Insane shrinks say Trump mentally ill: official science howls at the moon

Insane shrinks say Trump mentally ill: official science howls at the moon

by Jon Rappoport

April 24, 2017

My readers are familiar with my extended refutation of psychiatry as science. Here I’ll focus on the latest piece of non-logic from professional know-nothings.

The Daily Mail: “A group of leading psychiatrists told a conference that Donald Trump has clear hallmarks of mental illness that compromise his role as president. Twenty-five researchers made a drastic break away from ethical standards by meeting at Yale University on Thursday to discuss evidence questioning the commander-in-chief’s mental health.”

Psychiatrist Allen Frances, who has played a central role in defining mental disorders, disagrees. He wrote in the NY Times: “Most amateur diagnosticians have mislabeled [Mr. Trump as having] narcissistic personality disorder… He may be a world-class narcissist, but this doesn’t make him mentally ill…”

Dr. Frances makes an interesting point. He distinguishes between behavior and earning a badge for having a particular mental disorder.

For example, a person can be sad, but that alone doesn’t make him a candidate for the label, “clinical depression.” A person can take aggressive actions against authority, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he is suffering from Oppositional Defiance Disorder.

If that were all there was to this story, I wouldn’t bother writing about it. There is another layer, however. The press isn’t discussing it, because the press is clueless.

Consider the accusation that Trump has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). What does that mean? What is the official definition of NPD? Here is an excerpt from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the official bible of the American Psychiatric Association. Go ahead, plow through it, it’ll only take a minute:

“The definition of NPD states that it comprises of a persistent manner of grandiosity, a continuous desire for admiration, along with a lack of empathy. It starts by early adulthood and occurs in a range of situations, as signified by the existence of any 5 of the next 9 standards (American Psychiatric Association, 2013):

• A grandiose logic of self-importance
• A fixation with fantasies of infinite success, control, brilliance, beauty, or idyllic love
• A credence that he or she is extraordinary and exceptional and can only be understood by, or should connect with, other extraordinary or important people or institutions
• A desire for unwarranted admiration
• A sense of entitlement
• Interpersonally oppressive behavior
• No form of empathy
• Resentment of others or a conviction that others are resentful of him or her
• A display of egotistical and conceited behaviors or attitudes

Another model, characterizes NPD as having fair or superior impairment in personality functioning, apparent by characteristic troubles in at least 2 of the following 4 areas (American Psychiatric Association, 2013):

1. Individuality
2. Self-direction
3. Empathy
4. Closeness

No actual physical characteristics are seen with NPD, but patients may have concurrent substance abuse, which may be seen in the clinical examination.”

Got it? Now, think about this: NOWHERE IN THE DEFINITION IS THERE ANY DEFINING DIAGNOSTIC TEST.

No blood test, urine test, saliva test, brain scan, genetic assay. Nothing.

What you’ve just read is a collection of behaviors. This collection was assembled by a committee of psychiatrists, who decided that, taken together, they added up to a mental disorder.

There is no defining diagnostic test for NPD.

We’re talking about psychiatrists sitting in a room and arbitrarily deciding that a cluster of behaviors adds up to an official mental disorder.

These psychiatrists are playing word games. They’re inventing so-called mental disorders.

Underneath this story about Trump and the shrinks, there is a far more important truth. Psychiatrists are world-class purveyors of fake news. They always have been. Because you see…

None of the roughly 300 officially certified and labeled mental disorders has a defining diagnostic test. None.

If you have the tenacity, read through the whole DSM and you will see for yourself.

Or read this brief exchange. In a PBS Frontline episode, “Does ADHD Exist?”, Dr. Russell Barkley, an eminent professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, spelled out the fraud clearly.

Here it is.

PBS FRONTLINE INTERVIEWER: Skeptics say that there’s no biological marker—that it [ADHD] is the one condition out there where there is no blood test, and that no one knows what causes it.

