Diagnosing Donald Trump

On January 31, 2017, the Psychology Today editorial staff published a well-balanced summary of the debate over whether to declare President Trump mentally ill. While the debate focuses on mental health professionals such as psychiatrists and psychologists who are credentialed to make such diagnoses, the question clearly goes further. Public commentary following this and other […]

Parenting medical disruptors

Popularized telemedicine — that is, teleconferencing with a physician over one’s smartphone — worries many critics because it assumes patients can be evaluated without a physical exam. The critics are right that those with a financial interest in “disrupting” health care typically minimize the trade-offs. Convenience and lower cost are trumpeted, while risks of misdiagnosis […]

How to promote nonviolence — (1) The problem

Prompted by the Sandy Hook shootings and Boston Marathon bombings, a bumper crop of articles about our violent society has sprouted in recent weeks. I was particularly drawn to this opinion piece in the New York Times. Author Todd May, a Clemson University professor of Humanities, articulates well the crucial underpinning of a nonviolent world […]

Going to the APA meeting?

The annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is in San Francisco this May. I’ve attended twice before as I recall, both times when it was here. I enjoyed it, and even felt it was worth the $1000 we non-members pay to get in, although in my opinion it’s not worth doubling that for […]

The lure of rapture

Fundamentalist Christian minister Harold Camping of Oakland, California, has widely publicized that today is the day of the Rapture, when according to some interpretations of the New Testament true believers ascend to heaven to escape impending misery and turmoil on Earth. I am writing in the afternoon, and can’t guarantee just yet that Camping is […]

Healthcare reform & psychiatry

The recent debates over U.S. healthcare reform are long overdue, yet still sadly inadequate. (The discussion is about health insurance, actually, not the care itself. But I titled this post “healthcare reform” since that is what everyone is calling it.) There is no need to rehash the plentiful evidence that the current system is broken: […]

NY Times roundup

Here are three recent New York Times articles that caught my eye. On March 13th, Tara Parker-Pope’s health blog “Well” reprinted “The 12 Most Annoying Habits of Therapists.” Actually, the list comes from PsychCentral, a blog written by psychologist John M. Grohol, and in my opinion reads better there. I won’t list all 12 habits […]