Trump and his impressionistic speech: HPD or NPD?


I’m engaged in an interesting conversation in a Facebook group about Cluster B disorders. Someone raised an interesting point about Trump possibly having HPD instead of, or in addition to, NPD.   His “impressionistic speech,” which is a symptom of HPD, is a clue, but based on his inability to accept blame or criticism (and not just projecting it onto others), that seems a lot more NPD.

I’ll just let the actual conversation speak for itself because it raises some interesting points.  (There were more replies, but I’m leaving out the ones not relevant to the topic raised, which is Trump).

Someone in the group posted this question (who I will call Participant A) :

Random thought: Donald Trump initially appears NPD. But that fucking hair… the orange tan, and the impressionistic speech…makes me wonder if he’s not HPD, or at least comorbid. The one HPD I’ve known was basically a narc in a series of crazy outfits. And she sounded JUST like him with her wild lack of details, inappropriate sex talk and constant attention seeking behavior. Thoughts?  

Participant B:

I think a person with HPD might respond to all of the criticism a little differently than he does. He seems to hold tight to his grandiosity, a person with HPD would be more wounded and emotional. He ignores the fact that nobody wants to join his inauguration and even lies and pretends It’s sold out, inauguration dresses are sold out, etc. That looks like NPD to me.

Participant A:

The HPD I know did this exact thing though. I worked for her and while planning a conference she made me send out an email to supporters saying we had this amazing star studded line up (we had no one) and the tickets would soon be sold out (we had like 10 people signed up so far). As an NPD I personally would be too nervous to publicly fail, so I would opt to undersell the event, in case no one showed up, to save myself embarassment. If people show up, bonus points, because I look humble. She just threw wild shit out there with seemingly no concept of reality. Constantly contradicted herself too.

Participant B:

People with HPD are supposed to be more uncomfortable with criticism and more uncomfortable not being the center of attention. I think people with NPD have mental blocks up that sometimes don’t allow them to see when they’re disliked or unpopular. Maybe on a subconscious level they get it. I think a person with NPD might be better able to answer this though


I think it’s easier to have ASPD than NPD — NPDs and BPDs care very much what you think (even if they never admit it) while psychopaths and ASPDs generally don’t give a shit.

Participant B:

People with HPD are more easily influenced, they typically blame failure on others. He doesn’t even admit to any failure existing.  Superficial emotional displays or a little more agreement with the majority might be more HPD too…


That’s a good point. He could also be a somatic narc — with extremely tacky taste! Cluster B disorders often appear together, so it’s entirely possible he could be both NPD and HPD too. But no way is he *just* HPD — like Participant B said, he doesn’t admit to failure — ever.

Me (replying to Participant A):

I’ve heard that HPDs have “impressionistic speech” but I never understood exactly what that means. Can you give an example of Trump using this kind of speech? I’m not doubting you, but I’m just not sure what it is. Sort of a vagueness? Because he talks and talks and never actually says anything. Or it’s like word salad and makes no sense. Is that what you mean?

Participant A:

Earlier today, “It’s going to be Huge! We’re going to turn things around”. Ok, Donald, how are we going to do that? ” We will make America great again!” Lol. Literally just now: “My cabinet is so smart. We have the highest IQ of any cabinet ever assembled.” Oh ok, based on what fucking data? No explanation.

Definition and example of impressionistic speech: “A term used to describe a person’s speech when it consistently lacks in detail and emphasizes emotions. For example, if you asked someone what they thought of something, and they said that the thing was “just wonderful, fabulous”.”

Does he not consistently fit the bill, or what?


Ah, I see. My NPD mother (who I always suspected was HPD too) talked that way. “Everything was fabulous!” “Oh, I feel marvelous!” A lot of hyperbole, but no substance. At all. Yes, Trump does talk exactly like that and never can back up his grandiose claims. And people think he’s pissing gold.

HPD doesn’t seem to be that common for some reason. Or it gets diagnosed as BPD or NPD.



