Donald Trump the Sociopath? An Inconvenient Truth for the US
Psychotherapists have long held that it is unethical to diagnose a public personality with a mental health disorder without actually seeing them as a patient, but then if they see them as a patient, they are required to maintain confidentiality. Good thing I am not a psychotherapist, but am merely a blogger who looks a patterns and offers Unasked Advice. It’s my opinion that Trump meets all the diagnostic criteria of a true sociopath. The diagnostic characteristics of a sociopath, and he definitely displays narcissistic tendencies, Trump’s personality matches the medical definition of sociopath:
Medically, sociopathy is termed as antisocial personality disorder. It is defined as “a mental health condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others.”
What are sociopathic characteristics? Well, Trump shares a surprising number of recognized sociopathic tendencies that resemble Dahmer, the “charming sociopath”:
Cold, calculating nature – Putting down prisoners of war for being weak? Demeaning suffering as though he doesn’t care, Trump has it in spades:
“Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” echoed clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis. “This man is known for his golf courses, but, with due respect, who does he think works on these golf courses? Mr. Trump’s bullying nature—taunting Senator John McCain for being captured in Vietnam, or saying Jeb Bush has “low energy”—is in keeping with the narcissistic profile.
“Regardless of how you feel about John McCain, the man served—and suffered. To degrade people is really part of a cluster-B personality disorder: it’s antisocial and shows a lack of remorse for other people. The way to make it O.K. to attack someone verbally, psychologically, or physically is to lower them. That’s what he’s doing.
Shallow emotions – Lack of real emotion in response to events, limited capacity to feel love, and Trump’s response about women? Not emotionally deep:
“You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” — from an interview with Esquire, 1991
Narcissism – A personality disorder, one in which a person feels love for himself to the exclusion of all else. One mental health educator spoke of Trump’s narcissism this way:
“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.”
Another therapist examined his behavior during the debates and noticed his behavioral antics as narcissism:
“He’s very easy to diagnose,” said psychotherapist Charlotte Prozan. “In the first debate, he talked over people and was domineering. He’ll do anything to demean others, like tell Carly Fiorina he doesn’t like her looks. ‘You’re fired!’ would certainly come under lack of empathy. And he wants to deport immigrants, but [two of] his wives have been immigrants.
Grandiose self image: Grandiosity aplenty with Trump’s interpretation of how the presidency would give him super powers:
“When I’m president I’m a different person. I can do anything. I can be the most politically correct person you have ever seen.”
How is the illusion of grandeur a part of a sociopathic personality? It has to do with actively believing that they are the best ruler there is, a form of a royalty complex.
“They might see themselves as someone who is superior to others and sometimes even experiences delusions. A sociopath might see themselves as a fitting ruler of a country or even the world, but might also have delusional beliefs such as seeing themselves as a God or having super powers.”
Ability to charm: yes, he has swayed a lot of people in the voting public, winning the GOP nomination
Inability to understand how his behavior injures others: yes, even his ex-wife said she felt Trump raped her, and he lacks remorse, saying he never gave Ivana anything of value. He justifies hiring illegal Polish workers to build Trump Tower by saying he is hiring, more than other people are doing, albeit under abusive conditions. Trump’s playing card is to justify abuse as something necessary to his own agenda.
How about filing for bankruptcies? Trump has filed for bankruptcy 4 times with his companies:
Trump doesn’t deny that four of his businesses have filed for bankruptcy. He argues, however, that filing for bankruptcy is a common business decision, and he was smart to make the moves when he did.
“Hundreds of companies” have filed for bankruptcy, Trump said earlier in the debate. “I used the law four times and made a tremendous thing. I’m in business. I did a very good job.”
High IQ – The high IQ is part of the planning, a form of manipulation. Trump tweeted about his own IQ, manifesting all the sociopathic tendencies:
“Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure,it’s not your fault.”
(Note that an IQ is not an adequate substitute for mental health stability.)
Manipulative –So, Trump says he missed the debate moderated by Megyn Kelly, whom he says is “biased” against him, in favor of a fundraiser for veterans. Sounds noble until you find out that the veterans weren’t necessarily thanking him for using them as a political pity stunt:
Progressive advocacy group VoteVets.org said in statement that Trump should not “hide from Megyn Kelly behind us.”
