This is our next letter to Congress
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Dear Congress Member:
Since the election of 2016, an increasing number of mental health professionals have come forth to warn against President Trump’s psychological instability and its implications for national and international security. Recently, the signs of his instability have grown worse: [recent examples of disturbance will be added on January 9, 2018]. We would like to discuss these concerns further with you, at the contacts below.
Eight months ago, a group of us put our concerns into a book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. Upon release, it became an instant bestseller with the public. Macmillan, a top publisher, could not keep up with the demand for weeks. Much of what we warned about in the book has come true. Our ultimate concern is happening now.
The developments with the special counsel’s investigations are not just a matter of criminal indictment but of critical concern with respect to the president’s mental stability. He has shown marked signs of impairment and psychological disability under ordinary circumstances, unable to cope with the slightest criticism or unpleasant news. With additional stressors, his condition will assuredly grow worse. We fear that this difference will bring us over the brink into disaster, where even ultimate destruction will be possible.
As mental health professionals, some of us with an expertise on violence, we deal with the risk of harm as a routine part of our practice. When someone exhibits signs of danger to oneself, others, or the general public, it is considered an emergency. All 50 states confer to us the legal authority, sometimes obligation, to act. When someone poses a threat, our response is as follows: (a) containment; (b) removal from access to weapons; and (c) an urgent evaluation. As health professionals, we cannot choose not to treat in an emergency, regardless of whether the person is our patient or has offered consent.
Mr. Trump has crossed the threshold in which a clinical evaluation is clearly indicated and necessary. Just a few of these signs would be: verbal threats of violence, a history of sexual assault, incitement of violence, an attraction to violence and powerful weapons (the more powerful the weapons, the greater the temptation to use them), and the taunting of hostile nations with nuclear power. Traits that are highly associated with danger include: impulsivity, recklessness, paranoia, loss of touch with reality, a lack of empathy, rage reactions, and a constant need to demonstrate power. These traits make one incapable of thinking rationally, and the usual inhibitions, such as a nuclear holocaust or even the annihilation of humankind, will not likely deter someone who is preoccupied by internal needs.
We are concerned enough to be ready to present to your office, at the soonest occasion possible, to explain our observations in person. While mental health experts who contributed to the book number at 27, there are thousands of us with the same medical consensus—and we are ready to communicate our case to you, should you choose to hear us.
If you are a mental health professional and would like to add your name to this letter, please contact us.
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