August 5, 2023

Chance some of Trump's aides may be witnesses in trials could lead to a paranoid breakdown


The top article in Raw Story summarizes the article in The Washington Post (subscription) shown below.

By Hal Brown, MSW, Retired psychotherapist and mental health center director

The Wahsington Post title reads "Awkwardness in Trump's circle: Top aides could be trial witnesses: Some of Trump’s closest advisers are referenced in charges against him, potentially putting them in a bind as cases advance."

These are the lines that stood out for me in Raw Story, a quote from The Washington Post article. It refers to people who are still working closely with Trump.

Potential witnesses in the cases will also face a special challenge to keep Trump’s confidence in their loyalty while at the same time avoiding drawing prosecutors’ suspicions.


According to attorney Brian Whisler, the cloud of suspicion makes for a fraught working atmosphere.

I just finished watching the spy drama "Treason" (on NetFlix) about an MI-6 spy who is wrongly accused of treason. It isn't a major spoiler to say that as the story proceeds there isn't an agent within MI-6 up to and including the director who he can trust.

The hero is rational and he isn't clinically paranoid. He's basing his fears on the facts that have come out over a period of time. He knows that the fate of several people involved in a complex conspiracy resulted in them being assassinated. 

The "hero" of the Trump drama is Trump. Trump cannot be said to be mentally stable. In my opinion as someone who was a psychotherapost for 40 years and the opinion of numerous other mental health professionals Trump suffers from malignant narcissism. (See links on bottom of page.)

For the umpteenth time I am excerpting the Wikipedia defintion of the disorder within which for the purposes of this article I have highlighted the word "paranoid:"

Malignant narcissism is a psychological syndrome comprising an extreme mix of narcissismantisocial behavioraggression, and sadismGrandiose, and always ready to raise hostility levels, the malignant narcissist undermines families and organizations in which they are involved, and dehumanizes the people with whom they associate.

Malignant narcissism is not a diagnostic category, but a subcategory of narcissism. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), while malignant narcissism is not. Malignant narcissism could include aspects of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) alongside a mix of antisocialparanoid and sadistic personality disorder traits. The importance of malignant narcissism and of projection as a defense mechanism has been confirmed in paranoia, as well as "the patient's vulnerability to malignant narcissistic regression". A person with malignant narcissism exhibits paranoia in addition to the symptoms of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Because a malignant narcissist's personality cannot tolerate any criticism, being mocked typically causes paranoia. (Read complete Wikipedia entry here.)

Note the last sentence is that mere criticism or mockery typically causes paranoia. Trump has weather criticism and mockery since the start of his candicacy so he is used to handling this by attacking back. He's never let it get to him.

Now he is facing far, far worse. Like the spy, Adam Lawrence (played by Charlie Cox), in "Treason" Trump has a rational reason to fear that those close to him may turn against hm with dire consequences.

I don't watch Fox New although a friend of mine checks it periodically to see what they are covering. She says they are barely reporting on the indictments and that if someone only got their news from Fox they'd hardly know Trump was in legal trouble. Here's what their website which probably reflects what they put on TV looks like at this writing:

The only story about the indictment decribes how Jonathan Turley
 says the charges against Trump are likely to crash

If Trump hadn't recieved target letters or had to go to court to be arrested and arraigned and be forced to hire lawyers, it's possible he wouldn't even be aware that he was in more trouble than he has even been in since before he got out of serivng in Vietnam for non-existent bone spurs. If Mad Magazine gave out an annual "What, Me Worry?" award Trump would have won more of them than Walt Disney won Academy Awards (22). He's been called "Teflon Don: when if Trump could have been melted down he'd be a non-stick coating even better than Teflon.

It stands to reason that if there's anything would put Trump on the brink of having an actual episode of clinical paranoia, a real psychotic break from reality possibly requiring hospitalization, given his existing psychopathology, it would be the legal jeopardy he is is.


Trumps "Truth" posts add up to the only psychological test you need to diagnose Donald Trump as a dangerous maniac. All the leaders of our allies need to do to be terrifed that he'll be the next president is to read them, by Hal Brown, MSW

In 2017 Dr. John Gartner, the founder of Duty to Warn, wrote  All I Ever Wanted to Know about Donald Trump I Learned From His Tweets: A Psyc...