C’mon, we’re better than this

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton made his Budget Reply speech last Thursday night.…

Promising the Impossible: Blinken’s Out of Tune Performance…

Things are looking dire for the Ukrainian war effort. Promises of victory…

Opposition Budget in Reply: Peter Dutton has no…

Solutions for Climate Australia Media Release National advocacy group Solutions for Climate Australia…

Understanding the risk

It's often claimed the major supermarkets would prefer to see tonnes of…

A Brutal Punishment: The Sentencing of David McBride

Sometimes, it’s best not to leave the issue of justice to the…

Climate pollution and petrol bills coming down as…

Climate Council Media Release AUSTRALIA IS OFF AND RACING on the road to…


It’s time we reckoned with what it means to become a corporatocracy.…

Plan B

By James Moore Every time there is a release of a New York…


Donald Trump is NOT Mentally Ill


By Niall McLaren

In a commentary on Donald Trump’s suitability to be president of the US and thereby most powerful individual in the world, John Lord described him as:

“…a sick deluded man… A deluded pathetic liar …. a person of limited intellect and understanding … an ignoramus…”

He further suggested Trump is seriously retarded educationally, has the manners of a playground bully and is an “incoherent mess” with no insight or self-awareness. Strong words indeed. I believe they voice a very real fear that we, the 95% of the world’s population who live outside the US, have every reason to be frightened for our welfare should Trump win.

On the latter points, I heartily agree. Trump is major concern and it reflects very badly on the US political process that he has been able to get this far. By all means, let the child born in a log cabin enter the White House but can you keep the clowns out? However, I have to disagree on certain points, that Trump is mentally ill.

I will set the record straight here. Most emphatically, Donald Trump is NOT mentally ill. He is not of limited intellect and nor is he an ignoramus. There is nothing to suggest he is an alcoholic or drug addict and he certainly does not have brain damage.

Donald Trump is highly intelligent, he has a capacious memory (well, as good as any other baby boomer such as myself), he is remarkably astute in dealing with people, and he knows his game as well as anybody at the big end of town. At the same time, he firmly believes he can get away with whatever takes his fancy, be it declaring bankruptcy to avoid debts or grabbing passing women by the vulva. He is seriously and serially dishonest, deals comfortably with criminals and scoundrels, believes any bit of scurrilous nonsense that comes into his head and expects everybody else to fall for it, and doesn’t have a clear plan for the future beyond grabbing the most celebrated position in the country. He isn’t interested in government, doesn’t have any understanding of macroeconomics or international law, regards laws as impediments to be overcome or weapons to bludgeon the weak, uses people mercilessly and doesn’t show any capacity to maintain stable adult relationships. He is promiscuous, remorseless and contemptuous. At the same time, he is highly creative in the way he approaches his life’s goal of expanding his wealth and power.

This, of course, is a textbook description of a term that was used in psychiatry for nearly a century before the American DSM-III got rid of it, the creative psychopath. On the evidence available in the daily press, and without having examined this man, I believe there is strong reason to suspect that he shows the cardinal features of a creative psychopath. If so, he would be unfit to hold public office. If he wins the forthcoming election, I believe that my children’s lives, and the lives of all other defenceless citizens of the world, will be seriously and adversely affected, perhaps permanently. And there is nothing I can do about it.

(Why did the DSM-III dispense with the term ‘creative psychopath,’ replacing it with the term Sociopathic Personality Disorder? Because the sociopath is defined as somebody with a criminal record. That meant that people like Bernard Madoff, Kenneth Lay, and Bernie Ebbers, all of whom were friends of Donald Trump, couldn’t be classified as untrustworthy individuals. This was convenient as it meant that only the poor could be labelled and discarded. Also, since he is a public figure, I am within my rights to comment on his mental state insofar as it concerns me).


Login here Register here
  1. Klaus

    Sorry Niall,

    but on some points I have to disagree. I think you agreed that he is after the number 1 position in the US if not in the world. But his judgment has serious downsides, if he believes his ongoing crap will get him there. Recent opinion polls, after the tape came out but before the 2nd debate, had him trailing by 12 points nationally. That constitutes a wipe out.

