Psychology/Psychiatry

Dismissing Her Political Opponents As Mentally Ill, Yale Psychiatrist Diagnoses Alan Dershowitz

By complaining to Yale about Bandy Lee's violation of the Goldwater Rule, Dershowitz lets her portray herself as a brave dissident.

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Yale forensic psychiatrist Bandy Lee, who famously diagnosed Donald Trump with narcissistic personality disorder, is now suggesting that Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, a conspicuous critic of claims that the president is guilty of obstructing justice or other impeachable conduct, suffers from the same mental disorder. Not only that, Lee says on Twitter, but "just about all of Donald Trump's followers" suffer from a "shared psychosis"—a pseudomedical conclusion that nicely illustrates how Lee and like-minded Trump critics try to shut down political debate by portraying their opponents as mentally ill.

Dershowitz made that point in a recent Gatestone Institute essay. "Her resort to diagnosis rather than dialogue is a symptom of a much larger problem that faces our divided nation," he writes. "Too many Americans are refusing to engage in reasoned dialogue with people with whom they disagree."

Unfortunately, Dershowitz seems to be doing something similar by complaining to Lee's employer about her diagnosis of him.

Dershowitz notes that Lee's habit of bludgeoning her opponents with the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) flies in the face of the APA's Goldwater Rule, which says "it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement." Lee argues that the Goldwater Rule should not prevent psychiatrists from bringing their expertise to bear on important issues of the day—in particular, Trump's presidency, which she views as an existential threat to humanity. Yet the rule, a response to similar psychiatric critiques of 1964 Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater, was meant to discourage passionate partisans like Lee from casting their political opinions as professional medical judgments, which is exactly what Lee is doing.

The basis for Lee's diagnosis of Dershowitz shows how casually she tosses DSM labels around. In lieu of an "examination," she cited a July 18 Fox News interview in which Dershowitz responded to Virginia Giuffre's claim that Jeffrey Epstein, the financier who committed suicide in jail last August after he was arrested on federal charges of sex trafficking minors, forced her to have sex with Dershowitz, who represented Epstein in a 2006 Florida case involving underage prostitution.

"I've had sex with one woman since the day I met Jeffrey Epstein," Dershowitz said, referring to his wife. "I challenge David Boies [Giuffre's lawyer] to say under oath that he's only had sex with one woman during that same period of time. He couldn't do it. So he has an enormous amount of chutzpah to attack me and to challenge my perfect, perfect sex life during the relevant period of time." Dershowitz averred that David Boies "has a terrible reputation for sexual activities."

Boies' sex life, of course, is logically irrelevant to the merits of Giuffre's charge against Dershowitz, or of Dershowitz's counter-charge that she is guilty of defaming him. But if it is true that Dershowitz was faithful to his wife "during the relevant period," then it must be true that Giuffre is lying or mistaken. Showing little interest in what actually happened, Lee latched onto Dershowitz's use of the word perfect to describe his sexual fidelity, which she cited as evidence that he caught a mental disorder from the president.

"Alan Dershowitz's employing the odd use of 'perfect'—not even a synonym—might be dismissed as ordinary influence in most contexts," Lee tweeted. "However, given the severity and spread of 'shared psychosis' among just about all of Donald Trump's followers, a different scenario is more likely. Which scenario? That he has wholly taken on Trump's symptoms by contagion. There is even proof: his bravado toward his opponent with a question about his own sex life—in a way that is irrelevant to the actual lawsuit—shows the same grandiosity and delusional-level impunity. Also identical is the level of lack of empathy, of remorse, and of consideration of consequences (until some accountability comes from the outside—at which time he is likely to lash out equally)."

Contrary to Lee's implication, Dershowitz's use of perfect predates by more than two months Trump's dubious reliance on that adjective to describe his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the conversation at the heart of his impeachment. "I guess she believes he caught the contagion from me," Dershowitz writes. More to the point, Lee is pretending that her assessment of Dershowitz's character (which includes the assumption that Dershowitz did in fact have sex with Giuffre) is an objectively verifiable scientific conclusion. While that is very much in the spirit of the DSM, the APA at least expects psychiatrists to actually meet and examine people (and get their permission) before publicly issuing such a diagnosis.

Irked by Lee's departure from the Goldwater Rule, Dershowitz sent a copy of his response essay to the deans of Yale's medical and law schools, where Lee works. He tells me he "asked Yale to determine whether her diagnosis of me violated the academic standards of the university." Now Lee, who does not hesitate to use her position and psychiatric expertise to stigmatize people who disagree with her, is portraying herself as a brave dissident, which is pretty funny given the dearth of MAGA hats at Yale and the accolades she gets on Twitter.

"Alan Dershowitz has now taken his grievance to the deans of Yale Law School and Yale School of Medicine," Lee writes. "Fortunately, I am less afraid of power than I am of truth. I have considered the costs; if he expects me to cower and to compromise, I will not."

Noting Lee's complaint about his complaint, I suggested to Dershowitz that contacting Lee's employer looks like an intimidation tactic. "I merely informed Yale of the facts and asked them to determine whether she broke any university rules," he replied by email. "It's their decision how to proceed. I don't think she has a free speech right to defame me."

While Lee's implicit endorsement of Giuffre's claim against Dershowitz might be viewed as defamatory, since it concerns a factual issue, her diagnosis of him is simply a personal opinion dressed up as a medical judgment. The diagnostic entity known as "narcissistic personality disorder" is nothing more than a constellation of unappealing, harmful traits (grandiosity, attention seeking, self-centeredness, "exaggerated self-appraisal," etc.) that the APA has decided to give that name. Asking whether Dershowitz (or Trump) really suffers from that "mental disorder" is the same as asking whether they have those traits. One might ask the same thing about Lee, and "there is even proof," based on her public statements, that she possesses at least some of those qualities.

As with DSM labels generally, there is no objective test that can confirm or disconfirm the diagnosis that Lee has applied to Trump and now Dershowitz. It would therefore be impossible to prove that Lee is making an objectively false statement about them. Notwithstanding its baleful effect on the quality of political debate, Lee's promiscuous use of psychiatric labels does a public service by exposing the pseudoscientific pretensions of her profession.

