Why Trump needs a cognitive exam

Last Thursday, we sent a letter signed by more than 70 mental health professionals — psychiatrists, psychologists and others — urging Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, to include a cognitive examination during his medical evaluation of the President.

Over the past year, we as well as other mental health professionals have grown increasingly concerned over the President’s behavior. On a near daily basis, President Trump publicly displays erratic emotional states, exhibits suspect judgment, and appears to struggle with impulse control, all while he rambles and often has difficulty completing a thought.

The President’s speech patterns are increasingly repetitive, fragmented, devoid of content and restricted in vocabulary, and his overuse of superlatives suggests reduced verbal fluency. This evidences a marked deterioration when compared to his previous level of verbal functioning, suggesting the possibility of an organically based process of cognitive deterioration.

We are not alone in our concern regarding Trump’s cognitive well-being. A majority of Americans see the President’s mental fitness as a legitimate concern. Providing any specific neurological or psychiatric diagnoses “from afar” is an ethical violation of our unique professions. However, it is not a violation of our profession to inform the public of our observations and urge action to evaluate these issues and thereby safeguard the American people. In fact, we believe it is our duty to do so….

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