    So, if he was as smart and calculating as you suggest, and at the same time wants the number 1 position, then he is going wrong about it.

    Why is he going wrong about it? By seriously underestimating the wider public and how to relate to them. Him, just as the LNP, take their constituents for mugs. He has stated many times throughout this contest, that he could go down Manhattan and shoot people, and they would still vote for him.

    If this is not a serious misunderstanding of how adults work, then I can only suggest a mentality of an adolescent, which fits with the vulva grabbing.

    Also, check the people and the shows he is involved with. All games man ship, youth equating to his own mental maturity.

    He is a poor soul and a f#$%wit.

  2. Niall McLaren

    The “mentality of an adolescent in the body of a 70yo man” is a metaphor for creative psychopath.
    Also, it’s Strait Jacket.

  3. Keith

    Trump is certainly not unintelligent; it would have been picked up long ago if that was the case. He has finely nurtured manipulation and street cunning. He has in my opinion, been able to ride on the wave of hostility generated against neo con politics that has taken over the US and globe. The irony is that he displays the negative characteristics of neo cons.

  4. Ella

    Niall, Trump…”is remarkably astute in dealing with people”…So was Hitler !
    Watching the latest encounter between him and Hillary , I felt he was deliberately invading her personal space , by, being next to, behind her by way of intimidation. I just wonder whether the Trump phenomena says as much about about the dumbing down of the voting population as it does about politics in general.
    The whole thing is very scary for the world at large.

  5. diannaart

  6. townsvilleblog

    I beg to differ, in my humble opinion Trump suffers from the same mental illness as all billionaires do, and his fellow 1% of the global population who own in excess of 50% of the global economy. It is known as “insatiable greed” where enough is never enough, and people afflicted with this illness, no matter how much they have, they must always have ‘more.’

  7. Harquebus

    “What Trump is saying is that, because he is a star, women are entirely open to his advances, and as an evolutionary psychologist, I would have to say I am utterly unsurprised at this. Evolutionary psychology 1.0.”
    “So we have the spectacle of ultra-liberal, Trump-hating Hollywood — the absolute center of the American culture of sex, celebrity, money and power — somehow failing to notice the hypocrisy.”

  8. Kronomex

    He’s the epitome of the spoiled, nasty, petulant child and is his own worst enema…sorry, enemy. His run for president was doomed from the outset and the Americans will get what they deserve if they are stupid enough to put this vindictive vicious kid in the big house. The other problem is that the rest of the world will suffer as well.

  9. Keitha Granville

    “The other problem is that the rest of the world will suffer as well.”

    That is the horrendous outcome, we could end up with the Third World War.

  10. Jaquix

    I have to take issue with the sentence “(Why did the DSM-III dispense with the term ‘creative psychopath,’ replacing it with the term Sociopathic Personality Disorder? Because the sociopath is defined as somebody with a criminal record.” A sociopath in modern terms relates to a personality disorder with certain characteristics. A psychopath is very much the same, it seems only to be a matter of degree of the severity of the behaviour (right up to murdering without compunction) and popular usage.

  11. John

    Ok, I get it, AINM hates Trump. But why aren’t the armchair psychologists looking at Clinton?
    She has a belligerent and unapologetic foreign policy record and is firmly in the pocket of the 1%.
    After the invasion of Libya she said, “We came we saw he died.” and laughed. She has said she would invade Syria to effect regime change. It seems the threat posed by these countries is sovereign foreign policy, free education, health and housing, low interest government loans and no IMF debt.
    I suggest if you want an example of a psychopath look no further than Hillary Clinton – Tony Blair in a pantsuit.
    Trump is right, she should be in prison.