NEXT: Some Controversial Kentucky Pardons Are Being Used to Push for a 'Victim's Rights' Bill

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207 responses to “Dismissing Her Political Opponents As Mentally Ill, Yale Psychiatrist Diagnoses Alan Dershowitz

  1. Can’t wait until someone digs up some shit on this broad (they will) and puts it out there for all to read. Turnabout is fair play. I don’t think she will like the experience of millions of people psychoanalyzing her sorry ass.

    1. Hold that thought when your betters are crushing your stale preferences in the culture war until the day of your replacement.

      1. So, no real counter-argument, Rev.? Just noisy self-love.

        1. And this is different from any of the Rev’s other posts how, exactly?

          1. He’s an idiotic, illiberal bigoted buffoon.

        2. Haha. Best be careful, Joe. The rev is an important person. He’s in charge of replacement! Oh my!

      2. Eat shit, Rev.

      3. Duh….. Trump bad, Bernie good! I eat my pet goldfish for lunch.

      4. You should shove a .45 up your ass and pull the trigger.

        1. Many brilliant libertarian loser thoughts on here, now and before. My how to libertarians always win so, so many elections? Go Gary Johnson and Aleppo.

    2. Odds are she sucks at driving. That’s my diagnosis from afar.

      1. Thread Winner.

    3. And it is just unneeded. Dershowitz is obviously even more broken than President Stumpy, and even more pathetic.

      Anyone who just can’t keep their tongue away from the anus of someone slightly more dominant is just pitiable. Dersh < Stumpy < a real dictator like Vlad or his good pal Kimmy Jong..

      1. This type of comment is unnecessary. We’re not prudes here, but I’d hope we’d aspire to better comments than yours.

  2. “shut down political debate by portraying their opponents as mentally ill”

    It’s a smart strategy. After all, we Koch / Reason libertarians routinely portray opponents of open borders as racists and white nationalists. Some people just aren’t worth engaging.

  3. You know who else portrayed political dissidents as victims of mental illness?

    1. Finally, I know the answer to this one: the goddamned Soviets!

    2. Yup. Commies.

    3. True and true.

      Although the esteemed Reverend would also be an acceptable answer given his comment further down in this thread.

  4. Talk about false equivalence. So Dershowitz is just as bad as Lee for actually contacting her employers and asking if she has violated any university rules (when she PLAINLY violated professional ethics)? Seriously?????
    Under color of her profession, as a forensic psychiatrist, (a profession that specializes in dealing with those that used to be called the criminally insane) she is diagnosing not only Trump, but anyone who apparently agrees with him as being psychotic.
    Not an average person saying something like “What are you crazy?!”
    She is specifically using her position and her profession to push a political agenda. But Dershowitz is just as bad because he actually defends himself and questions if she is behaving ethically?

    1. But Dershowitz is just as bad because he actually defends himself and questions if she is behaving ethically?

      I didn’t see that in the article.

      1. It was suggested by the author: “Noting Lee’s complaint about his complaint, I suggested to Dershowitz that contacting Lee’s employer looks like an intimidation tactic.”

        1. Whatever it looks like, it’s indispensible for discovering whether Yale shares Lee’s opinion that the APA’s ethics rules don’t apply to Yale faculty.

      2. Pretty much the whole of Sullum’s lame-ass point.

    2. Unfortunately, Dershowitz seems to be doing something similar by complaining to Lee’s employer about her diagnosis of him.

      It’s not literally saying the words “just as bad,” but he’s trying to equate a woman who says that all of Trumps supporters are insane (and yes, there’s a quote of her saying nearly as much in the article) with a man who responds to her by pointing out that it’s a violation of her ethical obligations.

  5. Wonder if Lee learned about projection during her time in college.

    1. She worked in a movie theater? That would also explain her pop analyses, and, depending on the type of theater, her fixation on voyeurism.

  6. “I’ve had sex with one woman since the day I met Jeffrey Epstein,” Dershowitz said, referring to his wife.

    How many men?

    How many trannies?

    How many girls and boys?

    How many goats and sheep?

    1. None
      None
      None
      None of your business.

  7. Only slightly OT, I was earlier in the car listening to an NPR interview with an anti-sugar nut (I didn’t catch his name) and when the interviewer mentioned that she didn’t drink (sugared) coffee but had lately developed a soft drink habit, he immediately leapt in to correct her that it was an addiction, a disease, not a habit. See, he said, whether it’s sugar or alcohol or gambling or drugs or internet porn, they all stimulate the pleasure center of the brain and stimulate the production of endorphins and therefore they’re all addictions.

    And there it is – the credo of the modern Puritan is that anything that brings you pleasure is evil. I just have to wonder, when this guy walks down the street and sees a fat person eating an ice cream cone, does it stimulate the pleasure center of his brain to think of smacking that ice cream cone out of that fat fuck’s fat fucking grubby paw and seeing delicious fat tears of sorrow rolling down that fat fuck’s fat fucking cheeks? Do you enjoy that thought, sugar man? Hmmmm? Do you go home at night and jerk off to the thought of being able to ban all the bad things? Are you – gasp! – addicted to being a power-mad control freak? Do you suffer from a fucking disease??? I think you do, sugar man, I think you do.

    What capped it for me was his explanation of how sugar poisons your body – despite the idea that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, sugar calories are different in that sugar is processed by the liver and when you eat sugar, it overwhelms your liver’s ability to process sugar and it forms a fatty liver and fatty livers contribute to everything from diabetes to heart disease to wrinkles and cataracts, Alzheimer’s, strokes and possibly the Patriots losing the Superbowl. (That last one I may have misheard.) Notice he didn’t give any conditions on the amount of sugar, presumably any sugar at all is too much sugar and despite his own admission that the liver is specifically tasked with processing sugar, any amount of sugar at all is more than your liver can handle.

    And then they went on to start talking about how all these various scientists and doctors and nutrition researchers producing “data” are misleading people by getting them to trust “facts” rather than the truth they can see with their own eyes, that people are fat disgusting unhealthy slobs that need to lay off the sugar. I don’t know what he said after that because that’s when I blacked out from banging my head on the steering wheel.

