Psychiatrists wage fierce debate over who’s really crazy: Trump or American voters?
Several psychiatrists over the last year have raised alarms about the state of President Donald Trump’s mental health — but at least one psychiatrist thinks it’s more important to question the sanity of American voters.
Allen Frances, the psychiatrist who conceived the clinical definition of narcissistic personality disorder, tells USA Today that he doesn’t believe Trump suffers from NPD because his mental state has not caused him significant impairment.
However, he does believe that Trump’s stated policy agenda is extremely dangerous — and he believes American voters were flat-out nuts to elect him.
“Trump isn’t crazy — but we are for electing him and not taking seriously the existential threats his policies pose to the health of the people in America, the future and the safety of the world,” says Frances, who next month is publishing a book called Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump.
While Frances is an authoritative expert on narcissistic personality disorder, some of his fellow psychiatrists believe that we should be deeply concerned about Trump’s mental health and the behavior he exhibits.
Yale forensic psychiatrist Bandy Lee, for example, tells USA Today that Trump’s public behavior checks nearly all the boxes for someone suffering from NPD.
“Narcissistic personality disorder describes a debilitating need to project grandiosity so as to fight the inner feelings of low self-worth,” she says. “In extreme forms, narcissistic personality disorder is one of the disorders most associated with violence and is sometimes considered to be on the same spectrum as antisocial personality disorder, or sociopathy.”