Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2021-01-13 12:24:38 –
As a psychotherapist, many have been asked to diagnose Donald Trump. Most of my colleagues report receiving similar requests. A male niece, clinical psychologist Mary Trump, has written a prominent book (Too many and never enough) About what she considers uncle’s dangerous psychopathology. In addition, many rational people in the Trump administration are now mostly resigned and continue to warn of the mental state of their former bosses. Most recently, even many of the people still in the White House claim that he has no hinges.
Professional associations representing mental health providers generally discourage us from diagnosing from a distance. An accurate diagnosis usually requires a thorough clinical interview and, in some cases, psychometric and neurological examinations. Therefore, simply observing the publicly-faced personas of politicians omits a lot of important information about their ideas and actions. The so-called back story.
But Trump proved an exception. For one, his steady flow of tweets over the last four years reveals his state of mind, emotions, thought processes, and personality. Second, his off-script comments are standard and match the self-absorbing tone of tweets he publishes day and night. Conclusion? This is not an act or pretending. That is who he is. Given the ugly transparency of Trump’s thinking, an army of mental health professionals emphasizes the man’s mental state.
The most common diagnostic label they assign to him is the “malignant” breed of narcissistic personality disorder. This variant includes a very powerful brewing of narcissism, antisocial behavior, aggression, impulsivity, and in some cases sadism. As Mary Trump reveals in her book, these dysfunctional people were found to be toxic to those and organizations in the midst of them and recognized as critical or hostile. Dehumanize and attack people. Empathy, a key element of the social glue that connects us as a family, community and nation, does not exist at all in these people. Instead, they have an unwavering focus on their own interests and reduce harmful costs to others.
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Well, you really are not a fan of psychiatric diagnostics. For one thing, studies show how subjective and inaccurate they can be and how clinicians do not apply them consistently. In addition, our culture uses diagnostic labels as a thinly obscured name call, a way to sound like a nasty pro. Nonetheless, what looks, acts, and hears like a duck can actually be a duck, and for Donald, this is the case. In fact, he consistently and bravely presents all the symptoms associated with malignant narcissism. If you think I’m partisan, rest assured that the White House Democrats are showing this kind of off-the-rail behavior as well.
Naturally, it is very difficult to treat malignant narcissism, a type of personality disorder. In the unlikely event that the only form of slim talk therapy is called dialectical behavior therapy, to be effective, clients are open to recognizing and addressing problems. Must be. It is a high stratospheric horizontal bar for clearing with malignant narcissists. For example, in one study, people in this condition received group therapy that included interaction with people who were sacrificed by their type. The goal was to instill empathy in the victims of their harmful behavior. However, instead of learning empathy, subjects used these sessions to hone their skills in manipulating others and increasing their self-interest. So if you’re waiting for Trump to come to Jesus, forget it, so to speak. Lightning strikes may do that, but not psychotherapy.
Regarding the diagnosis of malignant narcissism, I remember when I was taking a psychopathology course at graduate school. The professor concluded our term by saying that there is another important diagnostic category that all mental health providers need to know that the class did not cover.
To quote his words, “Then there are people who dislike it.”
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