Psychologists Say Trump Is Severely Mentally Ill

Well, we knew that.

The particular illness he has s called Malignant Narcissism. Although it is not in the DSM and has never even been proposed, it has a theoretical long history in psychiatry. Karen Horney did some of the best early descriptive work on it, and Otto Kernberg added to that with a superb monograph in 1984. Unfortunately, most of the writing about this disorder is coming out of the psychoanalytic community, where dubious theory is common.

Think of narcissism as self-esteem. They are the same thing, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Almost all human beings are narcissistic, and narcissism is an essential part of the makeup of any healthy human. However, as with most things, even water, you can have too much of a good thing.

Narcissism, like most things in abnormal psychology (or for that matter, on Earth), exists on a continuum.

At the far left, we have low narcissism, which could be seen as low self-esteem. This is not a good condition, but it is very hard to fix once it gets set in.

Healthy narcissism is the sort of thing that most people have.

High narcissism is better seen as high self-esteem and it is generally regarded as a sign of good mental health. Some people might find these people a bit too much, and some people refer to them as vain, conceited, or self-impressed. At worst, they can be arrogant, condescending, and cocky and they can wear out their welcome after a bit. However, if the downside of the feeling (arrogance, condescension and cockiness) are played down, high self-esteem does not generally get too much in the way of functioning well as a human being. In addition, many of these people retain a lot of empathy for others,  but as they tend towards arrogance and cockiness, they can start to seem unempathetic.

Beyond that, we move into the toxic zone of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which may also exist on a continuum of mild NPD, moderate NPD and serious NPD. If you told the first two that they had NPD, they would laugh in your face and turn it into an attack on you. The latter may well recognize that they have this condition, but they don’t care that they do, or else they like it.

Beyond NPD, we move into the area of Malignant Narcissism. This is a poorly understood construct, but I believe that it does exist and should be in the DSM. This could be seen as narcissism heading off into psychopathy. They are sometimes called Narcissistic Sociopaths.

A lot of people think that narcissism and psychopathy are on the same spectrum , as the sociopath is the ultimate narcissist. In a way he is, but it is in an odd way. To the narcissist, other humans exist, but he just doesn’t care about them.

For the sociopath, in a sense, the sociopath is the only person in the whole world. Not only does the world revolve around them but even worse, the world is them and they are the world. Other humans don’t exist as such. They exist in a way, but they are not really human. Instead, other humans are like the hammers and screwdrivers in your tool chest. Sure, they come in handy sometimes, but they’re not exactly alive. And I can take that hammer or screwdriver and do whatever I want to with it. I can throw it away, set it on fire, throw it in a river, or smash it to pieces. Which is about how a sociopath sees you – as a handy tool that is about as alive as a rock which can be destroyed or tossed aside if he desires to without any more of a thought as you would give to tossing away any nonliving thing.

Here is a good schematic on the Narcissistic continuum:

Low Narcissism (Low Self Esteem) -> Healthy Narcissism -> High Narcissism (High Self Esteem) -> Mild Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) – Moderate NPD – Serious NPD -> Malignant Narcissism -> Various degrees of sociopathy and psychopathy ranging from 20-40 on Hare’s Psychopathy Scale

They kept saying Trump had NPD, but I always wondered about that. I have met a few NPD’s in my life, and I have known at least one quite well. Sure, they are insufferable, and they can be serious jerks, but they didn’t seem to have the same level of crazy as Trump. I kept thinking, “Well, severe NPD is a pretty nasty illness,and they can seem pretty nuts,” but I was unsure about that statement.

And now it all makes sense. The reason he seemed so extreme for an NPD is because he is not an NPD at all.

Instead, he is something considerably worse, a Malignant Narcissist. It is separate disorder from NPD, past NPD on the road to sociopathy. But I do not understand this illness well, and it has never been in the DSM, though it ought to be.

NPD’s can definitely be dangerous, but in general they are too obsessed with their wonderful greatness and their superb lives to commit serious violence and risk imprisonment. They also might not want to hurt their glorious public image.

The one thing you need to know about Malignant Narcissists is that they are dangerous. Now that doesn’t mean that they are ever going to do anything truly bad, and they may go through their whole lives without spending an hour in jail. But the potential for some serious bad behavior all the way up to serial murder is there.

To give you an example of how dangerous a Malignant Narcissist can be, Ted Bundy was a malignant narcissist.

8 Comments

Filed under Mental Illness, Narcissism, Narcissistic, Personality, Personality Disorders, Politics, Psychology, Psychopathology, Republicans, Serial Killers, Sociopathy, US Politics

8 responses to “Psychologists Say Trump Is Severely Mentally Ill

  1. Jason Y

    I’m weary of anyone obsessed with their own name and also their own picture. However, I do enjoy seeing a nice lady who enjoys flaunting her picture, but I suppose such behavior isn’t good for her.

  2. Bernardista

    He seems to have a really strong need to be liked, and also cannot bear to be contradicted, or endure even the slightest criticism without going bonkers.
    This is bad because it suggests he is very susceptible to flattery.

  3. Ted Kaczinsky said that “Leftism”, which as he described is far left behaviour is rooted in feelings of low self esteem and inferiority. For this reason, he theorised, there is a strong reaction against politically incorrect language, particularly language about race/gender due to a fear that there may be truth. He also noted that Left wing protests tend to have a masochistic element, ie, lying in front of bulldozers, provoking or creating situations where they will be attacked, tying themselves to objects).

    As for overly high self esteem, I’ll just quote Steve Pinker from “The Better Angers of our Nature”.

    “Perhaps the most extraordinary popular delusion about violence of the past quarter-century is that it is caused by low self-esteem. That theory has been endorsed by dozens of prominent experts, has inspired school programs designed to get kids to feel better about themselves, and in the late 1980s led the California legislature to form a Task Force to Promote Self-Esteem. Yet Baumeister has shown that the theory could not be more spectacularly, hilariously, achingly wrong. Violence is a problem not of too little self-esteem but of too much, particularly when it is unearned.”

    It may be ironic that all these self-esteem programs, everyone is a winner, everyone is great pushes, which no doubt the far right would belittle as Leftist nonsense, may, possibly, have actually helped a little in creating that far right, trolling, shitlord mentality.

  4. Jason Y

    Ted Kaczinsky said that “Leftism”, which as he described is far left behaviour is rooted in feelings of low self esteem and inferiority. For this reason, he theorised, there is a strong reaction against politically incorrect language, particularly language about race/gender due to a fear that there may be truth.

    You mean Daily Stormer’s article calling mixed raced kids, “Garbage Pail Kids”? Given that fact, is it no wonder most people hate the alt-right? I mean who will be the next victim? A slightly overweight person called fat? A black person who has to endure the n-word from semi-educated redneck townies?

    Also, note most of these cruel generalizations are outright lies.

  5. Jason Y

    The odd thing is that, yes, some mean types can point out so-called inborn faults of others, but it’s just as easy to mock Trump is this loudmouth pig as was done on the recent Mad Magazine cover. 😆

  6. Jason Y

    Note the idiocy of the alt-right can easily be pointed out by someone having the balls to do so. Look how santo-culto cannot write due to English not being his native language. So why not mock him as stupid just like he does with mixed race people and the disabled? It’s all fair game in my opinion.

  7. Jason Y

    Assembly Line Human brought out character faults of liberals but the alt-right and conservative often have the same. Note the insecurity. Normally these alt-right types have some hideous problem, being what society views as ugly or misfit etc.. They project their insecurity on others, much as I’m sure santo-culto does, by being viscously harsh on other misfits, the types the cultural-left holds in high regard: mixed raced people, the disabled, non-whites, gays, transsexuals, fat people, skinny people etc…

  8. Robert,
    Trump is indeed a very malignant narcissist, and very dangerous. Most politicians and most of our presidents have had narcissistic traits or been narcissistic, but none that I know of have had bona fide NPD and certainly not Malignant Narcissism. Until Trump.

    It’s tempting to put narcissism on a spectrum of level of self esteem, but as someone who studied NPD and lived with people who had the disorder (I also write about NPD) I feel I need to set the record straight.

    Healthy narcissism does exist, and people with a lot of confidence have more healthy narcissism than someone with low self esteem. However, a person with NPD or Malignant Narcissism possesses an entirely different form of narcissism that has nothing to do with self esteem, and in fact, at their core, there is a severe lack of self esteem. A person with NPD or malignant narcissism was almost always not mirrored adequately by caregivers as an infant or young child — they may have been ignored, abused, or sometimes, spoiled. In all cases, they were treated as an object rather than as a person. Usually the parents or caregivers had NPD or some other Cluster B disorder (such as Borderline Personality Disorder) themselves. The child grows into adulthood with no real sense of self and/or having been shamed as a young child for being who they were, they unconsciously sent the true self into exile. Because they became so ashamed of their real self (or never knew who they were), they developed a “false self” to compensate or cover over the vulnerable, hidden true one. People with NPD are terrified of their true, vulnerable self or their real emotions (which they were shamed out of feeling) being exposed, and will fight tooth and nail to keep their false self intact. This is where the arrogance and grandiosity comes from, also the lack of empathy and the oversensitivity to any kind of slight or criticism. They don’t have high self esteem; in fact they have dismally low self esteem, but they idealize the false image they present to the world. It’s only a mask though. Under that mask is a little boy or girl who never grew up and hates themselves. Having been emotionally arrested at a very young age, they never learned that other people are separate from themselves. Emotionally, they are still babies who thinks their mother is part of them and therefore can have no empathy or care about anyone but themselves. It’s not that they love themselves; emotionally they just don’t realize anyone else exists. If they feel threatened or attacked (narcissistic injury) they will become abusive and rage, because of of the feeling of emptiness and self hatred that underlie the mask they present to the world and their fear of being exposed as the fraud they are.
    Malignant narcissism isn’t NPD on speed; it’s NPD with traits of ASPD (antisocial personality disorder) and is indeed a sociopathic personality, which garden variety NPD is not.

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