Personality disorder

Monday, July 03, 2006
I would say that is the least of this young man's problems if this story is true. So far in Iraq out of 150,000 troops serving, 14 have been convicted of abusing Iraqis, but this story is without a doubt the most disturbing. I have known and been related to a lot of soldiers and not one of them could have done something like this. Hopefully a trial will bring justice and closure to the case. I would hate to see any innocent soldier have to pay for someone else's crime.

7 comments:

Barry Dauphin said...

The article doesn't name the "personality disorder", but if the charges are correct, it is likely a DSM-IV-TR category called Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Diagnostic criteria (DSM-IV-TR)

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a widely used manual for diagnosing mental and behavioral disorders, defines antisocial personality disorder as a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15, as indicated by three (or more) of the following:

1. failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest
2. deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure
3. impulsivity or failure to plan ahead
4. irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults
5. reckless disregard for safety of self or others
6. consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain steady work or honor financial obligations
7. lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another

The manual lists the following additional necessary criteria:

* The individual is at least age 18 years.
* There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years.
* The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of Schizophrenia or a Manic Episode.

terrye said...

barry:

A sociopath maybe. Someone like timothy McVeigh. I suppose it is inevitable that in tens of thousands of young men a certain number will be predators and in this case it seems he had some control over at least one other soldier. But I am not sure murder was supposed to be part of the deal.

Gale was watching the news with me and he just shook his head and said "I don't know how something like this could even happen". He was in the service and is so proud of these young people that I think it hurt him a little to see this. But in truth I am still kind of suspicious as to why we are hearing these stories now at this late date.

chuck said...

There was a guy like this in Kosovo, a Sgt. I believe, who raped and murdered a young girl: courtsmarshalled and convicted.

In any large group you will find some. One would hope the Army could filter them all out, but it is hard to reach 99.9999% perfection in anything dealing with people. I have also read stories of such people in WWII.

terrye said...

chuck:

Yes that is right, I remember now. He was running arund out of uniform too.

I think some people just can not be trusted with power over others. It makes them mean.

Barry Dauphin said...

Actually, we should be somewhat surprised and grateful that our military is generally able to weed out many folks like this, even though some of those tendencies could have uses in a hostile military environment. Antisocial Personality Disorder is the modern medical lingo for what used to be called a sociopath or psychopath, although there's a lot left out of the medical textbook on this. The military is a sample (not a totally random sample but a sample nonetheless) of our country. There are going to be some criminals among the ranks. All in all military discipline is much (much) higher now than in WWII for instance. Remember the movies showing brawls breaking out during R&R time.

Rick Ballard said...

Terrye,

One small thing - we've had over 500,000 man years of service over there. I think of it in comparision to crime in a city of a half million population during one year. Maybe I'll do a bit of statistical research on crime rates for a comparison.

terrye said...

Rick:

Well in terms of statistics the number of men who have been involved in crimes like this is astoudningly small. But in terms of propaganda it only takes a couple.