Monday, November 23, 2009
#39 - Tom Cruise, Mental patient.
It was the decade when...
For a Top Gun, acting sane was a Mission Impossible.
Leaked Bellevue Case Study
The patient, a Caucasian male in his mid forties, was admitted to the ward after displaying erratic and self-destructive behavior on and off for the past ten years. Immediately it was apparent that he was in need of treatment and intensive analysis. Initial attempts at psychological evaluation were met with passive aggressive hostility, the patient repeating the phrase "Help Me Help You" over and over again - a clear attempt to undermine the dynamic between doctor and patient. This was the first manifestation of what we later determined to be a chronic and unique case of manic narcissistic personality disorder, complimented by low-level schizophrenia and conscious seizures. We initially misdiagnosed him as bi-polar assuming that the manic episodes would have to subside into depressive periods. To our surprise, the manic phases persisted indefinitely. We have rooted out the cause of this pathological condition as a combination of repressed and confused sexual proclivities, social isolation, continual and persistent positive reinforcement for bad behavior and indoctrination into a religious cult.
An inflated sense of power and self-worth were the first clues to the patient's narcissistic temperament. The condition would manifest itself most prominently through the outrageous claims that the patient would make. In one instance he claimed that at the site of an auto accident, amongst the entire crowd only he could help the situation and assist those in peril. The exalted status he held himself in made his psyche easily susceptible to indoctrination by a religious cult, the cult's ideology acting as a reinforcing mechanism. His existing belief that he has privileged insight which others lacked became a part of his religious faith. The cult then feeds on the patients psychological dysfunction, increasing the schizophrenic episodes to the extent that, by the time he came to us, the patient believed that human beings descended from an alien race implanted on earth in volcanoes which were then destroyed by nuclear weapons. The patient, now fully convinced of his cults dogma, makes it a mission to convince others of his beliefs, overstepping the boundaries that should restrain him from offering up opinions on topics he is not qualified in any professional way to address. If under interrogation, the patient immediately attempts to put his inquisitor on the defensive, reversing the power roles so that his own authority cannot be questioned. He may even dismiss criticisms outright, accusing the questioner of being "glib."
For such an individual external coordinates of success must be maintained at all costs. The cognitive threat of failure could pop such an inflated ego. Sexual health and a satisfying romantic relationship are important criteria in any healthy persons analysis of their own well-being but with a pathological narcissist however, it is merely the impression that counts in his evaluation. This being the case, the patient will overcompensate when discussing his love life, in this instance, jumping fast into marriage and wildly exclaiming his affections to anyone in earshot. This super-abundance of excitement brought about what can only be described as conscious seizure in the patient, forcing him to jump and flail wildly. It is important to note the imbalance between the hysteria manifested by the patient and the quiet anxiety emanated by the partner who is, of course, passive, and seemingly powerless. The display of affection by the patient is directed less at his partner than at the world in general, a signal that what concerns him is not the relationship but his perception of himself in the eyes of, in Lacanian terminology, the Big Other. Romantic gestures are big and broad and ludicrously predictable (the patient proposed to his new wife at the Eiffel Tower, for instance); it's a performance of life not a living of one.
Within the mania there are still massive mood swings. In an indoctrination video that the patient made for his cult the subject displayed an alarming ability to shift from fiercely intense testimonial to wild, uninhibited and unprovoked laughter and then back to steely jawed instruction. This persistent manic energy throughout the panoply of emotions is the most disturbing feature of this patients pathology. It's hysteria on Cruise control.
Our advice is for the patient to take his protein pill and put his helmet on.
You AUGHT to remember...