Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Elliott Rodger, the Men's Rights Movement, and Differential Diagnosis

Elliott Rodger has puzzled us all. Among other proffered disorders, he is said to have had high functioning autism (formerly Aspergers) and maybe he did, we'll discuss why in a moment. But we haven't seen a single direct quote about it from a mental health professional who treated him for the disorder, or from his parents.

Sunday we suggested here that Elliott had Antisocial Personality Disorder. He met the minimum number of features on the DSM 5. But a day later I didn't like hearing a host on Entertainment Tonight  proclaim with absolute certainty, "He was a psychopath, obviously!"

We don't use that label. There are those who are sociopaths, and there are those who are almost sociopaths, people with degrees of Antisocial Personality Disorder. But no one uses the word psychopath anymore. To make the antisocial personality diagnosis, by the way, I should have checked out whether or not Rodger showed antisocial behavior prior to age fifteen. No idea if he broke a law as a younger teen. My bad.

So let's take a closer look at this spooky young man who gave new meaning to the word selfie. We could say, by that way, that Rodger had, as does anyone who shows more than a little dramatic flare in everyday life, a hint of histrionic personality disorder. Add that to the list.

Not a diagnosis, but an observation, from his manifesto Rodger seems to have been consumed with envy and hate. Dr. Phil tells us that envy is associated with wanting to take what another has, or wanting to bring someone down, not in a nice way. The star of the latest hit Youtube video envied men who had sex and relationships, and he hated the women who rejected him. His misogyny, his raw expressed hatred toward women, took the form of retribution. It turned out to be gender-free. He didn't care who he killed.

What do we really know about him?

Will McLeod, of Daily Kos, tells us that Rodger subscribed to YouTube video channels, especially those about the Men's Rights Movement to watch alpha males teach the rest of us how to score with women.  RSD Nation, (Real Social Dynamics), hosts "How to turn Let's go back to my place for a movie into Sex just happened," and "4 Foolproof Methods that Work 100% of the time. You'll never have an "off night" again." These alpha male mentors appealed to Rodger.

Talk about preying on the vulnerable. CEU credits are not available at this time.

The "movement" speaks of the evils of feminism, rants about the feminization of men. An MRA*  is a self-described wannabe alpha intent upon becoming a player. It may not be much of a movement, but Elliott tried hard to belong. Even bloggers of the club dissociated from him.

We Hunted the Mammoth cuts and pastes some of Elliott's more disturbing thoughts from the manifesto, and discusses in his post distancing from the philosophy. There's more, but here's a taste.
Women are like a plague. They don’t deserve to have any rights. Their wickedness must be contained in order prevent future generations from falling to degeneracy. Women are vicious, evil, barbaric animals, and they need to be treated as such.
.. and which ended with a fantasy of putting all the women in the world in concentration camps and starving them to death, while Rodger took a position in a giant tower built just for him “where I can oversee the entire concentration camp and gleefully watch them all die,” 


Mammoth is right to want to dissociate from that. To say this this particular thinking is something Rodger learned on the internet is misleading and a serious understatement. The "movement" is a weak backlash to feminism, but it isn't about killing women. Maybe it added momentum to a disturbed psyche, one that wanted to impress any breathing soul. There, I'm an attractive male. See? I kill.

The likelihood is that Rodger didn't learn murder from anywhere. But this is hard for most of us to wrap our heads around. Much easier to call him a product of Hollywood or video games. He spent 14 hours a day playing World of Warcraft, and surely he saw violent films idealizing mass destruction. But what drove him to that?

Learning theories may have merit, but many of us prefer proven biological explanations of violence, how the DNA is different, what accidents do to the brain, birth trauma.

It is telling that Rodger went to websites to learn pick up lines. Certain disorders, autism is one, make it difficult for sufferers to read people, to anticipate the needs of others and what others expect from them. They miss the point much of the time in conversation. Recently we've heard that Elliott's therapists were social skills trainers.

