Bernie Madoff, Another Sociopath?

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“Inmate of Elmira Reformatory showing four views of head”. H. Havelock Ellis, The Criminal. See page for author [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

 

by,

Suzanne Coleman, MD

Since we’re on the topic of sociopaths and psychopaths lately (being that this is the biggest issue in governments, big banks, wall street, wars, ect.), let’s talk Bernie Madoff.

Over the last two days ABC has aired a mini-series about his massive Ponzi scheme which they say defrauded investors out of fifty billion dollars.  Yes, you read that right, fifty billion dollars.  Wow.

He was arrested for his scam and is now in jail for the rest of his life.  Apparently there have been 61 additional Ponzi schemes discovered since this occurred in 2008.

As a human behavioral analyst who has been studying people with personality disorders (psychopaths) over the last ten years or more, I find it important to discuss how things like this happen, so that we as a society can try and avoid having them happen over and over again.  Or at least, some of us can learn to identify psychopaths before they take all of our money, or harm us in any way.

The TV mini-series revealed several behaviors of Madoff that led me to think that he has several personality disorders or strong traits.  The obsessive attention to his watches and the order of his table-top possessions is seen in obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD).  But what isn’t as easily seen, but is also a part of the same mental illness, is the obsessions over things in one’s mind.  For example, the show discusses his need to continue to raise the number in his fake account.  This is a type of obsession.  He also appeared to have obsessions over gaining people’s trust and having them believe in his manipulations and lies as he smiled to their faces.  The lies and manipulations, especially accompanied by what I have coined as “the sociopath’s smile” or “the psychopath’s smile” are all signs of a sociopath or other type of psychopath and I have never observed them in anyone else.

Madoff’s situation as portrayed in the movie was almost like a high-stress balancing act, him standing on top of a triangular rock, trying not to fall off.  This represents his obsession with increasing his accounts at all costs.  I wonder if he even enjoyed any of the money he stole, probably.  The show did not reveal much of that side of his life.  It did show however, that his obsessions caused him to lose one of his son’s love early on, and the rest of his family appeared to follow after his crimes were revealed.

The other sociopathic behaviors that were shown were seen in how he tried to bully and control others around him.  This control issue can also arise from the OCPD.

He also treated the people around him like pawns, buying them off, buttering them up.  All to continue the scheme.  He was shown receiving a nice present from his top worker, and then turning around and giving it away to someone else.  He viewed his employees as pawns, not friends, which after decades, is a bit odd.  Or, you could say psychopathic.

He seemed to have no emotions regarding other people and their lives, including his own sons, though this was a movie and I can’t say if any of what they showed is or is not true.  But this lack of empathy towards others is a classic sign of a sociopath.

The other personality disorder (PD) or trait that they mention is narcissistic PD.  He is very abusive towards others at times when they don’t comply with his every whim and demand.  This can be due to narcissistic PD where a person’s mental illness precludes them from understanding that they are not the center of the universe and that other people have feelings and priorities of their own that have nothing to do with the self-centered psychopath.  This overlaps with the sociopath as they have no feelings so they cannot understand how their behaviors harm others.

How did this man’s mental illness impact society?  It harmed his family extensively, as would happen in any family with a sociopath.  One in 75 men, and one in three hundred women is a sociopath.  One in seven people or less has a personality disorder of any type.  Identifying and treating anyone and everyone with mental illness will only help everyone around them and I strongly recommend seeking help from a qualified therapist to start.

In addition, the show said that over 20,000 people were scammed by Madoff, and that more than 30,000 additional claims were still waiting review to see if they were also valid.

A whistleblower of sorts reported the scam to the SEC several times over the years, starting in 2000 or 2001.  According to the show, the SEC employees did not do their jobs and the scam continued and harmed more and more people.  Since much of the lost money has still not been recovered, those people impacted should consider hiring an attorney to ask them if the SEC can be held negligent in their losses.  If so, they may be able to require them to repay any monies lost since the initial whistleblower report was filed with them.

So many people have a personality disorder, or more than one like you see in this movie about Bernie Madoff.  It can be people you work with, people you live with or near, people who run your banks, your religious groups, your non-profits, your hospitals, and your government.  Isn’t it worth reading up on how to identify them?  I think personality disorders may be the biggest social issue of our time.

 

 

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Is Rahm a sociopath?

broken head sculpture, © Suzanne Coleman, all rights reserved, crop, exp, sig, bckgrn black

by,

Suzanne Coleman, MD

 

What do you guys think about Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, a public servant, telling his motorcade to repeatedly run thru red lights as if the law doesn’t apply to him?  Is he a sociopath?  Let’s think about that.

According to Chicago’s ABC news and the “Chicago Tribune,” as of April 15, 2015 Emanuel’s drivers were found to have run red lights a total of 29 times.  Wow.  Twenty-nine times.  

When Emanuel was caught the first time, his attitude was like “So what?  We’ll pay the tickets.”  Um, dude, that isn’t the point.  

And then, he did it over, and over again.  

This behavior shows no respect for the law, nor for other people who could be injured by the running of the red lights.  This is the kind of behavior you see in a sociopath.  In their delusional minds they believe that the laws and the rules of society just don’t apply to them.  They also believe that they can do whatever they want and get away with it.  And, they often do.  They also have no empathy for other people.  They literally don’t have the ability to care.

This red-light-running behavior is also narcissistic.  In these cases, the person who runs the red light is saying “It’s all about ME, I‘m in a hurry, I shouldn’t have to wait.  I‘m SO very special!  I‘m more important than EVERYONE else.”  Notice the use of a lot of the word “I”…

If these behaviors alone weren’t bad enough, which they are, you need to figure in the fact that Emanuel has repeatedly forcefully said to the public that the red light cameras are there “To make the city safer,” “To stop people from running red lights; it’s so dangerous.”  I mean, seriously.  Can you say HYPOCRITE?  I can.

In addition to the above behaviors, Emanuel has been outright dismissive and abusive to other people on several televised interviews.  These are also behaviors you will see in a sociopath.  

I will bet that most of you didn’t know that approximately one out of every 75 men is a sociopath, and one out of every 300 women.  While it’s currently legal for psychopaths and sociopaths to be mayors, governors, senators, representatives and even presidents in this country, I think that it is in our people’s best interest to pass laws to prevent this from happening.  We need all political candidates to be screened to make sure that they are not dangerous or incapable psychopaths or sociopaths before they are allowed to take office, and those that are already in office must be screened as well.  

A sociopath is by definition a person who behaves in a way which is against the best interests of society.  No normal person would want someone like that running their government.  No one.  The only people who would benefit from that are other psychopaths and sociopaths.  [Which is what we often see in today’s government…]

Many people are calling for the removal of Rahm Emanuel as the mayor of Chicago, maybe this is the time for that to happen.  If so, there needs to be a qualified and sane candidate to replace him.  Can we find one?

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Do you want a sociopath running YOUR city? Let me know what you think in the comments below.  For more information search “sociopath” on this blog for two additional articles with examples of this type of abnormal behavior.  

[Note that the words in quotes attributed to Emanuel are paraphrasing his statements to the public.]

 

 

It’s ALL OVER!

Patrick_Dempsey_in_Madrid_(Spain)_01.jpg: CynSimp derivative work: RanZag [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

by,

Suzanne Coleman, MD

“It’s ALL OVER!”

That’s what everyone seems to be saying about “Grey’s Anatomy” after they (spoiler alert!!) killed off Derek last night (played by Patrick Dempsey).

But, seriously people, what’s up with that?  It isn’t all over, hang in there!  I know you all love him, he’s such a charming guy, or used to be in the earlier seasons.  But Derek has barely been on the show for such a long time, I mean, seasons!  Didn’t you notice he hasn’t been around?  And then, this season, he was off for a LONG TIME?  I guess I could see it coming that he was going to be leaving the show.  It was still sad though, especially how it happened.

I think the show is in transition, again.  They’re going through a lot of changes.  This season has been weird, the whole multi-episode thing with his sister really BORED me.  It was so annoying.  And before that the whole hyperfocus on the lesbian divorced couple?  Also, hideously boring.  I was about to give up on the show myself.  But then, the last few episodes started to get better, so I hung around.

Last night’s episode was actually pretty awesome, even though it was a bit skewed towards the trauma-side as “Grey’s” tends to be when it wants to suck viewers back in.  One nice thing about it, I thought, and I don’t know if you have noticed this, but there was actually LIGHT visible in the episode.  I don’t know if you have this issue when you watch, but the show is so DARK overall (exposure-wise) that it’s really hard to see some scenes.  I mean, doctors DO sometimes actually get to see the light!  It’s not like they’re vampires or something…

One thing I especially liked last night was hearing Derek’s internal dialogue.  It drew me in so that I felt like I was experiencing it right along with him.  This episode created a lot of drama and suspense, is he really going to die??  I mean, we know he’s a great neurosurgeon, so we have to think he knows what’s going to happen.  But then again, he’s also injured, and might be wrong.  Plus, he’s not HIS doctor, so how can he know for sure?  All of that back and forth was really stressing me out!

I respected that the show took the opportunity to show us another angle in life.  The physician as a patient.  This is the only way physicians can really understand what patients and their loved ones are going through, and this episode brought that to the surface, from so many angles, it was really quite cool.

Also impressive to me was the fact that Meredith stepped out of her widow role to be a good mentor to the female ER doctor.  I’m not sure that doing this was really in-line with her recent bitchy-to-trainees character though, but anyway, it was a good scene because it will teach many other doctors and doctors-to-be what it’s like to be a good role model and mentor towards others.  And there aren’t enough of those in medicine today.

For those who are saying that “Grey’s” will end because he is gone (hmmm how chauvinistic…), remember that the show was designed to evolve as it started to move through different groups of interns.  Plus, this show likes to keep things real, and in the real world, things change.  The right changes can keep the show fresh.

Why did they make this change now?  Only they know.  I can make a guess though, Patrick wasn’t on much lately, and maybe he wanted to pursue other opportunities where he would be able to work more hours, and try new and exciting roles.  That makes sense to me.

Shonda Rhimes, the creator of the series, was reported to have written this episode, and she’s pretty awesome.  Well, I admit, I haven’t met the woman, but anyone would want to experience the amazing successes that she has had in her career.  It’s literally outstanding.  And she is a huge reason why women are now highly represented in the media.  The change started with her shows and is now evident not only on ABC but also on The CW, NBC, FOX etc.  In addition, music has had more successful female artists in the time since “Grey’s Anatomy” started than any other time that I can recall.  I think that all of this was accomplished in large part by this woman and everyone that worked with her in her career.  I would be honored to be a part of something like that, wouldn’t you?

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Wow!  Since I posted this yesterday, people from 57 countries have visited and read this!  That is so amazing, you guys are awesome 🙂  I didn’t realize that so many people loved “Grey’s Anatomy!”  So cool!

Please click “follow” to follow my blog and visit again soon 🙂

Image credit:  Patrick_Dempsey_in_Madrid_(Spain)_01.jpg: CynSimp derivative work: RanZag [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Apple Watch in the Shower?

Famous Girl on the Prowl.   © Suzanne M. Coleman, all rights reserved.

Famous Girl on the Prowl.
© Suzanne M. Coleman, all rights reserved.

by,

Suzanne Coleman

Ok, this is really hilarious!  A day in the life with an Apple Watch, watch it here:

http://www.wsj.com/video/apple-watch-what-living-with-it-is-really-like/13DDE53D-4DF3-4EDD-A519-4B2E3CA4F11B.html

After I watched this hilarious video, I wanted to send a quick note to Joanna who put this video report together but I couldn’t figure out how to reach her.  The new era of communications…  anyway Joanna, awesome work!

On the down side, after this was done playing, the Wall Street Journal website flipped me to another video and stuck me in a loop so I couldn’t get back to this video’s page no matter how many times I tried to go back.  Ridiculous and strange behaviors.  I have also seen this on forbes.com.  Come on guys, if we want to read another article we will, don’t try and manipulate viewers, it’s nothing short of extremely creepy and annoying.

Yahoo! Finance charts, unreliable

the UGH

by,

One Frustrated American

 

When will Yahoo! ever get its act together again?  I mean, it’s been years now of messed up e-mail, finance, and news sections.  I wish I got paid $100 million to manage a company that badly.  Seriously, that would NEVER happen under my watch.  If you’re hiring, call me.

For the last few days Yahoo!’s financial charts have been showing highly inaccurate after-hours data.  Either not updating as trades occur, or for the past two days, showing numbers that are off by 10%.  I mean, learn your decimals programmers!

And not only do they fail to properly program their functions, they don’t test them, and they refuse to take customer feedback.  Like Hello!  Stupid, just plain stupid.  The best way to know your product is to LISTEN to your customers, not ignore them or send them around in circles so that you don’t have to listen to their complaints about the problems with your product.  I mean, where am I?  What country is this now?  Geez.  I guess their board of directors is only concerned with the stock price.  That will be interesting to follow if and when the market does deflate…

It would be nice to be able to rely on one of the big internet companies we have here in the United States these days.  They’ve only had, what, like 20 years to get their act together?  Yeah… again, hire me…

Yahoo! is not alone in this.  E-Trade has problems with its website too, and they don’t make corrections after they are given direct, specific feedback on the issues.  Not a good sign.  They are overdue for hiring an analytical consultant, like me.  Call me, and watch your value grow.

Who do you use for your info and have you found them to be reliable?  Let us know in the comments section below.  It’s kind of a big deal, you know?

 

 

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