Well, how about that?
A group of more than 100 psychologists and mental health professionals took to the streets of New York on Saturday, marching and calling for President Trump to be removed.
The group are part of a PAC called “Duty to Warn” and cite the 25th Amendment as the basis for ousting Trump.
More specifically, the group feels the president exhibits all the signs of a malignant narcissist.
Psychology Today describes malignant narcissism as “the intentional destruction of others, while pathologically loving self.”
It goes on to describe symptoms of malignant narcissism in various markers, such as self-enhancement (“My IQ is one of the highest”), or vulnerability, the need to have others vindicate their own grandiose self-image, (“You go tell them I’m not a moron! Tell them you love your job!”)
Malignant narcissism is considered a dangerous collusion between narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder, often bordering on psychopathy.
Individuals with this profile can form connections with others. However, they process information in ways that can hurt society in general, but also the people who love or depend on them. Family, co-workers, employees, and others in their lives often have to walk on eggshells to appease a fragile ego and minimize the occurrence of their unstable, impulsive, or aggressive behaviors.
They lash out or humiliate others for infractions of even the most frivolous nature (for example, you gave an opinion that differed from theirs; you demonstrated confidence, and it made them look bad; you told a joke that involved poking fun at them).
For some, their grandiosity and protection of their fragile “true self” can be at such extreme levels that they will lie and give the impression that simply because they say it, that makes it reality. Many will become angered if their lies are challenged with truth or facts. Of course, this can create problems for the people close to them, as this pattern of behavior can easily veer into gaslighting.
Malignant narcissism is a blend of two disorders that pose problems interpersonally for their victims — narcissistic and antisocial personality disorders. It is not uncommon for others to feel anxious, intimidated by, and fearful of people with this condition. The combination of poor empathy coupled with aggression, hypersensitivity, and suspiciousness can bring pain to others.
Those who interact with malignant narcissists often consider them jealous, petty, thin-skinned, punitive, hateful, cunning, and angry. Given their shallowness, they are not regulated emotionally and have beliefs that swing from one extreme to the next.
Their decisions can hurt others, because they rank relationships and people based on superficial standards and categories. They want to land on top, even when pretending to be altruistic or engaging in an activity that should not be “all about them.” They often view the world through a primitive binary lens (for example, winner/loser; smart/dumb; rich/poor; pretty/ugly; black/white) — all the while sustaining the belief that they are superior. This is likely associated with problems processing emotional information, which reflects faulty neurobiology.
While finishing my Psychology major, Abnormal Psychology was my favorite course of study (I did my major thesis paper on multiple personality disorder), so I’m fascinated by this.
You can make up your own mind if that sounds like somebody we know from Twitter.
Some of the more infamous malignant narcissist are Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Castro, and Saddam Hussein.
As for the psychologists and others marching in New York on Saturday, they feel certain that they’re seeing a lot of what is described above in President Trump.
“We can sense the power of Trump’s underlying fear that he is worthless and weak by how intensely he resists and retaliated against any criticism,” said Harry Segal, a Cornell University psychologist.
“No matter how minor, he can’t let anything go.”
Well, that’s true.
Michelle Golland, also a clinical psychologist, agreed.
“We’re actually suffering from his narcissistic personality,” she said. “He has no empathy. You can feel it, the way he spoke about the San Juan mayor… She has PTSD and our president mistreats her. She is re-victimized. That is a narcissist.”
And I know a lot will argue about how much the mayor of San Juan is suffering. I mean, I felt Trump’s reaction to her, and to the situation in Puerto Rico, overall, was ridiculous, but she does manage to keep finding t-shirts to fit every TV appearance, complete with unique messages. She may have hurt her own efforts, and it may have been partisan, in nature.
That doesn’t let Trump off the hook.
Saturday’s marchers were dressed in black, with red, plastic bands around their necks that read, “Danger.”
Psychologist Peter Fraenkel of City College led the parade of shrinks, beating out a funeral rhythm on a drum.
A bit melodramatic, but they wanted to make an impression.
I have to note that I’ve seen former President Obama described as a malignant narcissist in the past, as well.
I also have to note that I don’t know if a superficial reading of Trump’s outward behavior, without speaking to him in a clinical setting can give a thorough read of any personality disorders he may have, but it is the behaviors known and openly displayed in day-to-day life that form at least the foundation of diagnosis for most disorders.
And if you’re as fascinated as me with the human mind, here’s a short clip explaining the malignant narcissist.