DONALD TRUMP, A SUPERHERO GONE BAD, by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

Donald Trump was elected on the premise that he would “clean the swamp” and have the leverage to be a new force in Washington with no political ties — a true new-age superhero.

Well, he replaced the swamp with a cesspool of impulsive, immature, uneducated tweets supporting neo-nazis and whatever other random thoughts crossed his troubled mind. Even Fox news, a bastion of “support Trump at any cost”, is stating the obvious. There’s something wrong and dangerous about this man.

Also, a bevy of courageous republicans are finally speaking out against this immature, uneducated bully. Yes, I know he attended the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, but “so sad”, he only learned how to toot his own twisted horn.

Maybe a new superhero will emerge? This one will have his/her brain connected to his cerebrum rather than his tongue.

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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THE 4TH CHIMPANZEE, IN THE WHITE HOUSE, by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

In 1967 Desmond Morris wrote The Naked Ape, and in 1992 Jared Diamond wrote The Third Chimpanzee. Both of these scholarly works examined how human beings evolved from our ape-like ancestors.

It took millions of years for man to emerge from the trees, stand up straight, use tools and finally use his brain to form a civilized society. At one time, the United States was a leader among countries — leading the civilized world and setting an example how a free society can work (Not perfect by any means, but still amazing).

It’s taken Donald Trump 6 months to return us to the trees. He is like a primitive chimp pounding his chest and threatening whoever will listen to his electronic screeching. Whenever he has a chance, he tosses a ripened verbal fruit at anyone who doesn’t think he is wonderful.

No one will stand up to him!

If only one man or woman in the House or Senate has the courage to form a strong coalition and put him where he belongs, back in his “Tower” where he can screech all he wants at people who are foolish enough to work for him, there may be hope.

When The Boy Scouts of America has to apologize for his sickening thumping of his own chest, doesn’t this mean something? Why won’t Congress wake up before it’s too late!

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 , , , , | 10 Comments

IS THE HOOK-UP CULTURE AS GREAT AS IT SOUNDS? by Art Smukler, author and psychiatrist

The millennials have it made. Right? Sex without strings. The release of all that pent-up sexual frustration without the chains and legalities of marriage. What more can young (and older) men and women ask for? The equality of the sexes has finally arrived and everyone can “get it on” wherever and whenever.

Women can pursue careers and meet their sexual needs without being tethered by needy male partners and having to raise children.

Men can satisfy their sexual needs and not walk around filled with guilt that they misled a bevy of damsels who only agreed to sex as a prelude to marriage.

We as human mammals can revert to our ape-like and chimp-like roots (The Third Chimpanzee, by Jared Diamond) where monogamy is not a need and only primitive instincts rule.

Well, hang on to your wild fantasy life. For most of us it’s not so simple. Also, the wild hook-up culture isn’t all that new. Remember the sixties and seventies? All that “free love”? Back then it wasn’t called hooking-up, it was called having sex with someone who wasn’t all that special.

There was always, for most men and women, the hope that the next person would be the special one, the one who would fill the emptiness and make life more meaningful.

My experience as a psychiatrist and author and recent independent studies validate this observation. Life, even with a lot of mutually rewarding sex, is still empty. Even though we share over 95% of the same genes as our ape ancestors (sorry bible-based theorists), we have evolved, for the good or the bad, into mammals with special needs. Our tribe often needs to include the clichéd “significant other”, a soul mate, a man or woman who will share our cave and our life. Then with the addition of children the tribe becomes pretty complicated.

It gets even more complicated. Because when we finally achieve the goal of finding our soul mate and having children, we long for the freedom of being able to have a new sexual adventure. Maybe our soul mate isn’t really “the one”. Maybe the sexual adventures from our youth should resume? Is marriage all that we hoped for? The fact that 50% of all marriages end in divorce tells us how needy and complicated we really are.

The answer might lie in how we really pick our mates. It’s not all sex. It’s not all logic. It’s something deep in our unconscious that leads us to making that all important decision. Stay tuned in. I have some ideas about where this all comes from and why we do what we do…

Your ideas and thoughts are always welcome.

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 Psychiatry, Self Examination, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

SHOULD DONALD TRUMP CHANGE HIS BRAND? by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

Before Donald Trump ran for president, my naive impression of him was that he was a brilliant businessman. The Art of the Deal, was who he was. When we travelled to places that had a Trump Resort, I saw it as a place where people of means could enjoy a luxurious experience — pricey but worth the value.

