Does Trump Suffer from NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)?
Who was Narcissus?
"Narcissus is the origin of the term narcissism, a fixation with oneself and one's physical appearance.
In Greek mythology, Narcissus was attracted to a pool of water, where he saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with his own image. But he did not realize it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus lost his will to live. He continued to stare at his reflection until he finally died."
What are the Traits of a person who suffers with NPD?
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), individuals with NPD, typically have most or all of the following symptoms:
- Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment from others
- Fixated on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc.
- Self-perception of being unique, superior and associated with high-status people and institutions
- Needing constant admiration from others
- Sense of entitlement to special treatment and to obedience from others
- Exploitative of others to achieve personal gain
- Unwilling to empathize with others' feelings, wishes, or needs
- Intensely envious of others and the belief that others are equally envious of them
- Pompous and arrogant demeanor
It should be noted NPD is not a psychological disorder, but rather a personality disorder. The following paragraphs connect Trump's behavior to the symptoms of NPD.
Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment from others
His grandiosity was on display with the video tape that shows him talking to Billy Bush about grabbing women's private parts and trying to go to bed with a married women ( Nancy O'Dell) who is a star of TV. show. He also said, "when you are famous, women will allow you to do anything to them."
During the elections, Trump said he wanted to be treated fairly, however he never treated his opponents fairly with name calling, slander and many untruths.
When Trump had his meeting with Mexico's president Vicente Fox, he said President Fox agreed to pay for the wall, when in fact the next day, the president said, he didn't say that.
1/7/2017: Trump now says, we the tax payers are going to pay for the wall, but we will be reimbursed by Mexico. He doesn't say how or when.
Fixated on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc.
He fantasizes about being the smartest person in the room and constantly talks about how he is a winner, he knows how to win and others are losers.
He had two beautiful trophy wives and now has a third one. He is quick to insult, without remorse, others who don't meet his standards for beauty and success.
He has the Trump name brand plastered on everything he touches, including his Airplane, Helicopter, buildings, casinos, golf courses, and even liquor.
Self-perception of being unique, superior and associated with high-status people and institutions
He admires Putin and his percieved strength over Obama. He sees the world, as narcissist do, as winners and losers. if he sees you as a loser, then more than likely he will despise you. According to many studies, what narcissist are really doing is covering up for their own deficiencies and inferiority.
Look at his cabinet picks. His cabinet is made up of elitist billionaires and generals. During his campaign, he constantly stated that the economy was a disaster and he was the only one who could fix it.
One of the traits of people with NPD is they have to have co-dependents who serve them. That's why he has put his surrogates on CNN that can spin his every move. He has Kellyann Conway as his senior adviser on all the talk shows. She is really his Minister of Propaganda as she spins and weaves every question that is thrown at her. His children are co-dependents as well. They are just an extension of him.
Needing constant admiration from others
Even as president elect, he is still in campaign mode and holds rallies to thank those who voted for him and show him admiration. He thrives on that feedback of "love" and the attention to feed his ego. At his rallies and now at his press conference, he still keeps bringing up how he beat everybody in the race to the White House.
In his first press conference, he said, "If Putin likes Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability." That is clearly a sign that he wants to align himself with a person of power that he admires, but he also sees that as a gesture of admiration from Putin.
1/21/2017: Trump met with the CIA today. After the meeting, he addressed the CIA staffers and he talked about how there were so many people at his inauguration. He didn't even thank them for the service and sacrifice. But he talked about how great he is going to be as their president.
Sense of entitlement to special treatment and to obedience from others
He is a master at dividing and conquering. He divided and conquered the whole republican primary field by using name calling and labels with all of his opponents. Hillary Clinton was called "crooked Hillary", and Bernie Sanders was called "Crazy Bernie." Just recently, he called Chuck Schummer "The Clown." He made Christie, Giuliani, and Romney his lackeys, until he didn't need them anymore and then he discarded them.