    1. And you woke up someplace where you’re able to post on H&R? Is it especially hot where you are?

      1. Little sulfury

    2. Wow. Sounds like someone needs to have a talk with that guy about body shaming.

    3. “And there it is – the credo of the modern Puritan is that anything that brings you pleasure is evil. I just have to wonder, when this guy walks down the street and sees a fat person eating an ice cream cone, does it stimulate the pleasure center of his brain to think of smacking that ice cream cone out of that fat fuck’s fat fucking grubby paw and seeing delicious fat tears of sorrow rolling down that fat fuck’s fat fucking cheeks? Do you enjoy that thought, sugar man? Hmmmm? Do you go home at night and jerk off to the thought of being able to ban all the bad things? Are you – gasp! – addicted to being a power-mad control freak? Do you suffer from a fucking disease??? I think you do, sugar man, I think you do.”

      One of the best paragraphs I’ve read here in awhile.

      1. Don’t talk to me about ice cream. I am going in for a colonoscopy on Friday. Because the prep did not work well last year, I have to do two days of prep…that means drinking two gallons of that vile liquid over 2 nights. And…to make matters worse, Wed night is my brother’s birthday and we are all going out for ice cream. I will get to watch other people enjoy ice cream, then I will go home and drink a gallon of the potion of despair…all the while looking forward to drinking a second gallon on Thursday night.

        1. GoLYTELY is really a misnomer.

        2. You think that’s bad? Well one time…ah shit, never mind, that really *is* bad.

    4. does it stimulate the pleasure center of his brain to think of smacking that ice cream cone out of that fat fuck’s fat fucking grubby paw and seeing delicious fat tears of sorrow rolling down that fat fuck’s fat fucking cheeks?

      Jesus, Jerry. TMI.

    5. “And there it is – the credo of the modern Puritan is that anything that brings you pleasure is evil.”

      I think you’ve misunderstood the modern credo of the Puritan. It’s not about evil but evolution, the idea that humans have been predisposed to gorge on sweet things whenever they can be obtained. This worked well for hundreds of thousands of years when sweets were relatively difficult to obtain, but now when sweets are plentiful, it leads to obesity, diabetes and other health problems. Puritans call this an ‘evolutionary trap.’

  8. Did Reason ever call out Deridre (Donald) McCloskey for trying to get J. Michael Bailey’s state license revoked? Of course not. But in the course of trying to answer that question I came across her review of Bailey’s book. The “where muh Reason gone crowd” needs to read this and check the date, keeping in mind that the book’s author was a tenured psych professor in good standing at Northwestern.

    https://reason.com/2003/11/01/queer-science-2/

    1. Department chair when their spat happened, even, and an interesting guy to take a class from. Although I very much was not expecting the cum shot from inside a vagina during an in-class video (really)

    2. Why am I not surprised by the contrast?

    3. Wow. I had to give up on that “review”. I was gettin’ ad hominems all up in my straw men and straw all over my ad hominems. What a fucking mess.

      I’ve written shitposts more objective and fair-minded than that. Clearly, McCloskey feels above any constraints of professionalism and invulnerable to any tone policing/criticism. It’s entertaining when directed at economics charlatans, but that was kind of over-the-top.

  9. …the APA’s Goldwater Rule, which says “it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.”

    This bitch be crazy.

    1. Not unusual for shrinks to be completely nuts.

      1. The field attracts such. Hey, wanna hear a great med school joke? What are the differences among a neurologist, a neurosurgeon, and a psychiatrist? A neurologist knows everything and does nothing, a neurosurgeon does everything and knows nothing, and a psychiatrist does nothing and knows nothing! Woohoo!!

        1. Craziest girl I ever dated was the daughter of two psychiatrists. She was super hot…but man she was crazy. We never actually dated; we just hooked up a few times. If we had dated, my parents probably would have approved since she was Jewish (and her parents would have been overwhelmed with joy). She ended up marrying a Native American protestor age 40 or so…she was 19. It did not last. I have no idea whatever happened to her.

          1. Speaking of nuts, isn’t mattress girl the daughter of two psychiatrists or something?

            1. Ayup.

  10. I’m not a lawyer but maybe someone here can explain this to me. Why do HIPPA regulations not apply to psychiatric diagnoses? I mean, if a doctor tells the media, for example, “Alan Dershowitz has high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and gastric reflux,” the doctor will be in a heap of official trouble for disclosing this private health information along with personally identifiable information. But if a doctor says “Alan Dershowitz has narcissistic personality disorder and has suffered from a bout of major depression,” that’s officially fine. Why?

    1. Someone at the shrink union forgot to pay the bribe to HIPPA’s author?

      Or maybe the ethical violation was diagnosing without a face-to-face, just making shit up; and doctors could do the same, look at her and say “I see signs of third-degree jaundice in her eyes” because doctors aren’t forbidden from remote diagnoses.

      1. Watch the opening of the first episode of DOC MARTIN regarding making a diagnosis based on a simple observation. Then watch the rest of the show. It is brilliant.

      2. Individuals who earn PHDs are automatically granted the right to make shit up. Considering the fact that the discipline of psychiatry consists entirely of making shit up, Dr. Lee’s diagnosis is by definition indisputable. And I would add that the “Goldwater Rule” was promulgated by a bunch of old white men in defense of another old white man. The idea that a WOC could be bound by it is absurd.

    2. IANAL, but –

      Because it’s not his doctor. Her comments don’t (shouldn’t) have any weight in the medical community, are purely her opinion, and there are no medical records.

    3. It would not be a HIPPA violation for someone not his doctor and who hadn’t seen his medical records to guess that he has high blood pressure, etc.

      1. This. It’s not a violation of doctor/patient confidentiality because she’s not his doctor.

        If he’d been examined by an actual psychiatrist who comes out and says, “Actually, he’s been diagnosed as a Bipolar II,” that would be a violation.

    4. that’s officially fine. Why?

      It’s not officially fine. It’s officially a violation of her professional ethics.

    5. Inigo

      It is not at all ok in ethics. Because she is an expert in psychiatry she should not be offering opinion based diagnosis.

      HIPPA does not apply because he is not her patient and there are no medical records to talk about.

    6. HIPAA does apply. As far as I understand it, the only reason she can make these claims without being arrested is because he isn’t her patient.

