Feb. 28: What Were They Thinking?
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Is Oscar Pistorius telling the truth? Watch What Were They Thinking to learn about the case, as well as deadbeat dads and the motivation behind hate crimes.
Transcript: Oscar Pistorius admits to shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp...but says he thought she was an intruder...
Oscar Pistorius admits to shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp...but says he thought she was an intruder hiding in the bathroom. But if only Oscar and Reeva were in the home, why not call out "WHO'S THERE?" "HONEY, IS THAT YOU?" BEFORE FIRING several shots through the door? There are some interesting theories here. Police officers found a syringe containing what they claim is some sort of a performance enhancing drug. If that's true, maybe an argument triggered 'roid rage that led him to intentionally shoot her. Or perhaps roid rage caused extreme paranoia to the point of shooting a perceived intruder. His defense claims that he is feeling a tremendous amount of guilt, while the prosecution thinks it's all for show. My take on this one as a clinical psychologist working with many criminals in my lifetime is that he realizes that he has done something monstrous and permanent. And now he will have to live with this act for the rest of his life. Robert Sand, the "Most Wanted Deadbeat Parent", has spent over a decade escaping financial responsibility for his children. He owes $1.2 million in child support payments, but what's worse, he hasn't been a father to his children. He's now put them at risk for all sorts of social, interpersonal and academic problems. Instead of living as a fugitive, he should've taken care of his children while also constructing a socially acceptable life. Instead his pathological and personality disordered thinking rationalized taking part in all sorts of illegal schemes. On the other hand, maybe he did his children a favor by not exposing them to his antisocial personality and lifestyle-he's not exactly the ideal role model! Recently, a gay couple was harassed and attacked by several people on the NYC subway. What's the motivation behind hate crimes like these? The first possible reason is the defense mechanism called reaction formation. The homophobic perpetrator is repulsed by the sight of a gay person, but unconsciously, they're attacking in order to deny feelings about possibly being gay THEMSELVES. Another reason, is poor self-esteem and self-hate wrapped around bullying behaviors. The attackers chose people they perceived as weaker--this gave them a false sense of superiority. Relatedly they used the unconscious defense mechanism known as splitting; "We are all good, you are all bad." Again, to also prop up one's sense of self. Regardless, whether their behaviors were conscious or unconscious, one thing remains clear, these people need to be prosecuted for a hate crime and to the fullest extent of the law. And they should also receive mandatory counseling so that their psychological issues do not cause the public to become collateral damage.More »
Last Modified: 2013-02-28 | Tags »
oscar pistorius, robert sand, deadbeat dad, child support, hate crimes, homophobia, roid rage, domestic violence steroids, paraolympics, murder, shooting, subway attack, jeff gardere, what were they thinking mental health issues, mental illness, psychologist, psychiatrist
Mindy McCready committed suicide, mayhem reigned on the Carnival cruise ship Triumph, and fifth graders plotted to kill their classmate. Learn what causes people to do the things they do with Dr. Jeff Gardere.
Transcript: Country singer Mindy McCready died Sunday night from a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head. She...
Country singer Mindy McCready died Sunday night from a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head. She was only 37 years old. McCready had been struggling with severe depression and chemical addiction for years. She attempted suicide at least twice before, in 2005 and 2008. But two recent events may have led her to her end-the suicide of her boyfriend, and losing custody of her children. It is too late for Mindy now, but we can learn from her untimely death. If you have a depressed friend or family member, keep the following in mind: -- Previous suicide attempts are key indicators that the person may try again. -- Suicide is contagious. In other words, a person may be more open to the possibility of suicide if they see a loved one or a public figure in this case, end their own lives. Don't ignore these warning signs or any expressions of suicidal thoughts. Make sure the person gets the attention they need...and don't leave them alone, whatever you do. If you have an addiction or are depressed you do not gave to suffer alone. Call a help line, a friend or family member. There is always hope for a better tomorrow but you have to seize the moment and make the difference. Two 5th graders have confessed to a plot to kill one of their "girlfriends" because she was rude and teased his friends. One was going to stab her while the other was going to shoot any would-be defenders. They are being charged as adults. So what's going on with these young boys? Well, the decision-making part of their young brains hasn't been fully formed, but they also appear to be on the way to a conduct disorder. In fact many antisocial personality disordered adults were diagnosed with a conduct disorder in their youth. It's entirely possible that they also have a very dysfunctional family life-perhaps they've been witness or victim to physical or emotional violence. Child welfare needs to investigate that situation, but more than anything the boys need to receive a psychological evaluation and intensive therapeutic care in order to become productive citizens instead of menaces to society. The Carnival Cruise ship Triumph lost power after a fire caused by an engine fuel explosion. Passengers were soon forced to use plastic bags as bathrooms, live on the deck and in the halls. Even worse, some passengers are reporting that people went primitive-- looting, hoarding food, protecting their turf. What caused some of the passengers to devolve into this primal state of mind? Well, given the dehumanizing conditions they started living like... Animals! For example, having to fend for themselves, living in filth, waiting for hours to get tasteless and soggy food. It became every man and woman for him or herself. And since the passengers were disrespected by the cruise line, they felt justified in throwing protocol, decorum and rules out the porthole.More »
Last Modified: 2013-02-21 | Tags »
mindy mccready, conduct disorder, antisocial personality disorder, carnival cruise ships, triump cruise ship, suicide prevention drug addiction, suicide, alcholism, suicide attempts, suicide risk, murder, sociopath, personality disorder, survival of the fittest, cruise ships, jeff gardere, what were they thinking, severe depression mental health issues, mental illness, psychologist, psychiatrist
What caused Christopher Dorner to go on a killing rampage? Did gossiping cause Ashley Anne Riggitano to commit suicide? And why is Valentine's Day commercialized? Get the answers from Dr. Gardere.
