An anonymous reader pointed out that I should not have equated "psychotic" and "murderous".

Absolutely correct; that was insensitive and gave you permission to make the same association, which of course you should not.

In my mind I never thought of them as equivalent, but wanted to use the word murderous journalistically. It sounded good in the sentence. Interestingly, there was a ping in my head that said, take that back, and I didn't listen, thought, well, they know I don't really mean it that way. Denial.

But I take it back!


We use the word psychotic to define a certain class of disorders in which an individual suffers from one or more of the following features:

1) delusions
2) hallucinations
3) disorganized speech (e.g. frequent derailment or incoherence)
4) grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior

I define them in the post below.

We do not include a symptom if it is a culturally sanctioned response pattern.

The type of psychotic disorder, an actual diagnosis, depends upon its duration, how it presents, if it is in the context of a close relationship with another person who has an already-established delusion (a Folie a Deux), if there is a medical condition that causes the symptoms, or if it is induced by substance abuse or marked stress.

Humbly yours,



Anonymous said…
Not that anything can take away the horrific events at VA Tech, but having you help us look into the mind of a disturbed individual helps to make it more understandable. It's just all so sad.
Anonymous said…
This is the anonymous poster from before. Thanks for admitting your error, it takes a big person to do that.

therapydoc said…
I wish I were a much bigger person. I really do like it when I have a chance to have an intellectual dialogue with folks (and even not-so-intellectual dialogue, honest, just, let's talk). And I certainly made a terrific error using that word that way. So thanks Anon.

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