Saturday, May 14, 2016

Is Trump bi-polar?

Every politician must deal with humiliation at some point: How one deals with it is the test of character. Trump is failing that test in the most puerile fashion. 
The Post’s Marc Fisher and Will Hobson reported that they were 44 minutes into a call with Trump about his finances when they asked if he ever employed a man named John Miller as his publicist. Trump immediately went silent, and then the line went dead, they wrote.

Fisher and Hobson wrote that when they called back, Trump’s secretary told them, “I heard you got disconnected. He can’t take the call now. I don’t know what happened.”
This silly behavior has transformed a medium-sized embarrassment into a Big Damned Deal. No other politician would have handled this situation so badly: Trump has called his own sanity -- or at least his emotional maturity -- into question. He brought it on himself.

I received a note from a reader who believes that Trump displays the symptoms of bipolar disorder. This reader happens to have a family member who has been so diagnosed.
Trump is big and loud - all the Bipolar symptoms are on full display. The way his incoherent ramblings match my sister's letters is amazing. Her favorite subjects were politics and people getting away with crimes. Change the names and this could be one of her manic letters from the 80s. Her handwriting was also manic. Humm - what does Trump’s handwriting look like? That would be a "tell" as well.

It is not uncommon for some people with a mental illness to have no self awareness that they are mentally ill. Untreated mental illness is a major problem in the US.
For me, the biggest "tell" was the occasion when Trump felt compelled to demonstrate that he still owned a successful steak company, even though Trump Steaks actually went out of business years ago. What kind of person does that?

Ever since Trump subjected us to that charade, I can't look at his face without hearing the Twilight Zone theme music somewhere in the distance.

That said: I'm not sure if "bipolar" is the correct diagnosis. In truth, I'm not convinced of the accuracy of any of the categories one finds in the DSM-whatever. Human behavior is too complex, too resistant to categorization; past a certain point, all explanatory schemas seem like a Procrustes bed.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by both lows and highs. Does Trump have lows? Perhaps. Perhaps he hides them well, even from Melania.

But as things stand, I have no evidence that this man has ever suffered from crippling depression.

This site offers a list of symptoms...
Seven Signs of Bipolar Mania

Feeling overly happy, “high,” or elated for long stretches of time.
Feeling easily agitated, some describe it as feeling jumpy or twitchy.
Talking super fast, often accompanied by racing thoughts.
Extreme restlessness or impulsivity.
Impaired judgment.
Unrealistic over-confidence in your abilities or powers.
Engaging in risky behavior, such as having impulsive sex, gambling with life savings, or going on big spending sprees.

Seven Signs of Bipolar Depression

Feeling sad or hopeless for long periods of time.
Withdrawal from friends and family, and/or a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed.
Significant loss or increase in appetite.
Severe fatigue or lack of energy.
Slow speech.
Problems with memory, concentration, and decision-making.
Thoughts or attempts of suicide, or preoccupation with death.
All seven "manic" symptoms seem pretty damned Trumpy.

But those seven signs of depression? Naw. That's not Trump.

(It's a lot more like me, frankly -- although my speech is neither slow nor rapid, and my "preoccupation with death" is mostly a matter of appreciating old Charles Addams cartoons.)

Here's an interesting question: Can a leader with bipolar disorder fulfill his duties well?

Winston Churchill had "black dog days" -- his term for periods of deep depression. But when he was "up," he wasn't overly impulsive; he didn't twitch or talk in a rapid-fire fashion. Churchill was labeled "bipolar" by his own doctor, and I suppose we should defer to that doctor's professional judgment. But damn it, the label feels only half-right.

Churchill was too big for categories. Maybe we all are.

If Trump fits into a category, I don't know its name. His psychological impairment may be something that affects only the children of privilege. I may be just a layman operating on gut instinct -- but my gut tells me that the man simply is not right.
Bipolar: aka manic depressive. Take away the depression, you've got a maniac.
I don't think Trump meets all seven signs of mania. He doesn't seem happy or elated, more angry. Over-confident and easily agitated, definitely. The others, debatable.

Bipolar disorder is also manic depression. Without the depression, he's a maniac.

On the other hand, Trump's priest as a child was the author of "The Power of Positive Thinking".
"For mental-health professionals, Donald Trump is at once easily diagnosed but slightly confounding. “Remarkably narcissistic,” said developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” echoed clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis."
I'm leaning towards the dementia diagnosis. Never heard of white supremacists and David Duke? Maybe he just forgot!

I think the key is the word salad he tosses. It is nonsensical.

Something is wrong. That's for sure.
The same was said about Newt Gingrich, who if I remember right had a mother who dealt with this very thing. It was likely true. Trump could well have the same thing.
tRump will be vacating the nomination before the election. At some point, his thin skin will rupture and the oozing beast will slime away into seclusion, citing health issues. His entire self depends on a recycling self-induced fantasy; once that fantasy is confounded constantly by people routinely exposing his lies, his personna will begin to disintegrate. Or maybe I've watched too much Law & Order.
Like other commenters, I don't see the depression part. But there is such a thing as unipolar manic. Which could be right.

As to the John Miller controversy, Smerconish had the reporter that Trump tried to fool in that interview ( She said she knew it was Trump and she called him on it. He eventually apologized to the magazine, which published a correction. She says only she and Trump had copies of the recording, and she didn't release her copy to anyone.
Bob, your take reminds me of the classic line... "I'm meltinggggg".

Joseph, not that it matters (although it must since I'm posting a link to it, har har), but DailyPUMA did mention the Bi-Polar card on May 1st of 2016. Why Donald Trump being a Bi-Polar Politician probably does not affect his popularity.
You coming up with a bi-polar prognosis independently is interesting.

You logically take it to the next level, could a Bi-Polar politician be president? Richard Nixon probably was bi-polar, so is the answer, yes, and then no?

As for Trump ever being calm, Joseph, you may want to study Trump's after "Trump wins a state behavior" more closely, Trump seems like an entirely different person. I think Paul Ryan was hinting at Trump being an entirely different person when they met for their recent meeting. Ryan may be trapped into not backing Trump simply because Ryan can't handle the thought of "The Two Don's".

Is a politician being the opposite of Bi-Polar, boring?
It just blows my mind how casual and indifferent people are when it's time to take the decision to choose their president. Something definitely wrong with people .
Churchill lost the Empire. Meaningful especially because he said in speech after speech that his warlike decisions would protect it against Hitler (who as an Anglophile had no designs on it) rather than lose it, as certain of his opponents were warning.
I don't recall England being invaded by Hitler, attacked, yes, but not invaded.
Perry Logan is on to it from my observation. Narcissism. Just a few years back I worked for a hard core narcissist and he was not only devastating to work for but a shock to my psychological belief (shared by many) that 'we are all the same under the skin'. No we're not. As I move towards pyjamaland I am more convinced than ever that people are shockingly different under the skin. That being said, I agree with Joseph -- mental disorder is never really a tick and flick issue from the DSM-whatever. People are pot plants with bits hanging off. Trump has narcissism foliage.
Classic narcissist, possibly rapid-cycling bipolar as well.He seems to be on tranquilizers or psychotropic med the last couple of days. Lord help us if he ever makes it to the White House. Thank goodness my uncle down the street had kept up his bomb shelter all these years! If Trump is elected, we will need it

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