THE LITTLE MAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE, by Art Smukler MD, author & psychiatrist

My best teachers and friends are people who listen and learn from what they hear, read and see. They are big enough to admit they might be wrong and big enough to correct any flawed thinking.

The biggest people are those who learn from their mistakes and are happy to adjust their minds to new ideas. Knowledge is a compilation of information gathered from many sources to gain an accurate portrayal of what is truth and what is a lie.

Big people learn from those who disagree with them. They respect science and understand why respect for others is so important.

Leaders who are great lead by example. They understand how diversity is not only necessary for intellectual growth but essential for our growth as a nation.

A leader who doesn’t understand sacrifice for the common good is a fool. John McCain sacrificed years of his life to bring pride and courage to the US. Once again, Donald Trump disrespected him and in doing so disrespected all of us.

Donald Trump only understands self-aggrandizement. He is too small to respect others who know more and offer things that he is not capable of providing. NO ONE KNOWS EVERYTHING!

Donald Trump is a little man who spends his life putting down anyone who doesn’t agree with him. The Party of Trump is a disgrace. Marco Rubio who now kisses the ring of the man who called him names and put down his family should evaluate whether his behavior is really something that makes him proud.

If you enjoyed reading, Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist, you might also enjoy Dr. Smukler’s novels, Chasing Backwards, a psychological murder mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone in his Ear. All are available as paperbacks and eBooks.

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REMEMBER WHEN TRUMP STOOD FOR QUALITY AND ELEGANCE? by Art Smukler MD, author & psychiatrist

Twenty plus years ago, a guy I know suggested that ten of us pitch in and buy a unit at Trump Tower in NYC. We each needed to pony up around $100,000. Well, it seemed like a lot of money and we didn’t do it. Years later we all lamented what a great investment it would have been.

It points out a lamentable fact. You can’t predict what a person is truly like until you have an opportunity to really get to know him. Well, we now know Trump. A name-calling, bigoted, misogynistic, immature, bully who has disgraced the presidency. Oh, did I forget to mention, dumb…? Who in his right mind would call Don Lemon, Lebron James and anyone who disagrees with him dumb? We know who! All his money certainly didn’t buy class, sophistication or good manners. I picture him walking IN FRONT of the queen of England with absolutely no clue as to how inelegant and stupid he appeared.

There are laws that make it a professional obligation for physicians to report any patient who is a danger to himself or to others. I agree with that law. It protects all of us from someone who has the capacity to do himself or us harm.

I hereby report to followers of Inside The Mind of a Psychiatrist that Donald Trump is a threat to all of us. His crass insensitivity and overt lies are not amusing or just political. His shameless attacks on Hispanics, Blacks and WOMEN is obscene. His denial of global warming is ignorant. His collaboration with Putin horrifying! ETC. HE IS ENDANGERING EVERYTHING THAT OUR COUNTRY IS FOUNDED ON!

If you enjoyed reading, Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist, you might also enjoy Dr. Smukler’s novels, Chasing Backwards, a psychological murder mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone in his Ear. All are available as paperbacks and eBooks.

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IMPEACHMENT IS TOO KIND. DO WHAT ANY SUCCESSFUL CORPORATION WOULD DO. FIRE TRUMP, by Art Smukler MD, author & psychiatrist

There are numerous reasons why any reasonable Republican should fire a dysfunctional leader. Sex, lies, insensitivity, bigotry, using government resources to enhance his own pocket, supporting Putin and lies, lies, lies!

You’d only need one, maybe two of Trump’s actions to end a marriage. Here we have dozens of unbelievable actions and he is still married to Melania and the spineless Republicans.

So far no Republicans would ever be psychotherapy candidates because all are unwilling to examine themselves or accept that maybe improvement is needed. That’s one of the interesting paradoxes about psychotherapy. You have to be healthy enough to know you need therapy and be willing to change. Know-it-all’s and narcissists are terrible therapy candidates.

Anyway, back to the Republicans, the poor psychotherapy candidates. Get rid of this man who is creating chaos and could care less about you or any of us!

How? Grow up! Work with the Democrats. Be adults and be brave. Stop sniveling around like little weak babies. Yes, that’s not exactly how I’d put it in a therapy session. But, this isn’t therapy, it’s the life or death of our county.

