Donald Trump has become a fascinating political figure and, indeed, may become the next president. He is apparently “loved” and adored by some, hated and reviled by others. It appears that he is an anathema to many Republicans and Democrats alike.

The DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria of the American Psychiatric Association discusses the categories of mental illnesses, including personality disorders. It follows: “A Narcissistic Personality Disorder is described as a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early childhood and present in a variety of contexts.” It continues with the following criteria:

• “Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g. exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements);

• is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love;

• believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by other special or high status people;

• requires excessive admiration;


• has a sense of entitlement, i.e. unreasonable expectations especially favorable treatment;

• is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his own end;

• lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others;

• is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him;

• shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.”

If Trump’s personality meets at least five of those nine criteria, it can be reasonably postulated that he could be diagnosed as having a narcissistic personality disorder.

Ronald Melendy, LCSW, Auburn

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