Psychologist-backed documentary labels Trump ‘malignant narcissist’

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LOS ANGELES: As battle lines are drawn ahead of US President Donald Trump's bid for re-election, a new documentary based on the testimony of mental health professionals has labelled him a "malignant narcissist".

Unfit: The Psychology Of Donald Trump - released on streaming platforms yesterday - claims not to be politically motivated.

The film interviews several psychologists who argue they have a medical duty to warn the US public about Mr Trump's alleged mental state.

According to psychologist John Gartner, Mr Trump clearly exhibits four key symptoms of malignant narcissism - the "most destructive" personality type - including paranoia, narcissism, antisocial personality disorder and sadism.

"This type of leader pops up all throughout history, and they're always extraordinarily disruptive," Dr Gartner told AFP.

But the film's central premise of diagnosing a public figure from afar is contentious.

Republican candidate Barry Goldwater successfully sued a magazine after it published a damning survey of psychiatrists speculating about his mental health during his failed 1964 run for president.

The psychiatric community later ruled that offering a professional opinion without an in-person examination is unethical.

However, Dr Gartner argues that the rise of observation-based diagnosis over traditional Freudian psychoanalysis - as well as the wealth of public data about Mr Trump's behaviour - makes that rule outdated. - AFP