Why is Donald Trump so emotionally unstable? Tony Schwartz who knows Trump well has an answer. Tony wrote Trump’s first book The Art of the Deal. Tony’s comments in The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump has this to say:
“As we have seen countless times during the campaign and since the election, Trump can devolve into survival mode on a moment’s notice. Look no further than the thousands of tweets he has written attacking his perceived enemies over the past year. In neurochemical terms, when he feels threatened or thwarted, Trump moves into a fight-or-flight state. His amygdala is triggered, his hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activates, and his prefrontal cortex — the part of the brain that makes us capable of rationality and reflection — shuts down. He reacts rather than reflects, and damn the consequences. This is what makes his access to the nuclear codes so dangerous and frightening.”
I discuss in more detail how these brain processes work in chapter 9 of my book Faultfinders: The Impact of Borderline Personality Disorder.