The Dangerous Case Of Donald Trump

“The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump”  debuted on the New York Times Non-Fiction Bestseller lists on Oct. 22, 2017, at #4 for Combined Print & E-Book. and #8 for Hardcover Non-Fiction.   On Oct. 29, 2017 at #11 for Hardcover Non-Fiction and #7 for Combined Print & E-Book. On Nov. 5, 2017 at #6 for Hardcover Non-Fiction at #7 Combined Print & E-Book. It was #11 on Nov. 12 for Combined Print & E-Book and #12 for Hardcover Non-Fiction


November 20, 2017: “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” made the Washington Post’s list of “50 Notable Works of Nonfiction for 2017“.

Since the first stirrings of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, to the most recent outcry from media commentators, one question has quietly but urgently permeated the observations of concerned citizens: what is wrong with him?

Harper West was invited to write a chapter for a book titled The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. (Thomas Dunne Books; October 3, 2017), edited by Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.Div.

The book explores what might be wrong with Trump and addresses specific issues surrounding diagnosing and assessing his emotional and behavioral issues: Could he be mad, bad, or both—and both is a toxic combination.

It also discusses in depth the ethical issues of whether mental health professionals have a “duty to warn” about dangerous emotional instability in a leader. Some feel constrained by the American Psychiatric Association’s “Goldwater Rule,” which inhibits mental health professionals from diagnosing public figures they have not personally examined. Others feel compelled to report his behaviors as dangerous, given the serious implications for the country and world.

The book includes more than two dozen eminent psychiatrists, psychologists, and authors, including:

  • Noam Chomsky, famed linguist and philosopher,
  • Robert Jay Lifton, Harvard psychiatrist and expert on sociopaths and brainwashing,
  • Gail Sheehy, author of Passages, named one of the ten most influential books of our times by the Library of Congress, and more recently many biographies of political leaders,
  • Philip Zimbardo, famed for the Stanford prison experiment you may have read about in Psych 101,
  • Tony Schwartz, ghostwriter of Trump: The Art of the Deal,
  • Dee Mosbacher, Oscar-nominated feminist filmmaker,
  • and Bandy Lee and John Gartner, leaders of the Duty to Warn group of mental health professionals, which organized this book project and a recent conference on the topic at Yale University.

Sample chapter titles include:

  • Pathological Narcissism and Politics: A Lethal Mix, by Craig Malkin
  • Tyranny as a Triumph of Narcissism, by Elizabeth Mika
  • Donald Trump is: A) Bad; B) Mad; C) All of the Above, by John Gartner
  • On Seeing What You See and Saying What You Know: A Psychiatrist’s Responsibility, by Henry Friedman
  • The Issue is Dangerousness, Not Mental Illness, by James Gilligan

West’s chapter is titled In Relationship with an Abusive President, and draws parallels between the behaviors of Trump and an abusive partner.

Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.Div., is Assistant Clinical Professor in Law and Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. She earned her degrees at Yale, interned at Bellevue, was Chief Resident at Mass General, and was a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School. She was also a Fellow of the National Institute of Mental Health. Lee has worked in several maximum-security prisons, cofounded Yale’s Violence and Health Study Group, and leads a violence prevention collaborators group for the World Health Organization. She’s written more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, edited eleven academic books, and is author of the textbook Violence. Previously nonpartisan and politically inactive, she recently held a conference at Yale School of Medicine on the ethical rules about discussing the dangerousness of a presidency due to mental instability.

THE DANGEROUS CASE OF DONALD TRUMP: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President

AUTHOR: Various, edited by Bandy X. Lee, M.D., MDiv

PUBLISHER: Thomas Dunne Books

PUBLICATION DATE: October 3, 2017

Audio book is available on Kobo

Publisher’s Website


Bill Moyers


Lance Dodes Review in The Oregonian

Michael Tansey in Huffington Post

Vox Video


6/13                       Washington Post, op-ed, book mention, “Is Trump making America mentally ill?