Now, if someone gave me a free week at anything associated with the Trump brand, I’d refuse. His brand, in my mind, has changed from gold to feces.

What? You say. How can that have happened?

Simple. I now picture the man as Baby Huey, sitting all dressed up in his blue suit in the oval office.

With his simple-minded take on the world, and self-aggrandizing approach to governing, he has devalued a position I once held in high esteem, The Presidency of the United States. People I respect don’t impulsively tweet abusive, devaluing comments whenever the urge comes upon them.
“I’m a counter-puncher” Donald Trump says, as if that makes it all okay.

Part of being president is to set an example that children and adults can try to emulate. OMG. What if everyone took off the gloves and did and said whatever they wanted? Chaos…

I disagreed with much that both President Obama and President Bush did, but they were both respectful adults. I’d love to spend time with either of them and I have dozens of questions that I’d love to discuss and debate.

Donald Trump needs to change his brand from the impulsive pop-culture, “You’re Fired” to the sensitive, “Tell me more why you think I’m such a jerk so I can do my best to change.” The chances of that happening are less than Global Warming spontaneously going away.

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. Also, please visit Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist — mystery and romance meets psychology.

Posted in Bullying, Politics, Psychiatry, Self Examination, World events, a psychological view | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

MENTAL ILLNESS IS ALIVE AND THRIVING, by Art Smukler MD, author & psychiatrist

In the late sixties and early seventies, an amazing thing happened. It was like a warm, feel-good tsunami that spread across all 48 contiguous states.

The eerie, ghost-filled state mental hospitals were all being shuttered and the patients were set to return to live in their own communities and treated as outpatients at community mental health centers. They were scheduled to see psychiatrists and therapists to help them adjust to life outside a hospital and to live normal productive lives. Being locked up and treated like a “crazy person” was to be a thing of the past.

Well, it all started out great. The cities and states were given huge amounts of federal funds to rehabilitate facilities, hire doctors and therapists, and close down the state hospitals. Three years later when I finished my psychiatric residency and went into private practice, I got a part-time job at a community mental health center outside of Philadelphia. It was a charming rehabilitated private home with a staff of about a dozen professionals. We treated hundreds of patients, made home visits and helped a lot of mentally ill people.

Fast forward fifty years.

The government decided to save money and reduce mental health funding. Whoops. Someone forgot that we no longer have state hospitals. Whoops again. No one took the time to predict where this would lead.

Well, it led to chaos. There are now over 40,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County alone. At least 15,000 of them are mentally ill.

Once a week, a large hazmat crew dressed in white protective gear, disinfects large areas of the Venice ocean walk and other popular mentally ill habitats in and around LA. The streets smell of waste material and everyone is placed in jeopardy from infections. Think 50 states and think of the thousands of mentally ill who roam in our midst. Many of these people are treatable…

The warm tsunami has turned into a cold, bacterial filled avalanche. Now it will take billions of dollars to house and treat these people, who by no fault of their own are mentally ill.

The good news is that a tax bill just passed designating billions of dollars to solve this problem. The bad news is that communities understandably don’t want the mentally ill housed in THEIR neighborhoods.

The answer… Build new state hospitals on the VA grounds that will combine the old and the new — a safe place to treat the mentally ill using our new medications and newly developed methods to teach social skills. This would be in an environment filled with warmth and loving feelings. Then, when patients are more capable and mentally stable, they can be moved to a more independent facility (Also on the VA grounds). That’s where job training and the possibility of eventual treatment in a community mental health center will become available.

Full circle from the seventies, but this time, each stage of mental illness will be carefully delineated and supported.

I’d donate my time and efforts to a place like this…

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. Also, please visit Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist — mystery and romance meets psychology.

 

 

 

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BUY ART SMUKLER; YOU’LL LOSE 15 LBS AND FALL IN LOVE, by Art Smukler MD, author & psychiatrist

Since I started my “book store” I thought a reprise was in order…

All through college and part of med-school, I sold battery cables, ignition wire-sets and jumper cables. I loaded up the trunk of my car with hundreds of feet of cables and hawked them to gas stations and small auto accessory stores.

“Buy a dozen battery cables and I’ll throw in two packages of wire-sets. Plus I’ll give you 20% off,” I’d say, standing under a leaking auto chassis with a sweating mechanic.
“Are dees any good?” one brawny station owner asked.
“They’re great,” I answered. My father had a small factory and made them. They were actually quite good.
“Oh yeah?” He took a jumper cable, held one end in his huge fist and the large clip in the other fist. He grunted, and ripped the large clip off the end of the cable wire.
“What?” I yelled.
“I want 25% off and I’ll buy three dozen cables in all sizes.”

