Former Harvard psych prof: Trump a 'very sick' 'sociopath'

Nikita Vladimirov
Investigative Reporter

  • A former Harvard Medical School psychiatry professor told Salon recently that he believes President Trump is a “malignant narcissist" who has "a fundamental, deep psychological defect."
  • Dr. Lance Dodes scoffed at the "Goldwater Rule" forbidding psychiatrists from psychoanalyzing people who are not their patients, comparing his analysis to football announcers speculating on injuries.
  • Dr. Lance Dodes, a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, believes that President Trump is a “sociopath” and has a “serious mental illness.”

    Dodes, who currently works as a supervising analyst emeritus at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, told Salon that the president “has a fluid sense of reality, which is a sign of a very sick individual.”

    "Every other medical specialty feels free...to speak out about public figures because it is a public service."   

    [RELATED: Psych profs call on Congress to 'end the Trump presidency']

    “Sociopathy itself is a sign of a very sick individual, someone with a lying, cheating and emotional disorder,” Dodes asserted. “The intersection of those two occurs in sociopathy. It is not just bad behavior that people have to lie and cheat the way he does, it is an incapacity to treat other people as full human beings.”

    In another part of the interview, Dodes said the that “the best diagnosis for Trump is that he is a malignant narcissist” suffering from both self-absorption and sociopathy.

    “It contains the narcissistic part which is no big deal alone—lots of people are narcissistic—but the malignant part is the sociopathy dimension,” he explained.

    “These terms suggest that Trump is a very primitive man. He is also a man who has a fundamental, deep psychological defect,” Dodes added. “It is expressed in his inability to empathize with others and his lack of genuine loyalty to anyone. You will notice that Trump wants everyone to be loyal to him, but he is loyal to nobody.”

    Dodes was also critical of the “Goldwater rule,” a standard that prevents psychiatrists from diagnosing or commenting on the health of public officials who they have not treated.

    [RELATED: Yale prof: Trump’s ‘mental impairment’ a ‘state of emergency’]

    “Donald Trump is not anyone’s patient, so there is no confidentiality rule,” the doctor argued. “In fact, no other branch of  medicine has this rule. If your favorite linebacker goes down with a tear to his ACL in a football game, the next thing you will see is an orthopedist on television talking about the prognosis and the injury.”  

    “Every other medical specialty feels free—and they should feel free—to speak out about public figures because it is a public service,” he argued. “In the field of psychiatry we call this ‘duty to warn.’”

    This was not the first time that Dodes publically criticized Trump’s mental health. The former Harvard prof was also one of the main signatories to the controversial letter that sought to warn Americans about the president’s “grave emotional instability.”

    According to Salon, Dodes is also assisting with writing a book that is dedicated to examining the mental health of the commander-in-chief that is currently titled “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.”

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @nikvofficial



    Nikita Vladimirov

    Nikita Vladimirov

    Investigative Reporter
    Nikita Vladimirov is an Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform, he wrote for The Hill, where he extensively covered the latest political developments in U.S. and around the world. Vladimirov's work has appeared on the front pages of The Drudge Report and The Hill, and has been featured by several media organizations including Fox News, MSN, Real Clear Politics and others. He has also appeared as a political commentator on numerous programs, including BBC radio.
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