op-ed piece on the New York Times site by Richard E. Friedman asks the question that is surely on the minds of many people around the world: Is It Time To Call Trump Mentally Ill?

It’s not so easily done, Friedman points out while addressing the growing chorus of voices, including psychiatric professionals, questioning Trump’s mental health.

“Diagnosis requires a thorough examination of a patient, a detailed history and all relevant clinical data — none of which can be gathered from afar. Narcissism, for instance, isn’t the only explanation for impulsive, inattentive and grandiose behavior. Someone could be suffering instead from another clinical problem like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; the abuse of drugs, alcohol or stimulants; or a variant of bipolar disorder, to name just a few. This is all to say that when mental health professionals label public figures with mental illnesses, it is not just unethical — it’s intellectually suspect. We don’t have the requisite clinical data to know what we are talking about.”

And as Friedman further points out, you can suffer from a psychiatric problem but still be competent to go to work every day. He says at least 10 U.S. presidents showed signs of mental illness while in office, but they still did their jobs.

Finally, he says we shouldn’t label Trump mentally ill and let him off “the moral hook.”

“Not all misbehavior reflects psychopathology; the fact is that ordinary human meanness and incompetence are far more common than mental illness.”

To digress for a moment, one has to wonder about Trump’s advisors and their failure to guide him and help him present a more presidential image. WTF!?

Another New York Times Op-ed piece asks this question: How Can We Get Rid of Trump?

Apparently, betting websites are taking wagers on when Trump will leave office, with one using July as a target date.

Writer Nicholas Kristof looks at the options — impeachment, resignation, Section 4 of the 25th Amendment — and concludes that the United States will be stuck with Trump as president for the next four years.

Personally, I’ve been overwhelmed by — and transfixed on — all the drama coming out of the White House. And I’m not alone on this: Everybody’s talking about Donald Trump every day. And he’s making sure we do talk about him.

It’s the proverbial vicious cycle that many of us simply cannot walk away from, especially those in the media: we have to report on Trump. We can’t ignore him, because as mad as he may appear to be, things could get much crazier if we let him carry on unchecked.

And so we are caught up in the whirlpool that is Donald Trump . . .

About Sunday Reads posts: This is a weekly feature giving us all a chance to point to an article or two or three that we found interesting in the preceding week, or the morning of. They can be offbeat, humorous, weighty commentary, whatever. So, if you have any recommendations, please point to them in the readers’ comments section below.

— Jillian

Photo: U.S. President Donald Trump. (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Foter.com / CC BY-SA)

3 thoughts on “Sunday Reads: On Donald Trump’s mental state and exit date

  1. What bothers me is that it was clearly evident from the beginning. Even more disturbing is that he has an electorate that is obviously oblivious to it. Or made that democratic faux-pas of voting parties and governments out for want of an alternative choice. Well, they got the Alternative that they deserve. Mark that Alt-R! I might add that the hollowing out of the NA middle-class does not help either; making the arena open to the lower echelons and upper echelons of society where most of the “in”stability exists. Time will tell if the Western democracies can survive this. Or we are definitively poor students of History %(

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  2. “To digress for a moment, one has to wonder about Trump’s advisors and their failure to guide him and help him present a more presidential image. WTF!?”

    Strange that this is coming from someone who said a few months ago, “give Trump a chance”.

    Don’t say you weren’t warned.

    Trump’s advisors are getting EXACTLY what they want.

    “I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed to the writer Ronald Radosh at a party at his Capitol Hill townhouse in November 2013. “Lenin,” he said of the Russian revolutionary, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”
    (http://www.newsweek.com/steve-bannon-fever-dream-american-gulag-551472)

    Our EPA is now run by a man who wants to eliminate the agency. “With a zeal that has shocked or thrilled much of the country, Mr. Trump has been making good on campaign promises that once seemed outlandish, and those pledges included a vow to dismantle the agency charged with protecting the nation’s air, water and public health “in almost every form.””
    (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/05/us/politics/scott-pruitt-is-seen-cutting-the-epa-with-a-scalpel-not-a-cleaver.html?_r=0)

    The list goes on and on…

    “Grover Norquist on the GOP candidates: All we need is someone who can ‘handle a pen'”
    (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/2/13/1064417/-Grover-Norquist-on-the-GOP-candidates-All-we-need-is-someone-who-can-handle-a-pen)

    As long as Trump signs whatever shit the Republican Congress sends him, they love him.

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    1. Sorry for the delay in your comment appearing here, Steve. If you post a comment with two or more hyperlinks, it goes into a queue where it has to be approved — I guess it is a way for wordpress to stop spam.

      As for Trump and company, no one can accuse me of not giving him a chance.

      Yes, America got what it deserved . . . they can rectify things in four years.

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