21 thoughts on “Trump and his impressionistic speech: HPD or NPD?

  1. Labels feel so limiting and so damning and there seems so much crossover at times. I think sometimes I look to a label to explain something, when maybe the label is wrong, or there is a new label needed … I know labels can be handy to generalise over a set of criteria to give a basis for understanding, but it seems like they fit perfectly in so few cases, and need adjustment in so many. Maybe I’m not getting it …

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Have you read The Sociopath Next Door? Many psychiatrists think Trump is an uncompartmentalized sociopath. The DSM traits for sociopathy are manifested through every aspect of his personality particularly the most identifying ones: the desire “to win” (at all costs) and absolutely no conscience.

    In Sociopathy there are different types of winning as in different types of narcissistic supply, , but the main point is to win and get public attention for winning, and they could care less of people view them as evil for doing so, or evil for how they go about it, because they have no conscience.

    Just like sociopathic murderers who trophy kill, Trump even renamed himself a brand name or non human entity: Trump. That a man like this has access to weapons of mass destruction is the real issue at hand here. That is why a group of psychiatrists are trying to immediately impeach him on grounds of mental instability.

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    • What’s the difference between”uncompartmentalized” sociopath and “standard” for lack of a better word?

      I disagree with the idea Trump is a sociopath for two reasons: 1. He simply cares too much. A sociopath doesn’t care what others think about him. Trump very clearly cares, very much, as evidenced by the Twitter rants, defending himself and his “legitimacy” as president after having lost the popular vote, etc. His “fuck you” (aka “thank you”) tour after winning seemed to be providing him with supply, which ASPDs don’t need. 2. He doesn’t “blend” in enough the way sociopatha do. Sociopaths are generally very likeable to the outside world and most people wouldn’t guess they are ASPD behind closed doors. Trump sticks out as having a mental problem.

      I am NPD and grew up with a disdain for weakness so that doesn’t strike me as a strictly ASPD trait.

      Liked by 2 people

      • “What’s the difference between”uncompartmentalized” sociopath and “standard” for lack of a better word?”

        Uncompartmentalized means that Trump’s pathology takes up his ENTIRE personality. Whereas most presidents have some degree of narcissism (Richard Grannon calls Hillary a compartmentalized psychopathic sadist) no American president before has had a disorder like NPD or sociopathy take up their entire personality – or ALL the “compartments” of their personality – like Trump seems to manifest.

        Trump seems TO BE Narcissism, or BE sociopathy, rather than have it. Likewise, his supporters seemed to have voted FOR Narcissism (or sociopathy) as a value or a weapon, rather than for who Trump actually is as an individual. Trump doesn’t have a human individuality because he is just “a brand”.

        This too leads me to believe the narcissism in Trump is downright sociopathic, because he has stopped being “human” in all aspects that count, and become an “all powerful entity” instead. He thinks of America as a business and all people (including his own family members) like business commodities.

        His goal is to “win”, so of course angry outbursts are the reaction to those who refuse to acknowledge or threaten the brand’s superiority.

        My ex was a sociopath, one of the most dangerous kinds, who blended in enough to get exactly what he wanted to win (he was a highly functional, highly paid pathologist, just like Trump was a highly functional, successful businessman and now president) but did not seem to even be aware or care how obvious his cruelties were to others – because he did not view others as humans. It was not so much about receiving supply but that everyone else was beneath him. He was not human, but a superstar. I do not think he even understood what HUMANITY is.

        My ex had way above average (MENSA) intelligence, yet when I left him and simply turned off the water to the toilets, the neighbor saw a plumber’s truck in the driveway and my ex jumping up and down in a rage in the kitchen, with all the tables and chairs thrown around the room. Did this grown man care if he was seen that way? Absolutely not. Do rock stars care if they trash the hotel room?

        Thus Trump responded on Twitter to his naysayers with total disinterest in their valid arguments against him, and with total disregard for how stupid or illogical his tweets sounded in return. Be sure he did not “care” or respect their opinions of him, or even intend to convince them otherwise; he swatted at them like flies, because they, these mere non human, non idolizing commodities, no longer had value.