      Let’s give an example in which this would be more understandable. Let’s say a serial killer was arrested and showed signs of paranoid schizophrenia during interviews and in court. A psychiatrist could come onto the news and explain what’s wrong. It’s just an opinion on public evidence. Educating the public. No harm no foul.

      Doing this to political opponents, however, crosses ethical lines six ways from Sunday.

      1. “A psychiatrist could come onto the news and explain what’s wrong. It’s just an opinion on public evidence. Educating the public. No harm no foul.”

        Not really. That diagnosis still shouldn’t be made without examining the patient using competent evidence and standard techniques. You can’t just look at someone and say, “They have paranoid schizophrenia.” Maybe they are lying. Maybe they are putting on an act. Maybe they have bipolar. Maybe they are just evil.

        According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, paranoid schizophrenia is diagnosed in the following manner:
        “Physical exam. This may be done to help rule out other problems that could be causing symptoms and to check for any related complications.
        Tests and screenings. These may include tests that help rule out conditions with similar symptoms, and screening for alcohol and drugs. The doctor may also request imaging studies, such as an MRI or CT scan.
        Psychiatric evaluation. A doctor or mental health professional checks mental status by observing appearance and demeanor and asking about thoughts, moods, delusions, hallucinations, substance use, and potential for violence or suicide. This also includes a discussion of family and personal history.
        Diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia. A doctor or mental health professional may use the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.”

        Schizophrenia is also associated with changes to the brain, so MRIs or CT scans would aid in the diagnosis.

        None of that is done by watching someone on the teevee.

        1. True, but public education is still an important part. Also, this would hinge on a proper psychiatrist giving an official diagnosis in court (as part of an insanity plea, most likely). You are correct, there were more caveats than I initially thought about.

          1. But you’re also mis-educating the public, because the psychologist is promoting the objectively wrong idea that such a diagnosis can be made without examining the patient, and that other explanations for the behaviour (e.g., other mental illnesses, drug abuse, etc.) do not explain it.

            Then they are also promoting the idea that psychologists can make these assessments of people who are not their patients.

            This is far from “no harm, no foul.” A member of my family claims that she went to a psychologist to have an email I sent to her analysed for “grammar and syntax,” and based on such, I am mentally ill. This individual then told the rest of the family that said psychologist diagnosed me as having a mental illness.

            No harm, no foul? The words that are used to describe that are not printable here. “My psychologist said you’re crazy” is actually used by dumb people to slander people with whom they have personal disagreements, and when morons like Lee get on national television and pretend this is how it works, it only exacerbates the problem.

    7. “Why do HIPPA regulations not apply to psychiatric diagnoses? ”

      They do. But since this is not her patient, nor has she ever actually seen any of their medical history, her statements are not an actual diagnosis – even though, to the average lay person they sound just like one.

      Which gets to the heart of why her public statements are grossly unethical, and really should be sanctioned by both her employer and her profession.

    8. Either:
      1) He is her patient, and she diagnosed him with his informed consent or a court order, but violated HIPAA by speaking publicly about it (even his status as a patient would be protected from public disclosure) without his consent; or
      2) He is not her patient and therefore, her diagnosis is unethical and potentially defamatory.

      It’s appalling, because it’s so clear that this is not how these things work. It’s all fun and games when it’s high-level people with whom you may disagree, but there are people out there who will literally say “I told my psychologist what you said, and they said that you are (insert diagnosis here).” Absent someone who knows exactly how to push back, it’s incredibly damaging, both to one’s reputation and one’s ability to participate in the public square.

    9. Dershowitz is not her patient. She isn’t disclosing any private health information, because she doesn’t know any. She is pretending to diagnose someone she never met.

      But politicians _all_ think they know how to run your life better than you do. Sounds like narcissistic personality disorder to me… Yet she’ll never claim to have diagnosed that in a leftist politician, who wants far more control than most Republicans.

      And I doubt she ever even considered what it means when a Presidential candidate avoided prosecution and prison because the director of the FBI decided she was incapable of understanding the regulations about handling classified documents – something which most 19-year old military recruits have to learn and follow precisely.

  11. Lee is absolutly correct. A mental disorder is the only way to explain the clingers abhorrent view. What need to happen is all of the clingers that don’t think their woke betters know what’s best need to be rounded up and locked away for treatment. After afer the clingers learn that we should control their lives they can be released back into polite society. This would ensure a future where only the correct thoughts are held.

    1. You evil, illiberal, dangerous prick.

      Piece of shit.

      1. DAMN. I didn’t read it was Kuckland and not Kirkland.

        Apologies.

        Good job with the comment.

        1. Hah, at first I thought you were the real Rev. replying under a pseudonym.

          1. I’m all Rufus. /adjusts monocle.

        2. “I didn’t read it was Kuckland and not Kirkland”

          That’s funny – I only keep reading if it’s Kuckland

          1. The alter ego is hilarious. I love him/her/it. 🙂

    2. “learn that we should control their lives” is a statement that no person who believes in freedom and liberty would ever make. What you are expressing is the heart and soul of a totalitarian philosophy.

      Perhaps you are the one who is bitterly clinging to authoritarianism. At least you are exposing yourself to a different viewpoint by being here. You need to expand your mind, however, and let go of the hubris that tells you “everyone else should be like me, live like I do, and share my opinions.”

      Since the dawn of recorded history, some humans have appointed themselves as “leaders” whose right it is to command the masses and dictate how others must live their lives. Now that we are two decades into the 21st-century, can’t we finally try a different approach—one that was summed up by the song “Free to Be You and Me” all those years ago?

    3. I wasn’t sure if you were a parody account for a long time, but you just fucked the illusion up.

      1. Little Jeffy doesn’t know what a cuck is, even though, if he’s married, he is one.

  12. grandiosity, attention seeking, self-centeredness, “exaggerated self-appraisal,” etc.

    For fuller details, see any current or past democratic candidate

    1. C’mon, man. That’s Trump to a T.

      1. His self-appraisal is not exaggerated.

      2. It’s also most politicians and celebrities. Most people that are drawn to politics and the entertainment business exhibit several traits of not only narcissism but also psychopathy. To say Trump is somehow specifically unique to this description is not just ignorant at is absolutely idiotic

        1. This.

          But change “most” to “all.” There may be some major party politician who isn’t pathologically power-addicted, but I can’t think of one.

