There have been numerous articles written as to what experts believe is the “syndrome” that Casey Anthony suffers from. She has been said to be a sociopath, a narcissist, one claimed Aspergers, borderline personality disorder and many other descriptions. I have read so many definitions of these syndromes and can see Casey Anthony in alot of them. Yet I wonder, does she really have a disorder or is she just a selfish spoiled immature young woman who wanted a life of her own and therefore felt the only way to achieve that was to rid herself of the burden she gave birth to? Was she that self centered that Caylee was interfering with her “me time” and instead of giving her to her parents and letting Cindy remind her over and over “I told you so” she felt it was better to take this baby’s life as if she never mattered? Was Caylee her pawn? Was she really the loving mother her own mother described her as, or was she the manipulative and patholigical liar that others have said she is? Was she a loving mother prior to Cindy knowing that everything that she said would be taken apart piece by piece, or was she a huge disappointment to the Anthony’s and this was yet another mistake she made?
I decided to look into what each definition really means and how Casey fits into each of them. If you have any others that you think suit her better please feel free to comment as I am inlove with learning! I am going to put an asterisk next to each portion of the definition that I think fits Casey. Let me know if you think she is one more than other or something totally different.
SOCIOPATH: Glibness (non chalant), superficial charm. *
~Manipulative and Conning: *They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible.
They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.
**Grandiose Sense of Self
*Feels entitled to certain things as “their right.”
Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.
A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.
When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.
Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity **and gambling are common.
Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.
Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. *Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.
Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet “gets by” by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.
Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.
Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.
Tends to move around a lot or *makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.
Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.
Antisocial Personality Disorder Overview (Written by Derek Wood, RN, BSN, PhD Candidate)
Antisocial Personality Disorder results in what is commonly known as a Sociopath. The criteria for this disorder require an ongoing disregard for the rights of others, since the age of 15 years. Some examples of this disregard are reckless disregard for the safety of themselves or others, failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors, *deceitfulness such as repeated lying or deceit for personal profit or pleasure, and *lack of remorse for actions that hurt other people in any way. Additionally, they must have evidenced a Conduct Disorder before the age of 15 years, and must be at least 18 years old to receive this diagnosis.
People with this disorder appear to be *charming at times, and make relationships, but to them, these are relationships in name only. They are ended whenever necessary or when it suits them, and the relationships are without depth or meaning, including marriages. They seem to have an innate ability to find the weakness in people, and are ready to use these weaknesses to their own ends through deceit, manipulation, or intimidation, and gain pleasure from doing so.
They appear to be* incapable of any true emotions, from love to shame to guilt. They are quick to anger, but just as quick to let it go, without holding grudges. No matter what emotion they state they have, it has no bearing on their future actions or attitudes.
*They rarely are able to have jobs that last for any length of time, as they become easily bored, instead needing constant change. *They live for the moment, forgetting the past, and not planning the future, not thinking ahead what consequences their actions will have. They want immediate rewards and gratification. There currently is no form of psychotherapy that works with those with antisocial personality disorder, as those with this disorder have no desire to change themselves, which is a prerequisite. No medication is available either. The only treatment is the prevention of the disorder in the early stages, when a child first begins to show the symptoms of conduct disorder.
Psychopaths exhibit a Jekyll and Hyde personality. “They play a part so they can get what they want,” says Dr. Sheila Willson, a Toronto psychologist who has helped victims of psychopaths. The guy who showers a woman with excessive attention is much more capable of getting her to lend him money, and to put up with him when he strays. *The new employee who gains her co-workers’ trust has more access to their chequebooks. And so on. Psychopaths have no conscience and their only goal is self-gratification. Many of us have been their victims — at work, through friendships or relationships — and not one of us can say, “a psychopath could never fool me.”
Psychopaths have only a shallow range of emotions and lack guilt, says Hare. **They often see themselves as victims, and lack remorse or the ability to empathize with others. “Psychopaths play on the fact that most of us are trusting and forgiving people,” adds Seto. The warning signs are always there; it’s just difficult to see them because once we trust someone, the friendship becomes a blinder.
For a psychopath, a romantic relationship is just another opportunity to find a trusting partner who will buy into the lies. It’s primarily why a psychopath rarely stays in a relationship for the long term, and often is involved with three or four partners at once, says Willson. To a psychopath, everything about a relationship is a game.
