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What we're in for if Donald Trump wins this election; A Brief Psychological Assessment of Donald J. Trump

By       (Page 1 of 9 pages)   14 comments
Message Blair Gelbond

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As a nation and a world, we are now experiencing extraordinary stress. The American Psychological Association does a "Stress in America" survey, which in 2019 had 62 percent of American adults citing the current political climate as a source of stress, which has spiked since Trump took office. People in therapy are enduring an intense level of anxiety that has been named "Trump Anxiety Disorder."

Because anxiety is exhausting, we can feel anxious for only so long; eventually this often slides into the heaviness of depression, which may leave us feeling really helpless. The burden of such emotions can easily inspire civil unrest, domestic abuse, substance abuse or any number of other harmful behaviors. This can lead to a vicious cycle: indifference and apathy can drive vulnerable people - who want to relieve feelings of chaos - to actively seek out more authoritarian leaders.

As we are embroiled in the highly consequential presidential election on November 3rd, many of us are feeling more intensified feelings of anxiety. Jon Stewart recently summed up the mood of many Americans last Friday when he declared to Stephen Colbert: "I'm terrified. I'm anxious, I'm lonely, I'm wishing it was 2010 again."

In this article I hope to bring relevant issues to light that are evident to many people, but who may not have placed them in a specifically psychological context.

Donald Trump has been remarkably transparent through his Twitter rants, real-time video displays, in television and newspaper accounts, in interviews, and in press conferences, as well as through testimonies of persons who know or have known him.

From my perspective as a psychotherapist, there is so much that is dysfunctional about Donald Trump, it is difficult to know where to begin. I will attempt to sketch out some basic outlines of his psychopathology and include links to material shared by other mental health professionals. This article is more like a snapshot; for reasons of space, it does not include many elements and intricacies of the psychological picture.

Contemplating the material presented by other professionals has sharpened my own perceptions, and none of the material offered by colleagues is at odds with my own conclusions. What is obvious to many (but obviously, not all) is that Trump is fundamentally dishonest, that he is a con man who obsessively lies, cheats, manipulates, and goes out of his way to get away with these behaviors. He has a long history of bankruptcies, fraudulent Activities such as Trump University, and not paying workers at his Trump properties, many of whom have been Hispanics, knowing they cannot afford to take him to court. Yet he is the president.

On April 20, 2017, Dr. James Gilligan stated:

"I think we have more than enough evidence here that it is important to mention that everybody in America, and in fact everybody in the world, is in danger from the currently most powerful man in the world."

Obviously, you, as a reader, need to evaluate these clinical opinions for yourself and come to your own conclusions.

Additional resources re- the President's psychological status can be found online. I would especially recommend Thom Hartmann's YouTube series of interviews with Justin Frank M.D., author of Trump on the Couch and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at George Washington University, as well as Dr. Bandy X. Lee's twitter feed, YouTube videos, and her book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess A President.


Judith Herman, a groundbreaking and highly respected expert on trauma treatment is the author of Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - from Domestic Abuse to Political, which is considered to be a seminal work on this topic. It was acknowledged by the New York Times as "one of the most important psychiatry works to be published since Freud."

Let's first take note of this letter she and her colleagues sent to President Obama prior to Trump assuming the presidency:

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Blair Gelbond Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I work as a psychotherapist with an emphasis on transformational learning - a blend of psychoanalytic and transpersonal approaches, and am the author of Self Actualization and Unselfish Love and co-author of Families Helping Families: Living with (more...)

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