It may seem to be a small point to many, but the fact is that Trump’s temperament, which he apparently takes great pride in, is a symptom of at least one personality disorder. Instead these experts, and others, use euphemisms to describe him based on ample evidence from his behavior. Currently the terms that seems to have come to the fore is “temperament.” (From the dictionary: a person's or animal's nature, especially as it permanently affects their behavior, • the tendency to behave angrily or emotionally: he had begun to show signs of temperament.)
Mental health professionals describe Trump as narcissistic but are loath to say he has all or most of the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder.
As a retired clinical social worker and mental health center director who diagnosed and treated thousands of patients over my career I have no compunction about using this knowledge to advise the public that anyone who has a modicum of understanding of psychology can look up narcissistic personality disorder and check off the characteristics that Trump demonstrates in spades.
People with personality disorders don’t change unless they feel enough distress to get help and recognize that they are suffering from a psychiatric condition. Since they rarely have the self-awareness to see that they need help, they usually only end up in treatment when forced to do so.
The notion that Trump can change is wishful thinking, and not based in what we know about personality disorders.
It should be obvious that while there is a case to be made that people with any psychiatric disorder should be understood and not stigmatized, there is a line to be drawn when that person’s disorder directly leads to actions that endanger others. At the extreme we may understand a violent sociopath, but we never condone their actions when they hurt others.
Trump is a marginally socialized narcissist. He gets away with pushing the limits because the media gives him a pass when he exhorts his crowds to violence. If anyone else did this, I’d considered them an unsocialized narcissist.
But for Trump this is just his temperament. To him it’s a good temperament. How do I know he thinks this? He says it.
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