Tuesday, June 08, 2010
It turns out that Darth Vader just needed more time on the couch, and perhaps a prescription for Xanax:
The manipulations of Anakin Skywalker, also known as Darth Vader in the "Star Wars" saga, have long been ascribed to the Dark Side of the Force. Now, psychiatrists suggests that the actions of the Jedi Knight could be used in teaching about a real-life mental illness.Now the Emperor, he really had problems, and was just a bad dude. I would guess many psychiatrists would not even agree to treat him (kind of like the fictional debate that took place among Dr. Melfi's colleagues in The Sopranos). But it would make a good SNL skit.
A letter to the editor in the journal Psychiatry Research explores just what is wrong with Vader. French researchers posit that Vader exhibits six out of the nine criteria for borderline personality disorder. Unstable moods, interpersonal relationships, and behaviors are all characteristics of this condition, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health. It affects 2 percent of adults, mostly young women.
The problem with psychiatrists can be summarized by the "if the only instrument you own is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" syndrome. All problems look like they are psychiatric in origin to psychiatrists.
The truth, as anyone can tell by just listening to Mr. Vader breath, is that he suffers from Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The symptoms are completely consistent with an inability to get a good night's sleep. A good CPAP machine or oral appliance would have saved him from his dark existence.
Psychiatry is about putting labels on things.
You can be labelled as having narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) if you must meet five or more of the following nine symptoms:
1) Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
2) Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
3) Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
4) Requires excessive admiration
5) Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
6) Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
7) Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
8)Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
9) Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.
There is no cure, as narcissism is an ingrained personality trait, rather than a chemical imbalance.
Sound like anyone we know?