8/23                       USA Today, book mention, “Stress, along with poor eating and sleeping habits, can challenge Trump

8/23                       USA Today, book mention, “Amid mounting bipartisan concerns, debate over Trump’s mental health takes off

9/15                       Kirkus, review

9/15                       POLITICO, book mention, “The Loneliest President

9/19                       Oregonian, review, “Is Donald Trump actually crazy? 27 mental-health experts offer up their conclusions

9/22                       Palm Beach Post, feature, “From lawsuit to book chapter, Boca lawyer pursues fight against Trump

9/22                       San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post review, “Is Trump mentally ill? Or is America? Psychiatrists weigh in.

9/24                       Washington Post, review, “Is Trump mentally ill? Or is America? Psychiatrists weigh in

9/24                       Baltimore Sun, mention in interview with contrib. John Gartner, “Baltimore psychologist heads effort to ‘warn’ about Trump’s mental health

10/6                       Newsweek, excerpt with teaser on cover (arranged by Subrights)

October               New England Psychologist, mention

10/7                     The New Yorker, review

10/12                   Esquire, review

10/13                 The News & Observer, Chapel Hill, NC, On Oct. 14 Duty to Warn Event

10/14.                 Newsweek

10/14                 Austin American-Statesman, op-ed column mention, “Book considers Trump’s mental health. Let’s discuss our own

10/16                  The New Yorker

10/21                  South Florida Times, mention, “NO QUESTION: PRESIDENT TRUMP IS MENTALLY ILL

NATIONAL BROADCAST MEDIA (includes podcasts and online video)

8/7/18          MSNBC Lawrence O’Donnell

9/28       CNN “New Day” (Tony Schwartz)

9/29       Al Jazeera English “The Rob Reynolds Show”

10/2       WNYC “The Brian Lehrer Show”

10/2       Al Jazeera English “Al Jazeera News”

10/3       Salon Talks (Facebook Live)

10/3       KGO Radio “The Brian Copeland Show” (SF)

10/4       SiriusXM “Stand UP! with Pete Dominick”

10/5       CNN “New Day” (Tony Schwartz)

10/5       MSNBC, Lawrence O’Donnell Interview with Tony Schwartz and Dr. Lee

10/5       KPFK “Ian Masters’ Background Briefing” interview with Lance Dodes (Los Angeles Pacifica)

10/6       Al Jazeera English “Up Front” interview with Bandy Lee and Betty Teng”

10/9       MSNBC “Anderson Cooper 360”  (Tony Schwartz)

10/11     WYPR “Midday” interview with John Gartner (Baltimore NPR)

10/13     Democracy Now! (Robert Jay Lifton), “Psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton on Duty to Warn: Trump’s “Relation to Reality” is Dangerous to Us All

10/18     WGBH-TV “Greater Boston” (contributor Leonard Glass) “‘The Dangerous Case Of Donald Trump’

10/19 Comedy Central, The President Show

10/23     The Randi Rhodes Show (contributor John Gartner) (YouTube)


10/24     KQED “Forum” (contributors Tom Singer and Robert Jay Lifton) (SF NPR)

12/1.  The New York Times Letter by Dr. Lee


April 2017: The Independent on Duty to Warn Yale Conference

5/25       Salon interview, book mention, Psychiatrist Bandy Lee: “We have an obligation to speak about Donald Trump’s mental health issues. . . . Our survival as a species may be at stake”

7/12       Huffington Post, book mention, Is Donald Trump Mentally Ill? Part 2 – 5 Professors of Psychiatry Say Donald Trump is “unraveling” and Call on Congress “to remove him from office”

8/16       Stat News, book mention, “Democrats in Congress to explore creating an expert panel on Trump’s mental health

8/23       New Yorker “News Desk,” book mention “Will Trump Be the Death of the Goldwater Rule?

