For the second time in the last six months, the American Psychiatric Association has spoken out against Trump Derangement Syndrome among its membership. The APA issued a general warning today to its members to desist from feeding the Corporate Media trolls with fake diagnoses of President Trump's sanity.
Section 7.3 of the APA Code of Ethics specifically forbids mental health professionals from offering a diagnostic opinion on public figures whom they have not examined personally or without the public figure's consent. The rule was instituted in 1964 after a candidate successfully sued the APA for libel (hint to Trump legal team).
The legal issues aside, the provision in the Ethical Code is a sensible one. The same gullible Corporate Media who denounced speculations from qualified physicians as to Hilary's Clinton's medical during the Campaign eagerly began pouncing upon the guesswork of psychologists concerning Trump. This led to another APA disclaimer in August. Without proper diagnosis, including an in-person interview and evaluation, these speculations really only amount to opinions. But when one puts a professional certification to that opinion, it carries more weight among the general public than coming from a non-professional.
Professor Peter Kinderman, the head of the APA's British counterpart, told Sputnik News that political positions are not fit subjects for psychological speculation in any event.
"Attempting to use a diagnostic approach to understand and confront President Trump is wrong on many levels." Kinderman said. "I am skeptical of the validity of such psychiatric diagnosis per se, and I especially condemn arms-length celebrity pseudo-diagnosis."
Kinderman is correct: in traditionalist academics, national political policy more properly belongs to the scientific domains of Sociology and Law. It should be taken for granted that a current political leadership---especially in a democracy---is the sum total of a nation's social trends and legal history.
Nonetheless, however, Trump Derangement Syndrome is such a powerful affliction that many American psychologists are ignoring their own leadership; heedless of the damage they may do their own professions and careers. We've seen this phenomenon in action ever since Trump won the Republican nomination. Prominent public figures have lost their positions for making threats against Trump, or going berserk in public venues. Media figures have had on-air breakdowns; pillars of Academia have been caught in acts of political violence; athletes sabotaging their own teams with political statements; the list goes on.
Among American psychologists, a group calling itself Citizen Therapists Against Trumpism has been fomenting a campaign among their peers--- in defiance of the APA rules---to spread allegations that Trump is mentally ill. They've even gotten up a petition among themselves to have Congress declare Trump mentally unfit for office.
Granted, some of this may be nothing more than a publicity stunt. The Smart Boys in the psychiatric profession have no doubt noticed too that Trump Derangement Syndrome seems prevalent among Liberals with deep pockets, and so these worthies are using the Media for free advertising in hopes of attracting wealthy Liberals traumatized over the Election. But we're equally confident that many others are genuine Fanatics, suffering from the Syndrome themselves.
The APA would be well-advised under the circumstances to begin an investigation of those professionals engaging in this bizarre behavior. In the interests of science, they should also investigate the Trump Derangement Syndrome phenomenon as well. But if what many of us suspect is the case---that there's a correlation between TDS and over-prescription of psychiatric drugs---the APA would probably prefer to let sleeping dogs lie on the latter issue.