While campaigning against Hillary, he said if she wins, the system is rigged. It turns out he won, so now he never talks about the system being rigged.
1/13/2017: Based on Trump's edict, some GOP congressmen are having second thoughts about repealing and replacing Obama care so quickly. I have a feeling, he will do what he does best and that is divide and conquer to get the resistant ones to come to the table.
Exploitative of others to achieve personal gain
When asked about John McCain as being a war hero, he said he didn't consider him a hero because he was shot down and was in prison. He likes people who aren't captured. Trump likes to do this not so much for the person he is attacking, but for the people who are watching. He sees McCain as a loser because he was captured.
When Trump was exploiting the Obama birther movement, he would say things like, " An extremely credible source’” had called his office to inform him that Mr. Obama’s birth certificate was “a fraud.” it took him five years and many accusations to almost admit that he was wrong about where Obama was born and where he went to college.
Unwilling to empathize with others' feelings, wishes, or needs
A classic sign of NPD is a total lack of empathy. He does not care who he hurts, he feels nothing. During the Democratic Convention. There was a Muslim couple on stage who lost their son in Iraq. He accused the parents of being controlled by the Clinton campaign and that Hillary wrote the script. Then he said his wife never said anything.
During a campaign rally, Trump mocked a reporter with a disability, by making spastic moves and gestures. It turns out this reporter challenged Trump about his 911 claims that he saw 2,000 Muslims in New Jersey cheering the destruction of the Trade Center as it was coming down and that they were having tail gate parties.
1/9/2017: Meryl Streep in her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes awards made reference to Trump mocking the reporter. Trump tweeted the next day attacking Meryl Streep. The tweet follows below.
Pompous and arrogant demeanor
Just because he went to military school, he claims he knows more about the military than the people and generals who are actually in the military. He said he doesn’t need daily intelligence briefings because he’s a “smart person.”
In his first press conference, he placed on the table in front of him all the alleged stacks of legal documents in binders and manila folders that were to prevent him from having a conflict of interest with his financial holdings as president. He even had his lawyer read the legal briefs. The problem was that none of the documents had any titles or labels. When asked if people could read, them, his reply was, "no you cannot, these are company documents." What is the possibility that these are just props?
How Trump uses Rhetorical Devices
- I won't say it, and then he says it anyway.
- Example - When talking about Carly Fiorina he said, “I promised I would not say that she ran Hewlett-Packard into the ground, that she laid off tens of thousands of people and she got viciously fired,” he said. “I said I will not say it, so I will not say it.”
- Indirect Speech
- Example - "Russia if you are listening, I hope you find the 30,000 emails that are missing."
- Glad Words - in propaganda parlance, glad words are adjectives that are used to exaggerate a point. They include terrific, huge, fantastic, beautiful, spectacular, magnificent. If you were to remove those words, would the meaning of the speech change? He also uses them in negative connotations, words like disaster, train wreck, failure, sad, so sad.
- Repetition - If Trump wants to drive home a point, he says the same words over and over again, sometimes in the same sentence. When he says "believe me." it is better not to believe him because the chances of him not telling truth are pretty strong.
After doing the research and analysis for this piece, I have come to the conclusion that Donald Trump is a complex person and a master salesman and marketeer. He knows how to reach people by coming down to their level and acting like he understands what they are feeling, much like Bill Clinton said, "I feel your pain." However, his NPD, gets in the way of him being genuine and authentic. His behavior is becoming more predictable every day he is on the world stage. He now uses tweets to lash out at people who criticize him or don't agree with him. When he is talking to his audience his rhetoric is almost down to the fourth grade level. It will be interesting to see how he behaves as president and whether he will be able to control his NPD. I have learned from writing this piece that he may exhibit several symptoms of NPD in a single setting. That is an indication of how complex this person is. The next time you see and hear him try looking for these symptoms and see if they fit what I have described.