When scientists' anxiety disorder interferes with other people's lives
It's a problem when it interferes with your life, but when it affects others, it's a disaster
A key concept in psychiatry is that an idea or compulsion or personality trait can be acceptable if it doesn’t bother you, but becomes harmful and pathological when it interferes with your daily life. It's ok to be obsessive, but it is obsessive compulsive disorder if it interferes with your day to day.
What word do we use to describe doctors, scientists and policy makers whose personal mental health issues affect their policy recommendations? The lives of others? If someone's anxiety makes them more likely to support school closure, masking 2 year olds or lockdown, how should we consider them?
It is pathologic for anxiety to harm your own life, but I believe we enter the realm of catastrophe when personal mental health issues affect sweeping policy matters. Let's consider some examples of vocal policy analysts (doctors, scientists, professors) who’s comments might be concerning.