News

Trump 'incapable of safe presidency': mental health experts

President Donald Trump calls out to the media after escorting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to his car to depart the White House in Washington.
President Donald Trump calls out to the media after escorting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to his car to depart the White House in Washington. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers have signed an open letter warning Donald Trump's mental state "makes him incapable of serving safely as president".

The 35 mental health professionals said Mr Trump's "words and behaviour suggest a profound inability to empathise".

The President's tendency to "distort reality" to fit his "personal myth of greatness" and attack those who challenge him with facts was likely to increase in a position of power, they added.

It is usually frowned upon among psychiatrists to give a professional opinion of the mental state of a public figure they have not examined in person, as dictated by a passage in the American Psychiatric Association's code of ethics known as the Goldwater rule.

But in a letter to the New York Times, the doctors said they had decided it was necessary to break their silence on the matter because they feared "too much is at stake".

"This silence has resulted in a failure to lend our expertise to worried journalists and members of Congress at this critical time," they wrote. "We fear that too much is at stake to be silent any longer."

The letter continued: "Mr Trump's speech and actions demonstrate an inability to tolerate views different from his own, leading to rage reactions. His words and behaviour suggest a profound inability to empathise.

"Individuals with these traits distort reality to suit their psychological state, attacking facts and those who convey them [journalists, scientists].

"In a powerful leader, these attacks are likely to increase, as his personal myth of greatness appears to be confirmed. We believe that the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump's speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president."

Among the letter's signatories were Lance Dodes, a retired Harvard Medical School assistant clinical professor of psychiatry, and Joseph Schachter, who has held a senior position in the International Psychoanalytic Association.

A growing number of mental health professionals and Senators of both parties have expressed concern over Mr Trump's psychological state.

Conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan said the media should be seriously discussing the President's mental health.

"To have such an unstable figure, incapable of accepting reality, at the centre of the world, is an extremely dangerous thing," he told CNN.

"I know we're not supposed to bring this up - but it is staring us brutally in the face."

Mr Sullivan, who recently penned an article entitled 'The Madness of King Donald' in New York Magazine, justified his comments by citing the President's incorrect claims of "thousands" of illegal voters and inaccurate crime statistics. 

Republican colleagues of Donald Trump have also expressed concern about his mental health, a Democratic senator told Associated Press.

Minnesota senator Al Franken said there is concern among "a few" Republicans "that we all have this suspicion" that "he lies a lot".

He added: "He says things that aren't true. That's the same as lying, I guess."

Topics:  donald trump editors picks mental health



$23 million Bangalow plan 'twice the size of Ballina Fair'

BIG PLANS: One of the images in the DA for the Rural Industries Food Precinct, showing the site on Lismore Rd.

Residents say proposal 'highly inappropriate for Bangalow'

Flynn Transport owes $1.4 million in super and tax

Flynn Transport reportedly owes the Australian Tax Office nearly $1 million.

Government asks company to cough up nearly $1 million

Splendour punters warned to stay safe at the beach

SURF lifesavers have issued a warning to the thousands of festival revellers expected to hit the beach over the weekend.

Alcohol, drugs and swimming can be a deadly combination

Local Partners

Still downloading Game of Thrones? Expect a letter

IF YOU decided to illegally download this week’s season premiere of Game of Thrones, you might soon be receiving a letter in the post.

Sam Newman's Footy Show performance baffles panel

Sam Newman on the Footy Show

“Cat got your tongue tonight has it?”

OJ Simpson loses cool as he begs to go free

Simpson was convicted in 2008 of enlisting some men he barely knew, including two who had guns, to retrieve from two sports collectables sellers some items that Simpson said were stolen from him a decade earlier.

Tension at the parole hearing didn't stop OJ going free

Lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, dies age 41

Coroner spokesman Brian Elias says they are investigating Bennington's death as an apparent suicide but no additional details are available.

Chester Bennington's body was found in LA at 9am local time.

Chester Bennington’s tragic Chris Cornell connection

Bennington sings at Chris Cornell’s funeral on May 26 in Los Angeles. Picture: AP

Bennington reportedly godfather of one of Cornell’s three children

Holy schnit: This steak's the size of a small child

WHAT A STEAK: Sarah Atkins was amazed to see the Pinnacle Pub crumbed steak was bigger than one of her four-month-old twin daughters, Jorja.

It's not every day you get served a steak as big as a baby

Tamara's bittersweet MasterChef exit (take two)

Mackay's Tamara Graffen has already gained valuable work experience since her elimination from MasterChef.

MACKAY cook's heartwarming send-off from finals week.

Island resort living from just $250 a week

Couran Cove on Stradbroke Island is undergoing a makeover. Photo: Steve Holland

Resort offering permanent rentals at almost half normal rental price

New era for stunning historic Rocky venue

St Aubins Village, West Rockhampton.

St Aubins Village reopens to the public after years of closure.

Cashed-up investors driving Ipswich's luxury housing market

SOLD: Elia Youssef bought a home on Hilton Drive Camira for $830,000.

New wave of interstate investors and young super savers in town

Boom or bust? '5.5 million moving into retirement'

National Seniors said that the inequalities with the retirement sector are "a big problem and it's a growing problem".

"It's a big problem and it's a growing problem."