What is wrong with you?

Dear President Trump,

What is wrong with you? Seriously, I really want to know. Psychologists, like psychiatrists, aren’t supposed to diagnose people we don’t actually assess in-person so I will refrain from saying you have any particular diagnosis or diagnoses. However, I think it’s completely fair to use observed behaviors and see how they may be consistent with one or more diagnoses. To streamline this effort I got information from the Mayo Clinic to put together a table with the signs and symptoms of the two diagnoses I think your behaviors are likely most consistent with and will mark those behaviors I’ve observed in you or that have been reported by multiples sources in the news. Then we’ll see what we get when they are all tallied up. I think that’s fair.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder     Antisocial Personality Disorder
Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance X X Disregard for right and wrong
Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration X X Persistent lying or deceit to exploit others
Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it X X Being callous, cynical and disrespectful of others
Exaggerate achievements and talents X X Using charm or wit to manipulate others for personal gain or personal pleasure
Be preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate X X Arrogance, a sense of superiority and being extremely opinionated
Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people X X Recurring problems with the law, including criminal behavior
Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior X X Repeatedly violating the rights of others through intimidation and dishonesty
Expect special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations X X Impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead
Take advantage of others to get what they want X X Hostility, significant irritability, agitation, aggression or violence
Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others X X Lack of empathy for others and lack of remorse about harming others
Be envious of others and believe others envy them X X Unnecessary risk-taking or dangerous behavior with no regard for the safety of self or others
Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious X X Poor or abusive relationships
Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office X X Failure to consider* the negative consequences of behavior or learn from them
    X Being consistently irresponsible and repeatedly failing to fulfill work or financial obligations

*Or, I would add, not caring about the negative consequences of one’s behavior.

I’m actually quite stunned to see the results. Even I hadn’t seriously thought there would be observed evidence of your behavior that is consistent with every single criteria for both narcissistic and antisocial personality disorder. My ears are ringing and I feel sick to my stomach as I try to process this. And incredibly, the thing that prompted me to look at your behavior in this way isn’t even on either list. What else could there be, you might wonder. Well, I have been especially appalled lately at the quotes about how you like to watch people around you argue and fight, that you enjoy it and try to make it happen. This is a particularly sadistic behavior and I don’t know why it isn’t included in the antisocial list, but maybe it’s because the base rate is too low.

Most of the time people whose behavior is indicative of such severe antisocial personality disorder (with or without the narcissism) are in prison. If they are not in prison it’s usually because they have inherited wealth or are otherwise protected by their social status, which appears to be your situation. However, I think all this crap is going to catch up with you and you are going to be in a heap of trouble any day now.

May we be safe from self-absorbed psychopaths.
May we be happy with politicians who are not self-absorbed psychopaths.
May America be healthy enough to withstand our self-absorbed psychopath in chief.
May we not lose sight of the imperative of peace in the face of this evil onslaught.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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