If you enjoyed reading this, check out Dr. Smukler’s novels.

Posted in Bullying, Politics, Psychiatry, World events, a psychological view | 3 Comments

THE BATTERED REPUBLICAN SYNDROME, by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

The “Battered Wife Syndrome” is a term exemplifying how women are afraid to stand up to their bullying, battering husbands. It is another form of PTSD that is exemplified by the abuser having complete control over the “helpless” woman. Then, the remarkable happens. The pathetic, weak woman turns the tables and doesn’t allow herself to be abused anymore. Finally, the abuser is exposed as the pathetic, weak manipulator he always was.

Why do so many Republicans keep supporting Trump? They say they believe in his politics, his stance on Israel, his immigration policies, free market strategy, the great way the stock market is doing, how he speaks his mind etc. All may or may not be true, but one thing is absolutely very true. THE ONLY THING TRUMP CARES ABOUT IS TRUMP! HE IS THE LEAST PRESIDENTIAL MAN EVER TO HAVE HELD THIS OFFICE. When he is compared to Hitler, it resonates.

Like the battered wife, Republicans fear Trump will retaliate. He’ll take away your votes, your support, call you names, and devalue you.  Like the battered wife, you believe you need him and have kowtowed to him. You let him lie to all of us. You let him devalue our allies. You even let him kiss Putin’s ring. Some independent thinkers call Trump’s behavior treasonous. What do you call a man who attacks his own country and supports a Russian leader who attacks our elections, poisons former Russian spies, and supports despots like Assad? Shouldn’t you call this man a treasonous man? Isn’t this man fully deserving of Impeachment?

Republicans are battered and traumatized. They have allowed lies to permeate the fabric of America. Now is the time to stand up and support our country. You don’t need a bully to support you. You need the courage to support your own values, AND lawfully protect us all from the man who is threatening our very existence.

If you enjoyed reading, Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist, you might also enjoy Dr. Smukler’s novels, Chasing Backwards, a psychological murder mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone in his Ear. All are available as paperbacks and eBooks.

Posted in Bullying, Politics, Psychiatry, Self Examination, World events, a psychological view | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

MY FANTASY IS ALL ABOUT HARLEY DAVIDSON, by Art Smukler MD, author & psychiatrist

I have a lot of fantasies. How is it possible to be a psychiatrist and not live with millions of them circulating amongst the billions of neurons that run my brain? It’s not possible. So, here’s my latest.

The president of the United States is threatening Harley with major taxes and sanctions because they won’t do what he says. I mean Geez, why wouldn’t everyone do whatever one of the greatest narcissists of all time says? A real stumper. But, being the brilliant psychiatrist and author that I am, I have the answer. My wife of many decades disagrees with the brilliant adjective, but she’s only one in a billion. So to prove her wrong, I need a billion readers to agree with me. Well, maybe just a million.

Back to business!

Imagine this. Instead of going to Sturgis, South Dakota, thousands of Harley guys and gals on big Hogs, Sportsters and Softails ride to DC and show Mr. Narcissist what they really think of him. I can hear the roar and picture all the fabulous tattoos and girls wearing helmets and bikinis. In the background, Bob Dylan is bellowing out a new folk tune screaming all about freedom and decency.

I’m there too, smoking a pipe and getting another wear out of my black cardigan sweater. Not really. My daughter convinced me to stop smoking over thirty years ago and I don’t own a black cardigan. But, I’ll be right there with the Harley leaders on my silver Softail and revving my engine. Not really… I will be watching it on TV and wishing. I’m actually afraid of being fatally maimed on the streets of LA.

Wait. To prove everything is not a total fantasy, I did have a cycle many years ago — a Honda 350. See, I am somewhat cool.

If you enjoyed reading, Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist, you might also enjoy Dr. Smukler’s novels, Chasing Backwards, a psychological murder mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone in his Ear. All are available as paperbacks and eBooks.

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STICKS & STONES CAN BREAK MY BONES BUT NAMES CAN NEVER HURT ME…NOT! by Art Smukler

Remember the old cliche’ used by parents and teachers to “train” a child to control his anger? “Sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me.”

