Trumping Goldwater

Psychiatrists have already started posting online wondering whether they can diagnose The Donald with narcissistic personality disorder without violating the APA “Goldwater” ethics rule that prohibits diagnosing public figures without examining them in person. Perhaps others I have not seen yet have done the same for (to?) Hillary.

A prominent forensic psychiatrist wrote years ago that this rule does more to prevent psychiatrists from embarrassing themselves than it does to protect celebrities -- or our patients -- from harm. Does anyone think “diagnosing” Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will actually hurt either of them?

Attacking a public figure by pretending to diagnose them just makes you appear disingenuous and foolish while adding to stigma. If you don’t like somebody, just muster the courage to say so.


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