I’m writing this now and getting it posted while everything is fresh. I know I should write a really well-researched diary on this. I keep hoping an expert with real bona fides — i.e. having published books and academic papers on psychiatric diagnosis — will do the work for me. I’m just a clinical social worker psychotherapist who was a mental health center director. I’ve made some tough diagnoses that other therapists missed but compared to Trump they were easy. This wouldn’t be like writing my typical diary which is a morning 1-2 hour exercise since it is just opinion. It would be more like work! I’d actually have to do a lot of research.
UPDATE: The FBI is revealing more and more evidence that Mateen was motivated by radical Islamic beliefs. What they aren’t dealing with is why he choose patrons at a gay nightclub to attack. It is likely that his reasons were what psychologists call overdetermined. In other words there is more than one reason, and it is difficult to discern whether without these the person would have done what he did.
It is very possible that he wanted to be a martyr for the ISIS cause, and that he choose the gay nightclub because of his homophobia. Psychodynamics would say that his own fears, likely unconscious, of his own homosexuality or impulses led him to prove his heterosexuality by killing many gay people.
“[Obama] doesn’t get it, or he gets it better than anybody understands,” Trump said.
Does Trump really think Obama is a secret Muslim? If he does that makes him clinically paranoid.
It won’t matter to Trump when we learn, as I think we will, that Omar Mateen was motivated primarily or exclusively by homophobia. He will keep insisting that he was a radical Islamist and that his murder spree was ISIS terrorism. His supporters of course will believe him. The hell with evidence! Not only is this the most horrible mass shooting in the United States, but it is many times over the worst LGBT hate crime ever. To ignore that for political purposes is a punch in the face to all LGBT people.
If Trump is just stoking the fears of anti-Obama conspiracy theorists (and not mentally ill) then he has stooped possibly to his lowest low since his birther claims. If he actually believes this, we have to add yet another psychiatric diagnosis to those which he has demonstrated symptoms of. So add another diagnosis to narcissistic personality disorder, anti-social personality disorder, and impulse control disorder. I’ve highlighted the symptoms of paranoid personality disorder that apply to Trump.
Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is a mental disorder characterized by paranoia and a pervasive, long-standing suspiciousness and generalized mistrust of others. Individuals with this personality disorder may be hypersensitive, easily insulted, and habitually relate to the world by vigilant scanning of the environment for clues or suggestions that may validate their fears or biases. Paranoid individuals are eager observers. They think they are in danger and look for signs and threats of that danger, potentially not appreciating other evidence.
They tend to be guarded and suspicious and have quite constricted emotional lives. Their reduced capacity for meaningful emotional involvement and the general pattern of isolated withdrawal often lend a quality of schizoid isolation to their life experience.[verification needed]People with PPD may have a tendency to bear grudges, suspiciousness, tendency to interpret others' actions as hostile, persistent tendency to self-reference, or a tenacious sense of personal right. Patients with this disorder can also have significant comorbidity with other personality disorders. Wikipedia
Most of my therapist friends and acquaintances have chosen to work with patients who are highly motivated to get better, and for whom there is a high chance of success. Even those who treat the chronically mentally ill, developmentally disabled, or with substance abuse problems (and part of my program had a unit where we did that) we know that with smart, compassionate treatment the lives of these people can be drastically improved.
The bane of therapists are patients or clients who have personality disorders. It is the exception rather than the rule that they come into therapy on their own. This is because most people with personality disorders lack insight into themselves. They don’t generally think they have a problem. They tend to come in because their spouse has issued an ultimatum or they are court ordered.
Trump would be a nightmare client. I assume there would be a psychotherapist somewhere who would agree to treat him for enough money. I’m not rich, and it would be nice to buy that Tesla, but no amount of money would induce me to treat him.