I nodded, ran to the trunk, and made my biggest sale of the week.

Somehow, my life as an author/psychiatrist has gone backwards. Now, instead of selling battery cables, I’m selling Art Smukler and his books. It’s a little weird. Maybe if I were Smuckers Jelly it would be less weird. Maybe not.
On the other hand, Art Smukler is a good product. If you pull hard enough the ends might come off, but they can be re-attached.
Will you lose 15 lbs? Maybe, if you deal with your mother and improve your relationship with your kids. Will you fall in love? Absolutely. Just read Chasing Backwards. If you don’t fall in love with Joe Belmont, you’ll fall in love with Karen Levine.
Plus, I’ll throw in 2 dozen blog posts!

Books can be purchased from the trunk of my car, not really…

AMAZON KINDLE, IBooks and https://artsmuklermd.com/

To find my book store, Inside the mind of a Psychiatrist – mystery & romance meet psychology, go to Facebook and enter, Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist – mystery & romance meet psychology@artsmukler

Thank You!

Posted in CHASING BACKWARDS, a psychological murder mystery, Psychiatry, Self Examination, Skin Dance, a mystery, The Man with a Microphone in his Ear, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WHY DOES 1/3 OF OUR NATION STILL SUPPORT DONALD TRUMP? Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

In my last post, a number of followers soundly disagreed with my criticism of Donald Trump. Some disagreements came from groups that I belong to, and some from blog followers. Many of the comments focused on how Hillary and Obama are both liars; others focused on how I am out of touch with what is happening out there in the real world and am simply another left-leaning liberal. All the negative comments came from bright, articulate people.

Criticism isn’t fun, but part of my job as a psychiatrist is to really listen and do my best to set my own beliefs and prejudicial thinking aside. It’s also what I try to do when I’m just hanging out and living my life.

So; here’s what I think and why I think it.

Recently, I travelled down south and had the opportunity to visit Memphis, Tennessee and Natchez, Mississippi. Two things struck me. ONE: There are no jobs outside of the tourist industry! People are sick with worry about how to support themselves. TWO: The Bass-pro-sport hotel devoted to hunting and outdoor sports in Memphis is amazing. Shooting ranges, little ponds with boats on them and a whole indoor forest of trees would make most anyone consider learning how to shoot a gun. The NRA is VERY POWERFUL. The lure of the outdoors and our “call-of-the-wild” roots is alive and strong.

Survival and passion are deep-rooted and for most people inviolate. Donald Trump heard these people and his words reverberated. A pro-business and pro-NRA president is what they believe in and are willing to fight for.

Also, there are millions of people who absolutely hate the Clintons and the Obamas. They fear that Hillary’s lies about Benghazi and the Clinton Foundation are examples of who she is as a person, and that Obama’s negative stance on Israel was a horrible mistake and would be repeated by Clinton.

They felt and still feel that Trump will help business and his shaking up of Washington is a good thing.

I agree that we need change.

Please consider that the way Trump is handling security, his impulsive behavior and arrogant, omnipotent views are very dangerous for us as a nation. It doesn’t mean that you have to agree with Clinton or Obama. It only means that you observe that the current person, Donald Trump, who was elected to foster change is not going about it in an adult manner. He is endangering our country by his belief that he knows more than our intelligence agencies and military. He said these things — They are not fake news.

Thank you for reading my blog and offering your comments.

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 , , | 9 Comments

THE PRESIDENT AND HIS PREY: Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

Donald Trump’s greatest skill is destroying his enemies and competitors. He has an uncanny ability to intuit a person’s weakness and do whatever is necessary to destroy him (or her).

He brings to mind the sense of smell that dogs and other carnivorous mammals have — 1 million to a thousand million times greater than humans have. Think bomb smelling and drug smelling dogs.

We have a president who has the ability to decipher an opponent’s weakness and then go in for the kill — name calling, devaluing or outright bullying. He’s really a winner at what he does because he lacks what most of us have — a conscience.

His lies and clever smoke screens are better than most of us can muster because he doesn’t feel guilt or the sense of responsibility that honesty demands.

What’s the answer? It’s the same answer that a deceived spouse acts upon quite often — if a spouse constantly lies and is incapable of change, divorce him.

