“The behavior of the new president in his first week in office has experts and elected officials wondering: is this just a case of a president with predictable quirks, or is it something that raises concerns about Trump's judgment and adherence to factual reality?” So writes Susan Milligan, staff writer for U.S. News & World Report this morning.
Milligan writes, “a practicing psychotherapist who teaches psychiatric residents at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, minces as few words as the president in his professional assessment of Trump.
‘Donald Trump is dangerously mentally ill and temperamentally incapable of being president,’ says Gartner, author of In Search of Bill Clinton: A Psychological Biography. ‘Trump has malignant narcissism, which is different from narcissistic personality disorder and which is incurable.’”
Is this diagnosis fair or proper given the fact that it is based only on observation? Milligan points out, and rightly so, that such a diagnosis violates the ethics code of the American Psychiatric Association, which says, “it is wrong to provide a professional opinion of a public figure without examining that person and gaining consent to discuss the evaluation.”
The diagnosis may be true or untrue—time will tell. What bothers me this morning is the fact that there appear to be a good number of others who are subscribing to what Mr. Trump calls the “Real,” and the “Truth.” When I see a Facebook Post where others are offering “proof” that his inaugural had the largest crowd ever or that it is “true” that there were anywhere from 3 to 5 million votes cast illegally in the recent election, I really begin to worry. I worry that the narcissism of Mr. Trump really is a malignant one, spreading rapidly into the rest of our society.