Well, the theory goes that name calling can’t physically hurt you. But is that really true? Ask Jeb Bush if being called “low energy” by Trump doesn’t make him feel physically ill. I heard Jeb speak a year before the Republican primary, and thought he’d make a great president. I wish he’d appropriately retaliated to Trump’s obnoxious words and didn’t let him get away with it. I assume that the entire Bush family will never forgive Trump. I wouldn’t.

How about John McCain? Trump, who never served in the military, likes people who weren’t captured, negating all that McCain suffered and gave to our country. Do you think that the anger inside McCain doesn’t still hurt? Here’s another family who will probably never forgive Trump.

Name calling and devaluing trigger our autonomic nervous system, the place in the brain where Fight or Flight is regulated. Think of the times you were enraged — the burning in your stomach, jaw clenching, sweating, trouble catching your breath… All physical symptoms.

I could go on and on, but let’s consider what this man is now doing to ALL OF US! He names the Russia investigation, Spygate and a Witch Hunt. He’s a genius at name-calling.

What he is not a genius at is being a good human being. If someone disagrees with him, he attacks. He calls himself a counter puncher. I call him a brilliant name caller who hurts a lot of people and is hurting our country.

What is also OBNOXIOUS is that Republicans are afraid. Some heroes scale walls, like in France, to save a child, others can stand up and call Trump out. That hero can save our country.

If you enjoyed reading, Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist, you might also enjoy Dr. Smukler’s novels, Chasing Backwards, a psychological murder mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone in his Ear. All are available as paperbacks and eBooks.

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ARE THERE ANY ETHICAL LAWYERS OUT THERE? by Art Smukler MD, author & psychiatrist

Harvard Law professor emeritus, Alan Dershowitz, just stated on Meet the Press that the Trump team is playing into the hands of Mueller’s team. By not speaking in a single narrative they are hurting themselves and Trump’s defense.

That’s all probably true. After all, who would challenge a man of Dershowitz’s stature?

What I’m challenging is how Dershowitz and so many of the erudite legal minds are so readily agreeing with this approach. I know that everyone is entitled to the best defense they can get, with or without money, but does anyone care about the truth?

Trump overtly lies and the great legal minds figure out more ways for him to get away with it!

Something is terribly wrong with our system! Something is terribly wrong with how our law schools are turning out thousands of new lawyers every year who support this twisted and damaged approach to justice. Lying and manipulation are everyday occurrences especially from places as erudite as Harvard. If you are the smartest and the best trained, you can learn even better ways to dupe others.

Trump lied and manipulated for years, in many aspects of his business. His mantra, while he was running for president, was that he didn’t settle cases. Sue me! Then he would turn his legal minions into torturing people who honestly and honorably wanted to get paid or be treated justly.

If Trump is being supported by great legal minds and great institutions, what hope does a normal, average person have to be treated with justice? What hope do we have unless men and women of Dershowitz’s stature come forward and change the culture by which lawyers and educators are taught?

If you enjoyed reading, Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist, you might also enjoy Dr. Smukler’s novels, Chasing Backwards, a psychological murder mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone in his Ear. All are available as paperbacks and eBooks.

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POTUS AND PROPECIA, WHY IT’S IMPORTANT, by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

Dr. Harold Bornstein MD is now Trump’s enemy. He admitted that his 35-year-long patient, Donald Trump, used Propecia to keep his orange locks robust and healthy. Given the situation, most of us would shrug, take out our Fonzi combs, and slick back our manes (Or what was left of them). Well, the president’s reaction was a little different. He nixed Bornstein’s White House appointment and recently had his henchmen break into the hirsute doctor’s office to remove all his (Trump’s) personal records, when really, all he needed to do was ask for them.

It is wrong of Bornstein to say anything about any patient’s private info. Period! But setting that aside, let’s theorize why all this National Enquirer stuff matters? Why does this guy who sits either in the oval office or in a golf cart or on top of his 10 billion dollars, need to always be right — all the time?

