At Trump's first full cabinet meeting, which happened yesterday, each cabinet member was compelled (clearly by the president) to sing praises to the president. Ben Carson, the housing secretary, said it was “a great honor” to work for Trump. The White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said: "We thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve your agenda." Jeff Sessions, the head of American justice, gave Trump the full blast of his trumpet. Rick Perry, the secretary of energy, took his "hat off to the president." And so on. This is not just shocking; it's terrifyingly sad. (Billionaire and education secretary Betsy Devos and former CEO of Exxon Mobil and secretary of state Rex Wayne Tillerson, however, did not bow—they are serving the country, not Trump.)
Trump began the meeting by claiming to be the greatest and busiest president since F.D.R.: “I will say that never has there been a president, with few exceptions—in the case of F.D.R. he had a major Depression to handle—who’s passed more legislation, who’s done more things than what we’ve done... We’ve been about as active as you can possibly be and at a just about record-setting pace.” Trump has not passed one piece of legislation. And I think to call this lying is a mistake. It's madness. The kind that needs to be treated by professionals.
This isn't a new supposition. Several stories to the same effect came out in April, after a group of psychiatrists spoke at a conference at Yale’s School of Medicine and first brought the topic to a public forum. Dr John Gartner, a practicing psychotherapist and Johns Hopkins University Medical School adviser of psychiatric residents until 2015, commented: “We have an ethical responsibility to warn the public about Donald Trump's dangerous mental illness.”
From The Independent:
Dr Gartner, who is also a founding member of Duty to Warn, an organisation of several dozen mental health professionals who think Mr Trump is mentally unfit to be president, said the President's statement about having the largest crowd at an inauguration was just one of many that served as warnings of a larger problem.
“Worse than just being a liar or a narcissist, in addition he is paranoid, delusional and grandiose thinking and he proved that to the country the first day he was President. If Donald Trump really believes he had the largest crowd size in history, that’s delusional,” he added.
It came up again in May after Dr. Jerrold Post asked a controversial question at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting in San Diego: Should the psychiatry community continue to abide by the self-imposed Goldwater Rule—a code that stops them from commenting on the mental health of a public figure—and specifically, should they refrain from speculating about the mental health of Trump?
Many of our homeless suffer from mental illness and can't afford treatment for it. The only difference between the person talking to or shouting at himself or herself on the street and the person in the White House is the latter can afford help for his condition. And I say all of this not to be humorous but out of a sense of real concern. As much as I hated George W. Bush, I never once thought he was mentally ill.