  12. z

    anyone who dares to talk with others in such shameless words is scum, it will be disaster for the world if he become President

  13. win jeavons

    Now we must realise that the Germans were not unique in the ’30;s. In an unequal society where there are many truly suffering, a mouthy demagogue can succeed in redirecting mass anger where he chooses, rather than at the real enemy , which is the minority who control both wealth and power, wherever they are. A new , fairer economic system, and quality education in thinking, for all is overdue.

  14. Harquebus

    “And then there’s last night’s historic debate; in which, Donald Trump so thoroughly humiliated Hillary Clinton – including promising, if elected, to prosecute her for what amounts to treason – she could no longer even manage that dumb, mocking, painfully transparent smirk her pathetically inept campaign handlers have ordered her to make each time Trump speaks.”

  15. economicreform

    Trump suffers from grandiose narcissism.

  16. bobrafto

    I beg to differ, in my humble opinion Trump suffers from the same mental illness as all billionaires do, and his fellow 1% of the global population who own in excess of 50% of the global economy. It is known as “insatiable greed” where enough is never enough, and people afflicted with this illness, no matter how much they have, they must always have ‘more.’

    And when they have had enough of ‘more’, they want the highest office in the land before they cark it, the biggie, anyone mention Mal.

  17. Archaic

    While this is a valid issue for discussion, I am a bit confused about the author’s point. On the one had the opening statement is that Trump is not mentally ill, but on the other hand the conclusion is that he is a creative psychopath, and this term is, or has historically, been discussed within the field of psychology and psychiatry. So which is it?

    Any attempt to define and categorise human behaviour is difficult, and a work in progress. The most recent DSM criteria for Antisocial Pesonality Disorder, or the equivalent WHO ICD-10Dissocial Personality Disorder do not specify that a criminal record must exist, focusing more on the acts than on the legal consequences or sanctions. The criteria have likely evolved in response to concerns like those raised by Niall. It is my opinion that, like many others have observed, that Trump exhibits features of both Antisocial and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is actually not uncommon for an individual to fit across categories rather than within only one particular category.

    I think that we have to be careful what we are talking about when we describe mental illness. Such discussions often seem to contain an implicit assumption that being mentally ill means that someone is not aware of or responsible for their actions, or that there is some sort of physical damage. I note that the author makes reference to Trump’s intelligence or lack of substance use. Much of this comes down to use of mental illness as an argument for diminished moral or criminal culpability in the context of criminal prosecution. Mental illness MAY render a person unaware of the nature of their actions, but not necessarily. Even if someone has diminished MORAL responsibility for their actions, and to not knowingly have committed a crime, as a society we can still hold them accountable to the extent that they are compelled to receive treatment, or have their freedom limited through incarceration.

    I think that references to mental illness often speaks to our desire to make “other” those whom we disagree with or are repulsed by. We can disavow their actions and opinions as a form of sickness which does not affect us. However sometimes this is because we don’t want to acknowledge that we share some similar desires and impulses, but which we have learned to limit and repress. We can all feel avarice or the temptation to lie and blame others. This is both the magnetism and horror of Trump: he sees no reason to limit himself or concern himself with the welfare of others, and gives license for others to do the same through his actions and public profile.

    What should a society do with those who, for whatever reason, show relatively poor impulse control, a loose connection to the truth, and a lack of empathy for the rights of others? Ideally this is detected early and children taught to control themselves through what used to be called “moral instruction” of the consequences of their actions. But as others have noted we seem to have created a social order where antisocial behaviour is applauded in business and allowed power to insulate people from the consequences of their behaviour, whether financial power, celebrity, or simply being white and male. Is the sickness then maybe a sickness of culture?

  18. Rob darvall

    townsvilleblog, remember that if you earn more than $38k & live in Australia you are part of the one percent. I’ve noticed an increasing tendency to let ourselves off the hook by pointing the blame at Trump, Reinhart, Turnbull etc ad nauseam. Their greed is just our greed writ large.

  19. Jaquix

    Ah, Archaic, you are very wise, but I dont think you are archaic at all!

  20. Bill Krill

    Malignant narcissist. Hope he doesn’t win and send the brown-shirts after me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

Return to home page