Courtesy of the Chicago Sun-Times:
I’m sure some viewers of the sharp and cohesive and illuminating documentary “#Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump” will try to persuade their MAGA friends or associates to watch a film that makes a strong case President Donald Trump is a malignant narcissist plagued by narcissistic personality disorder, deep and rampant paranoia, decades of sadistic tendencies, and anti-social behavior. I’m not so sure any pro-Trumper who watches the film will actually have a change of heart about their man. Some might even sit through all the arguments and watch the presentations making the case Trump is unfit and react by saying: And that’s exactly why you’re all so scared of him and he’s the greatest president of all time!
Nevertheless. We are recommending “#Unfit” not for any political reason — in fact, the film is not about Trump’s policies, but about his personality — but because it offers some valuable insights into Trump’s behavior, and offers a compelling counterargument to some widely accepted notions about whether or not psychiatrists should even be allowed to comment on the mental health of individuals they have not personally treated.
You may have heard of “The Goldwater Rule,” which is often invoked by those arguing it is irresponsible and unethical for mental health professionals to comment on Trump’s behavior because he’s not their patient. And indeed, it was a dark chapter in the history of psychiatric community in 1964 when the now defunct Fact magazine published a poll of more than 1,000 psychiatrists, with the consensus being Senator Barry Goldwater was unfit to be president. Goldwater sued and received damages, and rightfully so, as the findings were based on wild speculation not commonplace in the analytical community today.
But the experts interviewed in “#Unfit” argue the Goldwater Rule was never intended to be a universal gag order and claim that according to the Tarasoff Rule, which states psychiatrists have a duty to step forward and speak when they believe someone is exhibiting harmful and alarming behavior, they would be derelict in their professional duties if they DIDN’T comment on Trump’s observable behavior.
“The psychiatric interview is the least reliable method of making a diagnosis,” says the psychologist John Gartner, Ph.D. “The ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ is based on observable behavioral criteria. … When you meet with someone, they can lie to you, they can say, ‘I never did that …,’ but if you could actually observe [someone’s] behavior … you’d get a much more reliable indicator of how they behaved.”
And of course, all of us have been observing Trump’s behaviors for at least the last three and a half years.
I think this documentary is for every person who watched Trump on TV and wanted to turn to somebody and say “You are seeing this right? I mean I’m not crazy, he is out of his fucking mind.”
I have to say that in my job we are supposed to avoid talking about politics, but there have been a few times when it has come up in a meeting when there is an audible sigh of relief around the room as people’s impression of Trump is validated by mental health professionals who cannot help but at least partially diagnose the behaviors they are witnessing play out in front of them.
I am sure they must exist but as of right now I have not met a single mental health professional who does not think Trump is batshit crazy.
And do you know why? Because he fucking is, that’s why.