The Elephant in the Room
It’s time we talked openly about Donald Trump’s mental health.Rosemary K.M. Sword and Philip Zimbardo Ph.D. The Time Cure
Posted Feb 28, 2017, Psychology Today
In late 2015, we authors (Phil and Rose) commenced what would become an on-going conversation about then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s mental health. We were concerned that, given his “straight forward” or outsider presentation and charisma, he would appeal to people that were unaware of the dangers of his obvious personality type—narcissistic megalomaniac—and the many offensive behaviors that accompany it. These behaviors include but are not limited to: condescension, gross exaggeration (lying), bullying, jealousy, fragile self-esteem, lack of compassion, and viewing the world as Us versus Them. Having observed the school-yard bully tactics Trump employed during a series of public debates as well as his blow-hard presentation during interviews, we felt it important to raise awareness about some of his behaviors. So in January 2016, we published Bullies: An exploration into different types of bullies. Note: Our intention was to use a picture of Donald Trump to make our point but were dissuaded due to the possibility of offending some of our Psychology Today readers who were also his supporters and so opted for a generic-looking meanie as our bully poster boy.
As Trump’s campaign gained momentum and his narcissism exploded, so did our courage. In March 2016 we published The Narcissistic Personality: How to spot a narcissist. In the article we shared clinically documented narcissistic behaviors and hoped it would be easy for readers to see that Trump fit every single example to a "T". And this time we used his photo. Shortly after publication, the editors at Psychology Today promoted our article to an "Essential Topic" which is where you want to be; it means your column is placed in the top four articles for a few days, pretty much assuring you of many more reads than you’d usually get. We were ecstatic! Now, whoever went to Psychologytoday.com would see our article front and center and be more likely to click and read about Trump’s narcissistic behavior! But strangely, within a couple of hours of being Up, it was Downed! The article was taken out of "Essential Topics" and demoted to "The Latest", which is where all published articles live, and die. We were never given an explanation as to why this happened. But we deduced we had stepped on some toes, or some political pressures were being applied, or anticipated, at PT.