Tags: President Donald Trump | APA | psychiatrists | mental health | Goldwater Rule

APA Tells Psychiatrists: Stop Analyzing Trump With 'Armchair Psychiatry'

Image: APA Tells Psychiatrists: Stop Analyzing Trump With 'Armchair Psychiatry'

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

By    |   Sunday, 14 January 2018 08:18 AM

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) cautioned its members and all psychiatrists against using "armchair psychiatry" as a "political tool" when it came to the mental fitness of President Donald Trump, the Washington Free Beacon reported Friday.

"We at the APA call for an end to psychiatrists providing professional opinions in the media about public figures whom they have not examined, whether it be on cable news appearances, books, or in social media," the organization said in a statement issued this week.

"Armchair psychiatry or the use of psychiatry as a political tool is the misuse of psychiatry and is unacceptable and unethical," the statement read. "Using psychiatry for political or self-aggrandizing purposes is stigmatizing for our patients and negatively impacts our profession."

As the largest psychiatric organization in the world, the APA cautioned members not to violate the "Goldwater Rule," which harkens back to the early 60s when psychiatric professionals were urged against commenting on the mental state of public figures from afar.

The organization said it was impossible to diagnose the mental state of a person from their tweets and to do so "undermines the credibility and integrity of the profession."

"A proper psychiatric evaluation requires more than a review of television appearances, tweets, and public comments," the APA said. "Psychiatrists are medical doctors; evaluating mental illness is no less thorough than diagnosing diabetes or heart disease."

Bandy Lee, a psychiatrist from Yale University, has been publicizing a book, "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President," along with 26 fellow psychiatrists, claiming Trump "presents a clear and present danger to our nation." Democrats have invited Lee to Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers on Trump's mental health.

The APA statement explained Trump would be undergoing his annual physical examination which would include "an age-appropriate medical and mental health evaluation."

"If mental health concerns are raised, the standard of care would result in the examining physician seeking consultation from an experienced psychiatrist who would approach the consultation with objectivity and within the physician-patient confidential relationship," the APA statement concluded.

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The American Psychiatric Association (APA) cautioned its members and all psychiatrists against using "armchair psychiatry" as a "political tool" when it came to the mental fitness of President Donald Trump, the Washington Free Beacon reported Friday."We at the APA call for...
President Donald Trump, APA, psychiatrists, mental health, Goldwater Rule
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Sunday, 14 January 2018 08:18 AM
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