BARKLEY: That’s tremendously naïve, and it shows a great deal of illiteracy about science and about the mental health professions. A disorder doesn’t have to have a blood test to be valid. If that were the case, all mental disorders would be invalid…There is no lab test for any mental disorder right now in our science. That doesn’t make them invalid.

Oh, indeed, that does make them invalid. Utterly and completely. All 300 mental disorders. Because there are no defining tests of any kind to back up the diagnosis.

Psychiatrists can sway and tap dance all they like and they won’t escape the noose around their necks. We are looking at a science that isn’t a science.

That’s called fraud. Rank fraud.

Imagine this. You walk into a doctor’s office, you talk with him for a few minutes, and then he says: “You have cancer. You need to start chemo at once.”

After you recover, you say, “You didn’t give me a test.”

And he says, “Well, we don’t need a test. We know what the symptoms are because we convened a high-level meeting of oncologists last year, and we listed the answers to the questions I just asked you. You gave those telltale answers. So we start chemo tomorrow. We may also need to surgically remove an organ or two before we’re done.”

That’s psychiatry. That’s the way it works.

Those boys have quite a con going. And now, from a few hundred miles away, they’ve diagnosed a sitting president.

Well, why wouldn’t they? They’ve been shucking and jiving all the way to the bank for the entirety of their professional lives.


Exit From the Matrix

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Exit From The Matrix, click here.)


Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

43 comments on “Insane shrinks say Trump mentally ill: official science howls at the moon

  1. Alice Coppers says:

    The fact that he’s married for over ten yrs. makes this diagnosis wrong. He can have long term intimate relations and the fact that his family isn’t flaunting their wealth during ceremonies and special occasions like the Bushes and Clinton’s did. A

    >

  2. Fake Shrinks Chewing Their Steering Wheels Off….

  3. The United States and its national academy of sciences inherited group-think (Lysenkoism) directly from the old USSR on 24 Oct 1945, when nations and national academies of sciences were united after Stalin’s troops captured the world’s remaining supply of atomic bombs from Japan (actually in Konan, Korea) in Aug 1945:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/The_Atlanta_Constitution_3_Oct_1946.htm

    That is why today, no member of the US NAS will publicly admit or deny:

    1. The logical error Weizsäcker and Chadwick made in 1935 by denying Rutherford’s 1920 assertion the neutron is “an electron-proton pair in close combination

    2. The actual energy released in every known beta-decay is exactly:
    _ a.) O.782 MeV greater than Weizsäcker-Chadwick predicted for electron-emission, and
    _ b.) O.782 MeV less than Weizsäcker-Chadwick predicted for positron-emission or electron capture

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Nuclear_Energy_Error7.pdf

  4. France does not have the same ‘diagnosis’ for ADHD and does not put children as young as 3 on psychotic drugs.

  5. Ginny Sing says:

    Shucking and jiving all the way to the bank is the preferred activity of all those who value profit above all else. Psychiatry is just one among many. They thrive in the kingdom of capitalism.

  6. John says:

    From the phoniest and most treasonous president in American history, Barack Hussein Obama. This quote uttered about eight years ago, before the nearly ten trillion dollars in debt this piece of crap added onto the American middle class.

    To boot, this was done at virtually a zero percent interest rate which makes it even more outrageous. Just imagine how much more this figure would be if interest rates weren’t rigged for the last decade or so. Here is the quote from the phony and chief:

    Remember when the phony piece of crap uttered these words:

    “The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion dollars for the first 42 presidents — number 43 added $4 trillion dollars by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child,” Obama said on July 3, 2008, at a campaign event in Fargo, N.D.

    “That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic,” said candidate Obama.

    I guess the “man” who is quoted above and who virtually now has doubled the national debt didn’t have a mental illness? Maybe he was just diabolical and methodical in enslaving an electorate who was nothing more than sycophantic to this piece of crap. A psychopath who tried to destroy an economy and a nation. To the modern day liberal Obama was a moderate, a nice guy who just didn’t get the full cooperation he needed to make the country better.

