What sets mental illness apart from physical illness is the ability of the person to hide the symptoms of the disease. For example, if you have the flu sooner or later someone will catch on that your ill, either you’re sick or you’re well. If you have cancer, you have cancer it is rated by what stage the cancer is in but with a mental illness everyday is different. Today all the symptoms are completely under control and the individual appears normal. A bad day at work or an unexpected bill and the symptoms emerge from the peaceful persona like an enraged Bengal tiger.
One of my favorite expressions in life is, “The whole worlds crazy except for you and me but sometimes I don’t know about you.” It’s funny because it’s very true, we see ourselves as the picture of sanity and judge the rest of world accordingly. Our personality traits, our foibles our actions and prejudices are the benchmarks by which we judge our own sanity. We laud that in our humanity it is our differences that make the world go round but the benchmarks themselves are open to interpretation. We would not accept from anyone that a body temperature of 103 is just being different or a free spirit.
I was once involved in a court case where the defendant was ordered to have a psychological evaluation, the doctor then testified in court that the patient scored outside the norms in several areas. The patient was somewhat paranoid and borderline manic-depressive and though not delusional had a narrow view on the motivations of others. As I listened I thought to my self this looks bad but I was confounded when the doctor then concluded that the patient was completely acceptable as a parent and should be allowed to roam the streets unhindered.
Of course a lot has to do with class and money if the person had been without funds to hire their own doctor rather than the states maybe the diagnosis would have been different? Howard Hughes was an eccentric while the homeless man down town is crazy. Pretty is as pretty does and crazy is as crazy does, growing up in the seventies I have seen people with drug problems. Years later as a manager I was compelled to deal with employees with both mental and drug problems. Some had drug problems exacerbated by mental problems while some had mental problems and were self-medicating themselves with drugs merely discontinuing the drugs didn’t solve the problems.
But in the circles of the affluent or the powerful or celebrity there is what I call the Elvis syndrome. The people around Elvis were all loyal to the king and the king was loyal to them, when Elvis told a joke everyone laughed even if it wasn’t funny. No one dared tell the king he didn’t need second helpings or maybe he should kick the sleeping pills. The king was their ticket to the good life and there was no sense upsetting the apple cart by telling the king he was fat or a drug addict. That’s what your friends do, not employees pretending to be your friends their jobs is to laugh at your jokes and say, “Good idea Elvis.”
1. Glibness/superficial charm.
2. Grandiose sense of self-worth.
3. Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
4. Pathological lying
6. Lack of remorse or guilt
7. Shallow affect
8. Callous/lack of empathy
9. Parasitic lifestyle
10. Poor behavioral controls
11. Promiscuous sexual behavior
12. Early behavior problems
13. Lack of realistic, long-term plans
16. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
17. Many short-term marital relationships
18. Juvenile delinquency
20. Criminal versatility
What makes the sociopath so dangerous is the contempt for which they hold for the rest of the world. They can appear to be completely normal to all the world because they understand what it takes to appear to be normal. The see themselves as super intelligent and by conning you it reinforces that belief, like serial killers that leave behind clues just to taunt the police. They are insane but like a savant they have a cunning clarity for self-preservation they hide like a submarine and act in stealth.
Is the President a sociopath? In my mind there is no doubt of it. Is the President a serial killer? In my mind there is no doubt of it. Should the President be impeached? There is no need too, the President is mentally disabled and unfit to hold office and should be removed on those grounds. Is the President competent to stand trial? I don’t know but I do know that those who abet him are. What better alias could the President assume then the dullard being control by sharpies rather than the other way around?
We see only the public persona of the President with only fleeting glimpses behind the scenes. It was generally assumed early in the administration that the President was no more than Charlie McCarthy or Mortimer Snerd and that Cheney and Rumsfeld were the Edgar Bergen’s. But after the November elections, after Rumsfeld was fired, it was perceived as a token that the administration was willing to negotiate with Congress. But lost in the media hoopla were Rumsfelds claims that he had tried to change the Presidents mind and that he had disagreed with the President.
“They misunderestimated me.” I don’t think the President has ever said any truer words. We have misunderestimed him; the Presidents new war czar is a perfect example of this. The Pentagon more than any other branch of the government has stood up to the President, they warned him before the invasion of Iraq during the invasion and after the invasion. And who was the first to go? Colin Powell to be followed by a host of other Generals. The President wants a war czar to shield him from reality brought in by those pesky generals in the field. He claims it is to coordinate the actions of the services but isn’t that what the joint chief of staff are for?
Last week the President gave a news conference in the rose garden warning the public to expect more US casualties in Iraq. Curiously disconnected, like an actor who didn’t quite understand his motivation for the scene, the President presented this like it was news to the American public at least it seemed to be news to him. “There has been a spike in enemy activity” he explained. Forgetting that his surge policy was intended to pacify the very area he was discussing. He seemed befuddled unable to connect cause and effect of his own polices.