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Abnormal psychology - Case Study Example

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The fact that Jack the Ripper was never identified and in the absence of prior clinical assessment records that provide a detailed explanation of his past personal history and family history, it proves difficult to provide a diagnosis of his mental state…
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Abnormal psychology
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Abnormal psychology

None the less, it is possible to make presumptions pertaining to the underlying factors that predisposed him to proceed with the “canonical murders”, which involved the murder of five female prostitutes. Jack the Ripper’s victim choice, his mutilation techniques (also referred to as his Mondus Operundus or MO) help to shed some light on factors that might have triggered his personality disorders; which in my opinion fall under Cluster B of personality disorders as categorized by DSM-IV-TR. Cluster B personality disorders are characterized by dysfunctions in impulse and emotional regulation. Therefore, it is my diagnosis that Jack the Ripper suffered from both borderline personality disorder and anti-social personality disorder. Borderline personality disorder’s central feature entails intense fluctuations of moods and emotions, which might result in pent up frustrations; hence the loss of self-control over one’s actions. This disorder causes a person to view the world in an over-simplified or polarized “black or white” way causing a person to judge themselves and others’ actions harshly. Jack the Ripper’s choice of victims clearly demonstrates this. He saw prostitution as a vice presumably because his mother was a one and devoid him of any maternal affection, which in turn impeded his proper emotional and social development. Conversely, anti-social personality disorder’s central feature entails continuous disregard for societal laws and expectations; whereby, a person engages in illegal acts with the intention to harm others frequently. Jack the Ripper did not stop killing after his first victim. Even worse, it is presumed that he went on to commit the 4th murder a few hours after his 3rd murder was interrupted showing that he had no remorse for his actions. The issues involved in competence to stand trial encompass an individual’s understanding of the nature and purpose of the legal proceedings (legal charges and implications of pleading guilty or accepting a plea deal), and their ability to co-operate with their legal team to aid their defense. Moreover, it requires a professional mental practitioner to rule out psychological disorders as the precipitating cause of the crime. In my opinion, Jack meets these criteria because he does suffer from a psychological disorder that predisposed him to committing the heinous acts (Surface 17). The insanity defense seeks to absolve an individual from criminal liabilities because they were legally insane at the time of the alleged crime. Legal insanity does not refer to “mental illness”; however, it refers to temporary mental impairments. A court ruling on grounds of insanity mandates the person’s commission into a psychiatric facility. Therefore, it is in my opinion, that in spite of Jack the Ripper’s prior mental impairment, his intent or motive was to cause harm to the deceased (Surface 17). Peter The psychological and personality disorders affecting Peter include; avoidant personality disorder, general anxiety disorder, hair fetishism. Avoidant personality disorder features an individual’s ability to form meaningful relationships with others; whereby, they tend to shy away from commitment. Peter’s preference for prostitutes as sexual partners best show his inability to commit to meaningful relationships. Moreover, general anxiety disorder features intense over-excitement, nervousness and anxiousness triggered by a worrying situation; for example, Peter’s anxious and over-excited state during his financial complications. Finally, hair fetishism entails an individual’s dependence on hair for causing their sexual arousal; for example, Peter’s obsession with female children’ ... Read More
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