Life provides turning points of many kinds, but the most powerful of all may be character-revealing moments.
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From individual healing to collective creativity
Bandy X. Lee M.D., M.Div.
Maintaining a healthy democracy involves each of our following norms and standards, especially in times of intense social and political pressure.
Submission brings its own safety, but creates a condition for symbiosis to occur with a leader impaired enough to possess a drive to dominate, not govern.
Our proposal is that the APA recognize the importance of psychiatrists’ social responsibility to warn the public when they discern danger to its well-being.
Childhood trauma is just one of the dangers that mental health professionals have predicted and feel the duty to warn about regarding the current presidency.
Mental health professionals are mandated reporters: Regardless of the source, any knowledge of any child abuse—like at the U.S.-Mexican border—is reportable.
Many seem to be catching onto the reality that he does not respond to rhetoric, or to multilateral cooperation. The question is, when will our own leaders?
The greater the likelihood of a serious problem in the mind, especially in someone who is supposed to be a leader and a protector, the more the populace will wish to avoid it.
Mental health professionals have an ethical duty to call attention to psychological dangerousness transforming into societal dangerousness.
Americans should take mental health matters as seriously as legal ones and demand that the president receive a proper mental health test.
Mental health experts believe the country is facing increasing dangers as the situation continues to evolve and the public grows weary of ever-worsening symptoms.
Scorning or destroying the very thing one needs is a symbolic act to press upon oneself and others that one does not need it.
Just as legal issues should be brought before legal professionals, if we are to maintain a healthy body politic, we must bring psychiatric issues to psychiatric attention.
Nuclear war, together with environmental degradation, represent a precipitous drive toward collective suicide and are thus forms of violence against ourselves.
Mental health professionals must be a witness to what is not normal and what could quickly become a mass movement toward self-destruction.
Just as the prevention of violence turns out to be not only possible but eﬀective and cost-eﬀective, non-violence has proven to be not just utopian but powerful and enduring.
In the face of pathological impulses combined with real power, resistance is one of the most pivotal ways of preserving health.
Perverting ethical rules and what it means to politicize psychiatry has its consequences.
Even if the body politic was caught off-guard because it was not used to tyrants, once exposed to the pathogen it can bolster its immune system and build its ability to fight back.
Apart from being the most potent cause of violent behavior, inequality is a form of violence in itself, called structural violence.
Everyone is part of an ecology, and the most effective way to prevent individual violence, far before it even becomes an issue, is to care for the wider ecology.
As scientific fields describing natural phenomena, medicine and psychiatry have the ability to serve as neutralizing grounds for politics.
A physician must recognize responsibility to patients first and foremost, as well as to society.
At this critical juncture, psychiatry would do well to find its place in the larger community of human efforts.
Bandy Lee, M.D., is a forensic psychiatrist at Yale School of Medicine and project group leader for the World Health Organization Violence Prevention Alliance. She also authored the textbook Violence.