Thursday, January 26, 2017


There are three “scholarly articles” on ODD at the beginning of the Google list.  They are all worthless, circular, and unhelpful.  But knowing that is probably helpful.

The Mayo clinic suggests:

More than 200,000 US cases per year

Can't be cured, but treatment may help

Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong

Requires a medical diagnosis

Lab tests or imaging not required

The cause of oppositional defiant disorder is unknown but likely involves a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Symptoms generally begin before a child is eight years old. They include irritable mood, argumentative and defiant behavior, aggression, and vindictiveness that last more than six months and cause significant problems at home or school.

Treatment involves individual and family therapy.

The idea is drugs and more-or-less forming a team to wrestle the kid to the ground.  No suggestion to investigate frustrations, unreal expectations, abuse, sexual invasion, and so on.  Note this medical clinic says ODD requires a medical diagnosis.  (How’s your insurance?)  but not lab tests or imaging that might reveal actual organic causes.  If you never look for any, you never find any.

I don’t know where all these people draw the line between ODD in children (it’s considered a childhood disorder mainly) and ODD in adults.  I expect it’s on the same boundary we draw between criminal behavior in children versus in adults.  We feel free to move the boundary if we are offended, so much depends on how charming the child may be.

When children get older, they are redefined from ODD to “Conduct Disorder”, which I guess is the same as the criminal category of “Disorderly Conduct.”  More helpfully, WebMD suggests some causes as follows:


What Causes Conduct Disorder?
The exact cause of conduct disorder is not known, but it is believed that a combination of biological, genetic, environmental, psychological, and social factors play a role.
Biological: Some studies suggest that defects or injuries to certain areas of the brain can lead to behavior disorders. Conduct disorder has been linked to particular brain regions involved in regulating behavior, impulse control, and emotion. Conduct disorder symptoms may occur if nerve cell circuits along these brain regions do not work properly. Further, many children and teens with conduct disorder also have other mental illnesses, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disorders, depression, substance abuse, or an anxiety disorder, which may contribute to the symptoms of conduct disorder.
Genetics: Many children and teens with conduct disorder have close family members with mental illnesses, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance use disorders and personality disorders. This suggests that a vulnerability to conduct disorder may be at least partially inherited.
Environmental: Factors such as a dysfunctional family life, childhood abuse, traumatic experiences, a family history of substance abuse, and inconsistent discipline by parents may contribute to the development of conduct disorder.
Psychological: Some experts believe that conduct disorders can reflect problems with moral awareness (notably, lack of guilt and remorse) and deficits in cognitive processing.
Social: Low socioeconomic status and not being accepted by their peers appear to be risk factors for the development of conduct disorder.


These concepts are marginally helpful in considering Trump, though the real problem is that he has lost touch with reality.  Trump is mostly pretentious, inappropriate in tone, and belligerent.  There are stories of bad conduct in private, including striking his wives.  The cause might be poor socialization, but also frank mental illness.

So far, many people — a growing number including medical doctors and researchers — have frankly stated that our new president is suffering from Alzheimers.  He is not the first, since Ronald Reagan also had it by the time he left, though no one is sure of the time of onset.  At first the affliction is subtle.  It is age-related and also has a strong hereditary component.  Trump’s father had it before he died in 1999.  No one knows how crazy a president must be before he is impeached or the 25th amendment is used, because no one has been so crazy.  One wonders whether the voters were the crazy ones.  I think we should take that seriously.

We also need to think about whether grabbing pussies is technically disorderly.  Some call it simply assault.  It’s worth noting that people in Russia want to get rid of wife abuse laws, because abused wives die younger, which saves money and frees the husband, and also because abusing wives is normal Russian behavior.  This might be fake news, but it explains Melania’s tolerance of her boorish husband..  I was once on a panel of religious leaders about how one should handle death.  The Russian Orthodox priest said that men should be urged to repent beating their wives because in Heaven they will be considered sinful.  He seemed to think all men beat their wives anyway.  But then, he believed in Heaven.  Many Russians seem more inclined to believe in Hell.

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