The Disease of Our Times

There’s an interesting article in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, “The ‘Pseudocommando’ Mass Murderer: Part I, The Psychology of Revenge and Obliteration” that has some relevance to the events of the last several days. Here’s a bit from the abstract:

The pseudocommando is a type of mass murderer who kills in public during the daytime, plans his offense well in advance, and comes prepared with a powerful arsenal of weapons. He has no escape planned and expects to be killed during the incident. Research suggests that the pseudocommando is driven by strong feelings of anger and resentment, flowing from beliefs about being persecuted or grossly mistreated. He views himself as carrying out a highly personal agenda of payback. Some mass murderers take special steps to send a final communication to the public or news media; these communications, to date, have received little detailed analysis.

It’s been said that each age has a characteristic psychological malady. So, in the Middle Ages that malady was hysteria and in the 19th century depression. If we have a psychological malady that characterizes our own age, it may well be narcissism, the disorder that contributes to “pseudocommando” mass murderers.

206 comments… add one

  • I plan to talk my brother into it, too, this morning. We can acquire a more thorough profile that way.

  • Janis,

    Can you cool it with the comment spam? I was going to try and read some of the comments, but no way I’m wading through 200 comments of which most are yours.

  • i Know. I can. I’ve hardly been in control.

    With Sunoco finally behind, I can cool down. I have been furious.

    Dave and his readers have been more than generous. I will do better.

  • During the time that this guy spent doing whatever, I redecorated my house, changed the roof, had it painted and changed the shutter colors, planted a garden, revamped my wardrobe, realigned all my business affairs, made a new woman friend, and re-established contacts that had languished for 20 years, pleased my MIL, and set up some business contacts for the future.

    The man made me crazy.

  • He has a paying job and millions of others don’t.

  • Bereavement can be very busy. I can’t catch a breath.

    Plus I shot out three boxes of satsumas today.

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