        Remember, all sociopaths (ASPDs) are narcissists, so the symptoms will overlap, but all narcissists are not sociopaths.

        I think this is why Trump appears both smart and incredibly stupid at the same time. I mean, he has to be smart to simply repeat a dumbed down, short sentenced speech at inauguration like a cult leader. In doing something so surprisingly simple and easy and undetailed he appealed to all his brainwashed constituents, even inciting them to fist pumps and near violence against Dem. Chuck Schumer (free speech will no longer be tolerated here!) while saying absolutely nothing of substance himself – or anything for which he could be held accountable to anyone – AT ALL.

        On the lighter side, as I watched his family member “commodity” Ivanka today branding herself as a Camelot bride for her husband, I couldn’t help thinking of a scene from The Stepford Wives.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that was a great book. I have a copy. It was one of the first things I read after going NC. But I don’t really think Trump is a true sociopath. He definitely has sociopathic tendencies. and I think he’s dangerous, but I think, like the other commenter said, that he cares too much about what people think of him. Trump is a malignant narcissist, but not a true sociopath. That doesn’t make him any less scary though. If he has a meltdown, we all have to be on our guard. There’s no predicting what he might do if he suffers some massive narcissistic injury — and he will.


      • I am curious as to where this idea that sociopaths “don’t care” what others “think” of them came from, and how the word “care” should be interpreted. Can you elaborate?

        From everything I’ve read and experienced first hand with the sociopath I knew, “Don’t care” cannot be interpreted as “doesn’t react” or “doesn’t get angry” or “doesn’t argue or defend themselves” with regard to sociopaths. They are not always in a seemingly emotion-free, catatonic state.

        My sociopathic ex never seemed to cry or show empathy – but he did exhibit rage and cruelty. In fact, as weird as it is, that is how some sociopaths “win” or “get off”.

        Trump clearly did not “care” what others thought of him in the sense that he just made a jack ass out of himself around the globe, without demonstrating even an ounce of shame. He didn’t care what others “thought” of him, because he got “press attention” for being a jack ass and saying jack ass things and “won”. Like a true sociopath, this was his only goal in the first place, not how he “looked”. Don’t most bullying brutes win by intimidating, outrageous and bullying behavior, fear mongering, destroy with words or actions everyone in their way?

        Likewise, the sociopath that “wins” by collecting murder victims, then brags about them.

        He does not care if people think he is guilty of the murders or think ill of him for murdering; he cares if people do not “notice” or credit him for his “wins”, thus even marking his “brand name” in the victim’s body with a knife. He wants people to be afraid of him.

        And coincidentally in a creepy sort of way, sociopathic murderers often dehumanize their female rape and murder victims by referring to the women’s menstrual periods (like Trump referred to women’s menstrual periods) calling them “bleeders”.

        In fact, Trump is known for carelessly saying such outrageous and violently hurtful things that make him look bad in the eyes of most of the world. Does he care? Absolutely not! I mean, who refers to an intelligent, respectful and articulate woman like Megan Kelly as “she must have been bleeding out her whatever” on internationally broadcast news? WHO DOES THAT in 2016 (dividing all the women into housewives or prostitutes)?! Your average (yawn) malignant narc? I don’t think so!

        Not only does Trump not seem embarrassed by what others thought of this, he doesn’t seem to give it any importance at all.

        As far as his susceptibility to Putin’s flattery, who said sociopaths weren’t susceptible to worship? Sociopaths are truly (pardon the expression) bat shit crazy and unpredictable, the most genius actors and actresses, while at the same time the most gullible jerks.

        When I first read the book The Sociopath Next Door, it was when Trump first announced he was in the running, long before anyone I knew thought he had a chance.

        I am looking back at my copy today, seeing all the DSM traits underlined, all of them, and where I wrote the word “Trump!” right next to them. The book is a must re-read in my opinion, because it also analyzes the sociopath as a political leader, and the response of constituents, which Trumpsters demonstrate classicly.