    Nothing will change until liberals come to grasp with reality and most of them never will. The liberals of today are not mentally ill, just downright willfully blind to truth. They will never recognize evil, they are taking us all down with their obsession with fairytales.

    Like Trump or not, what he has done in reversing the previous blowhard’s nonsensical EPA regulations has been enormously beneficial to the middle class and the US economy.

  7. Joy says:

    I would have loved to be a mouse in the corner, or a fly on the wall listening in on this obscene gathering! In my estimation, they are the elite of those who are strangling humanity with the “we” of communalism, because their self-erected “rules” become the weapons to justify punishing anyone who dares to be an individual. Better yet that I was not there, for I would not have been able to keep from making a real nuisance of myself.

  8. Sean says:

    yeah, why wouldn’t they. You know what, you are the only one Ive learned about that highlights how there are not blood tested, ect when adding to their DSM bible. Such a fraud that industry is.

  9. Michael says:

    A very busty young blonde lady was lying on her psychiatrist’s couch, telling him how frustrated she was. “I tried to be an actress and failed,” she complained. “I tried to be a secretary and failed; I tried being a writer and failed; then I tried being a sales clerk and I failed at that, too.” The shrink thought for a moment and said… “Everyone needs to live a full, satisfying life. Why don’t you try nursing?” The girl thinks about this, then bares one of her large, beautiful breasts, points it at the shrink, and says… “Well go ahead, I’ll give it a try!”

    Are you sure you want to start out Monday with Crazy as the topic of choice?
    Trump isn’t any crazier than the rest of us. Yeah he has a big personality.

    And speaking about the est of us…

    I have resolved myself to the fact that the whole world is crazy…but me. :))) I’m serious, stop laughing.

    You are ah… Jon you are…not so bad. You have your moments of clarity. But sometimes…

    Me and you are the only ones in here, who have any rationale really, most of these people are certifiable Jon. They’re batshit crazy Jon. Do you realize you’re talking to crazy people…I hope that does’nt knock the air out of your sails, son. I hate to the messenger of bad news. That would make me feel bad, if you didn’t know that…do you know that?

    Now some of them are way out on the fringe, extreme narcissus, were talkin super narcism.

    Actually come to think of it, when I look around in here in this little room, this little….Internet coffee shop, so to speak of yours. You have one of every flower in here Jon.

    You have your Shasta daisies, your dandelions…yes their weeds Jon? You have your roses with thorns; Jon you have the big puffy peonies with the ants crawling on them. And there the run of the mill simple ol’petunias, they don’t say much, but they are our petunias. Arn’t they? You have one century flower, it hasn’t bloomed yet…maybe in twenty thirty years…and boy is it a stinker. I don’t want to name names, but you know who you are out there…

    BTW today is the start of the Irish O’lympics, I won’t be competing this year. I twisted my shorts.

    Here’s the first day YouTube, it was a rough start for the boys. but they managed to complete the first race, god bless em…

  10. Greg C. says:

    How do you define “lacking empathy”? How much is enough, and how do you quantify it, measure it? Who deserves our empathy? The standards are yardsticks made of elastic, and applied whimsically, against people that the “doctor” dislikes. What doctor gives his diagnosis unasked, without a personal examination? Most psychiatrists lack empathy – as do all quacks.

  11. From Quebec says:

    Powerful Group Wants Trump Committed To Mental Institution

    Very interesting interview with Dr Steve Pieczenik. yesterday.
    Must see:

    PSYCHIATRISTS THAT CLAIM TRUMP IS ILL ARE MENTALLY ILL THEMSELVES

    • Greg C. says:

      I like Dr. Steve. He can be very lucid, and sound very authoritative, and make sense. But then, you have to wonder about someone who has risen so far in a field that is basically a sham. There are always good, well-spoken people who prop up bad institutions, who try to make sense out of nonsense. He says that JFK was basically delusional – don’t know about that, but Roger Stone’s book on LBJ is absolutely the most bizarre picture of a president you will ever find.

