Everyone’s free to have opinions about Trump and his state of mind. However, to blame his temperamental, spasmodic, unpredictable — or whatever adjectives you prefer — behavior on an unchecked venereal disease, aka STD, is as cockamamie as it comes.
An expert’s opinion floating the possibility that Donald Trump’s erratic and bellicose behavior is likely the result of an untreated sexually transmitted disease is, like others opining on his mental status, an armchair diagnosis. A report that counters these notions about President Trump’s mental fitness says it sends a dangerous precedent.
Donald Trump, according to the media establishment, is a “misogynist,” “xenophobe,” and “racist.” Multiple critics point to Trump’s firebrand style of communication and his reported history of offensive behavior when making the case against the soundness of his mental health, according to a Quartz article.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) February 18, 2017
“President Trump has shown signs of racism, anger, grandiosity, and erraticism.”
Steven Beutler, an expert in the field of infectious diseases, offers a possible cause behind Donald Trump’s “bizarre behavior,” according to his New Republic article. Other medical professionals share the opinion — all or in part — that President Trump’s bizarre reaction to criticism could have its basis in a mental dysfunction.
However, Beutler, who has no relation to Trump and has not provided treatment to him in the past, says Trump potentially could be harboring the effects of neurosyphilis, an undiagnosed or untreated STD such as syphilis. Beutler doesn’t definitively diagnose Trump — and he makes it clear that it’s not his intention without additional data. However, some readers took it as conjecture and formed their own opinion in the affirmative.
I’m far from a Donald Trump apologist, and heaven knows he’s done enough to warrant scrutiny, but to allege that the commander-in-chief is mentally unstable due to an infection contracted by sexual contact qualifies as “fake news.”
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) February 17, 2017
Beutler says Trump could be manifesting latent effects from the sexually transmitted disease that was prominent in the 1980s. The expert says he bases his diagnosis in part on Trump’s own statements made nearly 20 years ago on the Howard Stern Show.
— STEVE BANNON (@Alexand52841248) February 17, 2017
Trump reportedly confessed to the host that he lived a promiscuous lifestyle as a younger man and compared the experience to a past war.
“I’ve been so lucky in terms of that whole world. It is a dangerous world out there. It’s scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam-era. It is my personal Vietnam.”
Quartz referenced a 1964 story where Fact magazine took a survey of 12,000 psychiatrists about the mental health of then-Republican candidate for POTUS Barry Goldwater. Of the total polled, 9.9 percent or 1,189 of the respondents thought Goldwater was unfit to serve in the capacity of president. In other words, they questioned his mental health.
— Psychiatric News (@PsychiatricNews) September 2, 2016
As a result of this controversial study, the American Psychological Association (or APA) created the “Goldwater rule.” According to Psychology Today, Section 7.3 prohibits members of the APA from talking openly or armchair diagnosing anyone, with expressed conditions.
“On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.”
There is no shortage of critics weighing in about Trump’s “unprecedented” behavior and many opine that Donald has classic signs of narcissism — while others call the President a psychopath, according to the article.
However, one lawmaker, who is “concerned” about Donald Trump’s mental health, wants to intervene for altruistic reasons. Early this month, Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu said he intends to introduce a bill that gives any president access to a mental health professional, according to Huffington Post.
— Rightly Wings (@rightlywings) February 7, 2017
Lieu cited the pressures of the Oval Office and said a law in 1928, which provided for a doctor at the White House, stopped short of allowing a psychiatrist on the premises due to the optics. Lieu, who “concluded that the President is a danger to the public,” says he’s looking ahead and trying to prevent a catastrophe.
“It is not normal for the president of the United States, within 24 hours, to write about death and destruction and fake news and evil.
“The most troubling aspect of this is it is very clear he has a disconnection from the truth. … The very first press conference he had in this administration, they could have talked about jobs or health care. They talked about crowd size. And then lied about it. It’s one of the most bizarre events I’ve witnessed in politics.”
A growing number of critics on both sides of the aisle are expressing concern about Trump’s mental stability. However, Quartz said “passing judgment on someone’s mental health without personal insight is, quite simply, ridiculous.”
What are your thoughts about the armchair diagnoses of Donald Trump’s behavior and fitness to be president?
[Featured Image by Mario Tama/Getty Images]