So it could be that. But it is much more likely (and here comes the criticism, for whenever a mass murderer makes headlines, I bring this up), but it is entirely likely that Elliott Rodger suffered voices in his head, the ones that say, "Kill them all." People with bipolar disorder also have auditory hallucinations, some as severe as these. These are hereditary disorders.

Or maybe it is a case of two severe Axis II disorders, two personality disorders, antisocial and narcissistic personalities, also with some genetic etiology. We went over the features of antisocial personality disorder in the last post, so let's review NPD now.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder 301.81 (F60.81)
Criterion A: Shows a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, whether in fantasy or behavior, needs admiration, lacks empathy, beginning by early adulthood. Must present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five or more of the nine features below.
1. A grandiose sense of self-importance, exaggerates achievements, talents, and expects recognition for superiority without superior achievements, etc.
2. Has a preoccupation with fantasy of unlimited success, power, intelligence, beauty or love.
3. Believes in his or own special and unique qualities, only to be understood by or in association with other special people or institutions.
4. Demands excessive admiration in relationships.
5. Has a sense of entitlement and unreasonably expects favorable treatment.
6. Exploits others in relationships, takes advantage.
7. Is lacking in empathy, unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of other people.
8. Is envious of people and believes others envy him or her.
9. Shows arrogance and haughtiness in behavior and attitudes.
It's a match! To meet the diagnose for this disorder, five of the nine features must apply. There are more than five in yellow.

No More Mr. Nice Guy, a book about men who try to be really, really, nice and are unhappy because of it, hasn't got a chapter about Elliott Rodger, despite what he says about himself.

Perhaps Yoda, the Star Wars sage, has the best explanation of all. But it is indifferent to biology. Yoda doesn't talk much about DNA, birth trauma or to what happens to a person who is hit too hard on the head in an industrial accident. He sticks to psycho-social fundamentals:

Fear is the path to the Dark Side.
Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate.
Hate leads to suffering!

Nah.

I have to wonder, if Elliott were my patient, would I have caught onto his potential for harm? He tells the world that he kept Retribution a secret, knowing that his doctors would have locked him up, had they known the truth about him.

His reality testing was pretty sharp on that one.

therapydoc

*MRA-a male rights advocate?

One last thought. Rather than assume there are simply too many people like Elliott Rodger out there, and that one apocalyptic day one of them will undoubtedly kill us all, we professionals should be asking our patients, (or friends) where they network online, who they communicate with, what they write, and how that's working for them.  Better yet, let them take us there. Seeing is believing.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

What was wrong with Elliot Rodger?

Elliot Rodger spoke at length on a YouTube video about his plan to enter a sorority house and execute a mass murder, retribution for peer rejection. Blonds would be special targets, but everyone would die. He killed seven people on Friday, including himself, wounding another twenty-two.

Watching the video, it is clear he suffered from depression. He speaks of his loneliness and peer rejection, and at first we wonder if perhaps he had a high functioning autism, what used to be called Asperger's disorder. We wonder, like we did with Adam Lanza, who entered an elementary school and killed 20 children, 6 adults (Sandy Hook, Connecticut), if the social correlates of Aspergers depressed him beyond rational thought, drove him to violence. Children reject other children who don't have social skills, who can't follow social cues, as is the case with Aspergers.

But a teacher interviewed speaks of a whiny complainer, an unlikable young man who thought he deserved more (mainly from blonds). Neighbors call him polite and courteous. He'd been arrested three times, prior to his final act, and police didn't feel he needed to be held in custody.

So we know he knew how to talk to people. That, or the police spoke with parents who convinced them to let him go. He was in all types of therapy, although never hospitalized.

Neighbors of his parents say they never heard any shouting in the home. His family was in the process of moving to Santa Barbara to be close to their son.