          As for celebrities, Ricky Jervais said all there is to say on that subject.

          1. Gerald Ford. Willingly sacrificed his entire career and political future in order to pardon Nixon and let the country heal. However, he was the epitome of the meme that anyone truly worthy to be president could never be elected.

            Also, let’s not forget Washington. His retirement after two terms was the greatest act that any politician in American history ever committed.

      3. Narcissism is a personality trait. Everyone has varying degrees, and highly successful people tend to have it by the truckload.

        You need to be supremely confidant to do certain things – fighter pilot, brain surgeon, etc. So much so that, if you are felt lacking in that level of confidence, you probably will not make it through the selection process – it is that much expected.

        It is ONLY when the degree of expression of that personality trait causes distress or problems in your life that the condition becomes a diagnosable disorder..

        Dr. Lee knows this, she’s just not telling you because she thinks you foolish and gullible.

        And, in your case, she’s not wrong.

        1. It is ONLY when the degree of expression of that personality trait causes distress or problems in your life that the condition becomes a diagnosable disorder

          That causes an ethical dilemma for those who would treat narcissists. Usually, the narcissists themselves are very pleased with themselves and their lives. Their condition is a nightmare for those who are close to them—families, employees, coworkers—not for the “sufferer” himself. So, if you put the well-being of your patient first, as medical ethics require, is it right to try to “cure” a narcissist?

          1. ” So, if you put the well-being of your patient first, as medical ethics require, is it right to try to “cure” a narcissist?”

            Sure, but only if your paternalism rises to pathological level. And/or you reject any notion of autonomy for everyone else.

            And on a secondary note.

            “Usually, the narcissists themselves are very pleased with themselves and their lives.”

            Do you have any evidence to back up that assertion?

              1. For the study, researchers surveyed more than 700 adults who exhibited clinical or “normal” levels of narcissism (which is different from having narcissistic personality disorder) and asked them about narcissism and mental toughness. Researchers also classified narcissism into two broad categories: “grandiose narcissism,” which is characterized by exhibitionism and dominance, and “vulnerable narcissism,” which is associated with negativity and distrust.

                You see the problem there? Not the little one, of this having nothing to do with NPD, and also including large numbers of people with ‘normal’ degrees of narcissim, but the bigger problem, the one I bolded.

                That study is a joke.

                1. Shorter study title: People Who Feel Good About Themselves Tend To Be Happy

                  1. Subtitle: (And We’ll Just Call Them Narcissists for Being That Way.)

  13. Projection. Just guessing.

    This clown wouldn’t know mental illness if it hit her in the face.

    Good job Yale. That’s some department you have over there.

  14. So Sullum’s defense of Lee basically trashes the DSM, the APA and psychiatry as a pseudoscience so he can say all that Lee did was offer a meaningless opinion without credentials.

    1. Where are you guys getting that this is a defense of Lee? What am I missing here?

      1. “It would be impossible…to say that Lee is making an objectively false statement about them.”

        Besides that?

        1. there is no objective test that can confirm or disconfirm the diagnosis that Lee has applied to Trump and now Dershowitz.

          But context shmontext, right?

          And totally pretend the snark about her didn’t exist?

          Now Lee, who does not hesitate to use her position and psychiatric expertise to stigmatize people who disagree with her, is portraying herself as a brave dissident, which is pretty funny given the dearth of MAGA hats at Yale and the accolades she gets on Twitter.

          1. I believe I noted Sullum was trashing her entire field of expertise in order to hold her blameless for defamation.

          2. Stigmatize people? Wow, that’s just what any patient would want from a physician—a doctor who stigmatizes them based on their condition.

            If she actually trained in psychiatry. shouldn’t she have learned to feel some compassion towards people with mental illness? Or, at the very least, learned to keep her negative and judgmental attitude to herself?

            I suppose some surgeons who perform stomach stapling wonder about the lifestyle choices that lead to their patients’ morbid obesity, but I’m pretty sure most don’t actively fat-shame them.

            1. “If she actually trained in psychiatry. shouldn’t she have learned to feel some compassion towards people with mental illness? Or, at the very least, learned to keep her negative and judgmental attitude to herself?”

              Depends.
              If she wants to make profession of it, then yes

    2. Here is the key point from the DSM on diagnosing anyone with a personality disorder:

      “The enduring pattern leads to clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.”

      So unless the clinical criteria are occurring in someone who has distress or impairment, they are meaningless — and I would argue that Trump is not demonstrating clinically significant distress, so no diagnosis should be forthcoming.

      An important thing to understand about psychiatric diagnoses is that they aren’t to be used unless a person is having serious problems and is asking for help. You can actually find several diagnostic criteria of various diseases in many individuals, but as long as they are not part of a substantial illness state — and the person is requesting your evaluation — the conjecture of a certain diagnosis is not only inaccurate but unethical.

      1. IIUC Lee is the Hypochondriac’s Handmaiden?

  15. “Alan Dershowitz’s employing the odd use of ‘perfect’—not even a synonym—might be dismissed as ordinary influence in most contexts,” Lee tweeted. “However, given the severity and spread of ‘shared psychosis’ among just about all of Donald Trump’s followers, a different scenario is more likely. Which scenario? That he has wholly taken on Trump’s symptoms by contagion. There is even proof: his bravado toward his opponent with a question about his own sex life—in a way that is irrelevant to the actual lawsuit—shows the same grandiosity and delusional-level impunity. Also identical is the level of lack of empathy, of remorse, and of consideration of consequences (until some accountability comes from the outside—at which time he is likely to lash out equally).”

    What. A. Cunt.

    1. Are you a gynecologist diagnosing her?

      1. Like Otter would.

    2. Based on the Leftist habit of projecting, I’m going to have to assume she’s raped someone now

  16. Noting Lee’s complaint about his complaint, I suggested to Dershowitz that contacting Lee’s employer looks like an intimidation tactic.

    She’s publicly diagnosed him personally with a mental disorder. I think this is a little different than trying to get someone fired for having opinions you don’t like.