        One can also google psychological comparisons between Hitler and Trump – just put in sociopathy, Hitler and Trump into the search bar.

        Remember, there are more sociopaths in the world than diabetics, and they are much more common than you think. They do not all “win” by going on murder sprees. But they do not have a conscience. Thus they are pathological liars, or justify killing innocents, to get even with “bad people”. Trump has justified terrorism to fight terrorism. He never denied saying these things, no matter how it “looked”, but in fact repeated and reasserted them. The conscience-less cannot comprehend and do not care to comprehend YOU – and how their views would appear if one had a conscience.

        Healthy people find it hard to actually fathom a conscience-less person, to “believe” he or she is not joking, because it is hard to imagine not having a conscience. Plus when you behold the conscience-less they often even appear artificial – like they are faking it – like a brand name in a suit and a spray tan. But it is all these markers that distinguish Trump, in my opinion, from the ordinary narcissist.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Also, sociopaths have a marked disdain for weakness, and don’t care how that comes off. Thus Trump’s overt contempt for the handicapped, mockery of menstruation and devaluation of women, and crediting only “superstars” with “superstar” looks as having any human value at all.

    Trump is no ordinary narc or HPD. He is a full blown sociopath like Adolf Hitler.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sam Vaknin thinks he is a malignant narcissist (NPD + ASPD). I don’t agree with Sam about a lot of things, but I do think he’s right about that.
      I agree with you Trump is a bigoted, hateful, and very insecure person who hates anyone who isn’t exactly like him — that is, women, people of color (any color besides white), and all the vulnerable people in our society. His administration scares me as much as he does. We’re in for an “interesting” 4 years. I doubt he will get re-elected.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Richard Grannon has put out an excellent You Tube analysis regarding potential outcomes of the Trump election. From a mere “business” standpoint, the possibility exists that nothing catastrophic will happen to America, as many businesses are run by narcissists, or people with narcissistic traits. But America is not just a business, and people are not just commodities. This man has his finger on a very important button.

      And Grannon seems to agree with what I’ve been saying all along: the REASONS Trump got elected are the most disturbing factors of all. Narcissism itself was actually EMBRACED as a VALUE for those long stressed or ignored. Morality has reached an all time low in America’s political history, and today all Trump had to do was say the name of God to incite his supporters to brainwashed, fist pumping euphoria.

      I have to wonder, did they ever stop to think perhaps he was just referring to himself? Did they ever stop to think that doing evil in God’s Name is the sign of the most dangerous personalities on earth?

      Most “Religious” leaders that supported Trump not only ignored, but JUSTIFIED, the use of Trump’s conscienceless behavior (not to mention bigoted or misogynistic insults) “to get even” with those they felt were oppressors of their own rights.

      And despite what his chosen religious leaders claimed in their speeches at the inauguration today, I doubt the rain that started to fall during Trump’s taking of the oath was a sign of the real God’s “blessing” upon his grandiose delusion.

      Liked by 2 people

      • OMG! I must watch that! On the other hand….I’m not sure I want too… (but I adore Grannon!)

        I agree that narcisism has become “normalized” and is even considered a desireable trait and hey, we even elected a man with NPD (malignant NPD!) believing he’s just a “self made man” who CARES (lol!)
        By the way, Trump is no self made man–his dad gave him a $1,000,000 to start his real estate business! If it weren’t for that, he’d be a working stiff like the rest of us.
        And Trump is not a Christian. Christians who believed voting for him was the “Christian” thing to do are deluded and have been lied to. Trump gives lip service to God but has actually said he doesn’t believe he has to ask for God’s forgiveness. That’s right, because Trump is God in his own mind. 🙄

        Liked by 1 person

        • Luckyotter, wish you were here to have coffee with me today. The inauguration itself was disturbingly scary, but fascinating to watch and analyze.

