Everybody knows that Donald Trump is mentally disturbed. His mental illness is hiding in plain sight. Someone who can never admit a mistake or show remorse or guilt is unbalanced. Someone who frequently brags and demeans others is emotionally insecure and volatile. And someone who appears to lack empathy invariably has something missing inside. No one has to go out on a limb to know that these things are true.
When I say that “everybody knows,” I realize that that isn’t literally true. Many people seem to like and admire Trump, and likely believe that critiques of his psychological stability originate from the liberal media and his political opponents. Instead, when I say that “everybody knows” Trump is disturbed, I’m saying you don’t need to be a trained psychiatrist or psychologist to believe that he is riddled with extreme emotional conflicts that hamper his ability to be a responsible leader. You just need some combination of common sense, intuition and empathy. Most psychotherapists understand their clients with just such tools. In this sense, analyzing Trump’s mind is almost as easy for the lay person as for the so-called expert.
For example, is anyone surprised that someone who smiles and clowns around all the time might be hiding depression or sadness? Or that a bully might secretly feel weak and scared? Or that a braggart is likely defending him or herself against feelings of insecurity or inferiority? Or that an abuser might have been abused as a child? These inferences don’t require speculative diagnostic leaps or specialized psychiatric knowledge, but are knowable through the ordinary emotional intelligence that guides us in normal social life.