Showing posts with label Trump malignant narcissism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trump malignant narcissism. Show all posts

March 16, 2023

Lindsay Graham isn't a psychologist but his assessment of Trump is right on

 Lindsay Graham isn't a psychologist but his assessment of Trump is right on

By Hal Brown, MSW

Background by DonkeyHotey

This story is making the news today:

HUFFPOST article above

On the face of it this isn't surprising. The fact that Lindsay Graham,  testifying during a special grand jury investigation into Trump’s attempts to overturn his defeat in Georgia, said that “if somebody had told Trump that aliens came down and stole Trump ballots, that Trump would’ve believed it," isn't really my point. Politically, Graham doesn't run for the Senate until his current term expires in 2027 so apparently he doesn't believe saying this about Trump will hurt his election chances.

Trump has turned curious critics into armchair psychologists. Until he came along the average American not familiar with psychological concepts who reads articles by and interviews with mental health professionals became familiar with several syndromes. They may have looked up malignant narcissism, dark triad, and Dunning-Kruger effect on Wikipedia when they decided that the best way to defeat one's enemy was to fully understand him. 

Do a Google image search for Trump in strait jacket and this is what comes up (click images to enlarge):

Trump was such a candidate for mockery because of his unhingedness, but the seriousness of his mental state tended to be overlooked or minimized by those who should have known better. 

When the book "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump" was published the editor, Yale University forensic psychiatrist Bandy Lee, went to Washington, met with a dozen members of Congress, and made sure every Democrat in Congress had a copy. (See Yale psychiatrist briefed members of Congress on Trump’s mental fitness , CNN (Jan. 5, 2018)

The first mental health professional to publish an article explaining why Trump's malignant narcissism made him dangerous was the founder of Duty To Warn and who made the documentary #UNFIT clinical psychologist John Gartner in Donald Trump's malignant narcissism is toxic, USA Today, (May 4, 2017).

It wasn't merely mental health professionals who warned about Trump's dangerous psychopathy. George Conway is a prominent example: Donald Trump's Pathological Narcissism and Sociopathy Leave Him Unable to Function as a Proper President, Says George Conway, Newsweek, (10/3/19)

In 2022 it was revealed that John Kelly read "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump" and came to believe he was "pathological liar whose inflated ego" was the sign of a "deeply insecure person,” according to upcoming book "The Divider." (LINK).
The first article about Trump being a narcissist by a mental health professional,  Northwestern University psychologist Dan P. McAdams, as far as I can tell, was in The Atlantic in June, 2016 I won't put a link because if you click you will use a free read unless you have a subscription. You can read a summary of the article for free here.

I wrote many articles about Trump's psychopatholgy first published on Capitol Hill Blue and then posted on Daily Kos. In Sept. 2022 I used this image of a Google search page for  Trump mentally ill in a Daily Kos posting:
Click above to enlarge

Bottom line: Trump has amply demonstrated that in addition to sharing the authoritarian and white supremacist beliefs of Ron DeSantos he is manifestly psychologically unstable. There is no way someone like him should be within 100 miles of the nuclear football.


Please scroll down to the comments link and let readers know what you think. Sharing on social media, also through the links below, is appreciated.

January 23, 2023

Those of us at Duty to Warn should have called Trump a narcissistic sociopath

 In retrospect those of us at Duty to Warn should have called Trump a narcissistic sociopath
By Hal Brown, MSW

Duty to Warn (website) is a group composed of mental health professionals and others formed by clinical psychologist to want about Trump's dangerous pathology. It was originally advocated for this removal from office through the 25th Amendment. It was formed by Dr. John D. Gartner (Wikipedia profile). He was the first mental health professional to describe in the media why Trump fit the criteria for being a malignant narcissist. This was way back in 2017.

Click above to read article

Here's a YouTube report about Gartner's diagnosis:

Click above to view

I also wrote about this in 2020.

Click above to read article

Here's the first page of a web search on DuckDuckGo for Trump malignant narcissist:

In light of Donald Trump 's unprecedented behaviors during phone conversations with two of our closest allies and his continuing early-morning habit of tweeting out his pathology in the form of foreign policy, I have created this brief checklist describing the signs of one of the most severe expressions of personality as described by mental …

While this was true it wasn't a good descriptor as far as conveying to the general public what Trump was.  My contention ins that we are talking about marketing concepts here, about words that have the most impact on the general public.  Sociopath and sociopathic have more impact than narcissism. Some writers, even those who weren't mental health professionals like George Conway put the later into their articles: NEWSWEEK

Donald Trump's Pathological Narcissism and Sociopathy Leave Him Unable to Function as a Proper President, Says George Conway

Here's another Newsweek article, this one form 2019:

Trump Is a 'Successful Sociopath' and a Predator Who 'Lacks a Conscience and Lacks Empathy,' Says Former Harvard Psychiatrist

My point is that "sociopath" should have been used much more frequently.

The far better term is finally being used:

Click above to read article
There's no way to know whether the labeling many mental health professionals used to describe Trump as a malignant narcissist would have had more impact if he was called a narcissistic sociopath.

The reason I wonder about this is because the the first term emphasizes "narcissist" and 
the second term empathizes "sociopath." 

While "malignant" is well understood as something that is dangerous and often deadly I am not sure combining it with "narcissist" did more than confuse the public who had never heard of malignant narcissism.

Everyone, even diehard Trump cultists, know that Trump is narcissistic. Narcissists can range for being mildly annoying to those they have relationships with to being toxic, or I suppose you could call them malignant. 

There are lots of narcissists in public life. This doesn't make them dangerous. 

The most dangerous people in positions of power and authority are the sociop
aths whether they are narcissists or not. From what I've read about Hitler he wasn't known for being a narcissist. Putin with his proclivity of being photographed shirtless on horseback on the other hand probably has some narcissistic traits but is certainly a ruthless sociopath. Idi Amin was generally photographed with a chestful of medals.

 If American presidents wore uniforms I can imagine Trump having one made which would rival a four star general's. Just about all Trump can do is wear a red baseball hat and sell digital trading cards of photoshops of himself, or (upper left) posting a photo of himself in front of Mt. Rushmore (read story here).

Trump has been compared to the emperor with no clothes in the Hans Christian Anderson.
The fairytale emperor's vice was his vanity. Trump's obsession with his hair and facial makeup has been roundly mocked. The emperor for all his gullibility and grandiose narcissism was depicted as moron but never as a malevolent leader. 

Trump, on the other hand....

January 12, 2023

Gen. Kelley called Trump dumb, immoral, ignorant, and lazy. Add this to the Dark Tetrad.

Gen. Kelley called Trump dumb, immoral, ignorant, and lazy. Add this to the Dark Tetrad.
By Hal Brown

DonkeyHotey has created uncountable caricatures of Trump, politicians, and others in the news, many of which are used on Crooks and Liars and other well known websites. I often find they capture the essence of Trump and use them in my blog, for example today. I spent a lot of time finding the right emojis for dumb, immoral, ignorant, and lazy and needed an image to put them on.

Click above to read article that prompted this blog

I am weary of writing variations of the same thing from my perspective as having been a psychotherapist for 40 years and analyzing Trump's psychopathology. Use DuckDuckGo to search my name and Trump delusional and the first three links are stories I wrote. Oh well, here's yet another.

Gen. John Kelley gives us another tetrad to add to an assessment of Trump in addition to the Dark Tedrad which is as follows:

The anti-social personality traits of narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism. Narcissism involves the tendency to be overly concerned with one’s self-image, Machiavellianism involves the tendency to be deceitful and manipulative, psychopathy includes callousness and lack of remorse, and sadism involves pleasure from inflicting pain on others.

This is an excerpt from RAWSTORY:

Michael Schmidt told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" about what Kelly learned about the former president and his abilities. Schmidt appeared Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to discuss the upcoming paperback edition of his book, Donald Trump V. The United States: Inside the Struggle to Stop a President, which includes new revelations from John Kelly.

"So when Kelly came in as chief of staff, he thought that the problem around Trump was that he was not staffed properly and they needed to create a process around him, and that's what the chaos of the first six months of the administration was about," Schmidt said. "But when Kelly comes in as chief of staff, what he realizes is that the problem is not just the fact that there's not a process and that he's not being staffed as well as he could, but that Trump himself was the problem, that Trump was far dumber and immoral and ignorant and lazy than he ever thought he was."

 "Within a few days, he becomes terrified because here he is, the top staffer to the president of the United States, and he's realizing that the president of the United States is far more limited and potentially dangerous than he ever thought, and at that point, there was no one else to call," Schmidt added. "He was -- it was just him and Trump, and he basically spends the next 18 months trying to manage Trump as much as he could.

I don't know what to call being dumb, immoral, ignorant, and lazy. 

Add these personality traits to being an extreme narcissist prone to outbursts of rage when he feels attacked, a psychopath who has engaged repeatedly in criminal and antisocial behavior without remorse or empathy for those victimized, a sadist who takes pleasure in causing and observing the suffering of other, and believing that any means however unscrupulous can justifiably be used in achieving political power, i.e. Machiavellianism. 

While looking at Trump through the lens of my being a retired psychotherapist I have to add that if Trump believes some of the things he says he believes he is also showing signs of having a delusional psychosis. Read my blog from a a few days ago:

I characterize Trump as being a witches brew of toxicity emanating a deadly miasma which is intoxicating to members of his cult who unfortunately represent a base of voters that GOP politicians must pander to lest they risk not being elected. 

Those who should know better, who should realize that he, to reference another psychological concept, is a malignant narcissist. This includes the same traits of the Dark Tetrad. It is defined an extreme mix of narcissismantisocial behavioraggression, and sadism. Grandiose, 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. 

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.

The social psychologist Erich Fromm first coined the term "malignant narcissism" in 1964, describing it as a "severe mental sickness" representing "the quintessence of evil". He characterized the condition as "the most severe pathology and the root of the most vicious destructiveness and inhumanity"

If one objectively adds up all that we know about Donald Trump we see that there as only a few aspects of personality that makes him different than despotic genocidal leaders like Hitler and Putin responsible is three of the four characteristics described by Gen. Kelley: his being dumb, ignorant, and lazy. Of the four what he has in common is being totally immoral.

Almost irrelevant to governing is the observation made by NY Times columnist Jennifer Senior that Trump is a preening narcissist (I wrote about this here). Historic despots haven't always been as narcissistic as Trump. Idi Amin and his garb comes to mind and Putin liked to be photographed bare chested or practicing martial arts.

Below from Schmidt's book: It was raining and Trump told Kelley he didn't want to go.He didn't want his hair to be ruined, and he didn't understand why he should go to a memorial site for troops who had been killed. "They lost" he told Kelley.... and then he went on to call them losers and suckers.

Homelessness: Daytime nightmare about to unfold in Portland

  Public domain, Creative Commons.. By Hal Brown, MSW, Retired psychotherapist This is a classic case of municipal decision makers putting t...