    Having said that, Lee has done significant damage to her own reputation. Dershowitz should have let her continue to do the work for him.

    1. It’s not like she’s going to stop

      1. Or get fired.

    2. Characterizing it as an intimidation tactic looks like gross misrepresentation. I see no possible explanations other than ignorance or malice.

      She has made unethical representations purporting to be a psychiatric diagnosis, with no professional standards or factual basis. A complaint to her employer is entirely appropriate.

  17. Noting Lee’s complaint about his complaint, I suggested to Dershowitz that contacting Lee’s employer looks like an intimidation tactic.

    Asking for a rule to be enforced is intimidation? If a food inspector asks for a bribe is reporting him intimidation also?

    1. I guess this is how journalists see the notion of professional ethics.

      It would explain much about that profession in recent years..

      1. Just journalists with TDS.

  18. I am diagnosing her as a suffering from acute TDS. And, I am proactively diagnosing anyone who disagrees with me as being psychotic. Now, go ahead and argue with me.

    1. She’s got a little Nurse Ratchet in her.

    2. I really hope jeff shows up

    3. IMHO she suffers from CRIS (Cranial-Rectal Inversion Syndrome)!!!

  19. The Psychs helped Hitler immensely with this same diagnosis, unfortunately.

    It’s there best and quickest defense, “You’re crazy!!!”

  20. It seems to me that the most serious problem is not that Lee’s a jerk who’s playing fast and loose with her professional ethics. The bigger question is why you or anyone else cares what she bleats on Twitter. I could maybe see getting upset if she’d published it somewhere reputable, but come on. Twitter? I have yet to see anything positive come out of that particular social experiment.

    1. It’s almost like the point of Twitter is to manufacture any story you want!

    2. She has been picked up by quite a few writers and commenters on the left. That gives her idiotic tweeting a little more weight

      1. A psychiatrist from Yale has said it therefore it’s troo!

      2. She has but once you get her started there is no stopping her.

  21. This is classic Dershowitz. When he disagreed with Norman Finkelstein, Dershowitz worked to get him fired too.

  22. Lee, who famously diagnosed Donald Trump with narcissistic personality disorder, is now suggesting that Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, a conspicuous critic of claims that the president is guilty of obstructing justice or other impeachable conduct, suffers from the same mental disorder.

    “Indeed, *everyone* has narcissistic personality disorder, at least latently!”

    1. ““Indeed, *everyone* has narcissistic personality disorder, at least latently!””

      I mean…
      You’re not entirely wrong there.
      Apple’s made billions of “i” branding

  23. So Dershowitz had “…my perfect, perfect sex life during the relevant period of time.”

    Good for him. We people who enjoy perfect, perfect sex lives are happy for him.

    1. My wife and I have perfect sex lives. You don’t have to take my word for it. Ask her boyfriend!!

      1. My wife and I vowed to only take up smoking after sex. I’ve had the same pack since 1985. She is up to two packs a day.

        Apologies to Rodney Dangerfield

      2. Thanks Gillette! My wife loves her boyfriend’s close shave!

        Keep woking!

    2. Yes, but your “relevant period of time” is a microsecond.

  24. All statists suffer from Stockholm Syndrome. How about that?

  25. “Did you tell so-and-so that Trump was nuts?”
    “No. I thought they already knew.”

  26. She sounds like a crotchety old aunt before her time. Perhaps she should ask a judge to declare them dangerous and order the police to confiscate their guns.

  27. Lee’s promiscuous use of psychiatric labels does a public service by exposing the pseudoscientific pretensions of her profession.

    +1,000

    1. I don’t know if that’s fair. That she’s behaving in such an unprofessional and sophomoric manner shouldn’t point to the pretensions of the profession in my view.

      She’s an arrogant idiot onto herself. Who are we kidding here? She’s less a psychiatrist and more playing partisan bull shit politics.

      I don’t need a couch to see her shtick.

      1. There is a lot of pseudoscience in the psychiatric industry.
        At “industry” level, it’s kinda unavoidable considering the insight, nuance, and experience required to know what you’re talking about. Specialization prevents that to a large extent, as you really need to be well acquainted with history and physics as well as biology and psychology.
        But there are small discoveries that can be made – they just can’t be understood in the big picture by a psychologist

        1. Yeh. She gives the impression she’s not well-read outside her realm. And even within her own profession she’s lame.

  28. Bandy’s just putting her slant on things.

    1. The jokes write themselves.

  29. I’m pretty sure designating the indeed narcissistic Trump as “an existential threat to humanity” means Lee is a paranoid and delusional mentally ill person herself.

  30. Brave my a$$. She can make all the unsupported diagnoses she wants and not get into any trouble with Yale, as long as she is going after Trump or other Republicans. Of course, Yale does not rule this country…at least not yet.

    1. Yale is also the place where the students at the Law School decided that the right of an accused person to have legal representation does NOT apply and it’s sufficient to try a defendant in the press and convict him in the court of public opinion. That’s from graduate level students at supposedly the top law school in the country.

      And now a Yale psychiatrist has also showed her professional incompetence and lack of professional ethics.

      At some point, you have to question whether Yale still deserves its lofty reputation. Time marches on and things change. I mean, at one point Greece was a superpower. Spain was also a superpower much later on. Where are they now in terms of visibility on the world stage? It seems that Yale has also reached has-been status.

      1. I thought the Yale law prof was hassled by undergraduates at the house he used to preside over.

        1. They’re snowflakes.

      2. Yale is ranked 8th for reputation. Until the slide is substantial it won’t happen any time soon.

  31. What a cunt.

    1. I already said that!

  32. Psychiatry has many elements of a legitimate science, but you wouldn’t know it from this particular psychiatrist.

    “Fortunately, I am less afraid of power than I am of truth. I have considered the costs; if he expects me to cower and to compromise, I will not.”

    I’m not a narcissist, I’m a courageous speaker of truth to power!

    One thing Dershowitz learned from Trump (or they both got it from somewhere) is that if someone attacks you, you attack them. Don’t just curl up in a ball and cry about everybody being so mean.

    1. Pretty sure that Dershowitz already knew that the best defense is a good offense long before he ever heard of Donald Trump. Any law student should know it.

