President Donald Trump's erratic behavior and unstable temperament may be taking a toll on otherwise sane Americans' mental health.
Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist at Yale School of Medicine, has written an opinion piece over at NBC News describing how Trump's pathological narcissism, which is amplified by the 24-hour cable news cycle, may be inducing a state of "shared psychosis" among the general population.
"Pathology is confusing to the healthy," she explains. "There is a reason why staying in close quarters with a person suffering from mental illness usually induces what is called a 'shared psychosis.' Vulnerable or weakened individuals are more likely to succumb, and when their own mental health is compromised, they may develop an irresistible attraction to pathology, destruction, and even death (of self or others). The resulting harm is how we tell illness from health."
Lee goes on to argue that Americans' collective mental health is likely to suffer further in the coming months because Trump's mental state is continuing to deteriorate before our very eyes.
"As Trump feels increasingly walled in, his mental stability is likely to suffer and hence also public safety," she says. "Trump has shown marked signs of impairment and psychological disability under ordinary circumstances, hardly able to cope with basic criticism or unflattering news. Presumably, additional stressors will make his condition worse."