Mental health experts explain the rise of Donald Trump

The appeal of Donald Trump is revealed.
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Donald Trump's immense appeal has those who aren't swept up in the fervor scratching their heads and wondering what exactly they're missing. According to behavioral experts in psychiatry and psychology, however, there's a very simple reason why Trump is so popular right now — and it's all in your head.

David Berg, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, told The New York Times that people's instinctual fight or flight responses are triggered by perceived threats to their security such as "changing demographics, Wall Street greed, immigration […] ISIS, China, Russia."

There is no longer any place to run to. The ocean no longer protects us and we are fearful of losing control of our boundaries, much like Europe, so unless we confront the threat, it will find us no matter how much we try to escape or erect walls.At some level, deep within our primitive unconscious, those regions of the brain that process fear before the cerebral cortex construct a story to explain it. We are in search of someone to help us fight what we perceive as both internal and external threats to our 'group' as if such a fight will make us safe. [Berg via The New York Times]

Psychotherapist Joseph Burgo put it more bluntly. "For many people, Trump's braggadocio, contempt, and grandiosity come across as self-confident strength," he said. "While frightened by dangers from abroad or here at home, many people gravitate to the 'strong man' who promise to vanquish their fears and confusion."

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Forensic psychiatrist Lise Van Sustern added that, "For the white male, Trump offers a chance to have his sense of manhood restored. He conveys enormous confidence. Voting for Trump feels empowering in the sense that you can say what you believe without getting in trouble for it." For women, Van Sustern said Trump "represents security."

But Donald Trump's effects on your brain only go so far. While the Republican frontrunner may possess a personality that earns him loyalty and support, psychologist John Gartner warned that the traits that "get you elected are not the same as the capacity for governing.”

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