The old guys were right.

Cover of The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1930)I mean the really old guys, the ones who wrote over one hundred years ago.  The guys like Freud and Janet who said that mostly everything that shapes people’s lives seems to be trauma — whether or not modern authors agree.

I have seen an anorectic whose trauma was a passer-by in a crowd who told her that she was too fat for anyone to have sex with, and then keep walking. I have seen a sufferer of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) who was told she was filthy when she was a kid.  She later became so excited about cleanliness she missed nights of sleep to tidy the living room.

But although very real causes of pathology, these seem too trivial to be real traumas for most people.

Others are too horrible to be denied. Read more on PTSD From Sexual Trauma — Learning That Life Is Not Always Fair…

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He had tried to hang himself, and had managed to break some veins, maybe fracture a little cartilage, by the time his wife discovered him. It had been touch and go, I suppose, and a long time in the intensive care unit, but he had truly cheated death.

This 55-year old highly-credentialed university professor didn’t look the part of a depraved rapist — little or no hair, red-faced, bashful, perhaps — but that very accusation caused him such despair that he tried to take his own life.

A student had accused him of this horrible “impropriety.“

Obviously, these charges of sexual misconduct shamed him severely.  He maintained that the charge had been trumped up.  The woman who had accused him had indeed some kind of a psychiatric history.

It is not uncommon for women to make this sort of accusation.

A False Accusation May Be The Result Of A Broken HeartHe told me he did not want to hate women.  He also told me that he had a female judge.

I cannot help but think of the E.M. Forster novel “A Passage to India” which draws as accurate a psychological picture as anyone could of the sort of young woman who could make such an accusation.

Strangely enough, I could find essentially nothing about this as part of the psychological literature.  I did find a lawyer who had started a blog online, and said that this was a very large and essentially ignored problem. Read more on False Rape Accusations — Who’s The Victim?…

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The above study was also reported in the Clinical Psychiatry News in March.  It had no funding, just an enterprising fellow in forensic psychiatry.  And her apparent mentor was Glen Gabbard, some of whose work I read when he was at Menninger.  One of the guys who is old enough that he has seen things.

I give them points on reminding the world of something it seems to have forgotten. There are people who qualify as doctors, who are taking care of patients, and who are trouble. The problems in the group studied, people who have “professionalism issues,” range from sexual boundary issues to gross incompetence and cover specialties that are not necessarily psychiatry.  The physicians studied are mostly Caucasian males, which comes as no surprise to me.

The physicians studied mostly have psychiatric diagnoses. Things that sound like any fairly competent psychiatrist could have diagnosed them. There was some kind of “rehabilitation” involved when they were in training, for the most part, so they went on and acted rotten anyway. Read more on There Are A Lot Of Good Doctors Out There, But ……

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