      -jcr

      1. I suppose you’re right, given that he wrote a book about his defense lawyer experience entitled The Best Defense.

        https://amzn.to/2tlDzy2

  33. From the American Psychiatric Association (opinions of Ethics Committee):
    Question: May a psychiatrist give an opinion about an individual in the public eye when the psychiatrist, in good faith, believes that the individual poses a threat to the country or national security?
    Answer: Section 7.3 of The Principles of Medical Ethics With Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry (sometimes called “The Goldwater Rule”) explicitly states that psychiatrists may share expertise about psychiatric issues in general but that it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion about an individual based on publicly available information without conducting an examination. Making a diagnosis, for example, would be rendering a professional opinion. However, a diagnosis is not required for an opinion to be professional. Instead, when a psychiatrist renders an opinion about the affect, behavior, speech, or other presentation of an individual that draws on the skills, training, expertise, and/or knowledge inherent in the practice of psychiatry, the opinion
    63
    is a professional one. Thus, saying that a person does not have an illness is also a professional opinion. The rationale for this position is as follows:
    1. When a psychiatrist comments about the behavior, symptoms, diagnosis, etc., of a public figure without consent, the psychiatrist violates the fundamental principle that psychiatric evaluation occurs with consent or other authorization. The relationship between a psychiatrist and a patient is one of mutual consent. In some circumstances, such as forensic evaluations, psychiatrists may evaluate individuals based on other legal authorization such as a court order. Psychiatrists are ethically prohibited from evaluating individuals without permission or other authorization (such as a court order).
    2. Psychiatric diagnosis occurs in the context of an evaluation, based on thorough history taking, examination, and, where applicable, collateral information. It is a departure from the methods of the profession to render an opinion without an examination and without conducting an evaluation in accordance with the standards of psychiatric practice. Such behavior compromises both the integrity of the psychiatrist and of the profession itself.
    3. When psychiatrists offer medical opinions about an individual they have never examined, this behavior has the potential to stigmatize those with mental illness. Patients who see a psychiatrist, especially their own psychiatrist, offering opinions about individuals whom the psychiatrist has not examined may lose confidence in their psychiatrist and/or the profession and may additionally experience stigma related to their own diagnoses. Specifically, patients may wonder about the rigor and integrity of their own clinical care and diagnoses and confidentiality of their own psychiatric treatment.
    Psychiatrists, and others, have argued against this position. We address five main arguments against this position:

  34. I want her to diagnose every Schiff, Pelosi, Nadler, Bernie, Liz, Pete, Joe, and little Mikey.

  35. Typical socialist strategy: declare all opponents to be mentally ill.

  36. “Unfortunately, Dershowitz seems to be doing something similar by complaining to Lee’s employer about her diagnosis of him.”

    Um, why would he go to her?

    She’s already made it crystal clear she won’t tolerate discussion, so the only remedy available is to talk to her supervisors.

  37. Wait a minute. Bandy has declared that half of America has narcissistic personality disorder and a “shared psychosis.“ Doesn’t that put her own judgments in question, and can’t the conclusion be drawn that, in fact, that’s what a psychotic with narcissistic personality disorder would say?

    1. Absolutely, she has remotely diagnosed half of the nations people without having met any or at least now more than a few of them. She is the butt of her own joke and doesn’t even realize it.

    2. Did you guys miss the part where she reveals that Trump’s mental illness is “contagious”??

  38. If Trump isn’t a narcissist, no one is.

    Far more than this one psychiatrist has diagnosed Trump as a narcissist. Psychology professors are using clips of him to demonstrate narcissism to their students, Trump’s the most perfect example they’ve ever seen.

    1. I would actually agree with that assessment. Aaaaand…so what?
      I don’t LIKE the guy, but the obsessive and disturbing HATRED the lefties exhibit towards the guy is more clearly pathological than anything Trump has ever done.

  39. As if it takes a medical professional to tell that Trump is a disturbed individual and a menace.

  40. Bandy X Lee is not licensed to practice medicine in the United States, she actually surrendered her medical license several years ago.

    1. Wow, that is some relevant information. Makes you wonder why it wasn’t mentioned in the article.

      It certainly explains why Dershowitz hasn’t filed a complaint with a medical board. Something Sullum would have a much harder time spinning as ‘intimidation.’

      1. I should add that, for most medical professions, surrendering your license – even if done ‘voluntarily’ – is quite different from simple failure to renew/pay your licensing fees. It is considered an adverse event.

        So much so that, when making application for licensure, you are asked both if you are currently or have been previously licensed in other jurisdictions, AND if you have ever been sanctioned or SURRENDERED licensure.

  41. “”shared psychosis”—a pseudomedical conclusion”

    folie a deux — shared psychosis — is a well-recognized condition, not “pseudomedical”.

    1. It was the conclusion that was dismissed as pseudomedical, not the condition.

  42. Remote diagnosis from someone with a bias. Looks like she is joining that disgraced economist Krugman, trading in academic credentials for a paycheck as a partisan hack.

    1. After Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize and Blaisey-Fords’ “Courage Award”, maybe she’s angling for Psychiatrist of the Year.

  43. ” It would therefore be impossible to prove that Lee is making an objectively false statement about them.”

    Way to avoid the issue Sullum.

    What is known is that Lee is making an objectively unethical, and therefore unprofessional statement about both of them.

    Dershowitz’ complaint is entirely valid, and should be addressed by her employers.

    Stick to the facts and maybe you’ll get this journalism thing working again.

    1. Ik,r? Like, everyone is addressing “defamation”, “malpractice” all that other legal shit, and that is in no way what this is about!

      The article clearly states that Dershowitz is pointing out her violation of “The Goldwater Rule”, which is Section 7 in the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Principles of Medical Ethics.

      Her statements are clearly in violation of this “rule”. Not a “law”. Not a “regulation”, a rule of her professional society. And it’s probably good if psychiatrists do NOT use their profession to give added weight to their political views. Especially when those views themselves indicate, to this layman anyway, that she is suffering from a well-known syndrome herself.

      1. Once again.

        She has every right to speak her opinion.

        Rule if you want to say “rule” she has no obligation to agree with the APA. None.