8/24       Huffington Post, op-ed, “What Mental Health Experts Can Say About The Presidency

9/13       Salon, contributor interview (book mention), Harvard psychiatrist Lance Dodes: Donald Trump is a “sociopath” and “a very sick individual”

9/15       Moyers & Company, Q&A (book mention), “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: Robert Jay Lifton and Bill Moyers on ‘A Duty to Warn’”

9/15       Commondreams, Bill Moyers Q&A, “’A Duty to Warn’ and the Dangerous Case of Donald Trump

9/15       Alternet, Bill Moyers Q&A, “Bill Moyers: Renowned Psychiatrist Warns That Trump Is a Danger to Us All

9/17       Real Clear Politics, mention, “Trump vs. Psychiatrists: Who’s Crazier?

9/19       Salon, Bill Moyers Q&A, “The dangerous case of Donald Trump: Robert Jay Lifton and Bill Moyers on ‘A Duty to Warn’”

9/20       Huffington Post, book mention, “Donald Trump: The Eye of the Hurricane

9/23       RawStory, Bill Moyers Q&A, “Renowned psychiatrist warns Americans: You have a duty to call out Trump as danger to others


9/25/17 Psychology Today: Zimbardo and Sword

9/25       Daily Kos, Wash Post review link, “Abbreviated Pundit Round-up


9/28       The Independent (UK), “Donald Trump is ‘the most dangerous man in the world’, claim leading psychiatrists and academics

9/29       Mediaite, AC360 write-up, “Tony Schwartz: By Now ‘John Kelly Knows… Trump is Deeply Disturbed’


9/29       Huffington Post, AC360 write-up, “Trump’s Not Crazy Like A Fox, ‘He’s Just Crazy’”  

10/2       STAT, review by Sharon Begley

10/2       Daily Beast, “These 27 Top Shrinks Think Trump Might Be Nuts

10/1       Patheos Review

10/5       Daily Kos, CNN New Day commentary, Tony Schwartz: ‘The Same Climate Of Fear And Paranoia Appears To Have Taken Root In His White House’”

10/6       The New Yorker, News Desk, “Diagnosing Donald Trump, and His Voters

10/7       The Intercept, “Worried About Trump’s Mental Stability? The Worst Is Yet to Come.

10/12     VICE, feature, “These Psychiatrists Want to Test the President’s Mental Health

10/12     Esquire, feature, “The Conversation About Trump’s Mental Health Is Finally Changing. But Is It Too Late?

10/12     Mic, “Top psychiatrist analyzes Trump’s mental stat

10/13 Robert Jay Lifton interviewed on Democracy Now

10/13     AlterNet, mention “10 Examples of Trump Unraveling Before the Current Unraveling Began

10/14     Raw Story, mention “10 examples of Trump unraveling before the current unraveling began” (via AlterNet)

10/14     Salon, mention, “Is Donald Trump a sociopath? A psychiatrist speaks out


10/15     History News Network, mention, “Nixon, Trump and the Strange Career of the Madman Theory

10/15     Salon, “Donald Trump makes the world more dangerous — what do we do about it?

10/15 Review by Betsy Robinson

10/16     New Yorker, mention “How Anti-Trump Psychiatrists Are Mobilizing Behind the Twenty-Fifth Amendment

10/16     Truthdig, mention, “Existing Law May Not Solve Presidential Crisis

10/16     Working Reporter, mention, “THE HISTORY MAKING MARCH THAT NEVER WAS

10/17     Newsweek, mention, “SIZE MATTERS FOR TRUMP

10/18     CommonDreams, mention, “How to Profit from the Coming Trump Apocalypse

10/18 Psychology Today by Hara Estroff Marano

10/20     Crooks and Liars, “Republicans In Congress Profit From The Coming Trump Apocalypse

10/20     Mic, mention, “As more experts call Trump’s mental health into question, is it time to rethink the Goldwater Rule?

10/20     American Prospect, mention, “Americans Agree That Trump Is a Liar. Do They Realize He Is Also a Sociopath?

