The term “crazy like a fox” generally is used to imply that someone is definitely outside of the realm of social norms when it comes to behavior and attitude, but is usually complex, sly and calculated enough to get away with it. This analogy is being used by some mental health experts to describe Donald Trump, arguably the most controversial president of all time and certainly of modern day.
While the country remains politically polarized or plain confused by the political happenings in Washington, many psychiatrists and psychologists are scrambling to discover exactly what makes President Donald Trump tick. According to Stat News, getting inside Donald Trump’s mind is proving rather difficult for most mental health experts.
Stat interviewed ten psychiatrists and psychologists, some of which are Trump supporters and some of which are not, and asked them to analyze Trump’s mental state by his behavior, words, demeanor, and choices. None of them have any personal experience with Trump, but most agree there are some unusual signs about President Donald Trump. However, they do note that his personality traits and persona may be part of a political strategy and not an example of the true psyche of Donald Trump. It’s also not possible to accurately diagnose someone without personally interviewing and examining them, so there is a caveat to their professional opinions.
However, all ten agreed upon major points that seem to glaringly emerge regarding President Trump. John Montgomery, a New York University psychologist, attempted to sum up what may be difficult to succinctly categorize.
“Trump shows compulsive ‘more-than’ behavior, meaning a desperate need to keep from feeling, even fleetingly, that he might not be superior to everyone else. I think it completely fits with him making up the millions of illegal votes idea … and not being able to accept the clear data about Obama’s [first] inauguration having a far bigger crowd.”
Trump has stated that he lost the popular vote because three million votes were cast illegally, an assertion that has summarily lacked any supporting data. Similarly, his framed portrait of his inaugural crowd appears to be less than former President Obama’s crowd, but President Trump refuses to acknowledge that fact.
However, the shocking part to some people about their observations is that Donald Trump, while maybe more verbal about his ideas and perceptions than many presidents, is not necessarily more “narcissistic” or “power hungry” than anyone else who has been in high-ranking political positions. Dr. Robert Pyles, a Massachusetts psychiatrist, says that in his opinion, Trump is well within a normal range of mental characteristics for a President of a country.
“My liberal colleagues feel frightened and betrayed, so they go to this hysterical extreme of saying Trump has narcissistic tendencies, but what political leader doesn’t?”
Donald Trump appears to lack one major attribute that would cause concern to the psychiatrists: his behavior and attitudes do not seem to cause him any personal distress or concern in any perceptible way. Dr. Allen Frances, a professor emeritus of psychiatry at Duke University, often considered to have written “The Bible” of mental diagnoses, says that there is nothing to indicate that Trump could be diagnosed with any mental diagnosis under current mental health guidelines.
“Trump doesn’t meet DSM criteria…I wrote the criteria and should know how they are meant to be applied: Personality disorder requires the presence of clinically significant distress and/or impairment. The armchair, amateur diagnosticians seem either to be unaware of this requirement, or carelessly choose to ignore it.”
It’s been observed that the word “narcissism” has been thrown around as an insult rather than a true diagnosis of a personality disorder, and that may be where some of the confusion lies. Egotism and narcissism are not interchangeable words, mental health experts agree, although many people perceive them that way.
Trump may be cunning and outspoken and bold, or “crazy like a fox”, but when it comes to characteristics of leaders of countries, many psychiatrists agree that he is normal.
[Featured Image by Oliver Douliery-Pool/Getty Images]