What Is Really Wrong With Anthony Weiner? Mental Health Professionals Weigh In

Anthony Weiner is back to sexting with strangers, but he is the only one who seems to think it's something to laugh about. When Weiner was called to confirm that it was indeed him involved in the latest scandal, he joked that he could confirm that he was deceptively strong like a mongoose. It's a fairly safe bet that his wife, Huma Abedin, and her boss, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, don't get the joke. But why would a man who otherwise seems intelligent, and who had a great job, keep risking everything to sext and flirt with strangers? Is Weiner just a jerk, or does he have a mental health problem?

In what seems like deja vu, Anthony Weiner has gotten caught once again having "flirty conversations" with someone who is not his wife on Twitter, except this time, Weiner was catfished, and the person on the other side of Twitter was a college guy, not gal, who is very involved in his college Republican organization according to the Inquisitr. The catfisher said that it only took one retweet and a comment for Anthony Weiner to strike up a direct message conversation that led to Weiner sharing his personal cell phone number with someone known as "Nikki."

Weiner, the documentary about Anthony Weiner's catastrophic 2013 run for New York City mayor, gave the public an odd view into a power couple in crisis. The common question people asked in response to seeing Weiner was, why would anyone allow cameras to follow them through such a painful time in their lives and in their marriage? And Vanity Fair put together a panel of shrinks to see what they thought.


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Dr. Anna Fels, a psychiatrist and faculty member at Weil Cornell Medical College who specializes in individual and couples therapy, was disturbed by Anthony Weiner's sexting.

"I think that there are several really striking things. One, of course, is the sexting, which I found disturbing not for its content but for its lack of impulse control in somebody who's running for public office. The risks that he took, and the frequency with which he took them—apparently he would be contacting some of these women five times a day—are disturbing. Not because any of the women were hurt by what he was doing, but because of the risks he was taking with his family, with his career, with virtually every aspect of his life. That shows either extremely poor judgment or poor impulse control, and those are obviously worrisome characteristics in anybody you might put into public office."
Jeannette Stern, a psychiatric social worker who works with couples as well as addicts, was struck by the level of risk that Anthony Weiner was willing to take.
"It's a very risky behavior, and I guess in that sense, it seems like more of an addiction issue, because if you're an addict, your judgment is so skewed. Obviously, he could not stop himself.... He definitely has an impulsivity problem. Like in the scene in the deli where he explodes at the guy who heckles him. If you're running for mayor, you're going to get slammed all the time—but you can't walk away from someone like that?"
So the question would then be, would Anthony Weiner be considered an addict, and is that how Weiner should be thought of? Dr. Meg Kaplan, a clinical psychologist and faculty member at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons (she specializes in sexual disorders), believes there is controversy about this, and she doesn't specifically look at it as addiction, because there is no substance involved (and sexuality is normal).
"So I see it more as compulsive sexual behavior, or hypersexual behavior. But when people are talking about sexual addiction, it's really the same thing."
But many people are still having trouble figuring out whether Anthony Weiner has a medical problem, or "is he just a dumb***?" New York Magazine also sought opinions on just what is going on in Anthony Weiner's head that he keeps ending up in the same place. One of the most common comments was that Weiner is simply immature, though in a man over forty, it starts to become the sort of immaturity that is moving toward a clinical label.

And that label would be a possible courtship disorder, "which is to say they are 'stuck' in the developmental phase that precedes the one where people learn to relate to prospective mates in a romantic, connected, 'want to grab a bite?' kind of way."

And another supposition is that Anthony Weiner actually hates women, which might make sense, seeing as Weiner has now humiliated his wife Huma Abedin time and time again while also demeaning other women with naughty pics from his phone and misogynistic language in the form of sexts.

At the end of the day, this is for a professional actually treating Anthony Weiner to figure out, but the ew factor for the public increases with every sexting episode that goes public.

With the election coming up in November, do you think that Huma Abedin will continue to tolerate Anthony Weiner's behavior?

[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]