Eminent Psychiatrist Says it’s an Insult to Mentally Ill to Call Trump Mentally Ill

As MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin says, “this is quite the letter to the editor.” It comes from a man who argues that Trump “is bad, not mad” and “crazy only like a fox.”

It was written by Allen Frances, M.D., professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavior sciences at Duke University Medical Center. He happens to have also been on the task force that wrote the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (D.S.M.-IV).

In a letter to the editor of The New York Times, Dr. Frances notes that Donald Trump is not mentally ill and “causes distress rather than experiencing it,” and that 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 says that “bad behavior is rarely a sign of mental illness” and cites Trump’s “grandiosity, self-absorption and lack of empathy.”

“He can, and should, be appropriately denounced for his ignorance, incompetence, impulsivity and pursuit of dictatorial powers.”

The antidote to “a dystopic Trumpean dark age is political, not psychological.”

This is as damning an assessment of Trump as can be found. Those who disagree with Dr. Frances’ diagnosis cannot disagree with his assessment, demonstrated repeatedly in very public ways, that Trump is ignorant, impulsive, and in pursuit of dictatorial powers.

If you doubt the last, review Trump’s Twitter feed, or listen to Stephen Miller again.

Dr. Frances has also written a blog post in Psychology Today putting forth the same arguments, and in a Valentine’s Day tweet, Dr. Frances doubled down, saying,

“I’m so tired of amatuer analyses of Trump’s psychology or diagnosis. Focus on real danger- his grab of dictator power.”

And Dr. Frances is certainly correct that the antidote to “a dystopic Trumpean dark age is political, not psychological.”

Not that a political solution is easy. Dr. Frances writes at Psychology Today that “So far Congress has proven useless.”

“Everything possible must be done now to strengthen the backbone of the current very flawed Congress and to elect a wiser and more courageous one in 2018.”

Read the full letter below: