Deepak Chopra speculates about Trump’s brain

Deepak Chopra tweeted that President Donald Trump should be tested for psychiatric and neurological disorders.  In a series of tweets late Monday – the day FBI director James Comey shot down the president’s unfounded but continuing claims about wiretapping at Trump Tower  – Chopra asked Trump to “please submit to a psychiatric and neurological evaluation to restore our confidence.”

Chopra suggested that a form of dementia, a brain disease that affects behavior and thinking, should “be ruled in or ruled out,” “for the safety of the world.”

Whether Chopra, an endocrinologist turned popular TV doctor is qualified to ask this question is enhanced by the dubious  way Trump’s longtime personal physician Harold Bornstein, described the flamboyant 70 year personality’s health during and since the campaign.    Recently Bornstein told the health news site Stat that while Trump carries some extra pounds, “there’s nothing seriously wrong with him.” Bornstein also told The New York Times he probably would not screen Trump for dementia if the White House physician (so far, he has not).

Two months ago 35 psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers signed a letter to the Times  saying Trump’s “speech and actions demonstrate an inability to tolerate views different from his own, leading to rage reactions.”  They said this “grave emotional instability” made him “incapable of serving safely as president.” The letter did not suggest any diagnosis for Trump.  Such speculation by psychiatrists has been officially discouraged by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Earlier this month, the group updated its longstanding ethics policy against opining on the mental health of politicians or other public figures. The policy is called the Goldwater Rule, after 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, and was created after many psychiatrists participated in a magazine survey about Goldwater’s mental fitness.  Rebecca Weintraub Brendel, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and consultant to the APA’s ethics committee said “The public doesn’t really need psychiatrists to reach conclusions.”

In a separate letter to the Times, Allen Frances, a psychiatry professor emeritus at Duke University School of Medicine, took a different view. He wrote that Trump “may be a world-class narcissist, but this doesn’t make him mentally ill.”  Francis said that associating Trump’s behavior with mental illness “is a stigmatizing insult to the mentally ill.”

All of this raises the issue, can the public … American or foreign, trust Donald J Trump?  What happens when President Trump announces that North Korea is about to  launch a missile that towards Hawaii?   Would anyone in China or Jpan care?  Would Americans care?  Look at what has happened to Mr. Trump’s refusal to back off his Saturday morning tweet of three weeks ago that he had “found out that [Barack] Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory,”   Does anyone believe these are not assertions of an angry drunk with an empty gin bottle rolling around at his feet?  Worse, Trump entabgles his officials and even foreign governments into his fantasy.  So, Sean Spicer’s efforts entangled the UK’s CIA, the  British Government Communications Headquarters,

All of this continues the pattern from the campaign that Mr. Trump is at best his own worst political enemy and at worst mentally ill.   Meanwhile, approaching the 100 day mark. the  Gallup has Mr. Trump’s approval rating at 39%. No doubt Mr. Trump considers that fake news.


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