From the category archives:

Mental Health

jet-in-riverSeveral media sources have been reporting on the high probability of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurring in those passengers who were on board the US Air jet that recently crashed into the Hudson river. Clearly, some of the passengers will have problems with anxiety, depression and insomnia after such a horrifying near death experience, but which ones?

The passengers who are most at risk are women, those with substance abuse problems, and believe it or not, a family history of post traumatic stress. Also, individuals who were able to assist other passengers and generally help out in the emergency situation are less likely to suffer from PTSD. Most of the people who end up with PTSD symptoms will develop them within about 3 months, but it could happen later.

Fortunately, there are very effective treatments for PTSD, including medications and counseling, so these passengers should seek assistance for any problems they may have, rather than simply “toughing it out.”

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When you work in the medical field, you tend to explain everything you can in medical terms. As they say, when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Such is the case with Rod Blagojevich, a strong contender for knucklehead of the year.

I have been pondering why a man in such a prominent and visible position, such as Governor of Illinois, would act like he has. He has been accused by authorities of attempting to sell a vacant senate seat, and the DA says there are audio tapes that prove this. The governor has denied any wrongdoing. The President-elect has said Blagojevich should step down, but instead he has appointed a replacement to the Senate, all while Illinois considers impeachment. This does not sound like normal behavior.

What we need here is a diagnosis, so let’s consider Narcissistic personality disorder.

To meet criteria for this diagnosis, a person has to have 5 of the following criteria:

1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance

2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

3) believes that he or she is “special” and unique

4) requires excessive admiration

5) has a sense of entitlement

6) is interpersonally exploitative

7) lacks empathy

8 ) is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her

9) shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Hmm. Sounds like we have a winner. The good news for Blagojevich is that now he has a diagnosis to blame everything on. He’s a victim too! Well, at least it’s better than the Twinkie defense.