Where we might occasionally tell a white lie, a psychopath’s *lying is compulsive. Most of us experience some degree of guilt about lying, preventing us from exhibiting such behavior on a regular basis. “Psychopaths don’t discriminate who it is they lie to or cheat,” says Seto. “There’s no distinction between friend, family and sucker.”
Psychopaths also tend to switch jobs as frequently as they switch partners, mainly because they don’t have the qualities to maintain a job for the long haul. Their performance is generally erratic, with chronic absences, misuse of company resources and failed commitments. Often they aren’t even qualified for the job and use fake credentials to get it. ~Dr. Sheila Willson, a Toronto psychologist who has helped victims of psychopaths /~Michael Seto, a psychologist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental health in Toronto
THE MALIGNANT PERSONALITY:
These people are mentally ill and extremely dangerous!
(1) *They are habitual liars. They seem incapable of either knowing or telling the truth about anything.
(2) They are egotistical to the point of narcissism. They really believe they are set apart from the rest of humanity by some special grace.
(3) *They scapegoat; they are incapable of either having the insight or willingness to accept responsibility for anything they do. Whatever the problem, it is always someone else’s fault.
(4) They are remorselessly vindictive when thwarted or exposed.
(5) Genuine religious, moral, or other values play no part in their lives. They have no empathy for others and are capable of violence. Under older psychological terminology, they fall into the category of psychopath or sociopath, but unlike the typical psychopath, their behavior is masked by a superficial social facade.
Narcissist: inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity. Psychoanalysis: erotic gratification derived from admiration of one’s own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development.
Symptoms of Narcissm:
- Believing that you’re better than others
- Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
- *Exaggerating your achievements or talents
- Expecting constant praise and admiration
- Believing that you’re special
- *Failing to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings
- Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
- *Taking advantage of others
- Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
- Being jealous of others
- Believing that others are jealous of you
- *Trouble keeping healthy relationships
- Setting unrealistic goals
- Being easily hurt and rejected
- Having a fragile self-esteem
- *Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional
Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence or strong self-esteem, it’s not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence and self-esteem into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal. In contrast, people who have healthy confidence and self-esteem don’t value themselves more than they value others.
When you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may have a sense of entitlement. And when you don’t receive the special treatment to which you feel entitled, you may become very impatient or angry. You may also seek out others you think have the same special talents, power and qualities — people you see as equals. You may insist on having “the best” of everything — the best car, athletic club, medical care or social circles, for instance.
But underneath all this grandiosity often lies a very fragile self-esteem. You have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have a sense of secret shame and humiliation. And in order to make yourself feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and efforts to belittle the other person to make yourself appear better
delays in the development of many basic skills, most notably the ability to socialize with others, to communicate and to use imagination.
- Problems with social skills: Children with Asperger’s syndrome generally have difficulty interacting with others and often are awkward in social situations. They generally do not make friends easily.
- Eccentric or repetitive behaviors: Children with this condition may develop odd, repetitive movements, such as hand wringing or finger twisting.
- Unusual preoccupations or rituals: A child with Asperger’s syndrome may develop rituals that he or she refuses to alter, such as getting dressed in a specific order.
- Communication difficulties: People with Asperger’s syndrome may not make eye contact when speaking with someone. They may have trouble using facial expressions and gestures, and understanding body language. They also tend to have problems understanding language in context.
- Limited range of interests: A child with Asperger’s syndrome may develop an intense, almost obsessive, interest in a few areas, such as sports schedules, weather or maps.
- Coordination problems: The movements of children with Asperger’s syndrome may seem clumsy or awkward.
- Skilled or talented: Many children with Asperger’s syndrome are exceptionally talented or skilled in a particular area, such as music or math.
- In my opinion I do not see Casey Anthony in any of the symptoms of Aspergers.
Borderline personality disorder
(BPD) is a psychiatric diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV Personality Disorders 301.83) that describes a prolonged disturbance of personality function characterized by depth and variability of moods.
- Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
*A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation *
- Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self
- *Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)
- Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
- Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
- Chronic feelings of emptiness
- Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
- Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms
Bi Polar Disorder
Bi polar disorder (also known as manic depression) causes serious shifts in a person’s mood, energy, thinking, and behavior – from the highs of mania on one extreme, to the lows of depression on the other.
