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Podcast: Donald Trump and Narcissism



“Donald Trump is a textbook narcissist.” We’ve all heard that many times over the past 6 years. But what, exactly, does that mean? What is a narcissist? And what makes mental health professionals believe that our former president is one?

Join us as Dr. Karyne Messina from Suburban Hospital | Johns Hopkins Medicine discusses narcissism, as well as her book, “Aftermath: Healing from the Trump Presidency.”

Dr. Karyne Messina

Dr. Karyne Messina is a psychologist and psychoanalyst. She’s also on the medical staff of Suburban Hospital—Johns Hopkins Medicine. Her books include: “Misogyny, Projective Identification and Mentalization: Psychoanalytic, Social and Institutional Manifestations,”“Aftermath: Healing from the Trump Presidency,” “Aftershock: How Populism and Projective Identification are Changing the Political Landscape Around the Globe,” and “It’s Not Me, It’s You! How Narcissists use Projective Identification to Get What They Want and How to Stop Them”(coming Spring 2022)

Gabe Howard

Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book, “Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Observations,” available from Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from the author.

Gabe makes his home in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. He lives with his supportive wife, Kendall, and a Miniature Schnauzer dog that he never wanted, but now can’t imagine life without. To learn more about Gabe, please visit his website,

Producer’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript has been computer generated and therefore may contain inaccuracies and grammar errors. Thank you.

Announcer: You’re listening to Inside Mental Health: A Psych Central Podcast where experts share experiences and the latest thinking on mental health and psychology. Here’s your host, Gabe Howard.

Gabe Howard: Welcome to this week’s episode of Inside Mental Health: A Psych Central Podcast, I’m your host Gabe Howard, and I want to thank our sponsor, Better Help. You can grab a week free by visiting And calling into the show today we have Dr. Karyne Messina. Dr. Messina is on the medical staff of Suburban Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine. She wrote the book Aftermath: Healing from the Trump Presidency and is an expert on narcissism. Dr. Messina, welcome to the show.

Dr. Karyne Messina: It’s such a pleasure to be here, Gabe, I’m really delighted.

Gabe Howard: We are delighted to have you. Now in the past several years, whenever I do a show on narcissistic personality disorder, the guest will inevitably cite former President Trump as a textbook case during the show. However, this is the first time that a guest has written a book on the subject. Now, I know that using any public figure as an example of anything is going to polarize the audience. However, not every public figure has a following willing to attempt overthrowing the government at their suggestion. As an expert, Dr. Messina, have you found that your book steals focus from your work on narcissism?

Dr. Karyne Messina: Well, I think sometimes I’m encouraged not to talk about President Trump. While he’s a poster child, I have been in groups and they’ve asked me not to mention my book, so hopefully, that answers your question.

Gabe Howard: It does, it does answer the question. So let’s start at the very beginning. Dr Messina, what exactly is a narcissist?

Dr. Karyne Messina: Okay, so narcissists and I’ll say, there’s healthy narcissism, there are people with narcissistic traits and there are people who have a narcissistic personality disorder. I would say Donald Trump is in the latter category. When people have a disorder, it’s as if they’re like an egg. On the outside of an egg, on the shell, you could hit it with your finger. Maybe something else. It feels pretty sturdy. Once you crack that everything falls out, it oozes out. There’s nothing left. And narcissists often talk about, when you can get them to talk about it, about feeling empty. So it’s like when the egg is cracked. They sometimes fly under the radar, though, and not when they’re blatant as the former president or people like that. But some narcissists, or most of them, are very charming. They can be attractive and funny, but when they’re narcissistically injured, in other words, when the egg does crack, that’s when they’re so internally or psychically bruised. People refer to narcissistic injuries. Often when they’re narcissistically injured, that’s when the other side of them comes out and all of the defenses come out. Narcissism is characteristic of people who lack empathy. They don’t really understand another person, nor do they care to try to figure out what another person is feeling. I knew somebody many years ago, and this wasn’t my patient, but he was in treatment for many, many years. And he learned how to say the right things. If someone came home, he knew to say, Oh hi, how was your day? But he didn’t really care. He would talk to me about it. He didn’t really care. He just learned the right thing that one is supposed to say if one is going to be in a relationship.

