The United States president does have a serious disability. Both personality disorder and cognitive disorder. Interestingly he became decidedly worse soon after the inauguration on January 20th. Mental disabilities don’t develop that fast. Probably it was due to his pathological ego that ballooned after he was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.
The realization that he had finally become the world’s most powerful man overwhelmed his previously dysfunctional grip on reality.
George Will in an opinion post in the Washington Post put it clearly as he usually does:
“It is urgent for Americans to think and speak clearly about President Trump’s inability to do either. This seems to be not a mere disinclination but a disability.”
“The dangerous thing is that he does not know what it is to know something.”
Interestingly George Will in that article skirts the issue of psychiatric diagnosis without treading on that land mine. He writes:
“His fathomless lack of interest in America’s path to the present and his limitless gullibility leave him susceptible to being blown about by gusts of factoids that cling like lint to a disorderly mind … So, it is up to the public to quarantine this presidency by insistently communicating to its elected representatives a steady, rational fear of this man whose combination of impulsivity and credulity render him uniquely unfit to take the nation into a military conflict.”
Diagnosing Mental Health
Psychiatrists and psychologists appear paranoid when the general public enter into their sphere of deep secret insights called diagnosis. Mental health professionals do not have secret knowledge that well educated members of the general population cannot have. The diagnostic criteria doctors use are described in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition).
Mental health disorders are not like medical disorders. When I had malaria. I went to the local hospital where a nurse took a blood sample and the laboratory staff looked under a microscope to identify a parasitic protozoan parasite, Plasmodium malariae, which causes the malaria. That type of objective test is not possible with mental health disorders, these are defined and diagnosed through the DSM-5 manual.
Diagnosis vs. Recognizing Danger
There are two aspects to dealing with personality disorders:
- Diagnosing. This is technical, for psychologists and psychiatrists. Requires training and experience. Used in court of law, health insurance, schools accepting pupils’ needs, etc.
- Identifying danger. Here we normal rational people can have our opinions. This is about personal safety and survival.
There are two types of mental health:
For simplicity’s sake I am using the American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) classification. This is complex when one digs into the technicalities of the subject.
- Axis I disorders (clinical syndromes)
- Axis II disorders (personality disorders)
Axis I disorders are what is normally considered mental health: anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc.
Axis II personality disorders are described in The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) as:
“Deeply ingrained and enduring behaviour patterns, manifesting themselves as inflexible responses to a broad range of personal and social situations.”
Then there are three types of people with personality disorders:
- Those who realize there is something wrong and want therapy
- Those who do not want therapy, or resist therapy.
- Those who don’t know that there is something different with them.
For example borderline personality disorder (BPD). There is therapy teaching and training people with BPD to cope. Then there is a hidden BPD with people who deny they have it or just plain resist help.
Psychopaths and narcissist are untreatable mainly because they fail to see the need for therapy.
The main difference between diagnosing a personality disorder and recognizing a personality disorder is:
- Diagnosis requires the person diagnosed to experience distress from the condition.
- Recognizing is important because we, the other people the disordered personality comes into contact with, experience distress.
Diagnosing personality disorders can be confusing because they do share features. Recognizing personality disorders does not have that problem. It really does not matter if someone has narcissistic personality disorder, or antisocial personality disorder or both. That person is toxic.
Explaining Diagnosis vs. Recognizing Danger
Most of us can understand difference between clinical diagnosis and recognizing danger, but unfortunately most mental health professionals don’t. That is why they did not warn the American public of the dangers of an antisocial narcissistic personality disordered moron running for president.
We can compare these toxic individuals with toxic snakes.
Here are three snakes. All look like cobras. Which one is a cobra?
All three have cobra traits:
The shapes of their heads, necks and bodies are similar.
They all rear up and spread a hood when scared.
They have similar poison fangs and similar poison.
Number 3 is a cobra. The other two are rinkhals.
The differences are technical:
Cobras lay eggs. Rinkhals give birth to live babies.
Cobras have smooth scales. Rinkhals have keeled scales.
Cobras belong to the genus Naja. Rinkhals belong to the genus Hemachatus.
There are also differences in their venom. The rinkhals venom is less viscous than the Cape Cobra’s.
While the differences might seem significant to a trained herpetologist, for most average people out for a stroll in the African bush and meeting a snake like this, diagnosis is irrelevant. Recognizing danger is relevant.
If you get bitten by one of these snakes, there will be an experiential difference between being bitten by a rinkhals or a cobra. But unless one is a fanatical herpetologist, it is unlikely that the average person will notice that difference, or care about the finer details of the effect of snake venom chemistry.
All you will be aware of is that you are about to die from snakebite.
Personality Disorders are Toxic
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Donald Trump has shown 9 out of 9 criteria. through his public appearances, statements, speeches, divorce and other court appearances, magazine articles and books about his behavior and attitude in private life.
A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents,
expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal
3. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or
should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
4. Requires excessive admiration.
5. Has a sense of entitlement (i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable
treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations).
6. Is interpersonally exploitative (i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own
7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.
Is it really necessary to have a medical degree from university to recognize that Donald Trump has Narcissstic Personality Disorder.
The experts will say, “But we don’t know if he is distressed by his condition.”
But isn’t the relevant question: “Does Donald Trump cause distress to people he comes into contact with?”
To answer that question, simply look at the leaks coming out of the White House. There were none during Obama’s eight years. Trump’s White House leaks every day. Trump’s White House is in a constant state of confusion, one sign of a pathological psychopath boss, while Obama’s White house was orderly.
Donald Trump will cause distress to the United States, especially his voter base. They should have been warned by the mental health experts.