Due to Donald Trump’s recent behavior, many people are asking if he is really mentally deranged, and some commentators have wondered if he might have early stage Alzheimer’s. These questions haven’t yet made it to the mainstream media. They have mainly been confined to web publications and commentators on Facebook and other social media sites.
But now psychologists and psychiatrists are being asked these questions, at a time when many Republicans and other political leaders are disavowing Trump, and the Republican Party is exploring what to do if Trump pulls out of the race. Trump has even been hinting that he may bail by suggesting that Pence will handle foreign and domestic affairs; that the election is rigged; that he would withdraw if the polls drop; and that there could be civil disobedience if he loses.
The evidence of craziness has been coming fast and furious for the past few days, especially since Trump began attacking Khizr Khan and his wife, who are considered Gold Star parents, since they lost their son in Iraq in 2004, well before Obama came into office or Clinton became Secretary of State. But no matter. Trump has suggested that Obama was responsible for the son’s death, that Khan is an agent for the Muslim Brotherhood. Trump has even continued to up his attacks at a time when many members of the Republican Party have disavowed his comments and announced that they can no longer vote for him, due to his increasingly out of control behavior and because they feel one should not attack Gold Star parents, who have sacrificed so much in losing their son.
Plus there have been many other crazy incidents. One recent incident occurred in a security briefing when he asked three times why the USA can’t use nuclear weapons, if we have them. In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, he asserted that Russia wouldn’t go into the Ukraine, and when Stephanopoulos explained that Russia had already gone there, he tried to explain his way out of the situation. Then, when a baby cried at a recent rally, Trump first talked about loving babies and about a minute later, he kicked the mother and baby out of the rally.
Anyone following the news will see the pattern – increasingly erratic behavior, and despite calls to act more presidential, exercise control, show empathy, and focus his attacks on Hillary, Trump seems more and more to simply react emotionally by attacking anyone who has said anything negative about him. He even has withdrawn his support from Paul Ryan and John McCain, since they criticized his attack on the Khans, and he withdrew press credentials from the New York Times, because they don’t write “good.”
I previously cited authors who raised questions about Trump’s mental health and suggested he is mentally ill and called him crazy. Now, pointing to his erratic behavior, a growing chorus suggests that one reason for this crazy behavior is that Trump has early stage Alzheimer’s. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the 10 early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s include these: a memory loss that disrupts daily life; challenges in planning or solving problems, which includes difficulty in concentrating, and difficulty in completing familiar tasks at work or leisure. Other signs are having decreased or poor judgment and changes in mood or personality.
One can certainly see examples of this in Trump’s recent behavior. For example, he forgot about Russia taking over the Ukraine and he has difficulty staying on the subject in his interviews and rallies, skipping from one topic to another. He has repeatedly asked for the same information over and over, such as asking about using nuclear weapons three times, and has problems in finding the right word or calling things by the wrong names in his tweets.
He has shown very poor judgment in his recent attacks, and he has been increasingly on edge and ready to attack. Much like a classic patient with early stage Alzheimer’s, he readily becomes suspicious, fearful, or anxious, so he fights back like an animal or child, governed by the limbic system, the source of emotions, rather than exercising control, which is a function of the higher brain faculties. There is also research that Alzheimer’s is hereditary, and his father, Fred Trump, who lived from 1905 to 1999, suffered from Alzheimer’s for six years before he became sick with pneumonia in June 1999 and died a few weeks later.
So given Trump’s behavior, questions have been raised as early as July 2015, though not yet widely discussed in the mainstream media. For example, in the Daily Mail online forum, one established poster, Neil Cavuto, a TV announcer and commentator on the Fox Business Network made this observation: “Donald Trump claims to have a good memory, perhaps he did before the Alzheimer’s, because it isn’t open to interpretation…Early signs of Alzheimer’s would explain quite a bit of Donald Trump’s recent behavior. He has proven thin skinned. He has behaved erratically and shown little regard for social conventions – for example his attack on Megyn Kelly claiming she was asking difficult questions because she was menstruating and his mocking of a reporter’s disability.”
Another poster on this board Jack N Gary had this to say: “Does Trump show he’s having trouble with speech and turning thoughts into words or understanding others. Well, we’ve seen his off topic rants when asked a question…When asked a simple question on taxes by Sean Hannity – a known Trump supporter – he went on a verbal meander that brought in Russia, China, ISIS and hedge fund managers without actually addressing the question.”
