Editors note: the following is excerpted from the original article that appeared on the website Medium.com Dr, Sherwood is a retired psychiatrist living in Vancouver.
In the two years since Donald Trump glided down the escalator to announce his candidacy for the presidency, pundits and public intellectuals have speculated as to his thinking and motivation, i.e., the “method” presumed to underly the madness. These discussions served to normalize Trump prior to the election and have helped foster a fiction of rationality ever since. Calling him “transactional” or “improvisational” or claiming that “Trump is rethinking American politics” is to put lipstick on a pig. The elephant in the room in these discussions is Trump’s mental status. What if there is no method behind the madness? What if he is just mad or bad or both? Concern as to the President’s mental “stability” and “sanity” are increasingly raised but as CNN’s Brian Stelter observed, “. . . usually after the microphones have been turned off.”
This is denial. It must be recognized, however, that journalists and pundits do not have the expertise to diagnose mental disorders. The professionals with the expertise, psychologists and psychiatrists, have been missing in action because their licensing guild’s “Goldwater Rule” forbids them to comment on the mental status of public figures without personally interviewing them and without their permission. To do so is to risk being deemed “unethical” and possibly losing their license to practice.
I think it is unethical not to speak out when one knows that a President of the United States and leader of the free world is mentally disordered in a manner which makes him utterly unfit. Donald Trump is unique among public figures in that there are more than four decades of highly revealing material on his thoughts, feelings, behavior, life and business history in the public domain. There is more than enough information to provide a definitive understanding of who this man really is.
Prior to his winning the Republican primary I pointed out that then candidate Trump met all the criteria for three distinct and problematic personality disorders, Psychopathic, Narcissistic and Histrionic, This thesis remains valid and better explains Trump’s behavioral aberrations over the past year than any of the speculation respecting his ideas, beliefs and underlying motivation that has filled newspapers and the airwaves.