The psychiatrist who defined narcissistic personality disorder says President Trump may be a "world-class narcissist," but claims that the president is mentally ill is an insult to those who truly are.
Dr. Allen Frances, a professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical College, wrote in his letter to The New York Times this week that diagnosing Trump at a distance is not an appropriate way to push back on his policies.
"Fevered media speculation about Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMatt Schlapp op-ed: Challenges, controversy won't stop CPAC 2017 Anti-Trump protests swell outside Parliament during debate on official visit What Trump can learn from Reagan on Presidents' Day MORE’s psychological motivations and psychiatric diagnosis has recently encouraged mental health professionals to disregard the usual ethical constraints against diagnosing public figures at a distance," Frances wrote.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) went as far as to suggest possible legislation that would require the White House to have a psychiatrist.
Frances argued that putting Trump in the same category as the mentally ill is an "insult" to those who suffer from mental conditions.
"It is a stigmatizing insult to the mentally ill (who are mostly well behaved and well meaning) to be lumped with Mr. Trump (who is neither)," he wrote.
"Bad behavior is rarely a sign of mental illness, and the mentally ill behave badly only rarely. Psychiatric name-calling is a misguided way of countering Mr. Trump’s attack on democracy. He can, and should, be appropriately denounced for his ignorance, incompetence, impulsivity and pursuit of dictatorial powers," Frances added.