  12. From Quebec says:

    The rest of this interview in the next video:

    HOW BIG PHARMA CORRUPTED THE DSM 5

  13. Eliza Ayres says:

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal and commented:
    Most psychiatric “disorders” have been made up in the last 50 years. President Trump isn’t any crazier than the psychopaths who want to depopulate the planet by 90% and seem to be determined to bring him down. If commenting on this article, kindly refer back to blog of origin.

    • truth1 says:

      Well said Eliza. On Trump being insane. Given the genocidal plans well evidenced at work, and that it is the status quo behind it and that those calling the kettle black are also members of the status quo, really, it would be easy to conclude that nearly everyone crazy. To ignore the serious signs of engineering the world’s downfall is surely insanity. To blind one’s self to it is super insanity. But than again, I am crazier than hell. So what do I know!

      • Eliza Ayres says:

        simply admitting that you’re “crazier than hell” means you have a healthy ego and can think outside of the box. A little humility and humor go a long way in my humble opinion.

  14. From Quebec says:

    The final conclusion:of this interview:

    THE SELF DESTRUCTION OF THE LEFT CONTINUES

  15. From Quebec says:

    Listen to the whole video. After the short ad, this is where it becomes very interesting.
    Dr Steve Pieczenik talks about Jarred and Ivanka, Assad, the Russian, the CIA, etc.

  16. Tim says:

    DSM = ouija board ‘science’

  17. doranpat says:

    sounds to me like to get a phd or md in the mental health field has the minimum requirement that one enjoy (not suffer from) narcissistic personality disorder as a minimum, mind you-you get to do “research” and get paid out the whazzooo working for the deep state mind control and propaganda groups-and play with all the ways humans can be manipulated, tortured, killed or enslaved. It is thoughts such as these that make me WANT to believe in karma-just to know that these freaks will at some point get to experience what they been dishing out at some point and will learn to STOP IT–and join the HUman race, is comforting.

  18. Daniel Noel says:

    […] this article is puzzling. The brain is arguably the human body’s most complex organ. As such, it is prone to malfunction, just like the heart, the liver, or the skin. It stands to reason that the lobes that prevent mentally healthy individuals from preying upon others can malfunction, just like a knee can malfunction. It also stands to reason that a failure of these lobes would not translate into an anomaly in the blood, urine, or saliva. It would, however, be detected by scanning the brain while the patient would be exposed to ideas that would trigger them in a normal brain. A psychotherapist may also be able to diagnose the pathology through proper cognitive therapy.

    Much evidence supports the contention that Trump’s egoism runs unusually high. The 25 mental health experts’ break is indeed curious, but for different reasons.
    * Why is it that so few mental health professionals speak up when analysts who oppose Trump continuously allege that he is mentally ill and provide arguments that convince lay people?
    * Why did the 25 experts speak up only after the election? Why didn’t Hillary organize a spectacular press conference by these or other experts on Trump’s alleged mental pathology(ies) beforehand?
    * How about individuals other than Trump with much power, in government, business, charity, education, religion, law, etc.? Could some also be operating under a pathological level of egoism? Could this contribute to many political and social problems, not just in the USA, but worldwide? Would extremely egoistic rulers be less reluctant to wage war than others? Could some be just as egoistic as Trump, but have enough knowledge and discipline to artfully hide their pathology, pretending to be normal while being biologically incapable of scruples or remorse? Would some be able to fool a psychologist, like well camouflaged snakes in a human body?
    * Where is the American Psychiatric Association when you need it? Or its foreign counterparts? What are they waiting for to authoritatively diagnose Trump or to shush the 25 loose cannons? What are they waiting for to educate the public–or perhaps their dues-paying members–on the existence of unempathic deviants and the danger of allowing them to wield authority over mentally sane people? Or perhaps teach the non-existence of such a danger?

    The 25 experts’ blurb points to a much more pressing problem: the blissful ignorance of the essence of the brains that rule over humanity behind pretty faces. But this is another story.

