Is Donald Trump crazy? Some of his actions have certainly appeared to be a little on the nutty side. The best person to ask is a psychologist, but most people in this profession are hesitant to do so without seeing the man in person. San Francisco psychologist and psychoanalyst Michael Bader decided to take the risk.
Bader agreed with the opinion of members of a mental health conference at Yale University that he has a “duty to warn” people how dangerous the president’s mental illness is.
When feelings are painful, people either try to escape or get rid of them. However, when those feelings are too dangerous to handle, a person will distort reality. Give that person a great deal of power, and he will be a serious threat to others, wrote Bader in Alternet:
‘I would argue that the emotions he dreads the most are inferiority, helplessness and shame. This triad lies at the heart of what makes Trump crazy.’
Bader says that Trump’s diagnosis of a “malignant narcissist” was an easy one. He defined that condition as something common to many presidents: narcissistic personality disorder. However, this president also shows strong symptoms of paranoia along with the “inability to feel guilt or remorse.” That was apparently what made him a malignant narcissist.
Clearly, Trump has experienced “extreme grandiosity.” He was ‘the healthiest president ever’, had the most beautiful daughter that existed [Ivanka,] and was smarter than all the generals. Bader wrote in Alternet that self-aggrandizement is a defense mechanism against feelings of inadequacy:
‘Trump surrounds himself with a type of garish luxury (gold fixtures in the bathroom, and golden trophy wives) to counteract feelings of lack of worth…to counteract feelings of internal damage.’
Bader claims the president projects onto others what he fears in himself: “smallness”, and being a “loser.” What would happen if the president was impeached, affirming his fears of inadequacy? According to the psychoanalyst’s column in Alternet, impeachment could:
‘Produce extreme and radical reactions, from a rank psychotic break to a reckless military attack to resignation and a panicked flight back to his private castle in Trump Tower.
A person who is angry and paranoid feels like the victim of other people’s anger, making him continuously defensive and unable to trust others. In Alternet, Bader wrote:
‘A paranoid person is very hard to get along with.’
Feelings of “shame and humiliation” pummel the president, which he then expresses as disgust, according to the psychoanalyst:
‘I would argue that in general, he finds women to be essentially disgusting and he avoids getting too close to this dangerous feeling by using women as things. Relationships with things are safer than actual intimacy and exposure.’
One of the reasons Trump has a short attention span is his fear of being exposed as helpless, inferior, and vulnerable. Then, when he cannot focus on new information, he feels like a “stupid loser.” Bader writes that the president always fears being exposed externally by:
‘Investigative reporters or exposed from within by “leakers.”’
Trump “simply cannot tolerate” the idea that he lost the popular vote or that the Russians were the reason he won against Hillary Clinton, according to Bader:
‘In Trump’s disturbed mind, this makes sense because he is horrified by feelings of being a loser, horrified by evidence of the dirty fraudulent underbelly that might lie at the foundation of his personality and his life. He has to stamp out this accusation—which is really a self-accusation—at all costs.’
Trump controlled his environment when he was in real estate surrounded by people who told him he was special. Yet, as president, he has always been scrutinized, which threatened his defenses. Baden says:
‘He is constantly compelled to preemptively reassert his invulnerability, his power and greatness, which come across as what they are: boorishness, a braggart desperately trying to save face.’
Reportedly, Trump often loses his temper. The psychoanalyst attributes this to an attempt to “master and control” a critical environment:
‘He’ll do anything to shut them up—fire press secretaries, obstruct justice, bribe allies.’
Another alternative could be that he will start a military attack.
Featured Image: Getty Images/Win McNamee.