Ado wrote:Not quite up there with Martin Brant or Ivan Milat though. Talk about dickheads.
What's the point of such comparisons?
actually ado, we were just discussing those 2 along with the norwegian guy who is currently on trial in the light of "mad" v 'bad"
the truth is the best forensic psychitrists struggle and disagree on such issues so it is not surprising people have trouble understanding what is going on.
psychiatrists try to put people into neat categories (read DSM 4 if you have the time, longer than the tax act) but the truth is there is a vast continuum form sane to insane and people flip back and forth , so even examination after the fact is unlikely to reveal someones true mental state except at the time of the examination
so if we accept that someone is not responsible for their actions we would have to accept that they are "psychotic" at the time of such actions (and not in touch with reality)
now when the beatles took lsd they probably experienced psychosis so even then someone could be psychotic but responsible for getting themselves in this position (in much the same way as taking drugs or alcohol would not excuse someone for an act , even if they had no memory or rational ability at the time of the act)
most people who experience regular psychosis are schizophrenic and that would be the usual definition of insane. indeed attend any casualty department and you will see people screaming that they are the second coming of jesus christ or napoleon or with fixed delusional ideas like those of john connor on terminator (were these really delusional).that is they are experiencing hallucianations auditory(voices talking to them) or visual
the truth is most schizophrenics are not at all dangerous and are really people who find the world very frightening.ie their hallucinations scare them, the voices do not say "go and attack that hotel clerk"
they can usually be treated with medications and if supervised and supported can live a much happier life than in the dreadful institutions they used to be locked in. (with nurse ratchett)
the diagnosis of bipolar disorder is interesting and has seen boom times in recent years. it is really the old manic depression and many very talented people have had this as they are extremely productive during the manic phase. i would imagine a lot of artists (maybe andy warhol ) would fit the bill. they can become psychotic (ie lose touch with reality) during the manic phase. it is possible this is what matthew has.
one of the problems with bipolar disorder is that it is being used a lot now as a "dumping ground' for people who seem to have trouble fitting in with other members of society and this is also where matthew may be situated.
certainly a lot of bikies, druggies etc end up at centrelink and at job networks and just cannot get on with co workers or governemtn agencies and lob in my room with a
"please diagnose this guy with bipolar as we can then put him on the disability pension as he has no hope of ever coping in the workplace" i sometimes comply if the bikie is big enough and angry enough but i feel most of these people actually have an "anti social personality disorder". ie they really need to do anger management and take it seriously
personality disorders are by far the hardest group to treat. (and anti social would be the hardest of these)other personailty disorders include
emos who cut themselves, extreme narcissisists, anorexics with eating disorders.people who fake symptoms to secure operations (munchuasens) , people who fake symptoms in their children to get their child operated on (munchausens by proxy) these people are usually still in touch with reality so cannot really be labelled as psychotic.
but then anorexics can become psychotic as can people with extreme depression as can people with post natal depression.
the whole thing is an area of great debate. indeed americans use schizophrnic drugs (seroquel) as a sleeper where we use it only to stop psychosis. we use epilim as a treatment for mood disorder and they use it for epilepsy. i doubt you will ever get agreement.the whole system is in a constant state of flux
then there is the sort of consumer bias which says that only an insane person could do what bryant did. but weigh this against what society would have said if bryant had a forensic psychitrist say he should be excused on the grounds of insanity.
terribly, terribly complex and so many factors to consider that its probably best left to a sensible impartial judge to decide what is best. this again is difficult as many forensic psychitrists are possibly in need of some medication themselves and the judges rely on these people as expert witnesses.