Gone are the days when euphemisms about President Trump’s mental health insulated the man like so many padded walls. Erratic. Unpredictable. Unstable. Unmoored. Temperamentally unfit. This was what politicians and commentators said when they wished to question Trump’s state of mind but feared the consequences of a more colloquial assessment. Yet the deeper we plunge into this presidency, the more willing people become to call it like they see and hear it.
“I think he’s crazy,” Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) confided to his colleague Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) in a July exchange inadvertently caught on a microphone. (“I’m worried,” she replied.) CNN’s Don Lemon, flabbergasted after a Trump speech last month, concluded that “he’s unhinged. . . . There was no sanity there.” Even some Republicans have grown more blunt, with Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.) recently suggesting that Trump “has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence” to succeed as president.
Now, some psychiatrists and other mental-health professionals are shedding long-held norms to argue that Trump’s condition presents risks to the nation and the world. “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” features more than two dozen essays breaking down the president’s perceived traits, which the contributors find consistent with symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, sociopathy and other maladies. “Collectively with our coauthors, we warn that anyone as mentally unstable as Mr. Trump simply should not be entrusted with the life-and-death powers of the presidency,” Judith Lewis Herman of Harvard Medical School and Bandy X. Lee of the Yale School of Medicine write in the book’s prologue.
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