tv Worlds Apart RT August 30, 2020 3:30pm-4:01pm EDT
i want to welcome to worlds apart most of us agreed that desperate times call for desperate measures but do they also call for desperate they very my guest today argues that while the same executives are well suited for good times and distorted mind maybe the vast to see a country through a rainy day thanks to all well to discuss that i'm now joined by dr and i see our grammy a professor of psychiatry at tufts university and a back selling author. to talk to you thank you very much for your time. thanks for inviting me now you are joining us from. boston area which has been under water. and it's a funny question to ask if i buy a house same thing you are at this point on this scale oak once it's now. saying that you said yeah yeah how same year as a recent survey are saying. the road well yeah well they're related.
i would say this on saturday i would say on a scale of one that's around probably an 8 right now that's a pretty high the reason i'm asking is because in 2011 you published and very counter-intuitive looks at jasc. being a bit unstable especially on the a manic depressive has its advantages at its time of the time of crisis now i know that your book focuses primarily on little letters but i wonder if one can observe this same a fact in lay people to it can we find solace that you know our depression and our restlessness may actually make. batteries think yours are bad decision makers in times of uncertainty. yes so might my book a 1st rate man this was published back then as you know that was really trying to understand what are the benefits of having some psychiatric conditions
a focus on manic depression and i think the show showed that there were some traits that were more present in depressed people like realism of empathy and more traits some traits present in many people creativity and resilience to stress and i think point brought this out in leaders but i do think it applies to regular persons like you said you know time of crisis like now for instance it might be in some ways easier for someone who's had depression to be able to manage staying at home all the time and not having much to do because when they're depressed that's the way they feel it's more of a shock to someone who's normal mentally healthy and has never had that experience or who is sad perpetually manic i think him manic that factoring a lot. right through with mania oh it's you know it's just a final briefly means being sped up in your thinking movement and feeling it's the opposite depression or you're so down so a manic person is always highly active and doing lots of things and very sociable
and and and out there and to be in a room or a house by yourself is the opposite of what america person would normally do now in your book you made the argument that the very qualities that marty doe's with will desire also provide for a better executive function specifically in times of how exactly does it work. so there are those 4 traits that i described which really i think make up a psychological recipe for great crisis leadership being more realistic and empathic than most people that's from the depression and being creative and resilient that's from the mania and so when you look at great historical leaders like winston churchill. john kennedy franklin roosevelt you see in these people that they have these traits they either have a full blown manic depressive illness or bipolar illness as call or they have these traits as part of their personality all the time a little bit an example would be churchill who had very severe depressions and
during the 1930 s. the most famous wilderness years as he called it when he was out of political power and nobody listened to him he was very depressed but at the same time was extremely realistic about the nazi threat while almost all politicians of all spector in anyone's really were in denial about it and i think that's an example of where the depression brings out the realism that makes you a greater now you are now undef various. you know that many sex ask people i'm mentally unstable and perhaps it's that i'm in mental illness bad powers them through but i think many psychologists these days believe that it is a compound satori a coping adaptive mechanism will learn this children and that mechanism has to be dispensed with if one wants to be happy and how he you know a content in his own adults can trace and are you arguing otherwise. i
am i am i am not the 1st person to describe this the 1st person was there a sato and he described very well as fame one of his famous questions when he asked why is it that all great men in politics poetry and philosophy have melancholia but yeah i'm saying something different and some things that i've seen not only in general but also in some of the interviews you've done with other psychiatrists oxana people's heart about how symptoms are bad and symptoms are a problem i'm actually saying the opposite i'm saying the symptoms are good and the illness is not and the illness is actually helpful in some way when the symptoms are severe they can be disabling and deadly but they also have a positive i have to say i am very partial to a psychologist and psychiatrist in fact i've been into it's a myself over the last couple of weeks by reading a lot of the union and alchemical as psychology at which talks
a lot about prima materia base that cave is the crap in our psyche outweighs the refined substance or gold as they refer to it is produced but i guess to most people may be a dad being a bit crazy is good isn't it south a bit crazy how has your blog been received. well probably for that reason is been received positively and negatively i think the positive reaction has been has been actually frankly much bigger than i expected and very heartwarming i think there are a lot of people that they read the book and it clicks for them that they really 1st read madness and they have the same intuitions and i just explain for that why it makes sense that there are other people who for whatever reason have a very harsh negative reaction to it and they take it almost as a personal attack if i were to say that if you're mentally healthy the you are maybe not as good at some things as someone who's not mentally ill while in here
