Yale psychiatrist Dr. Brandy Lee recently hosted a conference on the mental health community’s response to the apparent psychological disorders of President Donald Trump — and in a recent interview with Salon, she explained why she and some of her colleagues are willing to risk censure or even having their licenses taken away to diagnose the dangerous president.
“This situation has come to such a critical level,” Lee told Salon when asked why she is compelled to speak out about the president. “In fact, a state of emergency exists and we could no longer hold back. We have an obligation to speak about Donald Trump’s mental health issues because many lives and our survival as a species may be at stake.”
When asked to describe what she believes to be symptoms of the president’s mental “impairment,” Lee gave multiple examples.
“He has a great need for adulation,” she said. “He is angry if reality does not meet his needs.”
Trump’s apparently skewed reality, Lee said, is one of her biggest concerns.
“People have been expecting him to settle into his role and become normal or more ‘presidential, but that does not ordinarily happen among those with such personality traits,” she said. “In fact, what we’re seeing is a creation of his own reality, a reality that will meet Trump’s own emotional needs and the need to impose that reality on others. It is his imperviousness to facts and reality that could place us all at great risk.”
When asked about the so-called “Goldwater rule,” which is meant to bar mental health professionals from diagnosing public figures from afar, Lee explained that the current political circumstances necessitate breaking that rule.
“In an ordinary situation where matters were not so intense, we could balance out our political activism and separate that from our professional goals and actions,” Lee said. “But when there is such a grave mental disability that is affecting the public sphere, the political sphere, such as in the current position of power, then those lines get blurred.”
Despite some of her colleagues being threatened with seized licenses for breaking the Goldwater rule, Lee said she couldn’t keep quiet any longer.
“In my case,” she said, “it became a grave enough emergency that my conscience would not let me rest in peace if I did not do something about it.”
You can read Dr. Lee’s entire interview about Trump’s mental health problems with Salon via Alternet.