        Libertarians indeed.

        1. I cannot speak for anyone else. But don’t try to pretend that I’m saying she cannot say what she wants. She certainly can, and she certainly did.

          She is also free to bear the consequences of what she already said. Either her employers or (potential) professions (apparently she is not currently licensed to practice, so actually has no profession) hold her to ethical standards, or they do not.

          I’d also add that those facts are indeed as newsworthy as her own statements, And failure to note them along with her statements is as much an indictment of journalistic ‘professionalism’ as anything else.

          Libertarians indeed.

  44. That bitch is crazy.

    1. TDS. It does that to people.

      1. Is that a professional diagnosis?

  45. Between the article and some of the comments, it’s all been quite amusing. Thanks to all who participated.

  46. “”I’ve had sex with one woman since the day I met Jeffrey Epstein,” Dershowitz said, referring to his wife. “I challenge David Boies [Giuffre’s lawyer] to say under oath that he’s only had sex with one woman during that same period of time.”

    I challenge Alan Dershowitz [OJ’s lawyer] to say under oath that he’s only had sex with one woman during that same period of time.

    1. Note that he didn’t say how many boys.

  47. Presuming to diagnose someone you’ve never met in person is against the ethical standards of her ostensible profession. Dershowitz should file a complaint with her local licensing authority, and sue them if they fail to punish her.

    -jcr

    1. IIUC she surrendered her medical license.
      IOW she is practicing without a license.

      1. Nope she has an active medical license from the state of Connecticut.

    2. There’s plenty of precedent for this. Freud wrote an essay diagnosing Leonardo Da Vinci, whom he’d never met. If you’re going to libel someone, libel the dead.

    3. Well good luck with that.

      The State Medical board of CT. Anyone can register a complaint.

      https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Practitioner-Licensing–Investigations/PLIS/Reporting-a-Complaint

      Dershowitz knows the law. He does not have a case. He does not have anything worth going after here.

  48. The focus on politics obscures that breaking the Goldwater rule is a violation of patient rights. Diagnosising a patient without an exam is negligent and disclosing a diagnosis without patient permission is a violation of Dr- patient confidentiality. This is unacceptable in the context of medical practice and raises concerns about whether the Dr can be trusted to treat patients ethically.

    1. Once again.

      It is possibly unethical and unprofessional. Even then doctors can have political or personal opinions. In a court you would have a difficult time because she has no personal relationship or contact with Dershowitz. Therefore she is just giving a non professional vaguely worded opinion about a public figure.

      The Goldwater rule is not a rule at all. It is a guideline from an academic organization. Doctors are free to disagree or ignore any such guideline. It is not a law.

      The term narcissist exists as a common phrase and is used outside of the formal diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. So does the term psychosis.

      Negligence and malpractice does not exist outside of a physician patient relationship. That did not happen here.

      So there is her defense as I see it. She has a right to personal opinion and free speech. Now I gave a link to her medical board. Any lawyerly types here want to go there?

      1. Nobody claimed negligence or malpractice. It was a violation of professional rule constraining psych doctors from making remote diagnoses AND SHARING THEM PUBLICALY.

        Which she done did.

        1. Which is her right as an individual.

          So having excluded everything else from the differential.

          What is your complaint against her? Is there one left?

          Just wondering.

          1. Yes, one of my complaints is against her. She is willfully misusing her position of authority to make statements that are not remotely in keeping with the ethics of the profession she purports to represent.

            Using words you can understand: She is being dishonest.

            My complaint is also with Sullum – who knowingly misrepresents the facts of the case. “… Yale Psychiatrist Diagnoses Alan Dershowitz”

            But I don’t suppose any of this will prevent you from further avoiding these, and other noted concerns.

            1. Well go ahead and file a lawsuit against her.

              I admire Dershowitz and he has a legal team like no one else. But you have concerns, She has other state licenses you can find them yourself.

        2. “The focus on politics obscures that breaking the Goldwater rule is a violation of patient rights. Diagnosising a patient without an exam is negligent and disclosing a diagnosis without patient permission is a violation of Dr- patient confidentiality. “

          Nobody.

          Ok somebody

  49. I’m just wondering why she isn’t busy seeking investors to help her monetize her game-changing discovery that mental illness is a “contagious disease”! Surely it’s only a few short steps from there to a vaccine. Or at least a marketable-if-fraudulent test.

  50. Not a lawyer nor a psychiatrist, but she seems very obsessed and on a crusade. Wonder if that bleeds over into her actual client therapy. As she discovers her clients beliefs, does it color how she treats them to the point of possible injury? Her passionate crusade would cause me to go elsewhere if I ever needed therapy as is my right.

  51. Weren’t oil, gas, coal & electricity the existential threat to all life on Earth in October of 2016? Howcum The Don now gets the title–and big brass belt buckle? What changed?

  52. JFC, Sullum. I don’t write this lightly: Go fuck yourself with a rake.
    The only issue here is that cunt violating rules by diagnosing someone she has not met. Period.
    Do try and keep up.

  53. Alas, libertarians are no less likely to reset to psychiatric smears or to embrace them than are people subscribing to other ideologies. Tom Szasz, RIP.

  54. Wow. It really amazes me how anybody who is a leftist can cast stones about other people having mental health issues! They can’t think rationally to save their lives. They need crying rooms to deal with regular every day problems. I could go on for ages. What a joke.

  55. “It is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.”
    We never referred to this as the Goldwater Rule when we were discussing this in my counseling courses. It was simply referred to as “professional ethics.” The main reason that it’s considered unethical is that one can never be sure of a “diagnosis” without a full examination, which implies a client/counselor relationship, which imposes a constraint on the counselor to be seeking what is best for the client. Forensic “diagnosis” is an inherent violation of that seeking what is best and turns the counselor into an adversary. It’s clear the Ms. Lee is OK with that.

  56. Most Askenazi / Edomites have a mental disorder.

    It’s from the inbreeding they partake in over the centuries.

    It’s going to catch up with you over the years, seems it’s coming to fruition.

  57. Most Asken azi / Edomites have a mental disorder.

    It’s from the inbreeding they partake in over the centuries.

    It’s going to catch up with you over the years, seems it’s coming to fruition.

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