Psychology experts in the U.S. are warning President Donald Trump that his latest tweet attacking the field of psychology is not just dangerous but dangerous to mental health.
In a Facebook post Sunday night, a psychologist from the University of Maryland who studies the mental health effects of social media and technology, Jennifer A. Lasker, wrote that she has “never been more concerned” by what the president said and that her own experience with anxiety and depression led her to join the mental-health field.
Lasker also said she has been “in touch with psychologists who are advising other psychologists” in the wake of the president’s tweet, including some who specialize in treating anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday night.
But some psychologists have been vocal in their criticism of Trump’s comments, particularly his assertion that mental health professionals have “no credibility.”
In a series of tweets on Sunday, Trump said that the profession is being attacked because of the “fake news” he says the media is feeding the public.
“Psychiatrists have been called liars, frauds, thieves, and criminals.
And they are doing their best, as usual,” Trump wrote.
“They tell us the truth and are trusted by the people.
This is what they have done for decades.
It is time for a change.”
Laskar’s Facebook post echoed that sentiment, saying that she was “troubled” by Trump’s tweets and has “been in touch with many psychologists” who have been advising other mental-healing professionals.
“I believe that we need psychologists in the mental field who can help us better understand the effects of stress, anxiety, depression and other symptoms in a wide range of mental health conditions,” Laskar wrote.
In the past few weeks, the president has also expressed concerns about a new federal program that would make it easier for people with serious mental health issues to get insurance through the government health-insurance exchanges, saying the program would “destroy” people’s ability to afford medical care.
Laskinger, a former psychology professor at the University at Buffalo, said she is concerned about how Trump is using social media to promote his own brand of misinformation.
“As we know, when we’re in the throes of crisis, we are more likely to share our experiences with our friends and loved ones, but also to create a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Laskinger said in her Facebook post.
“This is not what a psychologist is meant to do.”