All of his weapons were registered. On the gun owner registration there is a question: "Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective?" Elliot could say no, never having been hospitalized.
So one lesson we can take from this (and this is a correction from a previous draft of this post):
We have to take what people say seriously. When someone vocalizes plans to commit violence, someone should take steps to see that it never happens, whether the threat is a public proclamation on a blog, a vlog, on YouTube, or at a coffee shop.
Those steps should include an evaluation by a professional, and hospital emergency rooms should be considered, seriously. Medical professionals won't admit anyone involuntarily for merely joking or venting. Involuntary admissions to hospitals are exceedingly difficult, because frankly, we have rights in democratic countries.
But as a community, we shouldn't rely on hope that a potentially violent situation will just go away. Bring a child, a friend, to the hospital when in doubt. Let the professionals do what they do best. Help.
The conceit expressed in Elliot's selfie-video is typical of the conceit of someone with narcissistic personality disorder. But it is an antisocial act, unfeeling mass murder, more likely to be a function of an antisocial personality. Antisocial people (ironic, since his most sincere desire had been to connect, sexually, with women) are also narcissistic. They can be depressed, too.

And yet, here it is:

Antisocial Personality Disorder 301.7 (F60.2) is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of other people. A diagnosis requires only three of the following features:

1    A failure to conform to social norms and the law
2    Repeatedly lying and conning for personal profit or pleasure
3    Impulsivity and failure to plan
4    Irritability, aggression in the form of physical fighting
5    Little regard for the safety of others or self
6    Failure to consistently work or honor financial obligations, irresponsibility
 Lacking remorse, rationalizing behavior that hurts others.

8    The individual must be at least 18 years old

This type of conduct is evident under the age of fifteen, although not diagnosed as such. To meet the diagnosis, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder must be ruled out.

My first guess, even though Elliot Rodger suffered paranoia and features of a narcissistic personality disorder, too, is that he had a co-occurring antisocial personality disorder. It is always a compelling diagnosis, and we don't usually recognize it until a deed is done, until someone steals our life savings, or sets off a bomb. 

Regardless of the trigger, the supposed reason for disregarding the feelings of others, the lives of others, this is a tough one to treat. And most of us, frankly, are uncomfortable, just being in the same room, with those who have it. 

They are scary, the stuff, the creatures of movies and video games. It is sad and ironic that Elliot's father, Peter Roger, is in the film industry, worked as an assistant director of The Hunger Games, among other accomplishments.

This can't be easy for him or his wife. Their son's disorder has biological underpinnings. It isn't their fault (see Adrian Raines' book, The Anatomy of Violence). Despite the fact that he may have had blurred boundaries, identified with movie characters, or watched too many video games, this behavior is likely not a consequence of that.

We're sure to find out much more about his parents and his childhood. The downside of the media, the downside of fame, is that unlike the privacy the Rodger family might have been assured, had Eliot been hospitalized, the gloves will be off.

But maybe that's a good thing. We have to promote awareness, and one thing Elliot has now, if he never had enough before, is that.

therapydoc

Cameron Gallagher

Only sixteen, doing her best to beat childhood depression, this beautiful young woman lost her life last March running a marathon. She fell into the arms of her parents at the end of the race. Cardiac arrest, cause undetermined.
Cameron Gallagher in a photo taken by her dad at the race.

This is a kid who posted notes all over her house, uplifting quotes that lifted her spirits. Affirmations, we call them.

She believed in getting better and intended to promote awareness, to destigmatize childhood depression, help other young people get help. Like she did.

In her room, a few days following the tragedy, her parents found a marketing proposal. Cameron had been enlisting sponsors for SpeakUp 5K, a community footrace dedicated to raising that awareness about childhood depression.

She had already invited her psychiatrist to speak at the event. She solicited local business sponsors, including the hospital that contributed to her wellness. She landed a national sponsor, sweetFrog yogurt. Nothing short of amazing, a campaign like that, from someone so young, someone who probably had many thoughts of suicide throughout her short life, who had surely spent many, many hours struggling to get out of bed in the morning, and missed school, that formal education, often. Concentration, if she made it to school, had to be difficult. Cameron probably had an endogenous depression, from the sound of it, nothing to do with life's little and big ups and downs. No reason to be sad, but always sad.

