President Donald Trump’s pathologies are leading him down a path of self-destruction, according to Yale psychiatry professor Bandy X. Lee — and he is taking the nation with him.
Though she acknowledges that her theories on the president’s behaviors do not represent the opinion of the institutions with which she is affiliated — including the Yale School of Medicine — Lee told Raw Story that she sees Trump’s behavior as evidence of psychological distress rather than strategy, and that this means trouble for him, the country and potentially the world.
> What mental health professionals look at are patterns. Patterns of his behavior. Oftentimes Trump’s assertions don’t bring him the advantages that strategy would.
> It fits a pattern more of someone acting that is driven by emotional compulsions. It’s the emotional need to reframe situations. For example, the idea that the midterm elections are a win for him and if not, it’s seen as a fraudulent election.
> Whereas this reframing may be effective for those who are relatively uninformed and are emotionally predisposed to believing Mr. Trump because of their emotional dependence.
Though Trump’s actions might prove effective, Lee says this is not necessarily the result of logical, organized planning.
> [S]ometimes pathological symptoms can seem very effective, because when you have rationality and logic removed, you have a very, very strong emotional component that takes over.
> And that can manifest … that can sometimes be incredibly powerful, not only because it overwhelms and overpowers those who are logical and rational but also the …. lesser of the psyche. The psyche operates in layers.
Lee sees this pattern in much of Trump’s behavior: consistently making destructive choices rather than healthy, life-affirming decisions.
> He’ll make choices that are self-destructive even if they seem effective at the time and produce results that appear to benefit him. He’s choosing a self destructive course, not just for him but for the nation.
> There are many examples of this. He appears to make choices that are deceptive and manipulative of others, that demean others for his apparent benefit. These choices are coming out of pathology and ultimately destructive to him, also.
As midterms wrapped up last week and the 2020 presidential election is already on many Americans' minds, Lee believes it is possible that Trump will be re-elected — which she sees as potentially devastating.
> We’ve seen multiple nations go to their own peril and great destruction due to pathological leaders taking charge and leading entire nations to their destruction.
> That’s the power of mental pathology it can hypnotize you almost … to do things in ways you would not otherwise do.
> So, we’ve got a group of desperate refuge seekers hundreds of miles away … he spins that into an invasion that’s imminently threatening and that requires thousands of troops at the border, for example, to the point where people were ready to act on those beliefs.