Amy Bishop: A Potential Case for Insanity

7 years ago

On Sunday, it was revealed that Amy Bishop was a suspect in an attempted bombing.  This was after yesterday's statement that she killed her younger brother in 1986. 

People are still trying to say that this was a woman who plotted this whole thing out with malice of intent.  I really am starting to doubt whether that's even possible, given the reported reasoning behind the prior two events, and the reported reason for this particular event.  The allegations of her past and things that are reported about her seem to be painting the picture of a woman suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder and a potential psychotic or dissociative issue.

So, why do I think that she's a Borderline?  I've italicized the things that I think she's exhibited.

From Google Health:

Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which a person makes impulsive actions, and has an unstable mood and chaotic relationships.

From the National Institute of Mental Health:

While a person with depression or bipolar disorder typically endures the same mood for weeks, a person with BPD may experience intense bouts of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last only hours, or at most a day. These may be associated with episodes of impulsive aggression, self-injury, and drug or alcohol abuse. Distortions in cognition and sense of self can lead to frequent changes in long-term goals, career plans, jobs, friendships, gender identity, and values. Sometimes people with BPD view themselves as fundamentally bad, or unworthy. They may feel unfairly misunderstood or mistreated, bored, empty, and have little idea who they are. Such symptoms are most acute when people with BPD feel isolated and lacking in social support, and may result in frantic efforts to avoid being alone.

    People with BPD often have highly unstable patterns of social relationships. While they can develop intense but stormy attachments, their attitudes towards family, friends, and loved ones may suddenly shift from idealization (great admiration and love) to devaluation (intense anger and dislike). Thus, they may form an immediate attachment and idealize the other person, but when a slight separation or conflict occurs, they switch unexpectedly to the other extreme and angrily accuse the other person of not caring for them at all. Even with family members, individuals with BPD are highly sensitive to rejection, reacting with anger and distress to such mild separations as a vacation, a business trip, or a sudden change in plans. These fears of abandonment seem to be related to difficulties feeling emotionally connected to important persons when they are physically absent, leaving the individual with BPD feeling lost and perhaps worthless. Suicide threats and attempts may occur along with anger at perceived abandonment and disappointments.

    People with BPD exhibit other impulsive behaviors, such as excessive spending, binge eating and risky sex. BPD often occurs together with other psychiatric problems, particularly bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and other personality disorders.

Two psychoanalysts, Gunderson and Kolb, have said the following should be considered:

       1. Affect: chronic/major depression, helplessness, worthlessness, guilt, anger, anxiety, loneliness, boredom, emptiness
       2. Cognition: odd thinking, unusual perceptions, nondelusional paranoia, quasipsychosis
       3. Impulse action patterns: substance abuse/dependence, sexual deviance, manipulative suicide gestures, other impulsive behaviors
       4. Interpersonal relationships: intolerance of aloneness, abadonment, engulfment, annihilation fears, counterdependencey, stormy relationships, manipulativeness, dependency, devaluation, masochism/sadism, demandingness, entitlement

Borderlines, according to Marsha Linehand, "are like people with third degree burns over 90% of their bodies.  Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement."  This would explain her quickness to respond in an agressive manner.

When she appeared on camera saying that the shootings didn't happen and her colleagues weren't dead, this screams of dissociation.  She may not remember what happened.

Many of her students had described her as witty, which is a common attribute of BPD.   She was seen as being a bit odd, which can be a common description of Borderlines.

As for the psychosis that I think she may have, it just seems that there is an underlying part of her personality.  People have said she was disorganized, which is common with BPD, but the extent to which she was disorganized seems to indicate a psychotic disorder.

Of course, keep in mind that I am not a professional.  My only experience is my 3 years in a Social Work program, which included looking into the DSM and at the reasons for Human Behavior, as well as my own personal experiences being crazy and growing up around a bunch of "nuts",  I am fairly certain that she is not a sociopath.  Strangely, sociopaths are pretty obvious when I see them, and she doesn't seem to be that type of person.  She seems to be more of the "I'm hurting" type, which would indicate more of a Borderline issue.


Janet + = love

@JanersM - Tweeting is my addiction, what's yours?

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