Let’s check in on our candidates’ mental health shall we?
- If we’re talking about the potential leader of the free world you bet it’s important.
- I’m writing this before June 7th so this might not even be relevant in regards to Bernie Sanders but he IS hanging in there longer than we would predict so maybe, maybe not.
- And while I’m at it I’m going to “opine” about our current President,too.
- This piece is not meant to endorse or “slam” anyone whatsoever-it is just observations from a doctor well trained in psychology.
First a word about mental health in general:
When we discuss someone’s mental health the first thing we look at is if they have a tendency towards depression or are they bi-polar, manic or hypomanic.
Although this wouldn’t rule out someone’s Presidency I think the electorate would rule it out. The electorate likes the President to be in good physical and mental health.
None of the candidates display or have a history of major mood disorders.
The next thing we look at is schizo-affective disorders such as Asperger’s (on one end-the rumored diagnosis on Bill Gates) and schizophrenia on the other end. This is not a factor for these three either.
- Then we look for personality disorders, and traits of personality disorders.
- If we’re talking about a President we don’t want someone irrational,impulsive or potentially having psychosis under stress which means episodes of not being in touch with reality.
- Of course we also examine someone’s cognitive abilities.
- I recently wrote an article disputing the allegation that Mr.Trump (why is he Mr. Trump and it’s Hillary and Bernie, hmmm) does NOT have actual dementia.
But let me just throw in here that brains over 65 (all 3 candidates) ALL need brain health supplemental support, no matter how smart someone appears.
Lastly we REALLY, trust me, REALLY do not want a President who just works and doesn’t play at all.
We want them to golf, to enjoy their winter homes,whatever. I’m going to examine the candidates one by one but will start off with President Obama who is actually in tip-top mental health.
The mental health of our President:
I don’t care if you are a democrat or a republican here. This man is presidential. He is calm,cool,collected and displays affection for his family.
He also likes to golf and is a basketball fan. Again,it is great that our President has “outlets” and we should want them for anyone we elect.
I’m not sure if it is chicken or egg here since this man DID get a “beating up” by the establishment republicans but he has developed a couple of traits of 2 personality disorders.
Traits of personality disorders are something we ALL have by the way. They do not connote poor mental health whatsoever.
- President Obama has one small trait of schizoid personality disorder in that he appears detached sometimes.
- Again,this may just be “the job” or who he is dealing with.
- He also (again likely the job) has ONE, just one, potential trait of paranoid personality disorder with “reluctance to confide”…..
- Again,I’m stretching and think he’s likely just cautious.
- All in all he is a well balanced, emotionally stable,family man.
- You may not have voted for him but he’s sure a stable guy.
Now let’s give her her DUE for the years and years of public service,shall we? And she had a 66% approval rating as Secretary of State.
I’m not saying who I’m voting for but I don’t understand the “not likeable” part and have tried to analyze it.
Is it that she is so smart she intimidates those of lesser intellect?
Is it that no matter how much she explains (a lot more than her two opponents) “everything”, it’s just too complex and that makes those who don’t like complexity not like HER?
- I actually like and admire her. I’ll just put that out there. Perhaps the problem is that she holds her private life and activities (does she HAVE any???) too close to her chest.
- Maybe we feel we are dealing with a workaholic who doesn’t actually have hobbies as most of us do and THAT’s the issue.
- That might be an obsessive compulsive disorder trait. ” Excessively devoted to work to the exclusion of leisure and friends.”
- At any rate, there you have my personal musings and let me continue now with the “couch session.”
- Hillary has had so many “come after her” for real, from Whitewater (nothing found) to Benghazi (nothing found although many disagree-including me-about the Libya “thing”), to the emails-quite a mistake but she was being time-effective, not malicious and come on, you know that.
- Wrong,yes. Malicious,no. A feeling of entitlement? Hmmm.
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder traits include “a feeling of being special”, “a feeling of entitlement” and “shows arrogant behavior.”
- I will recognize the first two and personally don’t think she was being arrogant with the emails as everyone prior to her DID IT but there is some “entitlement” in her persona now I believe.
- Now onto stability-this woman is as stable as a rock. She also appears to have a very nice relationship with her family.
- The work/play balance seems to be missing unless she just keeps “play” hidden.
- That’s about it. Nothing “ugly” here.
She should also speak from her diaphragm so she doesn’t get vocal nodules.
Donald Trump’s Mental health:
Now,I’ll bet you think I’m going to slam the heck outta “the Donald.” And of course I’m not. I’m going to stand back and be super objective.
I will tell you that when I was the NBC medical reporter and worked out of West Palm Beach quite a bit, he would come in and,guess what,he was utterly charming.
