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Dear DSM-V: A pox on all your diagnoses!

Joel Weinberger: The Dark Side of the Political Personality Redux: Weiner, Schwarzenegger, and Edwards

I haven't had time to post much lately, but questions about political personalities have certainly have certainly been on my mind the past few weeks. I generally find the media's obsession with stories such as Donald Trump, Sara Palin, Newt Gingrich, John Edwards and Anthony Weiner have recently inspired annoying. But looking at such things from a perspective of psyche and culture is much less so for me. That's why I found this piece by Joel Weinberger--in response to the coverage of Schwarzeneggar, Edwards and Weiner--interesting enough to post as a link:

Let me briefly review the psychological and emotional reasons that can lead to this kind of behavior and why politicians are more likely to have these characteristics. The interested reader is also referred to my previous column for a bit more detail. Space prevented then and prevents now a comprehensive review but here it is in a nutshell: There are four psychological factors that make this behavior likely; politicians are likely to have all four. These are: Narcissism, Power Motivation, High Risk Taking, and a False Self.


When I'm thinking about behavior of leaders and those who follow them, I find the works of Kohut, Winnicott (quoted by Weinberger in his article) and Lacan (now that I've thought more about his theories) to help organize my contemplations.

Weinberger does not include a link to his earlier article on John Edwards, so I'll include it  here.