The following description of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) can be found on the website of the Mayo Clinic: “Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.” On the PsychCentral website it says: “Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by a longstanding pattern of grandiosity” and “people with NPD often display snobbish, disdainful, or patronizing attitudes. For example, an individual with this disorder may complain about a clumsy waiter’s ‘rudeness’ or ‘stupidity’ or conclude a medical evaluation with a condescending evaluation of the physician.” Wikipedia, finally, observes that people who suffer (and make others suffer) from NPD are “mentally unable to see the destructive damage they are causing to themselves and others.” NPD was first identified by psychologists in 1968, as a combination of megalomania and egocentrism.
For those who have closely followed Donald Trump since the beginning of his business career, or only more recently, it is not hard to see that he perfectly fits the description of someone with NPD. This hurts his chances of becoming US President in various ways. Like every narcissist he considers himself perfect, and therefore he cannot accept the criticism from competitors and the press that is inevitable during a political campaign. He makes the mistake of constantly lashing out at his opponents and reporters and belittling them. Since he cannot admit mistakes and learn from them, because admitting mistakes would be a sign of imperfection, he’ll repeat them over and over. And because he is perfect he considers himself superior to all others, ethnically and culturally different people like Mexicans and the Chinese, but also politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, who are stupid and cannot make a deal. True to the definition of NPD he is unable to see the damage he is causing to Hispanic immigrants, by threatening eleven million of them with deportation, and how by doing so he antagonizes an important part of the electorate.
Until November 2010 NPD was listed as a mental disorder by the US Department of Health and Social Services. Most mental health professionals consider its de-listing a big mistake. The reason why it happened could be that NPD is almost impossible to cure, because someone with NPD would have to realize that he or she has a problem, which doesn’t go well with perfection. Before 2010, however, Donald Trump was officially suffering from a serious mental condition.
In 1972 the US Senator from Missouri, Thomas Eagleton, was nominated to be on the Democratic ticket. After his party’s convention it became public knowledge that he had had multiple treatments for depression, including electroshocks. Eagleton was forced to quit the race, and he was only running for Vice President.
Trump’s demise before the primaries is still forecasted by many pundits, but if it doesn’t happen Jeb! or Hillary can easily expose him as a former mental patient. It would probably be slightly immoral, but not unimaginable when the White House is at stake.