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Trump and Narcissism: Is There Proof?

Narcissistic Person

It is extremely hard to diagnose NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) even for common people, let alone the President. However, there were claims by many Harvard professors and psychiatrists which underscore that Trump not only has NPD, but its extreme form – the malignant NPD.

Under the 25th amendment if the President is unfit for office, he must be removed. However, it is always hard to establish this with accuracy. Apart from NPD, many specialists believe the POTUS manifests the signs of hypomania which can be read through many of his actions.

Here you will learn the basic info about these diseases and will be able to decide whether the President is fit to stay in office or not.

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The General Information

Before I go deeper into the details of Trump’s presidency and compare them to the symptoms, it is important to understand the basics of narcissism. Statistics says that 6 % of the world population is afflicted. Men are more likely to develop the disease than women.

Most people who have it are in their 40s or 50s. They are generally well-established in the society, and the more successful they become, the more the symptoms develop. The disease is characterized by the inflated self-esteem, lack of empathy for others and pathological lying.

The ailment is genetic; however, it usually develops due to psychological and social factors. So, if kids were praised all the time, they would have a penchant for it. Vice versa, if kids were often denigrated by their parents, they might also get the illness as a way of coping.

The Proof of NPD

One of the central characteristics of narcissism and NPD in particular is an inflated self-esteem. Trump constantly demonstrates it in his interviews claiming he is the second best President after Lincoln or that he knows more about military than his generals. He is always driven to prove himself, and when he fails – he does not hesitate to lie. For instance, when he did not win the popular vote, he just lied that he did and did not seem to have any qualms about everyone knowing the truth.

The second critical characteristic of NPD is inability to handle criticism and angry reactions. Trump is very self-protective when it comes to his persona. For instance, when NFL players started to protest his view on Colin Kaepernick bending the knee for the national anthem, Trump was infuriated. When the North Korean leader warned the US about his nuclear power, Trump went as far as to insult Kim Jong-un calling him a rocket man and claiming he had a bigger button. It all sounds funny, until you realize that this person has control over nuclear arsenal which could destroy the world.

Finally, Trump is a pathological liar. His lies range from comical like exaggerating the size of his inauguration crowd or the size of his hands to truly horrific ones like concealing his ties with Russia. What is more he, like any person suffering from NPD, feels no guilt when doing so and will never admit his mistakes. Trump tries everything from lying some more to putting blame on others, but he would never apologize for committing an error.

Proof of Malignant NPD

Malignant NPD is a more advanced form of NPD. The illness was first described by Erich Fromm, and its main features were outlined by Otto Kernberg. Basically, a person with this ailment will not only have the traits characteristic of the ordinary NPD - they will also express signs of paranoia, antisocial behavior and even sadism.

Trump revealed his paranoia on multiple occasions. The most well-known case, of course, involves his relationship with President Obama. Not only did he doubt his American citizenship on multiple occasions, but he also believed Obama taped his office. The investigation proved the allegations to be unfounded, but Trump, naturally, did not admit his mistake or, God forbid, apologize. He just called the results fake news and proceeded with his ordinary agenda.

The anti-social behavior can also be spotted on many occasions. For instance, he shows no empathy for DACA children who may have to be deported if he does not allow them to stay. DACA immigrants are kids who were brought to the US illegally by their parents and lived all their lives in the country. Any reasonable person would understand that most of them lived their whole lives in the US and do not even remember their home country. It would be catastrophic for them to be sent back there.

Sadism is much harder to reveal, however, Trump did approve of water boarding as one of the effective methods against terrorists. Multiple studies have shown it to be useless as people would admit anything under torture. However, the President seems to care very little about those studies.

The Signs of Hypomania

Hypomania is a disease characterized by impulsivity, self-aggrandizement, aggression, a flow of ideas and insomnia. All of those symptoms can be observed in the President’s behavior.

I’ve already covered the inflated self-esteem and aggressive behavior. What about the flow of ideas? If you’ve ever heard the President speak, you probably noticed how he tends to jump from one topic to the other. Sometimes it is a distraction technique, but very often it is simply the way he thinks. This is the case of the flight of ideas which is when a person is bombarded with so many thoughts at the same time that they cannot focus on one in particular.

What about impulsivity? It is by far the most prominent characteristic of Trump’s presidency. He discovers people are gassed in Syria, and he goes on to bomb it without proper consultation with his generals. Having a constant and instant access to Twitter, he does not hesitate before expressing his opinion, even if it is bound to incriminate him and his family. He blamed the US ally – Great Britain – for the terrorist attack on its soil instead of just offering his sympathy and support in the moment of grief.

In regards to insomnia, Trump’s physician reported that the POTUS only has 4-5 hours of sleep a night. Of course, insomnia can be linked to many psychological disorders like anxiety or depression, but coupled with the previous observations, hypomania looks very likely.


Donald Trump is not the first president whose mental state raises concerns among the general public and the renowned psychiatrists. Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, for instance, were accused of the hubris syndrome, which did not prevent them from serving full-term in office.

The truth is that, most likely, the 25th amendment will never be applied. Goldwater rule prevents psychiatrists from making diagnoses without a proper examination of the patient. The White House doctors in their turn usually try to safeguard the President from further allegations.

The American people can only hope that these symptoms will not go farther from overstating achievements and insulting world leaders. Only 2 years are left anyway. So, here is hope that Trump will not go for his big red button, which is definitely bigger than that of Kim Jong-un.

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