Dr. Karyne Messina: But generally, relationships don’t work out too well, not equal relationships. They are really, really entitled. They think they deserve certain things. And just because of who they are, it doesn’t matter whether they earned these things, they just think they’re entitled. Entitled to whatever it is that they want. And when they don’t get it, they often have this narcissistic injury, this crack. They lack accountability. They have a great need for control. And the other side of that coin is that they’re very threatened when they lose control. They typically lie, are very grandiose, they are the best, the greatest and the best. And I mean, we certainly know that the former president would talk about that often, talked about himself as being great and wonderful in various settings, in rallies. They’re very manipulative, often haughty and arrogant, and they have black and white thinking. It isn’t a gray world with good and bad. Which brings in a major defense of narcissists, which is projective identification. But just to simplify that means that they shift blame. It’s never them. It’s always somebody else. And we certainly saw that a lot in the last administration.

Gabe Howard: One of the criticisms that always comes up when citing a former president is, well, they all do it, they all do it. I must have seen this in my email a thousand times. Well, you’re picking on this particular politician, but they’re all narcissists. Now, even in research for this show, I see that politicians are often listed as having narcissistic personality disorder, or they’re called narcissists in the media. What set Trump apart? Because I notice that you didn’t write a book called Aftermath: Healing from Any Other Administration.

Dr. Karyne Messina: Yeah, there’s no healing from the Bush or Clinton or any other administration, yes, you’re right about that. I think because Donald Trump actually, as you pointed out, I mean, certainly there are theories about and I believe he did try to overthrow the government, but he’s right on the money in terms of being a narcissist. If you look at every single descriptor, you’ll find that Donald Trump does fit in the category of that description. However, I would like to say that there is a range in the narcissistic spectrum. There’s actually something called healthy narcissism. Healthy narcissism is a state where people take care of themselves.

Gabe Howard: So it is important to understand that narcissism does exist on a spectrum, so just because somebody is for lack of a better word, very narcissistic doesn’t automatically mean that just because somebody doesn’t model the same behavior, that doesn’t mean that they’re not narcissistic. They just might be less narcissistic.

Dr. Karyne Messina: Well, the way I think of it is traits. They have traits and these things that I mentioned empathy, entitlement, the need for control, if they have a couple of those traits to say, if they lack accountability and maybe they exaggerate, that’s another trait of a narcissist. They wouldn’t be someone who would have a disorder. There’s no certain number, but when you start adding these things up, when it really interferes with their relationship or their ability to have a relationship with another person, then that moves more towards the disorder category.

Gabe Howard: How do you know when you’re in a relationship with a narcissist and I don’t mean a romantic relationship? It could be a friendship or a coworker situation, but how can you tease that out?

Dr. Karyne Messina: You know, as I said, they can be charming, attractive, funny, so until the egg is cracked you might not know. But if you see that someone lacks empathy. Like you have a problem, but they don’t really care about talking about that. Even if you’ve talked with the person for hours on end about his or her problem, there’s not reciprocity in terms of talking about problems and issues. One big thing is that the person’s entitled. They think they deserve something. People will say, Well, I deserve that, a car like that. I don’t have that kind of car, but I deserve it. They think they deserve things because of who they are or who they know or what they do, and they’re special and that should be recognized. They get easily hurt. You can’t criticize them in any way, even if it’s constructive. Nobody likes to be criticized, I guess, but they really do something with it. Either they lash out, they usually is a pretty strong reaction to being hurt, and they are right. If you’re with somebody and person is always right and you can’t ever make a point or they can’t watch something on TV and see that somebody is making a point different than theirs, if they’re not right, then you can see some of the narcissistic injury kind of behaviors come out. So that’s another clue. And if you’re with anybody like this in romantic relationships, that’s not good news. If it’s not too late, it probably would be good to not continue the relationship. Also this one is a little surprising to people. When I mentioned that there are vulnerable narcissists. They have an intense fear of being abandoned. So rather than lashing out, these people tend to cling. They don’t want to let people go. Sometimes you see that in marriages and marriage counseling where somebody is narcissistically injured. But rather than being angry, they get real clingy.

Gabe Howard: Dr. Messina, now I’ve heard of malignant narcissism, how was that different from just plain old regular narcissism?

Dr. Karyne Messina: As difficult as it is to be with a narcissist, somebody who has a narcissistic personality disorder. Generally speaking, there aren’t things that are criminal or a severely destructive it isn’t it isn’t severely destructive pathology. When it comes to malignant narcissism, we’re talking about inhumane acts exhibited by say dictators or tyrants, and it’s often associated with people like Hitler and Stalin. And there’s antisocial behavior, a lack of remorse, destructiveness, deceitfulness, disregard and a real violation of others. Paranoid thinking and a sense of persecution, difficulty trusting anybody. Everybody, I think everybody is after them or not loyal to them, therefore they are bad.

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Gabe Howard: We’re back discussing narcissism with Dr. Karyne Messina.Obviously, the majority of us are not going to have firsthand accounts with Donald Trump. We’re not going to interact with him one on one. So this question is more designed for what if we have that, that Donald Trump in our lives? What are some things that a person can do if he or she does have to directly interact with a narcissist?

Dr. Karyne Messina: Well, don’t allow yourself to be pushed around. Chances are when they think they’re right and they think you’re wrong, they push their agenda onto you. Or their attitude or their decision about something. Also, just don’t go along with their demands. If they say, Well, we have to do it on Sunday at two o’clock, well, maybe you’re busy Sunday at two. So it’s good not to give up your own agenda just because they want to do it at a certain time. Set your own boundaries and stick to them. There are things that people want to do and the things that they don’t want to do. And while we always compromise, you will never get any compromise from a person with a narcissistic personality disorder, so it’s important to recognize that pretty early and set your boundaries and stick to them. Another important thing is, I mentioned projective identification. What that is is that they project something about themselves they don’t like onto other people. Sometimes it’s so natural, they don’t even, it’s so automatic. They don’t even recognize they’re doing it. And most narcissists aren’t that self-reflective anyway. But if they project something, it’s important not to accept those projections, so it’s almost as if you just push it back to them. Donald Trump did that all the time. I don’t recall when anything came of any problem, whether it was a domestic problem or things around the world. I don’t recall it ever being his fault. You know, presidents have gotten up and they said things, well, perhaps we shouldn’t have done this or that, or they’ll say it in some kind of interview, but I don’t think Donald Trump ever admitted to anything that he took that was wrong or not optimal. It was always the best. The greatest. No mistakes, including winning the last election, which you clearly didn’t win. I think he’s still going around saying he did. Clearly, he didn’t

Gabe Howard: Dr. Messina, let’s talk about some solutions and your book, “Aftermath: Healing from the Trump Presidency,” does offer some. Now, obviously, we can’t go through the entire book here on this show, but is there anything that you recommend to our listeners in order to move forward? Because, as you’ve said, a lot of people were stunned by President Trump’s behavior. They’re still stunned by President Trump’s behavior, and many people are still reeling from the attack on the Capitol on January 6.

Dr. Karyne Messina: Well, obviously it’s a daunting task. What we can do is try to bridge the divide in America and also just in general. Another thing people can do is learn to mentalize. And so what that means, it’s a psychological word, it was used at the Menninger Clinic a lot to help people with borderline personality disorders, but it’s good for all of us. And it’s listening in an atmosphere of respect without judgment. So it’s talking to another person without judging or just listening to what they have to say, listening to a red state person, as long as they’re respectful, when they’re not respectful, then that’s where I draw the line. But as long as they’re just expressing their views, I think it’s important to listen without judging them. And that’s not easy because we all, you know, are very polarized. If you’re a red state person, it’s hard to listen to blue state people.

Gabe Howard: Thank you so much for that, and I agree with you, you know, there’s a quote that I like it is by columnist Doug Larson, and it is wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have preferred to talk. I try to remember that often, don’t always succeed, but I absolutely think that listening is very, very important. I completely agree that we have to have our boundaries. We should not be abused, but I really don’t think we are listening to each other. And I really think that we’re never going to reach any compromise. We’re never going to get together and we’re never going to heal and move forward if we’re just talking at each other, arguing with each other. Now, Dr. Messina, where can folks find you and your book?

Dr. Karyne Messina: They can find it on Amazon. I have a website that talks about some of the ideas that I talked about today. It’s

Gabe Howard: Dr Messina, thank you so much for being here, I really appreciate it, thank you.

Dr. Karyne Messina: Well, thank you so much.

Gabe Howard: Oh, you are very welcome and a big thank you to all of our listeners. My name is Gabe Howard and I am the author of “Mental Illness Is an Asshole and Other Observations.” I’m also a nationally recognized public speaker and I would love to be at your next event. You can grab a signed copy of my book and I’ll even include free swag just by heading over to Wherever you downloaded this episode, please subscribe or follow the show. It’s absolutely free. And hey, word of mouth is our best advertising. Please recommend the show to friends or colleagues. I will see everybody next Thursday on Inside Mental Health.

Announcer: You’ve been listening to Inside Mental Health: A Psych Central Podcast from Healthline Media. Have a topic or guest suggestion? E-mail us at [email protected] Previous episodes can be found at or on your favorite podcast player. Thank you for listening.

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‘West Side Story’ cast on Stephen Sondheim’s film ‘blessing’



Stephen Sondheim’s immense impact on the world of musical theater was felt at the New York premiere of Steven Spielberg’s version of the composer’s “West Side Story” on Monday night.

The movie’s cast and crew shared their memories of the Broadway luminary, who died last Friday at 91 — and who spent his final days watching his magnum opus once again come to life on the silver screen.

“[In] one of the last messages I received from him, he just gushed over the film,” Justin Peck, the New York City Ballet’s resident choreographer, told Page Six.

“Stephen said to me, ‘On behalf of the original authors, we’re so proud of what this film is, and I’m so happy that it’s been made.’ That was all the feedback I ever needed … I know that he was happy with the film.”

Stephen Sondheim attends the 2019 American Songbook Gala
Sondheim, who was considered one of the most important figures of musical theater, died at his Roxbury, Connecticut, home.
Getty Images

Rita Moreno, who appeared in the original 1961 film as Anita, said she felt “privileged” to have been “in the same generation as him.”

“I’m just so glad he was able to attend our recording sessions,” the actress, who appears in a new role in Spielberg’s adaptation, told Page Six.

Justin Peck and Patricia Delgado on the red carpet.
Choreographer Justin Peck and his wife, associate choreographer Patricia Delgado, reflected on their time working with Sondheim.
Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Associate choreographer Patricia Delgado said the famed composer and lyricist’s “powerful” presence could be felt as the cast and crew gathered at the premiere.

“He was really the only one alive [from the original film] to give us his blessing,” she said. “He’s contributed so much to all of us already that he lives in us.”

Rachel Zegler on the red carpet.
Zegler stunned on the red carpet at the New York premiere, revealing Sondheim was the “reason” she pursued a career in musical theater.
Getty Images for 20th Century St

The film’s breakout star, 20-year-old Rachel Zegler, who is taking on the role of Maria, also cited Sondheim as the “reason [she] got into musical theater.”

“Getting to share a room with him, getting to talk to him and tell him how much he’s meant to me throughout my entire life is something they can never take away from me,” she said.

Rita Moreno on the red carpet.
EGOT winner Rita Moreno will appear in a new role in the film, 60 years after her star-making turn as Anita.
Getty Images

Zegler stars opposite Ansel Elgort’s Tony in the film, which arrives in theaters Dec. 10. Their characters’ ill-fated love story, based on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” ignites the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, rival street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

While the 1961 movie featured white actors like Natalie Wood in roles such as Maria, who is Puerto Rican, Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner cast Hispanic actors in all Latino roles.

A still from "West Side Story."
The film will be released in cinemas nationwide on December 10, just weeks after Sondheim’s death.

“Both Tony and Steven made an absolute point that Latino [actors] were going to play Latinos,” Moreno said, noting how “grateful” she was that Kushner created a new role in the film especially for her.

“I’m just thrilled to be a piece of this yet again. I owe it all to Tony Kushner for making a new character for me in an iconic movie … we really have become dear and close friends, he’s a genius.”

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Deathloop Game Update 3: Release Date, Patch Notes, Gameplay, Bug Fixes And More



Deathloop Game Update 3 is expected to be launched next as the developers attempt to make some minor changes to ensure that the gameplay runs as smooth as possible.

Bethesda have received huge praise following the successful launch of their all-new first-person shooter, and rightly so, thanks to the unique storyline and interesting characters that the game possesses.

As a result, Deathloop is up for a number of awards, including six Golden Joystick Awards and walked away with the prize of the Critic’s Choice Award (via Gamesradar).

Read more: Deathloop Nominated For Six Golden Joysticks Awards – Including Game Of The Year

Despite this Bethesda have not rested on their laurels and have added a couple of patches so far – and are set to add a third.

Enough talk! Scroll down to find out everything we know about Deathloop Game Update 3 so far:

Release Date

Deathloop Update 3

At the time of writing, we are yet to receive confirmation regarding when Bethesda will be launching Game Update 3.

Similar to EA, no warning is given before release and it is unlikely that it will be the case with Update 3 either.

However, fear not! This could change – in which case we will update this section of the article as soon as more details are revealed in the coming days and weeks. So, stick with us and stay tuned!

Patch Notes

As mentioned above, the patch notes for Deathloop Game Update 3 are yet to be announced and a comprehensive list, as well as the sections below, will be filled out in their entirety once they have been confirmed by Bethesda. Keep your eyes peeled!



Bug Fixes


Click on the links below to look back on all of the patches that have been added to Deathloop so far:

You can find all of the latest Deathloop News and everything Gaming related right here at GiveMeSport.

News Now – Sport News

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Manchin Noncommittal on Renewing Biden Child Tax Credit Flowing to West Virginians



  • Sen. Joe Manchin is noncommittal on extending the child tax credit.
  • On Tuesday, he told Insider “everybody’s still talking and working. It’s a work in progress.”
  • Millions of children are receiving the CTC, hundreds of thousands of them in Manchin’s home state.

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On Tuesday, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia didn’t commit to approving the one-year child tax credit expansion as it’s laid out in the $2 trillion House-approved social spending package. It raises the prospect of further changes to the proposed cash benefit.

“Everybody’s still talking,” Manchin told Insider. “Everybody’s still talking and working. It’s a work in progress.”

He’d previously pushed for a work requirement as a condition to receiving the federal help.

Manchin’s noncommittal approach to the benefit underscores the potential adjustments to the House legislation now traveling through the evenly divided Senate. House Democrats approved the sprawling climate, health, and childcare package which contains the bulk of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda on November 19. Now all 50 Senate Democrats must coalesce around the package so it can clear the upper chamber.

Around $190 billion is set aside to renew the bulked-up child tax credit. It’s reached tens of millions of children in the form of monthly payments since July, including many in Manchin’s home state. Over 346,000 West Virginian kids have qualified for the aid, per the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.

It provides up to $300 a month per child age 5 and under, or $3,600 annually. For children between ages 6 and 17, families can receive $250 each month, or $3,000 yearly. And it would lock in the ability for the vast majority of American families to tap into the aid every month, regardless of whether they file taxes.

Experts and advocates say the measure has played a critical role in cutting child poverty. An August analysis from the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University indicated the child poverty rate dropped to 12% from 16% after the first checks went out. That amounts to three million kids that no longer live below the poverty line.

“It’s kind of a breakthrough idea here in Washington that we should just increase their financial resources to lift them out of poverty, and it’s working,” Andy Boardman, a research assistant at the nonpartisan Urban Institute, said in an interview. “We’re seeing poverty is down among families who are receiving the child tax credit, food insecurity is down. So it’s been hugely, hugely impactful.”

It’s also helped families buy school supplies, cover rent, and put food on the table, Insider previously reported.

The Biden administration has aggressively touted the child tax credit in recent months. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called the sharp drop in food insecurity among families “a profound economic and moral victory for the country” at a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

The child allowance has virtually no support among Republican lawmakers. Some like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell assailed it as a “welfare deposit.” The last monthly payment is set to go out on December 15, and 35 million families could be deprived of aid if Congress doesn’t step in.

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