A Yale psychiatry professor who has been tracking President Trump’s mental health says it is getting worse.
Bandy Lee, editor of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” a collection of writing by 27 mental-health professionals concerned about Trump’s mental state, says she wasn’t surprised by this month’s anonymous op-ed in the New York Times — she was contacted last year by White House insiders who were scared the president was “unraveling.”
“Donald Trump has shown a number of symptoms which are now quite obvious to even an untrained person,” Lee told Salon Friday. “He is impulsive. He is reckless. He has shown a lack of empathy and a lack of concern about consequences. His grip on reality is loose. I suspect he is unable to tolerate reality for what it is.”
And recent pressures are causing his mental state to worsen, Lee said. Robert Mueller’s investigation, revelations from Bob Woodward’s new book “Fear” and the Times op-ed “are going to be additional stresses on an already stressed presidency,” she said. “His level of lying — it’s already at a pathological level, but the Washington Post noted that his rate of lying has quadrupled. In other words, in the first six months of this year he lied twice as much as he did in the entire preceding year.”
Lee said there are other signs that Trump’s mental health is in decline. “His increasingly angry tweets, his resorting to more and more fantastical versions of reality, his conspiracy theories — the deep state and so forth,” she says. “These are signs of deterioration and we’re treading dangerously close to something devastating happening.”
Lee’s group of psychiatrists recently released a statement warning that the Mueller investigation — which has now led two of his formerly close associates, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, to cooperate with federal authorities — might provoke Trump into taking “extreme and dangerous measures to try to distract the public.”
“When we make predictions, we’re not saying that something will definitely happen, but when the probability exceeds a certain level of acceptability, then mental health professionals have a duty to warn and to alert the public,” she said. “That’s why we’ve been speaking up all this time, but the situation has become much more dire.”