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Wednesday, January 9. 2008
This piece from Obama's website indicates that he and others like Barbara Boxer support the notion of government benefits for military employees discharged due to Personality Disorders. (the link came to me via Opie via our Editor)
Being politicians, this is probably pure pandering rather than ignorance. Fact is that Personality Disorders cannot be acquired. They generally become evident in adolescence, if not earlier - but they cannot be created by military service or by anything else.
Since the most common seriouspersonality disorder in males is the untreatable Antisocial Personality (known to laymen as sociopaths, or people with no conscience, who lie easily, believe themselves to be above the rules of civil society, treat others as useful objects, and have minimal capacity for guilt - those without souls, as they used to say), one must wonder how many of these discharges are of people who did not belong in the service in the first place, would not follow the rules, and created problems for everybody else.
In the sane, good old days, they were known as "trouble-makers." Now they have a diagnosis. And, God knows, if we get Hillarycare, somebody equally sociopathic will probably try to make money pretending to "treat" these folks - on my nickel.
Wacky as it may sound to some, the only "cure" for this problem I have ever seen is for them to find God and to be deeply changed. And, even then, sometimes they just convincingly fake it to get out of trouble.
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Am no Obama fan, but I had heard that the Army was diagnosing people with personality disorders as a way of avoiding covering their future treatment for service-related problems.
Diagnosis in civilian life is usually about money also. Hospitals will frequently attach any label to a person that will get the reimbursement from the insurance company. If an insurance company deems that a condition is not curable, they will frequently deny coverage for ameliorative treatments. Also, even a preexisting personality disorder can be worsened under the stress of combat. Perhaps the better side of a flawed person led them to volunteer to serve their country, and they crumbled under fire. Better psychological screening before, rather than meanspiritedness after serving might be an answer.
It's tough getting enough good recruits today, and no wonder some problem ones end up in the services. But time was when the services were the making of many a troublesome young lad. I am no fan of sociopaths but in my community there are more of them flocking to Wall St than serving their country!
There was a rumor floating around the internet a while back that the military actively looked for APDs to use as alpha fighters. The theory was that when faced with combat for the first time the APD would gleefully get it on, which would lead the rest of the salt-of-the-earth type troops who’d frozen with fear or morality, into action. Just a rumor though.
I’d sure hope politicians would work on recreating WWII Greatest Generation combat service outcomes and avoid Vietnam PTSD aftermaths.
Plus I wish they’d dump the “antisocial” bit. Confuses too many street folk. The “antisocials” I’ve known were some of the most outgoing and charismatic people I’ve ever met. They loved being around people – just as mechanics love being around their tools.
Family veterans intone: war is not a tea party. One rising kid I know, too unstable for modern Army, would have been valuable as a berserker on a Viking raid. Fearless and terrifying to the enemy.
If the armed services ever sought personality disorders as soldiers, they didn't do it for long. They don't behave as predicted in battle.
It is difficult to tell the high spirits and poor judgement of adolescence from the APD's unconcern with social morality. The armed services get enough APD's through that method of disguising themselves, they don't need any more
There are still some remnants of that rumor. I found this file, from an article in the Military Review, May-June 1999. A hoax, I dunno, but scary stuff if true.
With the current ROE, they cannot afford an APD. Going off on an innocent with a back support brace under his shirt results in a lot of bad publicity. The military doesn't need that.
As for recruiting - just increase the pay and better people will apply. Simple economics.
As for AP in general - I expect it to grow more common. With the isolation and lack of socializing skills being developed in todays youths, they do not have much empathy for a situation they do not like. That is, if they go to a coffee house and don't click with the patrons, they just leave. There is no attempt to work through issues or a desire to stay and enjoy the space. There is no attachment to the Real Life Experience, so they have no remorse at abandoning or missing out on it.
It is this 'lack of desire for approval / interaction with others' that is a basis for AP. It is an "I don't need you" type of attitude. From there, it develops into; "You don't matter to me." and "If you are injured, I don't care." From there, if confronted, it becomes "If I hurt you, it isn't my fault and you deserved it."
Decreased social events is creating generations of people who don't care if they get along with other people and don't have compassion for others.
Also, I have found a great way to deal with AP's that I encounter - I ignore them or evict them from my life. Given that they don't care about me, I don't care if they are hurt by being ignored. Hmmm, maybe I've got AP.... :)
It’s tougher when you have to coexist with them but they’re somebody else’s responsibility - like in a job. I dealt with one who ruined a whole small company with their senseless crap. I really liked it there. Ever since, if I spot a bad one I’ll:
1. Give their bosses an anonymous heads up after determining the bosses themselves are normal. Anonymity is important - you don’t want to become the APs next project, since they don’t respond well to punishment. I learned that one the hard way.
2. Give the AP an itch they can’t scratch, so to speak, so they reveal themselves. The only thing APs hate more than boredom is feeling out of control. It’ll be a matter of time before they steal the petty cash or grab the secretaries ass.
"Antisocial Personality (known to laymen as sociopaths, or people with no conscience, who lie easily, believe themselves to be above the rules of civil society, treat others as useful objects, and have minimal capacity for guilt - those without souls, as they used to say), "
Son-of-a-gun! You just described Congress!
I had a shrink tell me one time that those with 'personality disorders' are the patients who, after the second visit, are referred to another shrink.