How can the American people divorce a president who has no respect for the truth; who attacks people at a whim, including heads-of-state?

If our elected officials don’t do what they should, we need to speak out until they finally listen. It happened with the Vietnam Nam war and Richard Nixon’s lies and there is no rational reason it can’t happen now.

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, Uncategorized, World events, a psychological view | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

LESSONS FROM THE CHAIN GANG, by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

Recently, I decided to clean up and reorganize our backyard. We have a number of 50-year-old Spanish clay pots that were left by the previous owners and were sitting in the wrong places. Some of the pots easily weighed a few hundred pounds.

I did what any self-respecting psychiatrist-homeowner would do and called a half-dozen nurseries in the area. I explained the problem and most said they just didn’t come out to move pots. The one that said they could do it, wanted to charge enough for a weekend at a fancy hotel. So, the next morning I decided to do it myself.

First, I had to empty out all the pots. We’re talking about pots that stand over 4 feet high and 3 feet wide and filled with soil so old and hard that it felt like cement. Then I had to carefully move the empty pots, that still easily weighed over a hundred pounds, to their new location. It took almost two days of hard physical labor. A lot of shoveling, lifting, sweating and grunting.

Why does any of this matter? Gardeners do it every day.

Well I don’t. I sit in an office exercising my brain. This was the first time in many years, that I did this kind of work.

It brought to mind my teen years and the many hours I spent working for my Uncle Bill in his auto accessory store. I was assigned to the “chain gang” in the dank basement, where I put together heavy links of chain to make snow chains. Hour after hour I’d work alone, measuring, hauling boxes of uncut metal chain, and cutting and crimping them together. Sweating and cursing to myself I’d work hard, knowing I’d be paid at the end of the day and would always have a hot lunch with the other workers, hosted by my uncle at the neighborhood Puerto Rican restaurant.

Then I’d return to the basement and the chains, wondering what my lot in life would be. Would I be doing this forever? What was going to happen to me when I grew up?

Well, sweating outside in my own garden brought back these poignant memories. I miss my Uncle Bill. I appreciate all the opportunities he gave me to learn the value of hard work and how it would help me for the rest of my life. I miss how he would sometimes come down to the basement, look at what I’d accomplished, and smile.

When parents don’t give their children the opportunity to work hard and earn their way, but just give and give without value for value, they aren’t helping. In fact they are creating a person who often turns into an entitled, selfish individual. Hard work for fair pay should be the rule rather than the exception. Lunches should be earned.

I was also very fortunate that my uncle wasn’t simply a nice guy. He was also someone who enjoyed listening and doing his best to be helpful. He rewarded hard work with respect and love. I didn’t have the wisdom back then to appreciate him, but now I do.

It helped me raise my own family and become a good psychiatrist.

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 Psychiatry, Raising Children, Self Examination, Uncle Bill's Place | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

ASK NICELY AND DON’T INTERRUPT ANYONE, by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

This morning I took a bike ride and stopped for coffee at Starbucks. In the spirit of full disclosure I do own stock in Starbucks. Also in the same spirit, not nearly enough. So, I was sitting having coffee and reading the morning news when a 9-year-old (maybe 7 or 8, they grow them big in California), ran over and asked one of the moms something.

Being a psychiatrist I used all my intuitive skills and figured out that the three boys at the next table belonged to the three women sitting next to me.

The mom said, “Ask nicely and don’t interrupt anyone.”
The little boy nodded and ran over to ask the barista for whatever he wanted. My psychiatric skills didn’t include deciphering what the little boy whispered in his mother’s ear.

A while later, as I stood up to leave, I said to the mom who gave her son the kind advice, “Sorry to interrupt, but I couldn’t help but hear you say to your son, ‘Ask nicely, and don’t interrupt anyone’. I wish you were Donald Trump’s mother.”
The three moms laughed. Maybe I should have been a stand-up comedian… The mom I spoke to said, “Me too. Thank you for saying that to me.” I smiled and we all waved goodbye.

I got on my bike and pedaled home.

Some of Trump’s ideas, which I won’t AGAIN belabor, are not all bad. His behavior and the way he talks to people and about people is abominable.

Ten billion dollars can’t buy a person sensitivity to others or the ability to put our nation before his own need to inflate himself. How much hot air does it take before he explodes?

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, CHASING BACKWARDS, a psychological murder mystery, Politics, Psychiatry, Self Examination, Skin Dance, a mystery, The Man with a Microphone in his Ear, World events, a psychological view | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment