Trump’s mental condition

26 February 2017 10:19 am

There’s been a lot of speculation about the President’s mental health.

Practising pyschotherapist John D Gartner told US News that Trump “is dangerously mentally ill and temperamentally incapable of being president.”

Gartner acknowledges that he has not personally examined Trump, but says it's obvious from Trump's behavior that he meets the diagnostic criteria for malignant narcissism, which include anti-social behavior, sadism, aggressiveness, paranoia and grandiosity. Trump's personality disorder (which includes hypomania) is also displayed through a lack of impulse control and empathy, and "a feeling that people ... don't recognize their greatness.

Another psychotherapist Leah McElrath says the president is a psychopath showing symptoms of glibness and superficiality, egocentricity and grandiosity, lack of remorse or guilt about the impact of their behaviour on others, absence of empathy, deceitfulness and manipulativeness, and shallowness of emotions.

Probably the most out there speculation has come from infectious diseases specialist Dr. Steven Beutler who suggests the president might have neurosyphilis. Symptoms include irritability, loss of ability to concentrate, delusional thinking, and grandiosity. Memory, insight, and judgment can become impaired. Insomnia may occur

Psychiatrists have called for a neuropsychiatric review of Trump

The reality is this sort of speculation is a disservice to psychology. Psychiatrists make a diagnosis after looking at a patient’s sleep and appetite and energy and thinking, stuff not shared in brief news snippets. And that has not been done.

It’s a point raised by Alan Francis, professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical College, was chairman of the task force that wrote the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV.

As Francis writes in his letter to the New York Times:

“Most amateur diagnosticians have mislabeled President Trump with the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. I wrote the criteria that define this disorder, and Mr. Trump doesn’t meet them. He may be a world-class narcissist, but this doesn’t make him mentally ill, because he does not suffer from the distress and impairment required to diagnose mental disorder.

“Mr. Trump causes severe distress rather than experiencing it and has been richly rewarded, rather than punished, for his grandiosity, self-absorption and lack of empathy. It is a stigmatizing insult to the mentally ill (who are mostly well behaved and well meaning) to be lumped with Mr. Trump (who is neither).

“Bad behaviour is rarely a sign of mental illness, and the mentally ill behave badly only rarely. Psychiatric name-calling is a misguided way of countering Mr. Trump’s attack on democracy. He can, and should, be appropriately denounced for his ignorance, incompetence, impulsivity and pursuit of dictatorial powers.

“His psychological motivations are too obvious to be interesting, and analysing them will not halt his headlong power grab. The antidote to a dystopic Trumpean dark age is political, not psychological.”

Leon Gettler

2017

October

22 Oct 2017 - Trump vow to declassify Kennedy files is a distraction

07 Oct 2017 - What’s ahead for the Minerals Council of Australia?

September

16 Sep 2017 - Australia’s energy crisis shows the stupidity of privatisation

09 Sep 2017 - Why climate change will devastate Florida

July

16 Jul 2017 - Laws of mathematics don’t apply to Australia: Malcolm Turnbull

June

17 Jun 2017 - Political backlash over the Grenfell fire

11 Jun 2017 - A win for Macron is a lesson for Theresa May

04 Jun 2017 - Attacks in London could change the election

May

28 May 2017 - Why Donald Trump will survive and be re-elected in 2020

20 May 2017 - Will the Mueller probe examine Trump’s Russian business ties?

13 May 2017 - Hypocrisy over Chloe Shorten’s necklace

06 May 2017 - Macron vs Le Pen: France is no longer one country

April

29 Apr 2017 - Turnbull government attacks banks over Adani

23 Apr 2017 - Why the French election is important

08 Apr 2017 - Russian navy moves in

01 Apr 2017 - Australia is one of the world’s worst money laundering property markets

March

19 Mar 2017 - Peter Dutton goes poofter bashing

04 Mar 2017 - Trump will take the market to a fiscal bloodbath

February

26 Feb 2017 - Trump’s mental condition

18 Feb 2017 - Adani’s results tell us the company will not develop in Australia

11 Feb 2017 - Why the Coalition’s “clean coal” plan is crap

04 Feb 2017 - It’s Trump versus the courts

January

27 Jan 2017 - The cost of Trump's wall on consumers

21 Jan 2017 - A look at Europe's future

20 Jan 2017 - Can Trump make America great again?

16 Jan 2017 - Trump parallels with Iraq


View archive