10/22     Salon, mention, “Donald Trump or Mike Pence? I’ll take whatever’s behind door no. 3

10/22     National Memo, excerpt, “Donald Trump Is: A) Bad B) Mad C) All Of The Above

10/23 Buzzfeed Overview of Duty To Warn Movement

10/30 The Nation, with specific mention of my chapter

11/2 Keith Olberman: Is this the End of Trump’s Sanity?

Now This Video/Bandy Lee

11/11/17 Huffington Post: Letter to Congress

11/17/17 Washington Post Carlos Lazada’s Names it “Most Daring Book” 

11/17/17 Salon: Trump’s presidency may present “the greatest psychiatric disaster in history”

11/21/17 MSNBC Tony Schwartz interview

11/28/17 Newsweek: Trump’s Conspiracy Theories Will Lead to War

11/30/17 JAMA

12/8/17 NBC News Article by Dr. Lee

12/8/17 Democracy Now Interview with Dr. Lee

12/10/17 Los Angeles Review of Books

12/21/17 Newsweek Editorial by Dr. Lee and Dr. Gilligan

12/21/17 MedScape Dr. Lee’s response to Dr. Lieberman

12/27/12 The New England Journal of Medicine editorial, Dr. Clair Pouncey

12/30/17 LA Times Review

12/31/17 Salon: Looking Back on 2017 (Duty to Warn makes top of list of activism)

1/2/18 Op/Ed in Boston Globe by Drs. Lee and Gilligan

1/3/18 Politico: Washington’s growing obsession with 25th Amendment

1/3/18 New York Daily News: Yale psychiatry professor warns President Trump’s mental health is ‘unraveling’ in meeting with more than a dozen lawmakers  

1/4/18 The Hill: Lawmakers briefed by Yale psychiatrist on Trump’s mental health

1/4/18 CNN: Yale psychiatrist briefed members of Congress on Trump’s mental health

1/4/18 Axios: Lawmakers called in psychiatrist to discuss Trump’s mental health

1/4/17 Washington Post: The Plum Line

1/4/18 AOL

1/4/18 NY Magazine: The President Is Mentally Unwell — and Everyone Around Him Knows It

1/4/18 Politics USA: Rep. Jamie Raskin introduces bill to form committee to Assess for 25th Amendment

1/5/18: News and Guts

1/5/18: Vox: Psychiatrist who briefed Congress: Emergency

1/5/18 The Guardian: Book revelations put new focus on Donald Trump’s mental health

1/6/18 BBC: Trump’s mental health and why people are discussing it:

1/6/18 NY Times: Trump, Defending His Mental Health

1/6/18 The Guardian: Op/Ed by Dr. Lee

1/6/18 Newsweek: Trump Could Destroy The Entire Human Species, Says Yale Psychiatrist Who Warned Congress Members

1/9/18 Psychology Today: Hara Estroff Marano: A Handle on the Head of State

1/10/18 Politico: Lee & Glass: We’re Psychiatrists. It’s Perfectly OK to Question the President’s Mental State.

1/11/18 Politico: Dozens of experts urge doctor to conduct neurological exam

1/11/18 Washington Post: Op/Ed Why psychiatrists should not be involved in presidential politics

1/12/18 Washington Post: The Health 202: Mental-health professionals can’t agree on evaluating Trump’s psyche

1/12/18: Alternet: by Betty Teng A Toxic Mix of Tech, Trump and Media Has Created a Monster That’s Constantly Traumatizing Us All:

1/12/18 NY Times Editorial: Is Mr. Trump Nuts?

1/12/18 Boston Globe Op-Ed

1/13/18 CBC: Psychiatrist’s new warning that Trump’s mental state ‘is a national and international security risk

11/13/18 The Atlantic: The Psychiatrist Telling Congress Trump Could Be Involuntarily Committed

1/15/18 Huffington Post: Dr. Michael Tansey: Part XVI. “THIS IS NOT A DRILL”: Response to Jeffrey Lieberman

1/16/18 Snopes: Dr Lee Has a Medical License in NY

1/17/18 Daily Beast: Trump Fans Threatened Psychiatrists Who Warned Trump Was Inciting Violence 


1/17/18 Washington Post: Is Trump’s Doctor OK?

