The American Psychiatric Association speaks out against ‘armchair psychiatrists’ in media saying Trump’s ‘insane’

Nip it in the bud.

In light of far-reaching claims that President Trump is mentally unfit, the American Psychiatric Association, the world’s largest psychiatric organization, is calling for “an end to psychiatrists providing professional opinions in the media about public figures whom they have not examined.”

The APA released a statement in response to certain networks parading psychiatrists out to comment on Trump’s mental state of mind, saying: “Armchair psychiatry or the use of psychiatry as a political tool is the misuse of psychiatry and is unacceptable and unethical.”

Trump lashed out recently against the flimsy narrative that he’s “mentally unfit” to be president, a claim that’s been making the rounds since the release of Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury.”

APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., evoked what is known as the Goldwater Rule.

“The Goldwater Rule embodies these concepts and makes it unethical for a psychiatrist to render a professional opinion to the media about a public figure unless the psychiatrist has examined the person and has proper authorization to provide the statement,” Levin said. “APA stands behind this rule.”

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The release added that “[u]sing psychiatry for political or self-aggrandizing purposes is stigmatizing for our patients and negatively impacts our profession.”

It went on to note that making the determination on whether someone is mentally fit involves a detailed process that goes beyond reading a Twitter feed.

“A proper psychiatric evaluation requires more than a review of television appearances, tweets, and public comments,” the statement said. “Psychiatrists are medical doctors; evaluating mental illness is no less thorough than diagnosing diabetes or heart disease. The standards in our profession require review of medical and psychiatric history and records and a complete examination of mental status. Often collateral information from family members or individuals who know the person well is included, with permission from the patient.”

Tom Tillison


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