Mental Health in America Under Trump
Research shows that stress levels are the highest in our memory — actually higher than any time since World War I. If you think of all the crises that have happened in that time period, we are actually in a worse state. We know that anxiety levels are 70 percent higher than two years ago. This is according to research from the American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association. We know that public mental health is deteriorating. This is shown by the drastically increasing murder rate and epidemics of suicides that the United States is experiencing now. Unfortunately a population becomes habituated to such things. We become more numb to the stress levels. People become jumpier and more anxious and looking for comfort. — Dr. Bandy Lee, Psychiatrist
Dr. Bandy Lee is a psychiatrist at Yale University and a leading voice among the growing number of mental health and other medical professionals who have been trying to raise public awareness about Donald Trump’s mental health. Lee was lead editor of the bestselling book “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.” She was recently interviewed by Chauncey DeVega who published part of their dialogue in Salon, an online magazine. Following is an excerpt:
At the center of the chaotic maelstrom that is the Trump presidency is the question of Donald Trump’s mental health. His public behavior (and, by most accounts, his private behavior as well) is that of a man who is a compulsive liar and malignant narcissist, is paranoid, lacks in impulse control and lives in an alternate reality of his own creation.
Q: Is there any internal governor that tells Donald Trump, “No, do not do this, this is a bad idea”?
That is what he is lacking. Donald Trump does not have internal boundaries or the ability to engage in limit setting. This is why with individuals such as Donald Trump the first step in treatment is to set limits and contain the person, because they’re incapable of containing themselves. As much as people with such a condition are going to resist and complain, they actually feel more reassured when limits are placed on them. Why? Because of their internal feeling of chaos, having no boundaries and feeling so out of control. What has taken place so far during the whole of Trump’s presidency is the opposite of what we need to do for correct treatment.
Donald Trump needs to have limits set on him, be urgently evaluated, have access to weapons taken away. Then we need to figure out the least restrictive means of containing him. The containment has to come from the outside.
If Donald Trump were anyone other than the president of the United States, he would already be contained and evaluated.
The full article was previously published in “Salon” and “Alternet”, two online magazines:https://www.alternet.org/2019/02/yale-psych-prof-if-trump-werent-president-he-would-be-contained-and-evaluated/
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