Sunday, May 22, 2016

Trumpian Personality Disorder

"I'm not a psychiatrist, but there's something wrong with the guy."

That observation about you-know-who the other day from a former top aide to John McCain prompted me to look up the actual definition of "narcissistic personality disorder."

I'm not a psychiatrist, either, but it's pretty hard to escape the conclusion that it's not just a figure of speech when people refer to him as a narcissist.

According to the Mayo Clinic, here's how to tell if you have it:
If you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may feel a sense of entitlement — and when you don't receive special treatment, you may become impatient or angry. You may insist on having "the best" of everything — for instance, the best car, athletic club or medical care.
At the same time, you have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. To feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make yourself appear superior.
It also notes the characteristic of "grandiosity," i.e. believing in one's greatness without any supporting evidence — an excellent example of which was Trump's remarkable insistence that even though he dodged the draft during the Vietnam War (first by claiming student deferments while serving the nation studying finance at the Wharton School, then by claiming a physical deferment, supposedly because of bone spurs on his heels), "I felt that I was in the military in the true sense," having been packed off to a military-themed prep school as a rowdy teenager.

Yes, except for that small detail about people shooting at you and trying to kill you, attending a private boarding school in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, is exactly like serving in the army in Vietnam.

Psychiatrists note that those who suffer from NPD basically have never outgrown the infantile perception that they are at the center of the universe. As Trump himself told his biographer Michael D'Antonio:

 "When I look at myself in the first grade and I look at myself now, I'm basically the same. The temperament is not that different."

Out of the mouths of babes.