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Comment of Today: Prescient Diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder in a Presidential Candidate

2017-08-29

[this comment was retrieved from an ancient thread, actually dated March 12, 2016, and it points out that Don the Con is already showing unmistakable signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder which is likely to lead to impaired judgement and decision-making– potentially affecting his eligibility to be a candidate for President.]

Thank you for this gracious comment. While I am a physician, I am not a psychiatrist or a psychologist. During the course of my career I had many opportunities to work with patients with mental illness and personality disorders, but I certainly am not qualified to assign a specific mental health diagnosis. Even more to the point, it’s always hazardous, and inappropriate, for anyone or any physician, including psychiatrists, to diagnose anyone who is not their patient.

HOWEVER, I strongly believe that it is not only appropriate but incumbent on those who understand the warning signs of significant mental illness or impaired mental health, to raise questions when a person in a position of power and authority, whose actions may affect the lives of others, continues to exercise or seeks to increase that power and authority, while showing unmistakable evidence of those warning signs.

[another commenter] points out that Trump may have NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), and that personality disorders are not considered to be mental illnesses. My understanding is that the characterization of personality disorders has evolved considerably over time and not without some controversy. In any case, NPD is a specific diagnosis. Whether or not that’s correct as applied to Trump, it’s fair and appropriate to raise the question of whether he suffers from a significant mental health impairment, not to assign stigma, but because it’s quite likely that some of the worst tyrants in history had such disorders, and because we know that people with personality disorders are not only prone to grandiosity but significant impairments of judgment.

What I’m suggesting, and I believe that [another commenter] was suggesting as well, in a political sense, is that the distinction between a major medical illness and a significant personality disorder does not provide any reassurance that the person in question should be considered competent to be handed the reigns of power.

And I’m further suggesting that the leading GOP candidate for the President of the United States and Commander in Chief, is showing some very, very troubling warning signs that we ignore at our great peril.

[I think it’s only fair to add my assent to his notion that we are already at “great peril” as a cohesive country at the present time, and I would like to leave his name out of this discussion.]

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