Unfailingly. As I said in the article I wrote about him, I think he reads the electorate quite well and is a natural politician.
I think that we are getting part Donald,and part Donald playing Donald. No major psychiatric disorders and no,he is not getting dementia.
- I also don’t think a man who has a woman running his company is sexist, and I have no problem with my patients calling me sweetie pie (I call THEM sweetie pie!) so obviously he can call his close associates any terms of endearment he wishes.
- I think he’s smart about the bathroom thing. How absurd to have someone who LOOKS LIKE A MAN be forced to use the ladies room? Wouldn’t that be MORE upsetting?
- On matters like this,he makes sense. On other matters,well, you be the judge. I’m just here to give you my analysis of the persona he is presenting over and over.
- In the paranoia department we have this. “Reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events.”(Brought up by the media and I don’t feel this is actually true).
- “Persistently bears grudges and is unforgiving of insults or slights.” (Again,another media accusation but look-he is now pals with Megan Kelly so this is obviously not true).
- “Perceives attacks on his or her character or reputation that are not apparent to others and is quick to react angrily or to counterattack.” (I’m seeing this one “on the trail”-quick to counter-punch for sure.)
- So one trait does not fit the bill of having “a paranoid personality disorder.” Now next is where it gets super interesting.
Does he have Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
So no matter how you perceive him,this is absolutely not a man with a lack of empathy. Look at his kids-they are fabulous. Look at interviews with employees.He does not lack empathy.
Nope,you Trump haters are not getting me here. Now under this umbrella are five criteria which must be fulfilled out of nine.
- Remember he needs five or more to be labelled “NPD” and let me tell you a full blown “NPD” has episodes of frank “psychosis” where they lose touch with reality, and it’s APPARENT.
- If this were the case,wouldn’t someone have noted this by now? So on with the potential 5 or more NPD traits. So he’s “grandiose”, feels “special”, “requires admiration” and folks that’s three.
- But no, he doesn’t appear to have the personality disorder and I keep going back to the empathy thing.
- I have known true NPD’s and they are empathy-free and even feeling-free. This guy has feelings. It’s quite obvious,isn’t it?
- Now,the balance issue-he works,he plays,he has a very nice family life. O.K.- the stability issue “quick to counterattack” may “give one pause” but does not connote mental instability.
- BUT everything is different “in the thick of a political battle” than it is in “real life.” I just can’t imagine how someone could be successful in business if they just kept burning bridge after bridge.
- I also think that if he had “annihilated opponents” that we’d be hearing from those people. So maybe that traits is just truly flaunted by the media for ratings….or not.
- Cannot say if there is anything “ugly here” or not. I’m hoping not. I find him funny and often likeable when I look past statements I THINK he’s making “for effect.”
- In fact the “Hey I punch back” thing MAY BE AN ACT TO DEMONSTRATE THE TOUGHNESS HE SAYS IS LACKING AND THAT HIS SUPPORTERS WANT!! Perhaps NOTHING ugly here either!
Bernie Sanders’ Mental health:
So, when Bernie first came out and I heard his platform I thought “What a nice,sincere guy.” Totally un-realistic (IMHO) but nice and sincere.
Now that he is hanging in longer then he likely should politically,some not-all-that-nice tendencies are emerging. What’s with endorsing the opponent of Debbie Wasserman-Shultz?
What was up with his aides hacking into Hillary’s campaign? And he has enough power and cannot possibly get the votes so why would he now not bow out and be gracious?
- He’ll get a lot of say-so for the platform. Anyway,here’s my analysis. He has a wife and we just don’t know enough about him to know what’s up with HIS family.
- We also don’t know if he’s “balanced” meaning work/play. He has no personality disorders but has “traits.”
- Paranoid traits which have emerged is that he suspects others are “deceiving, harming or exploiting him.” Meaning the media and the DNC.
- But are these thoughts grounded in reality? Has he gotten the coverage and attention he is due or IS the DNC and media bought and paid for?
- And here are obsessive-compulsive traits which have “been there” but become more apparent now.
- He says the same thing over and over without giving the pathways to “get there.” He is now showing “rigidity and stubbornness.”
- And he too might have the “workaholic” tendency Hillary likely has: “Is excessively devoted to work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships.” (Not really known to be fair).
- Now, is he stable? He sure appears to be. Is he ready to be President? Not for me to say. But nothing “ugly” here. Again, a very nice, sincere man.
Final M.D. note: If his wife wants to stay healthy,pounds must go. If he wants to stay sharp (and this applies to the 2 others too) he needs brain specific supplements such as resveratrol for starters.
Final political comedy note: When Bernie takes a back seat I will miss he and Larry David the MOST.