December 31, 2019
Ya think? Bandy X. Lee, a professor of Forensic Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine who also serves as president of the World Mental Health Coalition, is again sounding the alarm about President Donald Trump’s mental health—and warning that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not doing enough to respond to the danger it poses, Salon reports.
Lee actually began warning about the dangers posed by the president’s mental health before his election. She then edited the book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President and convened a conference on the president’s mental health at Yale shortly after the president’s inauguration.
In addition, she recently joined psychiatrists across the country in calling for the House Judiciary Committee to convene a panel of mental health experts to weigh in on the ongoing impeachment proceedings.
Worried by the tone and content of President Trump’s tweets, Lee has gone so far as to “translate” some of them on her own Twitter feed, which she described to Salon as a “public service.” Lee said she wants her “translations” to help readers see past Trump’s efforts to muddle reality with his “negative influence.”
She recently “translated” Trump’s scorching six-page letter to Pelosi in a Medium post.— noting that the president had accused the speaker of trying to “steal the election” ahead of the House vote to impeach him.
Arguing that the letter effectively served as a “confession,” Lee said that Trump’s letter was an example of the president projecting his own motives onto Pelosi. But Lee warned that Pelosi has not done enough to respond to the president.
“As a coworker, she has the right to have him submit to an involuntary evaluation, but she has not,” Lee told Salon. “Anyone can call 911 to report someone who seems dangerous, and family members are the most typical ones to do so. But so can coworkers, and even passersby on the street. The law dictates who can determine right to treatment, or civil commitment, and in all 50 U.S. states this includes a psychiatrist.
While Lee told Salon that Pelosi’s strategy of withholding the articles of impeachment from the Senate has been effective, she also warned that the delay risks making Trump even more dangerous.
Among the most troubling symptoms? “First, Lee told Salon, he is highly unwell, which I am glad many finally seem to see now. More specifically, you can tell how unwell he is by the degree he cannot deviate from his defenses: mainly, denial and projection. We often say he is “doubling down.” A truly sick person will be unable to show any tolerance of ambiguity, doubt or flexibility in thinking. The letter, like his lengthy interviews or his chronic tweeting over years, is unable to show any variation from the characteristic rigidity of pathology.
She noted, “Some people will dispute the ethics of disclosing what I see, and my response is: danger. We are legally bound to break patient confidentiality for safety reasons, and a president is not even a patient.”
Research contact: @Salon