and you specifically said that if you're mentally healthy you may not be as good at it isn't making us basically be a leader as somebody who is. mentally unstable or mentally compromised. a crisis leader now i did make with an important distinction there's 2 kinds of leadership crisis leadership and non crisis leadership that i'm talking about in non-crisis leadership when things are stable and there's peace and prosperity in the past predicts the future and you just have to make the trains run on time a mentally healthy person is a better leader but in crisis periods when you need creativity and risk taking and a different way of thinking those mentally healthy meters as you're not as good as these men have now and there is a row now i really are sorry playing on the internet dad when mike milbury became president shanks actory chief of staff that's here earliest white house very soon read your book have you been able to confirm whether it's july not well i haven't
looked into it myself in but i and the rumor or was that the idea comes from the spoke by jonathan karl front row at the trump show and karl has his sources that this was the case and i would trust the sources i think it's that i have no reason to disbelieve it i think one thing we can take away from that is someone very close to the president. saw him and one of the same lines of what i've been saying which is that i think he has mild manic traits you know these kinds of manic type symptoms of being high energy very high physical and sexual energy is well known he doesn't sleep much he's very talkative he has excessive self-esteem which you can call narcissism if you like these are all class america traits which we call high person i mean over the clinical term that i described in my book and i it's interesting to see that someone close to him saw a resident that resident but he's also somebody who makes an impression on him very resilient tourists and the way he responds big criticism i think he has some very
very mixed can and as you point out in your book resilience is most often associated with an early trauma i mean you need to have a trauma as a sort of that seems to allow you to develop resilience and you are seeing you in some jazz that you know trying doesn't show depressive symptoms but i mean how would you know what he is like when he is on on his own if he is wrong with himself . yeah and you can't know for sure you know we should probably point out that the american psychiatric association has a goldwater rule which is that you should not make public statements about safety africa judgments public so you are a member of that group and we've debated this in their meetings and i don't agree with it and there's a substantial minority of members of the a.p.a. that don't agree with it my rationale is that there are some objective publicly known facts that you can make judgments about as long as you're going to get any
politically neutral kind of way so in the case of present trump if for instance we just just say that the assumption that he's not a cross there's your baseline he says he's not ok is not but that's a disadvantage in my view because then he would be less realistic and less empathic than might otherwise be and i think that's what we do see a measure we as well actually he made me perfectly to my next question because i would understand why people around trying to explain his political expedience here compare him to winston churchill or john kennedy apprehend lincoln you know when you describe in your book and all our beliefs you have had. many depressive symptoms is it the manic pari or the depressive party that has most us act on that decision making. well i think they both can have a fax it depends on. what to what the symptoms of the person actually are and what
the decisions are so the manic part will make you creative so for instance franklin roosevelt used to say of winston churchill that he had a sow's and ideas a day 4 of which were good so those 4 good ideas are helpful other depressive part makes you realistic or empathic so many tastes of every him like him for instance you have a great deal of empathy for african-american slaves which other people didn't. and that influences political decision making and that that history also knows me examples of magnetic examples i should say out magic depressives which people are is probably the most prominent and in your book you suggest next you larry if i understood your correctly was essentially stripped down be pretty tacky at powers of his mental illness by the end catchments reach here where it was found on the continuous basis throughout the war does that mean that hitler's crimes are not
only his but at least in part his doctrine. yes so you know as you can see this brings us into some very controversial area that i should probably just put out there 1st that everything i'm saying is my own opinion and doesn't reflect the views of my employers at all so that's. when i need to make when we get to hitler and i think the there are a lot of questions and there are a lot of people that want to believe that there's especially in germany it's that schiller can't have been abnormal in any way because then you can't blame him for what he did and that's not necessarily the case you know we know and in the law that someone can still be held liable for a crime even if they have a mental illness so we should put that out there in the case of drugs what's interesting is that hitler had a very severe depression from late childhood adolescence onwards it's been pretty well established by contemporary memoirs and he had been between depressive after the press i was so scared manic periods where he really high energy for weeks and
months on end then talkative. and he got treated for the depressions in the mid 1930 s. without sounding means which were new at the time and the very 1st class of antidepressant treatments probably then felonies as they can make you manic they didn't know that at the time and he got the drugs not orally in pills like churchill to intervene explain. every single day when he woke up in the morning or 937 until the day you die and if you get intravenous and fed to me every day and you have bipolar illness i think the average psychiatrist would know that that's going to make you a whole lot worse basically is going to make you manic and can also make you delusional and psychotic it's very probable that the gradual change of hitler and that went on at some relationship to that tree i mean we have to take a short break now but we're going to be back in just a few moments. johnny
has changed american lives but pharmaceutical companies have a miraculous solution. based drugs the people who are chronic pain patient and believe that their opioid prescription is working for them and the remedy he said to. price that that. was their dependency and addiction to opiates to long term use that really isn't scientifically just an l. study actually suggested that the long term effects might not just be the absence of benefit but actually that they may be causing long term.
