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Wed Sep 13, 2017, 09:23 AM

Harvard psychiatrist Lance Dodes: "Donald Trump is a sociopath and a very sick individual"

. . . What is to be done if this evidence collectively suggests that the president of the United States is mentally ill?

. . .

I recently spoke with Dr. Lance Dodes. He is assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (retired) and a training and supervising analyst emeritus at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.

Dodes is a signatory to the much-discussed February 2017 open letter to The New York Times that sought to warn the public about the dangers posed by Donald Trump’s mental health. He is also a contributing writer for the new book “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President

Clinically, if we were to look at the checklist for sociopathy, what are some of the indicators that Trump is presenting?

It is people who lie and cheat. Everybody lies some of the time, but in this instance we mean people who lie as a way of being in the world, to manage relationships and also to manage your feelings about yourself. People who cheat and steal from others. People who lack empathy . . . the lack of empathy is a critical aspect of it. People who are narcissistic.

Trump’s case of narcissism is particularly severe because he also is out of touch with reality whenever he becomes upset. When he says, “I had the largest crowd at an inauguration in history,” it does not matter that you can tell him that it is not true, he still insists on it. Well, that is very troublesome because what it means is that he needs to believe it. He is able to give up reality in exchange for his wished-for belief. Sometimes we call that a delusion. We have not used that word much with Donald Trump because that does get confused with people who think that they are Napoleon. But Trump has a fluid sense of reality, which is a sign of a very sick individual.

Sociopathy itself is a sign of a very sick individual, someone with a lying, cheating and emotional disorder. The intersection of those two occurs in sociopathy. It is not just bad behavior that people have to lie and cheat the way he does, it is an incapacity to treat other people as full human beings. That is why his focus is on humiliating others to aggrandize himself, as he did in the Republican primaries when he was debating and calling people names. The same thing applies to Hispanic immigrants and separating the children from their parents. That is a very, very serious mental and emotional problem. Normal people have normal empathy. It is part of being a human being. Lying and cheating and humiliating others and grinding them into dust in order to triumph is not just bad behavior. It is a serious mental illness.

. . .

The best diagnosis for Trump is that he is a malignant narcissist. It contains the narcissistic part, which is no big deal alone — lots of people are narcissistic — but the malignant part is the sociopathy dimension. These terms suggest that Trump is a very primitive man. He is also a man who has a fundamental, deep psychological defect. It is expressed in his inability to empathize with others and his lack of genuine loyalty to anyone. You will notice that Trump wants everyone to be loyal to him, but he is loyal to nobody.

It is a one-way street. Trump appears to have no sense of social obligation or reciprocity.

Yeah, that is right. He has no sense of that because it is all about him. That is narcissistic, but it is much worse than the ordinary person with narcissistic personality. You know, I have known lots of people like that, and none of them are as evil or dangerous as Donald Trump because they do not have the sociopathy part. They may be oriented towards themselves, they may be self-centered, they may care mostly about themselves. But when it comes right down to it, they have some compassion; they have a conscience. But not Donald Trump. That is the malignant part. So yes, you want to say he is narcissistic personality, yes. Malignant narcissism? Yes. Sociopathy? Yes. Antisocial personality? Yes. Paranoia? Absolutely. He is quite paranoid, but again, if you look at it from underneath, it all fits together.


http://www.salon.com/2017/09/12/harvard-psychiatrist-lance-dodes-donald-trump-is-a-sociopath-and-a-very-sick-individual/

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Reply Harvard psychiatrist Lance Dodes: "Donald Trump is a sociopath and a very sick individual" (Original post)
CousinIT Sep 13 OP
dalton99a Sep 13 #1
triron Sep 13 #5
cwydro Sep 13 #14
Major Nikon Sep 13 #2
leftstreet Sep 13 #6
Major Nikon Sep 13 #7
Boomer Sep 13 #12
Major Nikon Sep 13 #13
Gothmog Sep 13 #3
Mr. Ected Sep 13 #4
DeeDeeNY Sep 13 #8
machoneman Sep 13 #9
TeamPooka Sep 13 #10
They_Live Sep 13 #11

Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 09:28 AM

1. He is scum who belongs in prison

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 10:57 AM

5. No he belongs in Siberia

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Response to triron (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 03:09 PM

14. I wouldn't wish him on Siberia.

He belongs in prison or some asylum somewhere.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 09:45 AM

2. I reject the notion that Trump has any sort of illness

If we make that assumption we must also assume he isn't responsible for his own actions. Attaching labels to his behavior may make it easier to understand his reasoning, but ultimately Trump is responsible for Trump's bad behavior.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 10:59 AM

6. +1 He's an asshole

No doubt a narcissist, maybe a sociopath, but what difference does it make?

He's mentally competent enough to be accountable for his actions

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 11:08 AM

7. Asshole is as good of a label as any, and I don't need a Harvard psychiatrist to make the diagnosis

The simplest explanation is Trump is the way he is because throughout his entire life he has had little reason not to be an asshole. While he has been unable to establish any truly meaningful relationships, his wealth insures he will have no shortage of superficial ones. At the end of the day his ills are behavioral and he has within himself the ability not to be an asshole and simply chooses to be.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 12:15 PM

12. You're missing a much more pertinent point

With true responsibility comes control, and it's pretty damn obvious that Trump can't control himself. He's incriminated himself over and over again, despite the enormous risk, because he is literally incapable of controlling his needs. His emotional state overwhelms rationality and reality.

You may get greater smug satisfaction from saying Trump should shoulder responsibility, but it's not going to save the country or provide a realistic assessment of solutions. Too many Republicans bet on Trump's "pivot" because they too believe he can take responsibility for his actions and change them. If there had been a greater awareness that Trump is MENTALLY ILL, perhaps they would have realized that the only outcome was of this presidency is failure.

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Response to Boomer (Reply #12)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 03:07 PM

13. No, I'm just not willing to make assumptions with zero evidence

There is exactly zero evidence Trump can't control himself. He has no incentive to do so and plenty of reward in not doing so.

Labeling someone as "MENTALLY ILL", regardless of how valid you think that label is, does not mean they can't control themselves.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 10:51 AM

3. Trump is unfit to be POTUS

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 10:53 AM

4. I'd be scared to impeach based on insinuated mental unfitness

Too broad a standard that would assuredly be dragged out by a Republican Congress each and every time a Democrat sits in the Oval Office.

Better to impeach based on the fact that Trump is a treasonous felon. The evidence don't lie.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 11:24 AM

8. No psychiatry degree is needed to figure out

He is a sick individual.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 11:52 AM

9. Dodes well explains his shortcomings. But, I wish he could interview Trump's parents.

They would be able to tell us, beyond what is already known, how and when they decided to send a young son to military school.

Hey folks, his old man had money as we know and NO rich, NYC-based parents EVER send their misbehaving kid to such a school, save those families with a long military tradition. Did he torture small animals, beat-up weaker classmates, start fires, cut someone with a knife. We may never know now but it would be interesting to understand their first hand reasoning. 'Nuff said!

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 11:58 AM

10. Well, he is a Republican. nt

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 12:06 PM

11. Affluenza

in its most advanced and extreme form.

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