“Let me put this in language Donald Trump understands,” Jon Soltz, Iraq War veteran and chairman of VoteVets.org said in a statement. “You’re a loser. You’re a third-rate politician, who clearly doesn’t understand issues, and is so scared of Megyn Kelly exposing it, that you’re looking to use veterans to protect you from facing her questions.”
Sexually deviant – Trump lacks remorse, making his sexuality a form of predation, in my opinion. Ivana, Trump’s ex-wife said she felt raped by him, but Trump also believes that he is allowed or deserving of sexual access to women.
A 1997 allegation of sexual assault against Trump was “settled,” with the woman praising Trump after he paid a reported 6-figure settlement to get out of a contract dispute. The woman’s claim states that Trump: “subjected [her] to [Trump’s] unwanted sexual advances, which included touching of [her] private parts in an act constituting attempted ‘rape’”, the lawsuit stated. Trump then implied she should “keep her mouth shut”, she alleged. As she tried to leave, Trump again touched her sexually and made “Svengali-type proclamations of ‘love’”, she said, prompting her to vomit.
Sensitive to criticism – Sociopaths believe that they deserve praise, and if there is any hint of what they feel is criticism, they lash out. Let’s relive the Megyn Kelly battle with Trump here,
“Here’s the difference,” Trump replied. “I was treated very unfairly by Fox…They weren’t treated badly. I mean, I was treated very, very badly by Fox. They issued a statement that was an inappropriate statement…”
Most recently the governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley, whom Trump “called an embarrassment” when she wouldn’t support him, to which she replied: “Bless his heart,” (for those of you in the know, a true Southern brush off.) . New York Times columnist Gail Collins recalled: “During one down period, I referred to him in print as a ‘financially embattled thousandaire’ and he sent me a copy of the column with my picture circled and ‘The Face of a Dog!’ written over it.”
Paranoid – Might be evidenced by his fear of ISIS leading Trump to “ban all Muslims” from entering the country and encouraging the building of a wall between US and Mexico:
In some of his earliest campaign comments, Trump suggested that Mexicans coming to the US are largely criminals. “They are bringing drugs, and bringing crime, and they’re rapists,” he said. A wall on the border, he claims, will not only keep out undocumented immigrants but Syrian migrants as well. He also believes that Mexico should have to pay for the wall which a BBC analysis estimates could cost between $2.2bn and $13bn.
Despotic/Authoritarian – “necessary authority” is the key belief system here, “You’re fired!” ring a bell? How about never having to apologize? Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley apologized “like a disgusting, little, weak, pathetic baby” for his remark that “all lives matter,” Donald Trump said in an excerpt of a new interview aired Friday on Fox News. Most people don’t consider babies disgusting because they are “weak,” but that is some sociopathic thinking there.
Lawfulness – Despite popular belief, a sociopath is not likely to be a problem to the law in later life, but rather will seek to find loopholes, to rise to a position of power, or to move to another area so that their behavior is tolerated
Low tolerance for boredom – Because sociopaths want constant stimulation or affirmation, they get bored quickly when they aren’t the ones receiving attention.
Trump on the State of the Union Address: “The #SOTU speech is really boring, slow, lethargic – very hard to watch!”
Trump on Super Bowl: “So far the Super Bowl is very boring – not nearly as exciting as politics – MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Lack of regret – Impulsive behavior being driven by a less than perfect grasp of the facts, well, Trump has no regrets. He doesn’t regret missing debates, doesn’t regret “barring Muslims.” Not much he does regret, actually.
Compulsive lying – Is it considered lying if you are being sued by an attorney general for misleading people? According to Trump, probably not, but according to court documents, it’s enough to let a lawsuit continue, as of March 2, 2016:
“A $40million lawsuit accusing Donald Trump’s defunct Trump University of ripping off customers can go ahead, an appeals court panel ruled Tuesday…It also alleges that Trump University ignored warnings from New York’s Department of Education that it was violating state law by calling itself a ‘University’ without being a licensed educational institution. “
Although Forbes estimates Trump’s financial worth at $4billion and Bloomberg estimated Trump’s net worth to be $2.9 billion, Trump boasts that he is worth $10 billion.