planning back to worlds apart dr and that's their granny the author all. uncovering dealings between lives ship and mental illness dr gummy as i mentioned before your book was published in 2011 before the election no dole tromp who many psychologists describe as well let's call it mentally centric and he clearly as you sat has his manic tree he's definitely not the american president do you think his uniqueness serves america well add the time of unprecedented and so. well you know my general thesis was that a manic depressive leader is helpful in a crisis but is not helpful in a non-crisis period and i think the donald trump was elected in 2016 when we were
not in a crisis i think his problem in the last 3 years was when it seems we're fine he was causing a lot of. instability and trouble in a way by messing around with various aspects of the political economic system that actually had been functioning fine and that led to a lot of conflict in division in the country. now that we're in a crisis you would think that maybe he'd be in a position to do well but his problem in my view is that he's manic and not depressed in other words he's somewhat mentally abnormal not abnormal enough to actually. want it so. yes it's see i think this claim that when people say he's mentally eccentric as you said often it comes from a political motivation but i also heard you say that the president did not respond what you called realistically to be khurana virus and make and i'm not sure anyone in the world actual media 3 have
a 3rd of the global population on their various forms of lockdowns all while the if you give me all ages around the world are still debating the wisdom hope it's total quarantine i mean that i think there is agreement that i really have to be isolated by. you know the fact of putting everybody and locking up everybody in their homes it is still highly debated isn't it actually proven to be skeptical about issues like that especially because they entailed huge economic and psychological that minutes well certainly the massive long term social cloak orenstein as a social experiment that we've never had before and so there's certainly reasons to . be uncertain about it but let me make you give another concept here psychologists say that normal mental health involves what they call mild positive illusion that means the normal mentally healthy person is a little bit unrealistic and in normal life that's a good thing in
a way because we're a little optimistic and we truly try things we might not otherwise try and it can work out but when you're a leader in a crisis there is no room for unrealism so when this pandemic started a month or 2 ago the normal mentally healthy of the leaders had a little unrealism to them and therefore they didn't respond us quickly as the show has but i'm leader with some manic traits. is even less realistic and then is even more in denial and i think that's what we see now motivating denial of what i mean there is a difference between an. being he said. well i mean he said these folks with her credit card you know we should all exhibit a healthy dose of skepticism there's a difference between quarantine skeptics and science skeptics for example or you can be a skeptical requirements and what the scientific reasons especially when you have a virus breach. i'm sure you were you know that already had the majority of
carriers. no symptoms at all on mild symptoms and the wisdom of halting the entire economy reach where it was one big democrats were calling for you know it is highly questionable and you can also question whether they really ask for that out of the goodness of their hearts or out of their experience with a population pressure absent being motivated by certain political considerations 50000 people have died this is a very serious thing and i think that the realism. is maybe going to be more clear with time but most my view would be that earlier action would have been better and he was certainly very slow it's the other thing that i would point out is empathy which is not a depressive trait which he has not shown much of the washington post recently did an analysis of his 13 hours of his press the briefings in which he spent about 2 hours. attacking political opponents president i think he did exhibit signs of a narcissistic personality and as i'm sure you would agree that be narcissism that
isn't very highly correlated with low southworth not sure narcissists are not unlock with themselves they actually hate themselves gee think it's a good practice to constantly speak to people lie don't all chomp down all the time that way the prize their marriage your trash bags all the time even you know and the trend of the kind that make i am not putting him down completely is i'm saying i think yes positive traits in terms of creativity and resilience of manic traits and for instance just having all these press briefings the. is a reflection of stamina leases and i think that was and it tends to do something positive and has some positive impact. and he did break some rules for instance with the with the congressional bill where he was essentially giving social welfare benefits to people which goes against the kurds and as keep close to fly while it was an absolute no go i mean seriously what he did that unless it was an absolutely
and after mature everybody around him and i and they and they turned out to be a wise little you know we didn't cause the flies to europe very quickly but there's and there's pros and there's cons i do think that also i don't take the perspective that his narcissistic which is the larger discussion i think the concept comes from a psychoanalytic way of thinking which may or may not be correct and which has scientific weaknesses as well as some strengths my perspective is more biological in manic traits are inherited and you know you can have excessive self-esteem as part of that you call a narcissism if you like it may or may not have anything to do with experiences and childhood we just recently knew offer a theory based hand avril's and how to survive it and then they and one of the was a low limit on the watching like the presidential press conferences is that a psychological or political advice. well i say. my
