The Onion (3/10/16)
MIAMI—Following a series of attacks by his opponents on inconsistent policy statements he has made in the past, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump reportedly shot back at his challengers with a pointed and stinging rebuttal during Thursday’s GOP debate, saying, “I suffer from severe psychological issues, and I desperately need the help of mental health professionals.”
Sources said Trump’s biting retort, in which he acknowledged having debilitating cognitive and emotional impairments that rendered him wholly unfit to make important decisions for himself, let alone for a nation of 320 million people, came during the first hour of the nationally televised debate, and drew raucous cheers and applause from the audience.
“What people need to understand is that I’m plagued by very real and very serious mental health issues that leave me with considerable mental deficits and sharply distort the reality I perceive,” said Trump, his blunt and forceful rejoinder cutting through the noise of the other candidates talking over one another and silencing the field. “Look, folks, I have a crippling, intractable personality disorder, exacerbated by ongoing chemical imbalances in my brain, that is manifesting itself as an acute, long-term manic episode. Let’s be clear here: I lack the sound judgment, impulse control, and ability to regulate emotional responses that a rational, mentally healthy human being should possess.”
“I am sincerely afraid of what I might do to myself or others—please, someone help me,” Trump continued, leaving his challengers flustered as the crowd erupted in a standing ovation.
According to sources, Trump then wasted no time hammering home his message by providing a detailed description of his diagnosis. Using his entire 60-second debate response allotment, Trump cited a number of symptoms from the <i>DSM-5</i>—the American Psychiatric Association’s primary disorder classification text—that he said incessantly plague him, including delusions of inflated worth, power, knowledge, and identity, before making a strong case for his having a severe persecution complex.
After outlining a lengthy list of comorbid conditions—among them narcissistic personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and certain elements of paranoid schizophrenia—the presidential frontrunner was said to have put his debate opponents on their back heels when he pointed out several features of psychopathy that he presents, including pathological egocentricity and a total lack of empathy.
Trump’s stunned adversaries were seen standing by silently as the candidate bolstered his position with a memorable sound bite in which he referenced actions from the past few months that he believes offer confirmation of his grave mental health problems, including several instances in which he incited violence against the press and protesters during his rallies. Shouting down others after his debate timer sounded, Trump then reportedly doubled down on his point by loudly reiterating his immediate need to be placed under the care of a team of dedicated psychiatric specialists at the top of their respective fields.
“What remains to be seen is whether there are lesions on the frontal and prefrontal regions of my brain, or if these areas were congenitally malformed since birth. Either way, there are significant abnormalities in these intracranial structures and they are severely impacting my behavior,” said Trump, sternly cutting off Ohio governor John Kasich, who had attempted to interject. “The fact of the matter is that my condition can only be managed by an intense, round-the-clock regimen of psychoanalysis, powerful mood-stabilizing drugs, and daily cognitive behavioral therapy. That much is clear.”
Trump reportedly refused to let up even after moderator Jake Tapper attempted to redirect the conversation, stealing the spotlight from his opponents by listing several indicators that he also suffers from body dysmorphic disorder, in which the afflicted person has an obsessive preoccupation that aspects of his own appearance are severely flawed.
“The American people must accept that I am never, ever going to get better on my own, and realize that, if untreated, my condition will spiral even further out of control until I enter a persistent and almost certainly violent state of psychosis,” said Trump during what many pundits saw as the most devastating rhetorical blow landed during the debate. “Listen to me: I need to be institutionalized for the rest of my life and kept outside of normal human society. Please, stop cheering. I’m suffering.”
“For the love of God, I just want this to end,” he continued.
Trump reportedly concluded his remarks by making the evening’s most compelling argument for his case, saying it should be legal to detain Muslim U.S. citizens indefinitely without just cause.