Then, in February 2016, a series of commentators addressed the question: “Is Donald Trump Suffering from Delusional Senile Dementia?” The article by News Corpse noted that the “very public meltdown of Donald Trump over the past few months” raised the question of whether he was a likely candidate for a diagnosis of dementia.
To support this viewpoint, the article gave examples of Trump’s impaired judgment, loss of memory, and childish behavior. For example, even before the Khan eruption, at the beginning of his campaign he made some outrageous statements “untethered to reality” such as suggesting Mexico was sending over rapists and murders and that John McCain was not a war hero because he got captured. Though Trump bragged about having one of the best memories, he claimed he had seen thousands and thousands of Muslims celebrating the collapse of the World Trade Center which never happened, forgot that he once praised both Clinton and Obama highly, and claimed he never met a disabled reporter he mocked, though they had met many times.
Then, of course, there are Trump’s numerous childish tantrums, marked by “infantile insults about people’s looks and character,” and if criticized he punches back with “baseless, often unrelated, rebuttals.”
Later, in April 2016, writing for the Inquisitor, Samantha Kilgore asked the question: “Does Donald Trump Have Alzheimer’s? Questions About GOP Frontrunner’s Mental Fitness Arise.” As Kilgore notes, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, if two or more ‘core mental functions’ seem impaired, that individual “should seek medical help in order to get screened for possible dementia.” And Trump has been having trouble with at least five core functions: memory, communication and language, ability to focus and pay attention, and reasoning and judgment.
Plus she notes that that “people suffering Alzheimer’s have difficulty remembering newly learned information, are often disoriented, have mood and behavior changes, an increasing sense of paranoia and suspicion, and a deepening confusion about events, time, and places. In particular, she points out how Trump’s language is often disjointed, such as when he said in the first debate: “We need brain in this country to turn it around.” In another case, at a rally in Pittsburgh, Trump asked about a Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, who was disgraced due to his involvement in a sexual abuse scandal, died in 2012, and has no connection to Pittsburgh. Even so, Trump asked “How’s Joe Paterno? We gonna bring that back.” Another time, in New York, he mixed up the September 11 tragedy with the 7/11 convenience store.
Finally, for one more example, in April 27, 2016, April Hamlin writing for the If You Only News website raised this question: “Maybe Trump Isn’t Just an *sshole, Could He Actually Be Suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia.” Among other things she cited Trump’s response to a Washington Post reporter who asked if he would consider using a tactical nuclear weapon against ISIS. Trump awkwardly replied, shifting the subject in no particular logical way: “I don’t want to use, I don’t want to start the process of nuclear. Remember the one thing that everybody has said, I’m a counterpuncher. Rubio hit me. Bush hit me. When I said low energy, he’s a low-energy individual, he hit me first. I spent, by the way, he spent 18 million dollars’ worth of negative ads on me.” When the Post reporter tried to get him back on topic, Trump replied: “I’ll tell you one thing, this is a very good-looking group of people here. Could I just go around so I know who the hell I’m talking to?”
And now it would seem Trump is becoming even nuttier, which is too be expected as the symptoms of mental deterioration in Alzheimer’s become increasingly worse. As Daniel Halper noted in an August 3, 2016 article in the New York Post, members of his presidential campaign say he has been getting “nuttier and nuttier,” so that they are “increasingly frustrated by his outrageous comments and behavior.”
In short, since at least July 2015, the evidence has been mounting and questions have been raised about Trump’s mental health. And now? Well, follow the news for yourself, and see what you think. I think his behavior and statements show the classic signs of early stage Alzheimer’s which will only get worse. So should Trump be in the Oval Office? Should he have the ability to push the nuclear button? We could be one insult away from any foreign leader saying something to rile Trump, and then boom! It could be the beginning – or the end – of World War III.
Want more examples of how Trump is going nuts? To illustrate, I teamed up with a cartoonist and we wrote Trump Is Nuts! An Illustrated Guide and Coloring Book on the Many Ways that Trump Has Gone Nuts and Trump Is An Animal! Trump Is Nuts! features satiric cartoons depicting Trump as all kinds of nuts from cashews to pecans and ending up as a nut case and in the nuthouse. It combines these cartoons with incisive commentary about the many ways that Trump’s behavior is mentally disturbed or nuts. Trump Is an Animal! features Trump as a number of animals, from kangaroos to chimps and fur seals, who are fighting for power, territory, and mates, much like Trump strikes out and fights with anyone who threatens his position.