Donald Trump, narcissism and diagnosis as political sport.

There have been many articles written about Donald Trump’s alleged NPD, some written by bona fide mental health professionals, others by armchair wannabe psychologists–but this is the first one I’ve read that actually talks about Trump’s strange and painful childhood and his spotty memory of important events in his early life–and the surreal way this rather tragic figure (in spite of his billions) is now self destructing in front of the whole world.   This entire election has been like a huge reality show — and no doubt the end of the show will prove to be very bit as dramatic.

Donald Trump, Narcissism, and Diagnosis as a Political Sport

trump19lf2
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Southeastern Livestock Pavillion on October 12, 2016 in Ocala, Florida. (Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

By GABOR MATÉ
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Oct. 14, 2016

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/donald-trump-narcissism-and-diagnosis-as-political-sport/article32368690/

The consensus as to Donald Trump’s psychiatric issues is nearly unanimous. “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” according to clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis, quoted in Vanity Fair. He is just one of many who have reached the same conclusion. Noting his motor mouth, chronic inability to pay attention and shockingly deficient impulse control, others diagnosed Trump as a severe case of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Tony Schwartz, Trump’s ghostwriter for his 1987 bestseller, The Art of the Deal, reported that his client had no attention span and fidgeted “like a kindergartner who cannot sit still.”

In an election cycle where a candidate has been accused of unprecedented misconduct, including the latest allegations of sexual assault by multiple women, psychiatrists are bypassing the long-held professional standard, called the Goldwater rule, which stipulates that no psychologist should make a diagnosis of a person he or she has not examined face-to-face.

As a stressed electorate tries to make sense of a campaign unlike any other, they’re demanding to know: What is the root of Trump’s bizarre displays?

Making inferences about someone’s mental health is common sport with public figures. We don’t have the same data a psychiatrist or psychologist might have, but as candidates’ histories are revealed in biographical articles or books, and their behaviours are scrutinized in public forums, certain patterns become clear.

What we perceive as the adult personality often reflects compensations a helpless child unwittingly adopted in order to survive. Such adaptations can become wired into the brain, persisting into adulthood. Underneath all psychiatric categories, Trump manifests childhood trauma. His opponent Hillary Clinton evinces her own history of early suffering, even if milder and far more muted in its impact.

The ghostwriter Schwartz reports that Trump had no recollection of his youth. There is always a reason for such amnesia. People have poor recall of their childhoods when they found reality so painful that their minds had to push memories into the unconscious. “I don’t like to analyze myself because I might not like what I see,” Trump admitted to a biographer.

According to biographers, Trump’s father was a workaholic, a ruthless, cold and authoritarian man who believed life is a competition where the “killers” win.

Donald’s elder brother drove himself into alcoholism, a common escape from pain, and to an early death. The younger, favoured child is now self-destructing on the world stage.

Lying is such an endemic aspect of Donald Trump’s personality that he does so almost helplessly and reflexively. “Lying is second nature to him,” Tony Schwartz told The New Yorker. “More than anyone else I have ever met, Trump has the ability to convince himself that whatever he is saying at any given moment is true, or sort of true, or at least ought to be true.”

Read the rest of this article here.

Is Donald Trump actually a narcissist? Therapists weigh in.

donald-trump-therapists-mental-evaluation
Photo-Illustration by Ben Park; By Noam Galai/WireImage/Getty Images (Trump).

Is Donald Trump really a narcissist?

Is the sky blue? Does a bear relieve himself in the woods? Is the Pope Catholic?

I think he is, and a ridiculous one with weird orange skin at that. If the Oompa Loompas were electing a President, he’d fit right in. He’d be a huge embarrassment to this country, and we already have enough to be embarrassed about.

Seriously though, Donald Trump really is a narcissist. Actual therapists have pegged him as a textbook case of NPD. Here’s an article from Vanity Fair that talks about what they have to say:

Is Donald Trump Actually a Narcissist? Therapists Weigh In
By Henry Alford
Published in Vanity Fair on November 11, 2015

trump_quote

For mental-health professionals, Donald Trump is at once easily diagnosed but slightly confounding. “Remarkably narcissistic,” said developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” echoed clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis. “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics,” said clinical psychologist George Simon, who conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior. “Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come true.”

That mental-health professionals are even willing to talk about Trump in the first place may attest to their deep concern about a Trump presidency. As Dr. Robert Klitzman, a professor of psychiatry and the director of the master’s of bioethics program at Columbia University, pointed out, the American Psychiatric Association declares it unethical for psychiatrists to comment on an individual’s mental state without examining him personally and having the patient’s consent to make such comments. This so-called Goldwater rule arose after the publication of a 1964 Fact magazine article in which psychiatrists were polled about Senator Barry Goldwater’s fitness to be president. Senator Goldwater brought a $2 million suit against the magazine and its publisher; the Supreme Court awarded him $1 in compensatory damages and $75,000 in punitive damages.

But you don’t need to have met Donald Trump to feel like you know him; even the smallest exposure can make you feel like you’ve just crossed a large body of water in a small boat with him. Indeed, though narcissistic personality disorder was removed from the most recent issue of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, for somewhat arcane reasons*, the traits that have defined the disorder in the past—grandiosity; an expectation that others will recognize one’s superiority; a lack of empathy—are writ large in Mr. Trump’s behavior.

Read the rest of this article here.

Is this the man we really want as President? Not me.  For the record, I don’t really disagree with his politics (he’s not that conservative), but he’s nothing but a blowhard and there’s probably no substance under all that hot air.

* My understanding is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (DSM 301.81) was kept in the DSM-V; does anyone have any recent information about this? How ghastly if it were no longer considered a mental illness.

Bonus: here’s a complilation of Trump’s funniest moments.