By Susan Milligan
April 21, 2017
Political players and cranky voters have long thrown around
personality-themed terms to offer non-professional assessments of public
officials, and their words are not generally flattering. Insane. Unhinged.
Wacko. Paranoid. Narcissistic. Manic. The broad-brush use of such terms,
especially those with actual, clinical definitions, tends to make mental
health professionals a little -well, crazy. Not only do the terms unfairly
stigmatize people with actually mental ailments, but they're often not even
used correctly to describe someone's behavior or personality. And even when
a professional has a more educated opinion on a public person, there's a
resistance to saying it out loud, for ethical and other reasons.