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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Trump suffers from clinical narcissistic personality disorder.

America has had nearly a year to observe Donald Trump in action. Much of what he has said and done has caused an increasing number of people to question whether Trump is stable enough to be president of the United States. His abusive language, his obsessive behavior, his constant exaltation of self, his inability to admit mistakes, and his incessant talk about hyper-inflated achievements, have left many wondering: “What is wrong with this man?”

The answer is not complicated. Simply put, Trump seems psychologically not well. One of the most salient problems with Trump’s psychological make-up is, I submit, that Trump suffers from clinical narcissistic personality disorder.

The causes of clinical narcissistic personality disorder are not completely known. But one of the symptoms listed by the Mayo Clinic is that the clinical narcissistic personality disorder engenders the need for the person to hide insecurities by developing a
“… superficial sense of perfection and behavior that shows a need for constant admiration.”

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association lists the criteria that help diagnose the disorder:

1. Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
2. Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
3. Exaggerating your achievements and talents
4. Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, and the beauty of the perfect mate
5. Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
6. Requiring constant admiration
7. Having a sense of entitlement
8. Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
9. Taking advantage of others to get what you want
10. Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
11. Being envious of others and believing others are envious of you
12. Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

Mayo Clinic’s analysis of the disorder also explains Trump’s appeal to members of the electorate and why it is a problem: “Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like confidence, it’s not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal and value yourself more than you value others.”

It would take another article to even sample the innumerable examples where Trump fits the profile of an individual afflicted with clinical narcissistic personality disorder. But most can fill in the blanks easily. This problem is evident in his statements and in his books, years before he ever thought of running for president.

In fact, the symptoms of clinical narcissistic personality disorder are actually a most accurate description of Trump and his erratic and astonishing behavior. As he wins and acquires more power, his problem is getting worse and becoming more evident to more and more people.

We see Trump obsessing about the size of his hands, his unbelievable and exaggerating boasting about himself and his constant exaggeration about his achievements, his incessant attack on people who Trump believes do not admire and adulate him, his constant inability to recognize his faults or repent, and his incredible lack of empathy for other human beings. Trump suffers from a distorted perception of reality regarding himself. Trump sounds authentic because that is precisely an effect of the clinical narcissistic personality disorder. Precisely because they are not psychologically well, individuals who suffer from clinical narcissistic personality disorder really believe their distorted projection of themselves.(Continues)

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