It’s no secret that President Donald J. Trump is possessed of an outsized ego. Some psychiatrists speculate that he suffers from a psychiatric condition known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), which is defined by grandiosity, insecurity, callousness, and a predatory approach to human relationships.
Dr. Allen Frances, who helped write the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder for psychiatry’s diagnostic bible, argues that Trump does not meet the criteria for NPD because he doesn’t suffer from his egocentric behavior. Rather, Frances argues, Trump makes other people suffer and should therefore be understood as a bad person rather than one with a mental illness.
Frances and host Lindsay Beyerstein use the question of the president’s mental health as a jumping off point to consider the nature of psychiatric diagnosis and the applicability of psychiatric concepts to politics.
- Evan Osnos’ “How Trump Could Get Fired,” The New Yorker, 2017