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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Does Trump have ADHD?

Commenter Mark Caplan made an insightful suggestion this morning: Trump likely has ADHD.

From Wikipedia:

Inattention, hyperactivity (restlessness in adults), disruptive behavior, and impulsivity are common in ADHD. Academic difficulties are frequent as are problems with relationships. The symptoms can be difficult to define as it is hard to draw a line at where normal levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity end and significant levels requiring interventions begin....

A child with ADHD hyperactive/impulsive type has most or all of the following symptoms, excluding situations where these symptoms are better explained by another psychiatric or medical condition:
-Fidget and squirm in their seats
-Talk nonstop
-Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
-Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, doing homework, and story time
-Be constantly in motion
-Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities
-Be very impatient
-Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
-Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games
-Often interrupt conversations or others' activities

This does sound like Trump, and it would explain a lot. During the last debate, much was made of the fact that when it was Hillary's turn to speak, Trump would often walk back and forth, and at one point even did some modified push-ups on his chair. (Fidgety.)

He has by all accounts been reluctant to sit down and practice debating with his team. And he has also been unwilling to do his homework on the minutiae of foreign policy, learning other countries' leaders' names, and so on. (He has "trouble sitting still...doing homework" and is "very impatient.")

Mark mentioned that Trump has admitted that he doesn't read books, another activity requiring patience.

Trump interrupted Hillary frequently during the debates. ("Often interrupt conversations...Have difficulty waiting their turns...")

His frequent and often self-destructive Tweeting is another sign of impulsiveness. As is his spontaneous blurting out of insults about people's looks.

He's been married three times. ("Problems with relationships" -- although, in all fairness, this may just be par for a billionaire.)

Is it possible that even his tendency to repeat himself is a sign of ADHD -- the repetitions buy him time to gather his next thoughts, which tend to scatter.

Mark also pointed out that Trump describes everything as either a "disaster" or a "catastrophe." Might it be that his limited vocabulary is another side effect of the ADHD? (If you can't concentrate, it's harder to remember a lot of words.)

Remember, Trump was sent to a military school at age 13 because he was a "discipline problem." Those two words are often used to describe someone with ADHD.

The Clinton team undoubtedly hired some psychologists to give their opinion of Trump, and they undoubtedly offered the words "narcissistic" as well as "attention deficit" and advised her to keep him off balance and off message with personal attacks. (These work well with a narcissist, as he will always defend himself, and with someone with ADD or ADHD, since he will lose his train of thought.)

Hillary was able to do this successfully in the first debate, much less so in the second. The Clinton campaign, of course, wants to prevent Trump from sticking to his script, since he has a winning one. So far they've been partially successful.

Let's hope -- for the good of the country -- that somebody gives Trump some Ritalin for the third debate.

And, that somebody points out to him that there are many perfectly good synonyms for "disaster" (courtesy of debacle, calamity, failure, fiasco, flop, washout, blight, and bust.

All of which would describe a Hillary Presidency well.


Anonymous said...

Indeed ADHD would explain alot. Maybe his ADHD isn't only a disadvantage but an advantage too. It makes him unpredictable which makes him harder to counter. I'm always impressed how alive he looks compared to the robot like Hillary.

I saw him live in Albuquerque and observed how he energized the crowd there. His "speech" was boring and repetitive but it didn't matter.

Not sure if he can win, but I hope so. Would be a signal of hope for us over here in Europe


John Craig said...

Sebastian --
I've found on a few occasions that some of the more charming people I've met have ADD or ADHD. As kids they're often problems, and as students they can have problems, but somehow as adults they can be a lot of fun. And they are more electrifying, and convey more excitement. So yeah, I think you're right.

Steven said...

That sounds about right.

Like Honey in Bobby Goldsboro's corny classic, he's kinda dumb and kinda smart.

Runner Katy said...

That does make a lot of sense! The question remains, would Americans want to see what a Ritalin Trump looks like? Would that help, or would he become stoic and dull and political, like Hilary?

John Craig said...

Runner Katy --
I'd hope he'd stay himself and also stay on message.

I don't think turning into Hillary is in the cards no matter what he takes.

Anonymous said...

I think he has ADHD plus a touch of bipolar.

My fear is that a lot of people will simply vote for Hillary because she is the duller and steadier of the two. Trump can be horribly grating. I say this as someone who supports his policies. Every time I see Trump I say to myself, "Why couldn't Mitt Romney say these things?"


John Craig said...

Puzzled --
Bipolar? I've never seen Trump in a down phase.

Couldn't agree with you more on your larger point. Trump has an incredibly good message, something this country has needed for a long time, but he's a very flawed messenger.

And so, unfortunately, the election will probably turn on whether he was rude to a few women.

Anonymous said...

"I've never seen Trump in a down phase. "

Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

John Craig said...

Anon (Puzzled?) --
True enough, but I'd want to see it before I said he was bipolar. And usually when someone is in the public eye as much as he's been, you'd have some indication.

Anonymous said...

My youngest child has ADHD, and when Trump was pacing back and forth, that's the first thing I thought of. As you mentioned, this explains his inability to keep his mouth shut. Sadly, this trait might cost him the election.


John Craig said...

Spartan --
The fate of the country hangs in the balance, so, yeah, it is unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

Trump having ADHD makes sense.

- Susan

Rifleman said...

Trump claims he only sleeps 4 hours per day. He seems extremely extroverted and shallow.

He's pretty flawed obviously, but Hilary and her camp are far worse.