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The Most Dangerous Man in the World?

Some prominent experts put Donald Trump on the psychiatrist’s couch and come up with really scary observations that might have you hiding under your sofa
LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/GETTY

A PERSISTENT LOSS OF REALITY

BY LANCE DODES, M.D.

BECAUSE DONALD TRUMP HAS BEEN a very public figure for many years, we are in an excellent position to know his behaviors—his speech and actions— which are precisely the basis for making an assessment of his dangerousness, whether we assess him using the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria for antisocial personality disorder, as below, or whether we apply our knowledge of malignant narcissism, both of which include the signs and symptoms of sociopathy. Let us consider these in turn.

Lack of Empathy for Others; Lack of Remorse; Lying and Cheating

Trump’s mocking the disability of a handicapped reporter, unconcern for the safety of protesters at a rally (“Get rid of them!”), sexually assaulting women, threatening physical harm to his opponent in the election (alluding to gun owners eliminating her), repeatedly verbally attacking a family who lost their son fighting for the country, degrading people who criticize him (calling them insulting names, as he did in both the Republican primaries and the general election), a history of cheating people he’s hired by not paying them what he owes, and targeting and terrifying minority groups all provide overwhelming evidence of profound sociopathic traits.

Loss of Reality

Trump’s insistence on the truth of matters proved to be untrue (“alternative facts”) is well known, even when such denial is not in his interest. He has falsely claimed that President Barack Obama is not an American and that he wiretapped Trump’s building, that his loss in the popular vote of the general election was caused by illegal aliens, that he had the largest inauguration crowd in history and so on. Together, these show a persistent loss of reality.

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