Transcript: Valentine's Day - Ah, the day we are required to show our love by spending money. Whispering sweet nothings...
Valentine's Day - Ah, the day we are required to show our love by spending money. Whispering sweet nothings in your lover's ear comes across as EMPTY unless it is said in a five-star restaurant or accompanied by publicly delivered roses and chocolate. But why do we need these outward displays of affection...and spend? The flower and jewelry companies will have you feeling guilty if you don't lay out the cash, but the truth is, if you're feeling guilty, it's more likely due to your needing Valentine's Day to remind you to show your partner some love...and ROMANCE. And romance doesn't need to come with a hefty price tag. Instead of focusing on expensive candlelit dinners, use the day as motivation to step up the romance and show our love in other, more genuine ways. And NOT just on Valentine's Day. The saga of Christopher Dorner continues even as we speak. Dorner, a former LAPD officer, has gone on a spree, killing three people and injuring another. Dorner's rage is aimed at the LAPD and their alleged racist and corrupt practices that he thinks got him fired back in 2008. He's determined to hand out his own form of justice by killing anyone who is even remotely related to his firing. So what is Dorner thinking? Though I have never examined him, based on clinical judgment it is a fair bet that he may have always been on the fringe psychologically, with some sort of rageful personality disorder. His firing could have been the trigger that set him off. Like so many others who have been wrongly fired from their job, Dorner should've found a peaceful way to handle his situation. Murder can never be justified. 22 year old Ashley Anne Riggitano jumped off the George Washington Bridge last week. We know that Ashley was a high-risk individual, being that she had already been taking psychiatric medications and had a previous suicide attempt. But anyone scanning her Facebook profile could see--- she was also dealing with fighting, bullying and gossiping within her circle of female "frenemies". Her suicide note even banned 5 of them from her funeral. Did the drama push her over the edge? We just don't know. If she were truly a victim of bullying, then she would not be the first or the last person to respond by committing suicide. However, like Riggitano, the majority of people who commit suicide have some sort of psychiatric history and/or substance abuse issue. We can only hope that Ashley will rest in peace and that her suicide, will help us appreciate how fragile a person with emotional problems can be.More »
Last Modified: 2013-02-14 | Tags »
valentines day, christopher dorner, ashley riggitano, facebook bullying, lapd, revenge cop killing, suicide, depression, romance, passion, murderm, jeff gardere, what were they thinking mental health issues, mental illness, psychologist, psychiatrist
The catfish behind the Manti Te'o/Lennay Kekua hoax comes forward. More military veterans are committing suicide. And football fans are experiencing withdrawal. Learn the psychology behind these in this week's What Were They Thinking.
Transcript: Lennay Kekua lives-sort of. In a Dr. Phil interview last week, the 22 year old scammer Ronaiah Tuiasosopo...
Lennay Kekua lives-sort of. In a Dr. Phil interview last week, the 22 year old scammer Ronaiah Tuiasosopo admitted he "catfished" college football player Manti Te'o for 3 years. Ronaiah says he was in love with him, although he now likens homosexuality to drug addiction. First and foremost, Ronaiah is having issues embracing his sexual identity. His fear and confusion about his feelings led him to use an alter ego to pursue his relationship with Te'o. Also, years of sexual abuse threw him even deeper into the jaws of depression and emotional damage. Perhaps he used the Lennay Kekua identity to escape his own inner turmoil. We can only hope that he keeps seeing a mental health professional for help recovering from his abuse and coming to terms with his sexuality. A new study shows that about 22 veterans kill themselves every day-- this rate is 20 percent higher than it was in 2007. Why are we seeing this uptick in veteran suicide rates? For one, the NATIONAL suicide rate has increased, and veterans are part of that statistic. Also, in this tough economy, it makes it much harder than ever for discharged veterans to find work. In addition, medical advances are saving soldiers who would otherwise have died, but since they survived their paralysis, disfigurement and traumatic brain injuries still predispose them for depression and suicide. The Department of Veteran Affairs has been criticized for not seeing the warning signs of combat related mental health issues such as PTSD in time to get the veterans help. But there's good news-last year, they hired almost 2,000 mental-healthcare workers who will be on the job this summer. Hopefully, positive change is in the wind. The Ravens won, Beyonce rocked the house, and the party is over. But for diehard football fans, that means possible withdrawal, because they are LITERALLY addicted to the fun and excitement of that sport. Like an addict taking a drug, watching football causes the neurotransmitter dopamine to be released in the brain. We watch again and again to continue getting that shot of dopamine that tells us, "Ooh, watching football feels really good!" We call this the reward pathway or the addiction pathway. When we stop getting our football, we stop getting that dopamine and we have withdrawal symptoms such as sadness or irritability. How to get over withdrawal? Try finding something new, a healthy activity- maybe a sport to play on your own. It's a great way to make up for all that junk food you ate every week since September!More »
Last Modified: 2013-02-07 | Tags »
ronaiha tuiasosopo, manti teo, lennay kekua, catfish, online girlfriend, online boyfriend, veteran suicide, ptsd, football addiction, superbowl beyonce, football, superbowl, suicide rates, gay, homosexual, sexual abuse, child abuse mental health issues, mental illness, psychologist, psychiatrist