politics don't agree with his that's a personal assumed but psychologically i think it's not helpful to people to be watching things that are really just a matter of opinion i also said you shouldn't watch cable opinion use of either a variety i think that all that does is make people more anxious and. i recommend of the people watching news news not opinion you know what about down our government and governor andrew cuomo has conferences are just as likely would you advise americans of new yorkers against watching those great great things as well. that's a good question i personally have not been watching the the his press conferences the clips i've seen of them have been impressive but. i haven't watched them enough to be able to give you a good answer to. have. i saw that you wrote recently that the challenge for america and the world is to be about we not me and i actually think that president
trying time governor governor cuomo present this rare example of that they seem to be more accommodating and more respectful of one another than the customer is i think in the in the united states business there's definitely last nastiness to their interactions doesn't that. a mortal or how do you work with a lab reach a person that you dislike for the sake of let's say either people or for the sake of your country. now slowly i mean i think that the divisions that we've had over the last few years which have worsened because of the current president's leadership are things that we need to get over and i think it's something that we have to do with more empathy towards each other which as i said is not a common normal psychological trait i think and may also be a practical. and useful example for many of us who are stuck at home with people
a lot but not necessarily like all the time i think the proximity of the last few weeks has been a very overbearing and nowadays we all need to. disassociate from the immediate and the personal and sort of seemed a larger picture and broader meaning would you agree with that. oh yes definitely i mean i think one of the benefits of the corn scene and we should be looking for some silver linings is a very you know it's an opportunity for growth for personal growth as well as social growth you know how we react to the crisis is going to determine who we will become and one place we can go is to reconnect more with our immediate family and with our friends in a way that we didn't when we were distracted by the usual activities of life here a lot from my friends now is that while during the price you weeks they were very motivated to do things they never had time for nowadays many experienced apathy
demotivation lower energy without necessarily be anxious the worry of how can people deal with big corral a system agency waited out or tried here or were tom of and some of their weight. right one of the there are 2 big problems that have been found in such psychological studies of quarantines in the past and that is boredom and anxiety and anxiety least touched on boredom i think is sort of what you're talking about and what we lose with not having the usual this calling germans i got hers time universe of life you know getting up and going to work at the same time having school at the same time and so on we lose the structure to our lives and now we have to provide a structure ourselves and so it's important even though you're at home even though you're working like you are now from home and i am that you get up and start working at a certain time and stop working at
a certain and try to keep some of that structure going otherwise it's easy to feel disorganized or of loosens now dr gummi many psychologists say these days that social distancing doesn't have to mean social isolation and i think many of us have our a comedic ation rich family and friends intensified and yet as one of my friends remarked recently there is a lot of talking but there is not enough communion and i think she was referring to base presents these eco crabs and. people that we miss a lot in without it life feels very mediate it rather than real do you understand what i'm talking about. you know on the one hand we should be thankful for the fact that we have this quarantine of the time when we have this technology that we do such as the video conversation we're having now if this had happened 20 years ago i'm not sure how the world would have handled it well i'm sure 20 years ago it
wouldn't have happened to anchor ara this is a relatively new concept that for the sake of a limited group of people we have to write everybody that never happened before not for this length of time prior quarantines were a couple weeks long at most with ebola for instance and so on. but you know you could argue that maybe if we had the capacity it should have been done in 1900 with the flu pandemic. but the bottom line is that the digital technology does help part of the way but there's a lot of research for instance that you can summarize in a way by saying that non-verbal communication is about half of all communication and that's what we're missing and that's what you can't really have unless you are increasingly with someone else. well i mean we have to leave it here but thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. and thank you for watching state state and hope you next week on.
stories of men who can't imagine life without fashion without a sense of style without things that might be seen as weakness in this masculine world but they still demonstrate incredible strength of spirit. as they choose. to. is your media a reflection of reality. in a world transformed. what will make you feel safe. isolation community. are you going the right way or are you being led. by. what is true what is faith.
in the world corrupted you need to descend. to join us in the depths. or a maybe in the shallows. it's a week since unrest was once again triggered in the us when police shot a black man in the back in the city. but the incident also provides a pre-election opportunity for both democrats and republicans. also of the week just gone the kremlin friends of claims that poisoned a prominent opposition activist alexina valmy citing limited medical evidence and the fact that russian doctors found no trace of toxins in his system. and the year after teenager was killed in a road accident in the u.k. the campaign continues to get his alleged killer to face justice.