    […]

  19. dunc says:

    You can have a very high (so called) I Q. and cluck like a chicken. never tip, loyalty can be a daunting task.you can have dried vomit in your hair .live under a bridge on a warm day with a pint in your pocket and think your the luckiest man alive.people around you call you genius..

  20. ajs50 says:

    Psychiatry seems to involve a lot of hokey pokey. These papered wackados earn a ton of money by putting people under their personal judgement spotlights. The multiple choice tests they do have people take

  21. ajs50 says:

    Are not spot on, since results can depend on a person’s mood from one day to the next.

  22. Sam Nelson says:

    Insanity since Freud has become epidemic. People who support the organized religions today are the carriers, government, the sponsor. All of it about personal advancement, at all cost. Ideas that murder can be forgiven, that magic is real, that people can live after the grave, that blood sacrifice can do anything other than destroy the living; insanity, yes indeed and, getting worse. This tale of horror and woe is about to reach the high notes I am afraid.
    We have alternatives, the Sumerian story of our beginnings, an Annunaki creator, better ideas, proven by thousands of text, recorded that we might avoid exactly where we are headed today. How can anyone or anything change a world of people when the Leadership is in on the destruction of real knowledge. Alex Jones cannot help, he is all about the money, maybe John could, if there were a billion or more of him, other than that, good night, dear true and loyal folks.

  23. CPP says:

    “There is no lab test for any mental disorder right now in our science. That doesn’t make them invalid.”

    “Oh, indeed, that does make them invalid. Utterly and completely. All 300 mental disorders. Because there are no defining tests of any kind to back up the diagnosis.”

    Invalid as 300 distinct medical conditions? Sure. Invalid as classifications of predictable patterns of pathological behavior and experience, some of which are biologically rooted or mediated? No, of course not. Are some of these classifications more meaningful than others? Of course. Do most professionals in the field claim the DSM is a dictionary of physiological, medical conditions? Highly doubtful — especially when it comes to personality “disorders”.

    Why, unless you are a hardcore reductionist materialist, is a physical indicator required to point to a MENTAL “disorder”? And for those mental illnesses that are rooted in problems with or damage to the brain of some kind, why does our limited knowledge of the brain require foregoing identification of the problem in terms of its observed and experienced manifestation? I realize the pharma-driven drugging model is destructive, but it’s destructive as applied to physically identifiable medical conditions, too.

    And why you think a personality/character “disorder”, in particular, should be diagnosable (or identifiable) with a physical test is beyond me. Pathological personalities exist, whether they are harmful to themselves and/or others, and they are categorizeable. Good enough. That’s all that is being described. These are not medical conditions, which is why they are not described as such.

    It is contradictory for Frances to refer to Trump as a “world class narcissist” and then say that doesn’t make him “mentally ill”, if by “mentally ill” he means “has a mental disorder as listed in the DSM”. Being a world class narcissist means being narcissistic to a pathological degree, which is, by definition, narcissistic personality “disorder”. If Frances is saying this does not entail mental illness, then he is excluding all personality disorders from the “mental illness” classification, and leaving them only as “disorders”. That’s fine, but then saying someone isn’t mentally ill doesn’t speak to whether or not they have a personality/character “disorder”.

    “For example, a person can be sad, but that alone doesn’t make him a candidate for the label, “clinical depression.””

    Of course it doesn’t. This is a platitude. No competent “shrink” or psychologist would claim “that alone”, especially when it isn’t chronic, equates to clinical depression (and no, doctors that hand out antidepressants like candy are not exhibiting competence). But that doesn’t mean you can just handwave away major depression or bipolar disorder or anorexia nervosa etc. as meaningful and useful classifications of very real and predictably patterned conditions. How does this even need to be said? What causes or can cause which conditions or classes of conditions, whether physiological or not, is another issue.

    I’ve seen it stated that “disorders” should actually be called “orders”, because when psychology/personality takes on these pathological forms, it is more ordered than in its non-pathological forms, which are more random and heterogeneous. Personality can be reliably measured and classified, resulting in predictive power; and with the highly ordered, pathological forms, this is only that much more the case.

