BY NIKITA VLADIMIROV
The psychiatrist who defined narcissistic personality disorder says President Trump may be a “world-class narcissist,” but claims that the president is mentally ill is an insult to those who truly are.
Dr. Allen Frances, a professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical College, wrote in his letter to The New York Times this week that diagnosing Trump at a distance is not an appropriate way to push back on his policies.
“Fevered media speculation about Donald Trump’s psychological motivations and psychiatric diagnosis has recently encouraged mental health professionals to disregard the usual ethical constraints against diagnosing public figures at a distance,” Frances wrote.
“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, because he does not suffer from the distress and impairment required to diagnose mental disorder,” the doctor added.
Several experts and lawmakers have speculated that Trump may have a mental disorder based on his false statements and behavior.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) went as far as to suggest possible legislation that would require the White House to have a psychiatrist.
Frances argued that putting Trump in the same category as the mentally ill is an “insult” to those who suffer from mental conditions.
“It is a stigmatizing insult to the mentally ill (who are mostly well behaved and well meaning) to be lumped with Mr. Trump (who is neither),” he wrote.
“Bad behavior is rarely a sign of mental illness, and the mentally ill behave badly only rarely. Psychiatric name-calling is a misguided way of countering Mr. Trump’s attack on democracy. He can, and should, be appropriately denounced for his ignorance, incompetence, impulsivity and pursuit of dictatorial powers,” Frances added.