Donald Trump, Psychopath

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Here’s an interesting, informative article from Patheos.com in which the author, Andrew Spitznas, makes an excellent case for Donald Trump being afflicted with Malignant Narcissism — Antisocial Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and traits of both Paranoia and Sadism.  Donald Trump displays all four elements, and the author gives examples of each.

Donald Trump, Psychopath

My only criticism is the author states that malignant narcissism is the same as psychopathy.  I disagree.  Psychopathy (as opposed to sociopathy, which it’s often confused with) is a congenital condition in which the brain is missing the structures responsible for the development of a conscience and empathy.   Thus, a person can be a psychopath even though there was no unusual trauma during childhood.  Psychopathy is not a personality disorder, but really a developmental disorder of the brain.  Psychopaths are often “bad seeds,” but not all psychopaths are criminals and some can even be trained to be prosocial (even though prosocial behavior will never come naturally to them).

Malignant narcissism is NPD plus ASPD (antisocial personality disorder), with traits of paranoia and sadism, and it is not a congenital condition.  Both NPD and ASPD are Cluster B personality disorders that develop due to early childhood trauma or neglect.  Children are not born with personality disorders; they are acquired.  While malignant narcissists are quite sociopathic and usually lack a conscience  (garden variety, non-malignant NPDs are not sociopathic, they usually have a conscience, and even sometimes have limited amounts of empathy), they are not psychopathic.    The sociopath’s — or malignant narcissist’s — emotional development was arrested so they never developed empathy or a conscience.   There is no evidence that anyone has ever been cured of malignant narcissism, though in rare circumstances, they may become self-aware.   Donald Trump is most certainly not self-aware, nor is he likely to ever become so.

While it’s entirely possible Donald Trump may be both a malignant narcissist and a psychopath, they are not the same thing.  It’s possible to be one without being the other.  I think the confusion arises because the behavior of a psychopath and a malignant narcissist (or a person with antisocial personality disorder/sociopathy) can be so similar.

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About luckyotter

Recovering from BPD and C-PTSD due to narcissistic abuse from childhood. Married to a sociopath for 20 years. Proud INFJ, Enneagram type 4w5. Animal lover, music lover, cat mom, unapologetic geek, fan of the absurd, progressive Catholic, mom to 2, mental illness stigma activist, anti-Trumper. #RESISTANCE
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11 Responses to Donald Trump, Psychopath

  1. kavyag says:

    Hello dear,
    My malignant narcissist boyfriend is self aware,he proudly says he is a criminal (though he didn’t kill anyone or break any laws).He agreed when I said he lacks empathy.His eyes are pitch black-they look pure evil.He says he doesn’t want to spoil a girl’s life by marrying her.He doesn’t wish to marry me either-He called me a pure soul,What I find strange is he told me many times that I will get a good husband.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. nowve666 says:

    Patheos! I thought it was only Bristol Palin’s blog. I guess it’s like WordPress. A blog space open to the use of many people. I’ve been getting increasingly uncomfortable about these precise definitions of these terms. For one thing, there’s a lack of consensus. Some people use the words “psychopath” and “sociopath” interchangeably. I thought a brain scan would inform us whether someone was born with a psychopathic brain or was an NT but with a sociopathic personality. But lately, I’ve heard that the brain, itself, can change as a result of experiences and thoughts. Epigenetics. And there’s so much overlap in traits in each of the Cluster B “disorders.” I just wrote about it in https://kiasherosjourney.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/the-inner-borderline/. Remember your own confusion about whether you were Borderline or Covert Narcissist? And Psychopaths are plenty narcissistic although not NPD. I think much of the confusion is a matter of “too many cooks spoil the broth.” You wrote, “Psychopathy is not a personality disorder, but really a developmental disorder of the brain.” But the concept was developed by Hervey Cleckley and Robert Hare based solely on personality rather than biology. Lately, however, I’ve seen Hare suggest that Psychopathy might not be a personality at all (as you have suggested). The very word, “disorder,” is bedeviled by value judgements as is the entire field of psychology/psychiatry, itself. I think the founders of this field hoped to free people from stigma by calling them “sick” instead of “evil” or “bad.” Yet value judgements are disturbingly persistent. Now, calling someone “sick” can be a diss. E.g.: “He’s SICK!” Kevin Dutton and James Fallon speak of an interactive process whereby Psychopathy/Sociopathy develop. The biological features are there as a prerequisite but the environmental factors also need to be present for the full blown PD to exist.

    You also wrote, “Malignant narcissism is NPD plus ASPD (antisocial personality disorder), with traits of paranoia and sadism, and it is not a congenital condition.” Does the DSM even use the term “Malignant” in connection with “narcissism” or “ASPD?” That word, “malignant,” is Sam Vaknin’s contribution. Isn’t it? Yes, psychology is a “soft” science. And, yet, even the so-called “hard” sciences are bedeviled by disagreements among “experts.” Look at the vaccination controversy. I’m reminded of what people into Eastern mysticism say about words. Namely, that they are automatically lies the moment they are uttered.

    Having said that, I concede that we do need words and definitions. Otherwise, discussions will turn into mush. Oh, what to do???

    As a “pro-social” Psychopath, I despise the term, “pro-social.” I’m not a career criminal nor a serial killer. But does obeying the law (usually) make me “pro-social?” Maybe people are just too complex to fit into any system of that fits us easily. I’m reminded of that song in “My Fair Lady,” “Let’s call the whole thing off.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      Interesting array of thoughts, Fran. I agree with some of them. You should put all this in a blog post!

      Liked by 1 person

      • kavyag says:

        I think there are subtle differences between BPD and covert narcissism,Psychopathy and Sociopathy which we can sense but cannot explain it in words,that’s why the confusion.

        Liked by 2 people

        • luckyotter says:

          Good point. Borderlines differ from covert narcissists mainly because they tend to have more empathy, I think. They’re also more amenable to self awareness and treatment. I almost think BPD is a bogus diagnosis, and really is the same thing as C-PTSD. Many people with PTSD are misdiagnosed with BPD , especially women. A BPD diagnosis is very stigmatizing. I wrote a whole post about this but I’d have to look for it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • kavyag says:

            I have BPD myself,I feel very sad for people when they are hurt,I am an empath.Covert narcissists don’t feel sad that others are hurt because of them.They don’t apologize or admit their mistakes.BPD’s can admit their mistakes and apologize.BPD’s doubt themselves while covert narcissists don’t doubt themselves.BPD’s crave for true love while narcs want love as a source of narc supply not because they want to be loved.

            Liked by 1 person

      • nowve666 says:

        Thanks. The post on The Borderline Within explores it somewhat. I just hope good ideas keep coming to me.

        Liked by 1 person

    • dennis says:

      It may well be that all these ‘nebulous definitions’ are little more than ‘behavior descriptions’, supplemented by inferences about motives, thinking, etc. – all of this done, chiefly, by people who are *not* ‘afflicted’ (blessed???) with the condition(s) being described.

      That is an inference on *my* part, regarding the people mentioned.

      It is also quite plausible, based upon how *autists* are characterized by the non-autistic majority – with the chief difference(s) being *some* good (?) imputed on the part of the personality-disordered, and none whatsoever on the part of autists.

      Like

  3. bobcabkings says:

    Reblogged this on cabbagesandkings524 and commented:
    LuckyOtter – Psychopathy and Sociopathy are not the same things. Is Trump both?

    Like

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