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Saturday, February 18, 2017

In unprecedented public letter, health professionals warn of Trump's 'grave emotional instability'




VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - SEPTEMBER 06:  Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump pauses during a campaign event September 6, 2016 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Trump participated in a discussion with retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Donald Trump careened his way through a rambling tangential diatribe of a press conference Thursday that left congressional Republicans and Democrats alike with their "jaws on the floor." Trump’s unhinged display underscored a letter published in the New York Times Tuesday and signed by 35 physicians and mental health professionals who broke with long-held ethics standards to address Trump's "grave emotional instability." They wrote:
Mr. Trump’s speech and actions demonstrate an inability to tolerate views different from his own, leading to rage reactions. His words and behavior suggest a profound inability to empathize. Individuals with these traits distort reality to suit their psychological state, attacking facts and those who convey them (journalists, scientists).
In a powerful leader, these attacks are likely to increase, as his personal myth of greatness appears to be confirmed. We believe that the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump’s speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president.
The letter’s lead signatories were Lance Dodes, a retired assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Joseph Schachter, former chair of the Committee on Research Proposals for the International Psychoanalytic Association.

They noted that they finally broke their "self-imposed" silence because it had "resulted in a failure to lend our expertise to worried journalists and members of Congress at this critical time."
We fear that too much is at stake to be silent any longer.
As I have noted before, public discussion of Trump's mental health has been mostly taboo, but the dam is beginning to break.

Last week, columnist Andrew Sullivan finally broached the topic in the mainstream media, saying:
I know we’re not supposed to bring this up — but it is staring us brutally in the face. I keep asking myself this simple question: If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him?
On Sunday, Democratic Sen. Al Franken told CNN that "a few" of his Republican counterparts have expressed doubts about Trump's state of mind. This follows on an observation several weeks ago from veteran journalist Carl Bernstein that Republicans had been openly discussing Trump's "emotional maturity, stability."

Now the question becomes, just how long can Republicans continue to look the other way?

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