    I was once friends with someone who, it became apparent over time, was exhibiting a disturbing personality pattern. As I learned about narcissism and NPD, the suspicion became stronger that his character was corrupted to a degree that it was pathologically “ordered” in this way. I then encountered research breaking down NPD into nine types, referring to NPD as a “nine-headed hydra”. When I read the description of one type in particular, it was a “holy shit” moment. Of course there would be no biological marker for this, and no drug that would restore the individual’s character to a healthy and balanced state (well, maybe Ayahuasca or DMT or some such…?). But there are patterns to these corroded character types.

    I remember Dr. Drew saying how many reality TV shows, especially ones like “Big Brother”, were filled with contestants who exhibited pathological personalities that fit into the cluster of histrionic, narcissistic, antisocial and borderline personality disorders. These classifications are useful for understanding pathological personalities, without them having to be medical conditions.

    • Greg C. says:

      ‘Why, unless you are a hardcore reductionist materialist, is a physical indicator required to point to a MENTAL “disorder”?’

      Because the word “disorder” signifies that some-THING is out of order. If there is no “thing” out of order, then all we are saying is that a behavior pattern does not fit our expectations or our liking. If there is a thing out of order, then we could say – “AHA, you see, he is not responsible for his actions, this thing is making him behave this way.” Without that thing, who is to say that this person has chosen freely to behave this way, that it is his preference?

      Suppose a patient goes to the doctor, and he sees a small brown tattoo on her shoulder, and decides that it is a precancerous growth. Does he just start treating her for skin cancer? You can’t diagnose by mere appearance. In this example, the patient could explain to the doctor that it is a tattoo, and all would be well. But what if someone who is called a narcissist says, “But this is the way I decided to be. I enjoy it, and so do many other people, but you can’t please everyone, so some people hate me for it. But that’s OK.”

      Psychiatry says, “No, we have decided that you fit the pattern, therefore you are disordered. Something in your past caused you to turn out wrong, and therefore you are sick.” A mere system of classification is neither medicine nor science. There has to be an underlying rational theory based in nature, in observable, detectable things that have a physical existence, that can prove that a person actually has something wrong in their physiology that unduly interferes with voluntary behavior.

      If a person is acting voluntarily but doing bad things, then we can say they are evil, but that is not within the scope of science. Now we are dealing with morality. Morality deals with the invisible world of what should be, what is right and what is wrong. And really, psychiatry is a kind of quasi-morality. It is a judgment of what is good and bad in a person, based on their actions. But it short-circuits any kind of Socratic dialog on the nature of the good, by merely asserting that someone fits a pattern.

      • CPP says:

        The reason I kept placing “disorder” in quotations is because it’s a vague and problematic term. It is applied in all kinds of ways to a wide array of conditions and states that have little to do with each other — some physically rooted, others not. It’s just a catch-all for, say, “something wrong that fits a distinct pattern but is not a physiological disease as understood”.

        If you have obsessive compulsive “disorder”, this terminology points to the fact that you are displaying and experiencing a recognizable pattern of behavior that is detrimental. It is mental ill-health, whether or not there might be some neurological underpinning. And “disorder” refers to an “out-of-whack”, or unhealthy, pattern of behavior/thought. The usage is abstract and is not meant to signify any “thing”, even if the materialist imagines it ultimately must. There is obviously a difference between what is unhealthy and destructive versus what some people simply don’t like or expect, even if the distinction is contested at the margins. Of course, OCD behavior is actually very ordered — a good example of why “disorder” is a misleading term.

        I think it’s incorrect to say that the identification of a “disorder” is typically meant to excuse a person from responsibility for his or her actions. There are people whose brains are physically damaged or malfunctioning in a way that makes them actually not responsible for what they do. This is not the case with personality/character “disorders”. People’s criminal behavior is not excused because they typify “antisocial personality disorder”, for example. It is well known that much of the prison population would score high for APD, and for psychopathy in general.

