Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Sane Enough"

Today the Swedish psychiatrist Johan Cullberg published a dissenting analysis of A.B.B. after listening to the 36 hours of tapes from the interviews of the Norwegian psychiatric team, DN Debatt -Breivik är tillräckligt frisk för att straffas"

"The 36 hours of interviews with Anders Breivik Behring reveals no indication that he is suffering or has suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. To absolve him from accountability and punishment due to mental disorder is offensive unprofessional and unimaginative (...) 

Instead his symptoms indicate a malignant narcissistic personality disorder, or mixed - his megalomaniac notions are closely connected with his elaborate opinions. The terrorist acts are fully consistent with these. This the (Norwegian) investigators do not at all discuss.

None of the interviews reveal anything that could not have been said or done by an extreme political or religious fanatic. Breivik´s "manifesto" is reportedly fully legible, it lacks the verbal lockups and stereotyped phrases that a work of a schizophrenic person would have demonstrated. Probably he would have been accepted by a radical political terror cell. If he suffered from schizophrenia, it would have been much more difficult - he would have had difficulty to hide the bizarre and fragmented world that is always associated with that diagnosis.

Many might wish that such evil ideas and actions like Breivik´s, or for that matter those of Hitler or Stalin, must by definition be "sick". But then you use the concept of disease in an evaluative purpose. It is important that one does not believe that behaviors that we abhor or fear, and precisely for that reason think is abnormal should be classified as sick. Then we narrow our view of capacity for evil in the mentally healthy human as well as broaden the concept of mental disease to an impermissible extent."

Johan Cullberg concludes, "(The Norwegian psychiatrists) have not understood that this is a well thought out philosophy with a fully coherent criminal action."

The above was translated by Google Translate and corrected by me, I was too impatient to try to do it myself this time.

Cullberg raises the question I tried to raise a few days ago in my post Legally Insane, about where we draw the line between legal sanity and insanity. He does so from a similar starting point but with the added advantage of actually being a psychiatrist himself.

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