Donald Trump: recent publications

Please Think Twice Before Diagnosing a Public Figure With an Illness

This question comes up all the time, about all kinds of public figures and various sorts of disorders. Does Donald Trump have narcissistic personality disorder? Did Freddie Mercury have undiagnosed bipolar disorder? Do the Kardashians have body dysmorphic disorder? Does Joe Biden have dementia? Was Nancy Reagan codependent?

Seven years ago, I wrote about Emily Dickinson. I said it is impossible to know whether Dickinson or any other historical personage had any psychiatric disorder and, if they did, what it was. Now I have basically the same thing to say about the “diagnoses” of public figures.

It’s impossible to say whether any given celebrity — or indeed any public or private individual — has a psychiatric disorder unless that person has spoken about it publicly. We cannot assume, just from the little we know about another person, that they live with any given condition. This is true not just of psychological disorders, but also physical ones. In the past, it was easier to keep physical difficulties secret. Few knew that John F. Kennedy wore a back brace because of an old injury or that Franklin D. Roosevelt used a wheelchair because of polio. In many cases, it is only now that their memoirs or the memoirs of their friends have revealed these previously secret afflictions do we know about them.

When it comes to psychiatric diagnoses, the difficulty is not that friends may or may not keep a public person’s secret, but that the public has no real right to know unless the celebrity is open about it. The relationship between a psychiatrist and a patient is confidential. Only the patient can give permission for the doctor to disregard that confidentiality. Lately, it has become common for political figures to endure public

people personality celebrities

Donald Trump Franklin D.Roosevelt John F.Kennedy Emily Dickinson

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Donald Trump: Readers Choice

This question comes up all the time, about all kinds of public figures and various sorts of disorders. Does Donald Trump have narcissistic personality disorder? Did Freddie Mercury have undiagnosed bipolar disorder? Do the Kardashians have body dysmorphic disorder? Does Joe Biden have dementia? Was Nancy Reagan codependent?
Donald Trump (R) Barack Obama (L) George W. Bush (R) Bill Clinton (L) George H.W.

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