        “You can’t diagnose by mere appearance.” …Again, this is not physical diagnosis. We can only go by observed behavior, self-report, and third-party report. And because some of these pathological personalities, like narcissists, tend to be highly manipulative, pathological liars, self-report wouldn’t be very reliable, except to discern patterns of grandiosity, delusion, self-absorption etc., and to compare with what is observed and what others close to the individual report. It doesn’t mean you’re left to just throw up your hands and say, “oh, he’s quirky”, all while the individual in question and/or those in his life are suffering from the behavior and seeking to understand it. Maybe try searching sometime for accounts from people who’ve been in relationships with pathological narcissists, and see if it sounds “OK” to you.

        “A mere system of classification is neither medicine nor science.” …We’re dealing with the human psyche here, so one would not expect a hard, physical science. Does this mean that behavior and psychology cannot be understood in methodical, structured, and consistent ways? Much of biology is classification, and boundaries between categories are contested, but species, genuses etc. remain meaningful groupings. Personality psychology in general can be studied using scientific methodology (repeatable experimental design using statistically valid population samples and producing consistent results), which can generate predictive and explanatory power. But having an explanation for behavior or a framework to understand it within is not the same as excusing it.

        If you want to claim something is interfering with voluntary behavior, then yes, a physiological basis would help (leaving aside possession or mind control). But, if someone exhibits behavior that is obviously insane or deranged in general, and it is obvious he/she has no idea what they are doing if they commit an act of violence, for example, then it is not necessary to have physical proof that his/her neurology is compromised, or to know how it is compromised, to understand that he/she cannot hold normal responsibility. But this does not describe the personality disordered, or the psychopath who knows and controls what he does.

        I realize that putting everything in the DSM under the primary purview of medical doctors is dubious at best, and that the heavy involvement of what calls itself a branch of medicine only conflates mental and behavioral issues that are and are not physiologically based. Part of the problem is knowing what is biologically rooted and what isn’t. The DSM is really a dictionary of abnormal psychology — some of which intersects with medicine and neuroscience — that has been fluffed up and distorted by psychopharmacological interests and medical authoritarians.

        “psychiatry is a kind of quasi-morality” …Sure, it can be, but isn’t necessarily. It can be a paternalistic, authoritarian tool, but so can many things. It need not mean it is inherently invalid or useless, or that is has not and cannot contribute to human knowledge. It, and clinical psychology, can and do serve as modalities for understanding mental health. We shouldn’t throw out all of psychiatry and clinical psychology just because they (particularly psychiatry) can be and have been and are being used in negative ways.

        • Greg C. says:

          Thank you for your very clear and reasoned reply, CPP. Identifying what is abnormal without being able to have a non-arbitrary method of defining normal results in the “is it me or is it you” question. Is it Trump who is abnormal, or the people having negative reactions (egophobic – a new disorder I just made up)? Is Trump dangerous (notice how easy it is to make the leap from abnormal to dangerous), or are his violent, threatening detractors dangerous? And who is to say that certain disorders are not rational and good reactions to a disordered world? Much of psychiatry is designed to help the patient to become “well-adjusted” – to be productive, happy, communicative, etc. – but what if the patient is a guard at a concentration camp in North Korea? Should he be happy in his work? Trying to help a person be well-adjusted could make things worse, by reinforcing the erroneous idea that there is something wrong with him internally.

          No need to even bring up the many improper uses of psychiatry, or its spectacular failures in the past. It’s the whole question of whether unusual or detrimental behavior is proper and healthy or not. Should the Foxconn factory in China hire an army of psychiatrists to help its workers to stop throwing themselves out of windows? In China, you would be hard-pressed to find a psychiatrist who would instead recommend closing down the factory. He wouldn’t have a job the next day. And there you go – agreeing with your colleagues, fitting in to the established order – that’s supposed to be healthy, and of course it is rewarded by job security. The only way to define normal behavior is to use yourself or society as a standard, and that assumes that you or society is normal. Notice that as society changes, the DSM changes. No longer is homosexuality considered a disorder. The very word disorder means not fitting in to the “order” of society. Someday, this mistake will be recognized for what it is. We need our disorders – they warn us that what appears to be in good order around us is just an illusion. Children who have ADHD warn us that school is a kind of concentration camp, and that video games are exploitative entertainment. The scientists have normalcy bias, and won’t go there.

