At the behest of a national media that knows no bounds when it comes to tastelessness and meaningless trivia, there’s a group of otherwise respected health professionals seemingly betraying its own code of ethics. I’m talking about psychiatrists and psychologists.
Day after day, you see them paraded on the vapid “talk” shows - all discussing the mental state of Donald Trump. Using the deeply clinical language of their professional calling, they sound so officious as they attach their psychiatric labels to a person they’re never met or whose medical records they’ve never read let alone had the opportunity do an in-person examination.
I’ve known and worked with a goodly number of mental health professionals over the years. Nearly all have been circumspect when it came to talking about clients. The real pros just don’t. They won’t violate the one-on-one relationships they specialize in.
But, daily and nightly, people with the title of “doctor” tied to their names, prattle on and on about D. Trump’s psychiatric state.
Now, some - or all - may be medically correct in their remote diagnoses. They may know exactly what lurks in Trump’s head. They may have the man pegged to a “T.” But their pronouncements have no place on national television or in the pages of some tabloid “newspaper.” Not even after a few drinks to lubricate their educated tongues down at Clancey’s just before closing.
If a network talking head wants to get into the mental speculation, fine. That’s apparently what they’re paid to do. But the “guests” who are mental health professionals - in my opinion - have no business prostituting their credentials by trying to use their training to titillate viewers who couldn’t tell a psychosis from an oil tanker.
No question there’s been a lot of speculation about Trump’s mental state. How could there not be? The constant lying. Ignorant descriptions of history and events that never happened. His admiration of world political figures who are dictators, killers or nut cases. His refusal to take nearly any advice and an unwillingness to educate himself about his duties and responsibilities. The tweets.
If I had the advanced mental health training of a psychiatrist or psychologist, I’d probably examine the clues of what’s on the public record and have some sort of opinion about the man’s mental condition. But that opinion - backed by that professional training - should not - and would not - be part of the 11 o’clock news.
Average viewers have no extended education in mental illness. They’re not equipped with the necessary technical information to fully understand the ramifications of what’s being discussed.
I’d like to see a legal ban on such interviews and an end to participation by licensed professionals in the public conversations.
You want to have a meaningful and informative discussion of Trump’s mental state? Fine. Meet me at Clancey’s just before last call.