Examples:
There were more people at my inauguration than Obama’s.
I’m smarter than any other president.
I was cheated out of winning the popular vote.
My hair is real! Here, feel it!
I know more than the generals.
I know more than my chief of staff.
I am so healthy I’ll live 200 years.
Everyone’s lying. Russia is a witch hunt! There is no collusion or obstruction or whatever you call it. None! A witch hunt.
I want to talk to Mueller, but I may have to fire him.
I AM THE PRESIDENT! Ya Ya Ya Ya Ya
Blah, Blah, Blah

I remember an incident when I was 16 years old and a new driver. I was driving my date across town using a “back way” that made me feel really smart and really cool. Well, after we got where we were going, my date casually mentioned that it might have been faster to just take the main road instead of taking all the turns down small darkened streets. I remember nodding, but thinking I WILL NEVER EVER TAKE HER OUT AGAIN! HOW DARE SHE POINT OUT THAT SHE’S SMARTER THAN ME! WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS? I AM RIGHT AND SHE IS WRONG!

Well, I did take her out again and I really liked her. I can’t remember her name or exactly how long we dated, but I do remember and continue to remember how being wrong is no big deal. What’s more important is getting good and correct information, whoever’s right. It’s a relief being surrounded by smart people. It helps us make good and well thought out decisions.

Back to Trump. The fragility of his self-worth must be off the self-worth charts. He has to be right, because if he isn’t right he falls apart inside. Just read his immature, silly tweets.

For a 70 plus year-old man to be so insecure is sad. For him to be the leader of the free world is absolutely terrifying. What is so terrifying is that Trump cares more for his hair and himself than he cares for the country that he swore to defend and protect. He overtly lies whenever he feels threatened even if it could endanger our very existence.

Trump vowed to “Drain the Swamp” and has instead created a swamp filled with a man so insecure that he’d rather swim in Propecia than treat a long-term friend and physician with any modicum of respect. No surprise, he calls everyone a name who disagrees or challenges him.

That’s why Propecia is important. It’s a clear symbol of how scary it is to have a man who “must be right” in charge of our country, and how all the cowards in congress are determined to keep bowing to this narcissist.

If you enjoyed reading, Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist, you might also enjoy Dr. Smukler’s novels, Chasing Backwards, a psychological murder mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone in his Ear. All are available as paperbacks and eBooks.

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THROUGH THE WORMHOLE TO 1972 – THE STATE HOSPITAL IS BACK! by Art Smukler MD, author & psychiatrist

My morning bike ride, on the bike path between Santa Monica and Venice, CA, was especially poignant, but not for the obvious reasons.

Interspersed among fellow bike riders, hardy girls in bikinis (It was a nippy 62), hardcore volleyballers, walkers and joggers, surfers, riders of the Bird (the new rage electric scooter) and philosophers — strolling with their cups of coffee and addressing the human condition, were hundreds (YES HUNDREDS) of Street People — arranging their numerous bags filled with gathered treasures, curled up on the sand under dirty blankets, screaming obscenities easily heard from blocks away, taking care of swollen bladders against the walls of buildings, wild-eyed and staring into oblivion, making comments (Thinks he’s so hot! Asshole! You won’t put poison in my body! Come near me and the devil will finish you off!), wrapped in sheets and blankets.

The Street People, of which at least 1/3 are psychotic, were my constant companions as a young psychiatric resident in Philadelphia. The training ground was PGH (Philadelphia General Hospital), founded in 1729 and closed in 1977. Now these unfortunates, who used to fill the beds of hundreds of state hospitals, roam the streets all over the United States. Back in the seventies Community Mental Health was the new rage. It would solve the problem of housing thousands of psychiatrically ill people and save us billions of dollars.

Initially it all worked quite well. There were numerous mental health facilities, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and mental health workers. Then the federal and state money dissolved into other programs and the mentally ill followed their illnesses into the streets.

Do-gooders support the rights of the homeless, but they ignore the fact that these people need food and a safe place to deposit their bodily waste. Fouling the streets is more of a problem than just aesthetics. There is truly the potential to infect many people with bacteria that can easily be picked up by rodents and other disease-carrying-animals and birds. Also, a paranoid person really believes he is being attacked. The streets can be dangerous!