          So not having a biological test for a disorder is important, because it should lead you to examine these assumptions about normalcy.

          • CPP says:

            Viable biological tests wouldn’t address the problems you’re pointing to. Take homosexuality — even if you can prove that it’s biologically rooted, it remains a value judgment as to whether or not it’s deviant, or a “disorder”. Is it a physical pathology leading to undesirable behavior or just a physical difference leading to different but acceptable behavior? Being able to point to biological roots or conditions to explain patterns of behavior doesn’t determine whether the patterns can or will be construed as pathological. When it comes to behavior, it’s always a value judgment as to whether it’s healthy or not.

            But that doesn’t mean there aren’t actually unhealthy patterns of behavior and pathological personalities associated with that behavior — to claim otherwise would be to descend into a kind of all-out postmodern relativism with regard to mental health. There’s a reason that homosexuality was removed as a disorder while most others remain. The values around it were more readily and reasonably changeable. Whereas washing your hands 500 times a day or perceiving yourself as fat while you waste away are quite readily and persistently seen as unhealthy, negative patterns of thought and behavior — value judgments that are more obviously on solid ground. Finding a biological signature for OCD or anorexia wouldn’t make it more or less sound to judge these behavioral patterns to be problematic and to constitute a “disorder”.

            Thanks for helping me get to the heart of why I think the demand for biological tests to validate mental pathologies is fundamentally unwarranted.

            P.S. “the “order” of society”…makes me think of how secret societies are often referred to as “orders”. And yes, psychopathologies can reveal much about the societies they arise in.

            This also came into my head: http://www.metrolyrics.com/toxicity-lyrics-system-of-a-down.html (see lower right under “Artist Videos” for the music vid).

            • Greg C. says:

              I agree with you that certain behaviors can be detrimental, either to ourselves or to others. No question. When psychiatrists identify behavior patterns that are typically detrimental, they call it a disorder. Implicit in this process is that there is something wrong, defective, in the individual. They are not normal, and therefore, they cannot be trusted to make good decisions. Exactly what is happening with the psychiatrists criticizing Trump.

              History is chock-full of individuals with oversized egos who have been very successful – they often think more clearly and are better leaders than so-called normal people. Trump’s track record bears this out. There are also people with big egos who have destroyed themselves and others around them. Hillary is this type. She went down in flames, doing great harm to the DNC, destroying many careers of her supporters who helped to cover for her crimes. Until the psychiatrists can successfully differentiate and predict the future on these two types, they have no business telling us who is fit to lead. Saying, “Where’s the blood test” is just another way of calling out the waffling, the ever-changing standards, the mistakes in judgment, the ruined lives. This is not science.

              By all means, let’s identify problems like depression and OCD, but let’s not pretend we can treat them with molecules created in a lab. Or with sessions with a PhD. Let’s not call it Science, especially now that Science is a monolithic consensus project. Let’s leave it to independent research and common wisdom.

            • CPP says:

              “Or with sessions with a PhD.” …I’m a bit surprised by this dismissal.

  24. artemisix says:

    Maybe it DOES take one to know one……?

  25. jbsptfn says:

    Jon, here’s an interesting article along these lines about depression and evolution:

    http://nautil.us/issue/45/power/does-depression-have-an-evolutionary-purpose

  26. JohZ says:

    […] I have to agree with the psychiatrists. Trump is deranged and out of touch with reality.
    He is going to start a nuclear war with N. Korea and possibly with Russia.
    His entire cabinet came from the bottom of the swamp. Losers everyone of them. From Mad Dog Mattis, the butcher of Fallujah to Nicki Halley […]

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