As one of the mental health professionals who has been writting about Donald Trump's psychiatric diagnosis (making a special exception to the Goldwater rule because I think it's unethical NOT to do so), I think we need to understand how he may react to his losing the election based on the understanding of his psychopathology.
We must understand that by all incidces available to factor into making a diagnosis of narcissitic personality disorder (NPD) even from afar, Trump easily meets the critera by demonstrating nine out of nine characteristics to varying, but signifcant degrees. (See addendum 2)
We need to understand narcissists like Donald Trump whose traits are extreme enough to have the actual diagnosis of NPD. After all, he could become president. Now that this is becoming unlikely, we need to be forewarned. Therefore, we need to understand narcissistic injury and narcissistic rage. We must understand what happens when circumstances drive extreme narcissists into a state of rage, and consider what might happen when one has the power to influence and persuade a significant portion of the population to act out.
"Narcissistic rage is the response of a narcissist to anything they perceive as a threat to their ego, their control or their power. It is usually intense, out of proportion, often random and is used to manipulate."
This is what we can expect: "And at the same time the narcissist may also be plotting how to get revenge on the person who dared to challenge them. So the person gets twice the punishment...!"
Instead of his directing his rage against only person (Hillary Clinton) he may direct it against the system.
Politico published a disturbing article today:
"My hope is that if he loses big, anyone who’s not a racist nationalist says ‘Never again’ and the racist nationalists just retreat to their basements where they belong. But my fear is that Bannon and Trump uniting could be about them looking to do something long-term that would ensure this fringe element remains.”
As a Democrat who thinks the two party system is a bedrock of American democracy, I'd like the Republican Party to regain it's sanity. I think a Trump loss, especially one that gives the Democrats the Senate, and more power in the House, will move the GOP back to the party it was when Bush was president, which looks downright liberal in retrospect.
I think a Trump loss even if he doesn't absolutely nothing to encourage it, there will be a real feeling among the farthest fringe that they are been given license to act out on their feels of white entitlement. The more Trump encourages them by ranting about how he lost because the system was rigged, the more he throws gasoline on the rage of zealous supports who are possibly mentally unstable supporters. These the risk of this rage turning into a flaming and dangerous fury.
I won’t resort to hyperbole. It should go without saying what could happen when unstable people feel empowered to act on their anger.
- Control freaks
- Short fuses
- Low frustration tolerance
- Need to have the last word
- Unable to lose
- Won’t take “No” for an answer
- Quick to anger if you don’t accommodate them
- Quick to being aggressively defensive if you call them on any deficiency, fault or responsibility
- Can’t apologize or if do, can’t do it sincerely
- Rarely say, “Thank you” or “Congratulations”
- Don’t feel or demonstrate remorse
- Feel entitled to enthusiastic and appreciative approval, adoration, agreement and obedience
- Gloat in victory, sullen in defeat
- Quick to rage if you humiliate
Below, emphasis added:
What is really at the core of narcissists is an instability in their ability to feel and sustain feeling bigger, larger, smarter and more successful than everyone else which they need to feel stable. And just as Hamlet’s mother said, “the lady doth protest too much,” “the narcissist doth brag, scorn, talk down, primp and belittle too much” in order to continually prove to the world and themselves that they are larger than life. This is not to increase their self-esteem as much as it is to continually spackle the holes in their core that lead to a feeling of instability—and that, if not spackled, will lead to brittleness followed by fragmentation.
Narcissistic rage occurs when that core instability is threatened and furthermore threatened to destabilize them even further. Not unlike a wounded animal being the most vicious (because they think the next wound would kill them), narcissistic rage occurs when narcissists believe the next insult/assault to their grandiose based stability would shatter them.
Addendum 2: (emphasis added)
Many experts use the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, to diagnose mental conditions. This manual is also used by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.
DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:
- Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
- Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
- Exaggerating your achievements and talents
- Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
- Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
- Requiring constant admiration
- Having a sense of entitlement
- Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
- Taking advantage of others to get what you want
- Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
- Being envious of others and believing others envy you
- Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner
Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence, it's not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal and value yourself more than you value others.
For mental-health professionals, Donald Trump is at once easily diagnosed but slightly confounding. “Remarkably narcissistic,” said developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” echoed clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis. “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics,” said clinical psychologist George Simon,who conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior. “Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come true.”
But you don’t need to have met Donald Trump to feel like you know him; even the smallest exposure can make you feel like you’ve just crossed a large body of water in a small boat with him. Indeed, though narcissistic personality disorder was removed from the most recent issue of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, for somewhat arcane reasons, the traits that have defined the disorder in the past—grandiosity; an expectation that others will recognize one’s superiority; a lack of empathy—are writ large in Mr. Trump’s behavior.
“He’s very easy to diagnose,” said psychotherapist Charlotte Prozan. “In the first debate, he talked over people and was domineering. He’ll do anything to demean others, like tell Carly Fiorina he doesn’t like her looks. ‘You’re fired!’ would certainly come under lack of empathy. And he wants to deport immigrants, but [two of] his wives have been immigrants.” Michaelis took a slightly different twist on Trump’s desire to deport immigrants: “This man is known for his golf courses, but, with due respect, who does he think works on these golf courses?” Vanity Fair “Is Trump Actually a Narcissist?”
Professional psychiatrists, and psychotherapists, are loath to go on record saying that Trump has a psychiatric disorder on the premise that one cannot do a diagnosis without an office visit and most narcissists are quite unlikely to recognize that they have a problem and to schedule an appointment.
Fortunately, the DSM is written so clearly, and so simply, that the diagnosis is transparent. Psychology Today
I’m not going to quote further chapter and verse about NPD and narcissistic rage. Anyone interested in learning more about it can Google it and apply it to Donald Trump.
I am also not going to respond to any comments lambasting me for being unethical for breaking the Goldwater Rule.
It occurs to me that I was thinking big picture when I wrote this diary. It’s easy to envision worst case scenarios of people acting violently against the minority groups Trump has disparaged involving more hate crimes. I can see crimes against institutions they believe had a part in the downfall of their Superman (such as the media — a newspaper office for example).
But thinking about the picture possibly of father and son above, it hit me that the ramifications of Trump’s vengeful rhetoric and blaming would most likely influence the young. I can see an increase in bullying incidents. We know there are lots of young bulls out there. Now an entire subset could be felt their bullying is justified.