          I live near DC, and a friend who was there said 90% of the crowd had voted for Trump. When Schumer came on stage half a million “Christians” were pumping their fists, or shouting at him to “shut the fuck up”.

          My friend who did not support Trump got scared, in realization that if someone was “allowed” to voice disagreement with the president elect, and the crowd escalated to physical violence against them, there was nothing security could then do to restrain them. In fact, Trump’s speech (in effect) promised police protection to those who would turn to violence in his defense.

          “And Trump is not a Christian. Christians who believed voting for him was the “Christian” thing to do are deluded and have been lied to. Trump gives lip service to God but has actually said he doesn’t believe he has to ask for God’s forgiveness. That’s right, because Trump is God in his own mind. 🙄”

          Well said.

          One of my friends, a psychiatric nurse, said something similar. THE most dangerous individuals are those who justify or actually promote evil in the name of God. HItler called the dehumanized the Jews (and all non “superstars”) calling them evil, subsequently justifying their murder in the Name of God. Trump has dehumanized Mexican immigrants as disproportionately “criminal”, and justified the targetted murder of the innocent family members of Muslim terrorists.

          Trump’s “religious” right supporters voted for narcissism, misogyny, verbal abuse, dehumanization, genocide and direct violence in the Name of God.

          Liked by 2 people

    • I think we are going to slowly watch a man go insane. Hopefully he doesn’t pull the whole country down with him. We’re already halfway there and must be to have elected such a creature for president.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. another thought. The way he’s so easily manipulated by Putin. An ASPDer would never fall for simple flattery like that.

    Liked by 1 person


    This article evidences that Trump has the traits of both NPD and ASPD, two disorders which commonly and without contradiction overlap.

    I could not find any reference to the objections to this theory you or your other commentors stated (which is one of the reasons why I am so interested in your explanations) but this article points to what I was trying to say.

    Trump’s pathology clearly also manifests as sociopathy because of his impulsivity, outrageous socially unacceptable behavior, pathological lying, penchant for illegal activity (remember his fake university which cost each victim tens of thousands, his total lack of shame at having a criminal mob boss Roy Cohn as mentor, the accusation that he raped a minor child, justification of terrorism to get even with terrorists, and promise of nore illegal activity once elected) angry outbursts, intolerance of criticism, and conscience-less disregard for anyone who gets in his way of behaving that way.

    Take just the impulsivity, socially unacceptable behavior, criminality – and the fibbing – which no one can deny IS Donald Trump, for example. Run of the mill persons suffering with narcissism do not necessarily behave this way.

    I have read and listened more commonly lately, to those educated in NPD discuss his malignant NPD, but I have NEVER heard any psychiatrist or psychologist deny Trump has all the traits of a sociopath as well.

    As I understand it, some psychiatric professors have even been using Trump as an example of a text book sociopath in colleges for years.

    That is why (I have to wonder) why there have not been MORE duty to warn cries coming out about his apparent sociopathy? Could it be so as not to induce national panic? Is it because most people just don’t want to let their minds “go there” because we do not want to believe it, we just don’t want to get “paranoid”?

    As I watched Ivanka today (I keep thinking of her) I remembered my own wedding dress when I married a sociopath – the Easter-like gauzes and crisp linen creases, the flowers and the hats.

    Deep down somewhere in my sub conscience, as this successful, wealthy physician praised me and doted on me before all witnesses, I already knew the whole truth of it, though I publicly just deemed him just a bit narcissistic.

    But I didn’t want to know, I didn’t want to take my eyes off the fairy tale wedding, because if allowed myself to see the whole truth I would have to acknowledge what I really feared, which was a thought I could not even tolerate. What I feared was that if I did not marry him and become the perfect Stepford wife, he would not only eventually threaten my life, but the lives and welfare of my very own children.

    And no one would believe me anyway.

    Now if we lived in the days when Hitler got elected to improve the economy, would we want to acknowledge the “potential” for gas chambers? Many German citizens failed to acknowledge them even after the war was over!

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