The distinguishing characteristic of Bipolar Disorder, as compared to other mood disorders, is the presence of at least one manic episode. Additionally, it is presumed to be a chronic condition because the vast majority of individuals who have one manic episode have additional episodes in the future. The statistics suggest that four episodes in ten years is an average, without preventative treatment. Every individual with bipolar disorder has a unique pattern of mood cycles, combining depression and manic episodes, that is specific to that individual, but predictable once the pattern is identified. Research studies suggest a strong genetic influence in bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood and continues throughout life. It is often not recognized as a psychological problem, because it is episodic. Consequently, those who have it may suffer needlessly for years without treatment.
Effective treatment is available for bipolar disorder. Without treatment, marital breakups, job loss, alcohol and drug abuse, and suicide may result from the chronic, episodic mood swings. The most significant treatment issue is noncompliance with treatment. Most individuals with bipolar disorder do not perceive their manic episodes as needing treatment, and they resist entering treatment. In fact, most people report feeling very good during the beginning of a manic episode, and don’t want it to stop. This is a serious judgment problem. As the manic episode progresses, concentration becomes difficult, thinking becomes more grandiose, and problems develop. Unfortunately, the risk taking behavior usually results in significant painful consequences such as loss of a job or a relationship, running up excessive debts, or getting into legal difficulties. Many individuals with bipolar disorder abuse drugs or alcohol during manic episodes, and some of these develop secondary substance abuse problems.
Facts About Bipolar Illness
More than 2 million Americans have manic-depressive illness. It is extremely distressing and disruptive to their lives.
Like any serious illness, bipolar disorder also creates problems for spouses, family members, friends, and employers.
Family members of people with bipolar disorder often have to cope with serious behavioral problems (such as wild spending sprees) and the lasting consequences of these behaviors.
Bipolar disorder tends to run in families, and there is strong evidence that it is inherited. However, despite ongoing research efforts, a specific genetic defect associated with the disease has not yet been identified.
Bipolar illness has been diagnosed in children under age 12, although it is not common in this age bracket. The symptoms can be confused with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, so careful diagnosis is necessary.
What is a manic episode?
A manic episode is an abnormally elevated, expansive or irritable mood, not related to substance abuse or a medical condition, that lasts for at least a week, and includes a number of disturbances in behavior and thinking that results in significant life adjustment problems. Chronic behavior that appears somewhat similar to manic behavior is more likely ADHD or evidence of personality problem.
It may be helpful to think of the various mood states in manic-depressive illness as a spectrum or continuous range. At one end is severe depression, which shades into moderate depression; then come mild and brief mood disturbances that many people call “the blues,” then normal mood, then hypomania (a mild form of mania), and then mania.
Some people with untreated bipolar disorder have repeated depressions and only an occasional episode of hypomania (bipolar II). In the other extreme, mania may be the main problem and depression may occur only infrequently. In fact, symptoms of mania and depression may be mixed together in a single “mixed” bipolar state.
Descriptions of Mood States
Here are some first-person accounts of the various mood states associated with bipolar disorder:
I doubt completely my ability to do anything well. It seems as though my mind has slowed down and burned out to the point of being virtually useless. I am haunted with the desperate hopelessness of it all. Others say, “It’s only temporary, it will pass, you will get over it,” but of course they haven’t any idea of how I feel, although they are certain they do. If I can’t feel, move, think, or care, then what on earth is the point?
At first when I’m high, it’s tremendous…ideas are fast…like shooting stars you follow until brighter ones appear…all shyness disappears, the right words and gestures are suddenly there…uninteresting people, things, become intensely interesting. Sensuality is pervasive, the desire to seduce and be seduced is irresistible. Your marrow is infused with unbelievable feelings of ease, power, well-being, omnipotence, euphoria…you can do anything…but, somewhere this changes.
The fast ideas become too fast and there are far too many…overwhelming confusion replaces clarity…you stop keeping up with it–memory goes. Infectious humor ceases to amuse. Your friends become frightened…everything is now against the grain…you are irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable, and trapped.
Recognition of the various mood states is essential so that the person who has manic-depressive illness can obtain effective treatment and avoid the harmful consequences of the disease, which include destruction of personal relationships, loss of employment, and suicide.