So here I am, remembering “The good old days” when I was a young psychiatrist. In just a few minutes I’ll be having my morning cup of coffee at one of my favorite cafes and reading all about the economy, Trump’s latest brag, a new movie or TV series to see, a great book to read, and how we need to do something about the problem of the homeless. Well, it’s not just a problem; it’s an epidemic!

Luckily a lot has been accomplished since the seventies — new meds, new approaches to mental illness, and a significant reduction in the stigma of mental illness. Taking care of the mentally ill on our streets is also taking care of ourselves. Even selfish people can get behind making changes and investing in the mentally ill and ourselves. Housing, hospitals, medication and mental health workers are expensive. Who better to spend it on than ourselves. Improving the condition of millions of street people will “Make America Great”. Even narcissists sometimes come up with a good tagline.

If you enjoyed reading, Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist, you might also enjoy Dr. Smukler’s novels, Chasing Backwards, a psychological murder mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone in his Ear. All are available as paperbacks and eBooks.

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IDOLATRY IS STILL PART OF OUR EVERYDAY LIVES, by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

Ancient civilizations used inanimate objects, animals, and multiple gods to pledge their allegiance and find solace in life’s travails. Obviously there were many! No microwaves. No Netflix. No Facebook. No coronary stents. No Middle East crisis. No Trump lookalikes. Well, for 2/3 of the ancients that was probably seen as a blessing.

Then a miracle happened. Over 5000 years ago there was a “scientific” breakthrough and Judaism “discovered” that there was only one true god. Hallelujah! Plus,they really lucked out. They were the chosen people and got all the rights and options to worship this one true god. Hosanna on the highest!

Well, mankind has had over 5000 years to find proof of god’s existence, but what they came up with is the discovery of a lot of other “gods “or deities to worship – Mohammed, Jesus, Buddha etc. Obviously, discovering the microwave and mounds of data on the Big Bang theory did nothing to detract from mankind’s need for a God.

I’m sure you see where this is going.

When Trump really got on a roll and started pushing his snake oil, millions of people decided that there was a chance he really could cure the world. The US needed jobs and protection from the thousands of Mexicans who mow our grass and he promised CHANGE. He called everyone and anyone names, flaunted his sexual exploits, and guaranteed the world that his orange hair was real.

He was elected president of the USA! Since he was now god, we’d all be saved. He had the answers to everything. He proclaimed that no matter what he did, even stab someone in broad daylight, that his base would still love him. “I’m the greatest. I won the popular vote. Anything I don’t like is fake news. I didn’t have sex with Stormy and didn’t tell my lawyer to pay her $130000. Why he did it I have no idea. I’m inviting Putin to meet me here. We have a wonderful relationship. He is almost as wonderful as I am.”

So why do so many people LOVE him? Even with Facebook and microwaves in every home, life is still scary. Maybe Trump really does care about us? Right? He loves us! We’re the chosen people. He came down from the mountain (Trump Tower) with the Trump Commandments, I AM THE BEST, I LOVE ME, KISS MY RING AND I’LL BLESS YOU WITH RICHES, ME ME ME, THE POPE IS NOT AS SMART AS ME, I CAN GROPE ANYONE I WANT, I CAN LIE AND IT’S THE TRUTH, I DON’T NEED ADVISORS, IF YOU DON’T PRAISE ME I WILL DESTROY YOU, I KNOW EVERYTHING!

So here we are. Anyone who wants to worship The Trump Idol is in luck. He wants and needs to be worshipped and the dangerous world around us produces the insecurity that leads millions to want and need to worship this orange-haired Wizard of Oz. Please keep in mind that as you’re enjoying your day in the church of Trump, our environment, ethics, children attacked by assault rifles, and the world stage are on the verge of possible catastrophe. Plus, and this is a big one, would you want your child to behave like The Trump idol? If I were one of his professors at the Univ. of Penna I’d be horrified. He brags about his wonderful education! Oy Vey, as they said in ancient times.

If you enjoyed reading, Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist, you might also enjoy Dr. Smukler’s novels, Chasing Backwards, a psychological murder mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone in his Ear. All are available as paperbacks and eBooks.

Posted in Bullying, Politics, Psychiatry, Raising Children, Self Examination, World events, a psychological view | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments