Home Health America’s Fascination with Narcissism: Does Trump Bear Responsibility?

America’s Fascination with Narcissism: Does Trump Bear Responsibility?


In 2016, “Hamilton” dominated Broadway, The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” blared at parties, and media outlets questioned whether Donald Trump, then a presidential candidate, exhibited narcissistic traits.

Public interest surged with headlines like The Washington Post’s “Is Donald Trump a Textbook Narcissist?” and Vanity Fair’s “Is Donald Trump Actually a Narcissist?” Harvard Business Review explored “Why People Are Drawn to Narcissists Like Donald Trump.”

Narcissism, a term now familiar online and beyond, extends beyond clinical diagnosis. Dr. Ramani Durvasula noted in a 2021 interview that while only 5% have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, many exhibit narcissistic traits. Encounter with narcissistic individuals, she suggested, is nearly inevitable.

Articles on narcissism proliferated, resonating with my own extensive writings post-heartbreak. My work delved into spotting narcissists on first dates, their parenting styles, and holiday behaviors, reflecting a broader cultural shift.

Trump’s candidacy catalyzed public awareness, evident in Google searches peaking post-election. Clinical psychologist Dr. Durvasula attributed this rise to increased media use of terms like “narcissism” and “gaslighting,” fuelling a national dialogue.

Beyond politics, societal trends like social media, reality TV, and the #MeToo movement amplified narcissism discourse. The pandemic intensified this interest, as isolation prompted individuals to seek online guidance, often led by Dr. Durvasula, a prominent figure in narcissism education.

Her blunt approach resonated widely, offering clarity amid confusion. Her rise from academic to internet sensation mirrored broader shifts in mental health discourse, albeit with risks. Simplistic views and misinformation could undermine progress, she warned, urging nuanced understanding.

Personal experiences mirrored societal trends: encounters with narcissism reshaped perspectives on relationships and self-awareness. Through it all, the journey toward healing and understanding continued, revealing complexities and urging a balanced perspective on the phenomenon.