Sep 01

#Unfit (The Psychology of Donald Trump): New Film

A significant part of the following official statement on behalf of Dan Partland‘s new movie #Unfit is not true: “For the first time, mental health professionals go on the record, in an eye–opening, science–based assessment of the behavior and stability of Donald J. Trump.”

This is not the first time at all. Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have gone on the record in such places, for instance, as the book The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, published in 2017. (See these previous posts.) Moreover, its editor, Bandy X. Lee, has been continuously outspoken on Twitter and in interviews.

That being said, many may prefer video to reading, and for that #Unfit may be a chance for some to better understand Trump’s psychology. As of today, it’s available on demand. Click this link for ways you can find it. You can then decide for yourselves if it’s a worthy endeavor.

Below is the trailer, followed by advance-review excerpts:

Selected Review Excerpts

Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter:

The diagnosis is in, at least according to the estimable gallery of mental health professionals, and members of The Duty to Warn Coalition, who are seen in Dan Partland’s documentary: President Donald Trump suffers from a condition known as malignant narcissism, the components of which are narcissism, paranoia, anti-social personality disorder and sadism.

The shrinks participating in the documentary are technically violating what’s known as “The Goldwater Rule,” which states that 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.” The ethical standard springs from a 1964 magazine poll in which 1,189 psychiatrists said that then-candidate Barry Goldwater was unfit to be president. Fortunately for the sake of the country, there’s also something known as “The Tarasoff Rule,” inspired by a California Supreme Court ruling that decreed that mental health professionals have a “duty to warn” if their patients might put someone else’s life in danger.

Ironically, it’s not the mental health professionals on display who make the strongest impact, but rather Anthony Scaramucci…”He is not a racist,” Scaramucci affirms. “He treats everybody like shit. He’s an asshole. That’s different from being a racist.”

Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun Times:

“The psychiatric interview is the least reliable method of making a diagnosis,” says the psychologist John Gartner, Ph.D. “The ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ is based on observable behavioral criteria…When you meet with someone, they can lie to you, they can say, ‘I never did that…,’ but if you could actually observe [someone’s] behavior…you’d get a much more reliable indicator of how they behaved.”

Owen Gleiberman, Variety:

Rick Reilly, the veteran sports writer and author of “Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump,”…asks a question: Why would Trump need to cheat at golf? But cheat he does. According to Reilly, Trump jerry-rigs his golf cart to go twice as fast as any of the others, so that he can, if he chooses, be the first to the tee and more able to manipulate the results. He’ll plant his mark in the wrong place, or deny he hit a ball into a lake. He’s claimed championship wins when he lost, or where he was the only player. And then there’s this: He tried to cheat Tiger Woods. No one says the well-being of America is riding on Trump’s sleaziness on the green. Yet the film suggests that if Trump will cheat at golf, he’ll cheat at anything.

Feb 07

Presidents in Therapy: Does It Happen?

Not much is actually known regarding presidents in therapy, probably in large part because of general mental health stigma that’s multiplied disproportionately by the unfair and unrealistic expectations both the public and the pols have of those elected to the highest offices. So, have any presidents gone to therapy?

One instance that’s been widely enough reported and believed is that President Richard Nixon (1913-1994), to whom Donald Trump has regularly been compared, did receive psychiatric treatment both inside and outside of the office. (See previous post.)

Meanwhile, there’s been much debate about our current president’s mental state and whether it’s fair to try to diagnose him using the DSM-V. A recent Facebook petition circulated by psychologist John Gartner declaring Trump to have at least three different personality disorders (narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder) that potentially render him dangerous has, at this writing, over 20,000 signatures from various mental health professionals.

On the other side of the debate are such upholders of the don’t-diagnose-from-afar Goldwater Rule as psychologist Steven Berglas and psychiatrist Allen Frances, who have a whole different take on the subject (Hara Estroff Marano, Psychology Today). States Frances, for example: “Donald Trump is evil—bad not mad—and incompetent.” This is what, according to Frances, makes him “a threat to democracy.”

‘I wrote the criteria for personality disorders,’ says Frances, professor emeritus at Duke. The public diagnoses being bandied about are inaccurate and ‘miss the point,’ he argues. They ignore the criterion that symptoms must be causing distress and impairment. ‘Donald Trump causes distress to others, not to himself. He is rewarded for his behaviors.’

Do we know for sure if Donald Trump has never been diagnosed or in therapy? Of course not. He’s not nearly that transparent. Maybe he’s in therapy as we speak. At least someone at Someecards has imagined so.

Following are three installments of their comics about Trump Therapy. Click on the links and enjoy these brief sessions with his shrink!

  1. Some Comics: Trump Therapy, Session I
  2. Some Comics: Trump Therapy, Session 2
  3. Some Comics: Trump Therapy, Session 3