Update: Aug. 28, 2016 — I’ve come to the earliest of the diaries I’ve written from the viewpoint of a psychotherapist. It’s hard to believe I’ve written this many. This is around the time I realized that Trump wasn’t an ordinary narcissist but actually suffered from a severe personality disorder.
The more I observed the way Trump seemed to talk like he’s on amphetamines the more I became convinced that there’s something wrong with the way his brain functions. I’m not talking about all the traits he has of clinical narcissistic personality disorder. I am referring to cognitive functioning. That’s just what this country needs, a narcissist with a broken brain.
Does his obsession with illegal immigration come from having Mexican jumping beans in his brain? That’s how he talks. When faced with a microphone he has to fill empty moments with talking points.
Under the least bit of pressure he demonstrates that he has what therapists like me call a looseness of associations or derailment, i.e. shifting from one topic to another in ways that are obliquely related or completely unrelated. This is often a symptom of serious mental disorders.
Coming out of his voting place this morning, when reporters asked how it felt to be voting for himself, he couldn’t even answer that simple question with a reflective feeling-centered response. He said, apparently referring to himself, that “it’s a great honor for New York.” He had to throw in “my whole reason for doing this is to make America great again.”
That is something that gets therapists to wondering about both a person’s cognitive functioning and their ability to be introspective. If someone isn’t introspective I doubt they have much interest in understanding how other people feel.
One of the prominent characteristics of a narcissist is lack of empathy:
Simply put, narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism. (Mayo Clinic)
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a disorder that is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others. People with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody’s life or to anyone they meet. While this pattern of behavior may be appropriate for a king in 16th Century England, it is generally considered inappropriate for most ordinary people today. ( Psych Central )
Of course, a narcissist can be a hedonist. There is evidence that Trump fits the definition of a hedonist. A hedonist lives for pleasure. Trump’s lifestyle is hedonistic. The ostentatious trappings of wealth combined with the enormous pleasure he takes in amassing money.
Not to be too syrupy, but what, you may ask this therapist, is my definition of a healthy balance in life? I agree with just about every psychologist and philosopher that a life well-lived is based on love, faith (for some), expressing creativity, making a contribution and doing for others. On the later, nobody has ever suggested Trump is an altruist!
Trump is a New Yorker. He’s speaking in New York, and instead of 9/11, he just referred to that tragic iconic event, an event that changed our world as much as Pearl Harbor, and now is simply known by the date it occurred on as 9/11.
“I was down there and I watched our police and our firemen, down on 7-11, down at the World Trade Center, right after it came down,” Trump said. “And I saw the greatest people I’ve ever seen in action.”
Seven and 11 are the winning first throws in the dice game of craps. This is why novice players sometimes say “seven come 11” before they throw the dice.
One could say that because Trump made a fortune on gambling, and that these numbers are always near the forefront of his consciousness.
This isn’t merely a misspeak, it is a Freudian slip. This tells us far more about Trump and shouldn’t be written off. It has convinced me that he really does want to be president for one reason, and it’s not to make America great again as he says.
It’s so he can be the most powerful person in the world.
(Addendum: Every morning I wake up wondering what I will feature on my little blog, The Hal Brown Blog and every morning Trump, Cruz, Bernie, and Hillary continue to be gifts that keep giving to bloggers.)