MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD
Editor’s Note: Due to high interest in the presidential and other elections coming up on Tuesday, Nov. 8, the deadline for political Letters to the Editor has been extended for one week. Letters will now be accepted until 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, to be published in the upcoming pre-election editions of Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal. Below is an example of one of 10 excellent letters from readers published in your newspapers this week. Click HERE to send a letter
Irritable, Aggressive? Sound Familiar?
To the Editor:
As we near the date of the election, some of us may be concerned about the mental state of our presidential candidates. Mental illnesses are categorized, defined, and described by the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual,” Fifth Edition, of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-5). This handbook is used by mental health treatment providers throughout the country to establish and standardize diagnoses.
Antisocial Personality Disorder is among the mental disorders described in DSM-5. It is a “pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others….” (DSM-5, p. 659). This disorder is indicated by: “Deceitfulness as indicated by repeated lying…or conning others for personal profit or pleasure…. Irritability and aggressiveness…. Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to…honor financial obligations…. Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt (or) mistreated another” (ibid.).
“Individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder frequently lack empathy and tend to be callous, cynical, and contemptuous of the feelings, rights, and sufferings of others. They may have an inflated and arrogant self-appraisal…and may be excessively opinionated, self-assured, or cocky. They may display a glib, superficial charm…. These individuals may also be irresponsible and exploitative in their sexual relationships…. Individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder also often have personality features that meet criteria for other personality disorders, particularly borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic personality disorders” (op.cit., pp. 660-661).
The DSM-5 provides the following description and diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder. “A pervasive pattern of grandiosity…need for admiration, and lack of empathy…as indicated by (the following): Has grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents…)… Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance… Has a sense of entitlement (i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment…) … Is interpersonally exploitative (i.e. takes advantage of other to achieve his or her own ends)…Lacks empathy: Is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings of others…Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes” (op. cit., pp. 669-670). “Vulnerability in self esteem makes individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder very sensitive to ‘injury’ from criticism or defeat” (op.cit., p. 671).
The DSM-5 goes on to state, “…if an individual has personality features that meet criteria for one or more personality disorders in addition to Narcissistic Personality Disorder, all can be diagnosed…. Individuals with antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders share a tendency to be tough-minded, glib, superficial, exploitative, and unempathetic….” (op. cit., p. 672).
Does this sound like somebody we know? Hmmm.
WILLIAM G. ISAAC