1/19/18 USA Today: Op-Ed Lee and Eisen: On Trump’s mental fitness, the experts are silenced and the public’s in the dark

1/25/18 US News: Op-Ed by Drs. Lee and Herman

1/26/18 Counter Punch: Bruce Levine, PhD, Opinion

2/1/18 CNN: 52 Stories; One Month in Trump’s Washington (Bandy Lee’s visits to Capitol Hill listed)

2/3/18 Salon: Is Trump’s Mental Health Dangerous?

2/4/18 Albawaba: You Can’t Separate Trump’s Mental Health from His Voters’

2/5/18 USA Today Op-Ed. Drs. Lee and Merikangas: We monitor everyone in charge of nuclear weapons except the president

2/12/18 RNN Network: Steven Wruble

2/23/18 Project Syndicate: Trump’s War Psyche and World Peace

2/24/18 The CapTtimes: Judie Kleinmaier: Face the facts: Trump is dangerous — and he won’t get better

2/26/18 Boston Globe: OPINION | BANDY X. LEE, EDWIN B. FISHER, AND LEONARD L. GLASS The Goldwater rule has been turned into a silencing mechanism aimed at those who would speak out

3/23/18 Daily Beast: Rosemary Sword and Gail Sheehy: How Close is the President to a Psychiatric Breakdown?

3/28/18 Medical Republic (Australia): The ‘mad king’ conundrum

3/23/18 Podcast/Pacifica Public Radio, “Background Briefing” with Lance Dodes

4/19/18 Lawfare Review: The Psychiatrist’s Goldwater Rule in the Trump Era

5/18/18: Mental Health Experts Declare the Need to Evaluate

6/28/18 Goldwater Rule Rewritten by “Dangerous Case” Authors

6/30/18 The Hill: Psychiatrists ask APA to change rule prohibiting analysis of public figures

6/30/18 Scientific American: Psychiatrists Call for Rollback of Policy Banning Discussion of Public Figures’ Mental Health

6/30/18 Alternet:Top Mental Health Experts Are Calling for the Goldwater Rule to Be Revised to Allow Discussion of Public Figures’ Mental Health

6/30/18 The Big Think: Why psychiatrists are calling on the APA to end its controversial ‘Goldwater Rule’

6/30/18 Stat: Psychiatrists call for rollback of policy banning discussion of public figures’ mental health

7/9/18 Psychology Today: Dr. Lee Editorial 

7/3/18 Project Syndicate: Trump’s Psychopathology is Getting Worse

7/9/18 New York Daily News: Why we must talk about Trump’s mental health: Psychiatrists have a duty to educate the public

7/13/18: Bandy X. Lee, MD, Op-Ed, USA Today: Let psychiatrists speak out

7/30/18 What’s going on with Donald Trump? Psychologist explains the president’s lies, reversals

9/7/18 Exclusive: Psychiatrist Bandy Lee says White House officials told her Trump was “unraveling”

9/7/18 MSN: White House officials flagged Trump’s behavior to psychiatrist last year

9/8/18 Thousands Of Mental Health Professionals Agree With Woodward And The New York Times Op-ed Author: Trump Is Dangerous

9/18/18 Slate: An Interview With the Psychiatrist Who Says White House Officials Called Her With Concerns About Trump

9/19/18 editorial on Goldwater Rule by Dr. Bandy Lee

9/21/18 Salon: Psychiatrist Bandy Lee: Trump is getting worse; “I suspect he is unable to tolerate reality”

11/12/18 Rolling Stone: What Happens When the Walls Finally Close In On Trump?

12/9/18 The Conversation: No president should assume office without a ‘fitness for duty’ exam