Features of a Depressive Episode
Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
Feeling helpless, guilty, or worthless
Hopeless or pessimistic feelings
Loss of pleasure in usual activities
Loss of memory or concentration
Irritability or restlessness
Loss of or increase in appetite
Persistent thoughts of death
Features of a Manic Episode
Extreme irritability & distractibility
Excessive “high” or euphoric feelings
*Sustained periods of unusual, even bizarre, behavior with significant risk-taking
Increased energy, activity, rapid talking & thinking, agitation
Unrealistic belief in one’s own abilities
*Increased sex drive ( I am labeling this as part of her promiscuity issue)
*Provocative or obnoxious behavior
*Denial of problem
Factors Preventing Early Detection of Bipolar Disorder
An early sign of manic-depressive illness may be hypomania–a state in which the person shows a high level of energy, excessive moodiness or irritability, and impulsive or reckless behavior. Hypomania may feel good to the person who experiences it. Thus, even when family and friends learn to recognize the mood swings, the individual often will deny that anything is wrong. In its early stages, bipolar disorder may masquerade as a problem other than mental illness. For example, it may first appear as alcohol or drug abuse, or poor school or work performance. If left untreated, bipolar disorder tends to worsen, and the person experiences episodes of full-fledged mania and clinical depression.
Treatment of Bipolar Disorder
Psychological treatment often focuses on the life adjustment problems that develop because of the manic episodes, and in helping the individual recognize the onset of a manic episode and take corrective action. Supportive counseling is needed, to help the individual accept that he/she has a chronic psychological problem that will have a major impact on life management. Anyone with bipolar disorder should be under the care of a psychiatrist skilled in its diagnosis and treatment, as well as a psychologist. Psychologists provide the individual and his/her family with support, education, coping skills training, They also help monitor the symptoms and encourage the individual to continue medical treatment. The psychiatrist monitors the medication that is usually required with this disorder.
Most people with manic depressive illness can be helped with treatment.
Almost all people with bipolar disorder–even those with the most severe forms–can obtain substantial stabilization of their mood swings. One medication, lithium, is usually very effective in controlling mania and preventing the recurrence of both manic and depressive episodes. Most recently, the mood stabilizing anticonvulsants carbamazepine and valproate have also been found useful, especially in more refractory bipolar episodes. Often these medications are combined with lithium for maximum effect.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder may prevent those affected from recognizing that they have an illness. Family, friends, and primary care physicians should provide encouragement and referrals for treatment. Psychological treatment can help the person and his/her family cope with the life management problems created by bipolar disorder. Medical treatment is usually needed to control mood swings with medication. To ensure proper treatment and personal safety, commitment to a hospital may be necessary for a person in a severe episode. Hospital commitment, which is placing a person in the hospital against their will, is sometimes necessary with bipolar disorder because of the effects of manic episodes. While the person is “high” he/she is not rational, and may engage in activities that are a threat to themselves or others. The person cannot understand the need for hospitalization because of the disturbance that occurs to his/her judgment. Suicidal thoughts, remarks, or behaviors should always be given immediate attention by a qualified professional. It is not true that if a person talks about suicide, they will not kill themselves. Self-destructive thoughts are sometimes acted out indirectly. For example, a person may drive excessively fast, or take drugs, or start confrontations with others, as a way to harm himself/herself. With appropriate treatment, the suicidal thoughts and behavior can be controlled and eliminated.
Bipolar disorder is a lifetime illness. To keep his/her mood stable, ongoing treatment is needed, even when the person is feeling better. It may take time to discover the best treatment regimen for an individual. It is very important for both the person with bipolar disorder, and his/her family, to work with a psychologist and physician to develop the most appropriate treatment plan. In addition to treatment, mutual support self-help groups can benefit patients and their families. National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association (NDMDA) and National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) sponsor such groups.
concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others
2 : arising from concern with one’s own welfare or advantage in disregard of others <a selfish act>
to impair the disposition or character of by overindulgence or excessive praise b : to pamper excessively : coddle
I would assume if I continued to dig there would be many other disorders I am able to twist and turn to make them fit perfectly for Casey Anthony. However, perhaps she is nothing more than a product of never being accountable for anything? Perhaps she truly believes that because her parents always made things okay , this would be another thing they could get her out of…