We often tell people who suffer from depression, no matter their age,to exercise at least a little, because it raises endorphin levels. All that oxygen helps, if temporarily, and toning the body feels good. Cameron listened to her doctors, or maybe she was a natural athlete. She swam every morning, even in the winter, when her depression was at its worst, early, about the time the sun rises, when the rest of us are only beginning to seize the day. And she didn't have the kind of disease that inspires that sort of thing.

She suffered lethargy, fatigue. Once I treated a teenager who could sleep 23 hours of those 24 (before her hospitalization). Her parents forced her awake to eat something, then she slept another 23 hours. That's how bad the disease can be. Still, this kid got into her swim suit and forged her way into the water.

And she trained for the Virginia Beach half-marathon in March.. That was the race that stressed her heart, that killed her, maybe from medical complications, from the treatment that had helped her get well.

I'm so sorry for her family. Her father, Dave, wrote a beautiful tribute, worth a look. It is about faith, but what speaks to me is that this kid really worked to stay alive. She constantly spoke to her disease, shouted it down. She had no intention of letting depression get the best of her.

Her psychiatrist must be devastated, and her friends, heart-broken.

Her mom, speechless.

Thousands attended that funeral, and thousands send mail, are running races, all to make it happen, wake us up about mental illness, that it is all around us. Just Friday night a young adult, 22, Elliot Robertson Roger, suffering from mental illness, (he claimed he suffered depression but it seems he had an antisocial or narcissistic personality disorder), killed six people, wounded 13.

"Tomorrow is the day of retribution. The day in which I will have my revenge against humanity, against all of you," he said.
"For the past eight years of my life, ever since I hit puberty, I've been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires all because girls have never been attracted to me."
Women rejected him. Blonds were his particular target for retribution. He tells his story on YouTube, and now, on every television news station, he has achieved fame.

If you want to support Cameron's last project, take a look at the SpeakUp 5K website. The race is actually going to happen on May 31, Brown's Island in Richmond Virginia.

therapydoc


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mothers Day is in May, Mental Health Awareness Month

The MIX featuring Mental Health Awareness Month
I don't know if it is intentional, or a Freudian thing, but the choice of the month of May for Mental Health Awareness Month is suspicious. May has always been for Mothers Day, and it always sneaks up on us. But it is chock full of emotion, for many, and can play with our mental health. So perhaps that had something to do with the choice.

For what it's worth, other months host mental health awareness days and weeks for different disorders. NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness lists February as National Eating Disorders Week (Feb 23-March 1). March 30 is apparently World Bipolar Day. April is reserved for Alcohol Awareness.

May not only hosts Mothers Day and Memorial Day, but the month is divided into consecutive weeks:
Children's Mental Health WeekAnxiety and Depression WeekOlder Americans Mental Health Week, and Schizophrenia Week
But Mothers Day gets all the attention. I caught a woman just a little younger than myself lingering at the flower display in the grocery store. I thought, She has one! And it made me sad. i realized this is my first Mother's Day without one. This past winter must have been good for flower growers because they are spectacular. A visual masterpiece.

Of course, even if you have one there's no saying this is going to be a fun or a stress-free experience, not the day, nor the gifting. There's stress built-in, especially if mom has always been difficult. The day's approach can be so depressing (or so I hear at work) that it is easier to carp about the commercial crassness of this otherwise benign Hallmark holiday.

But maybe it isn't so benign. It can be a comparison holiday for those who look around and see nothing but others with superior families, more functional families. They rank. Imagine seeing the day as a splendid opportunity to say, You matter. Let's do lunch, just the two of us. Or just family. Impossible.

Functional could look like this, how I did my brother's last birthday. He has one in early May. I popped by his office late on a Friday afternoon with a clunky box of documents that our mother and father had left behind, things that only my sister-in-law, a lawyer, knows how to decipher, cash out, or pitch. But I'm there with no birthday present. He sees me and is clearly happy to see me. But me, bearing no gift, first thing, before hello, guiltily blurt out,
 "I didn't get you a gift OR a card!" 
Thrilled, he flips back,
 "Great! Because I never have time to get you one either!" 
This can be loving, no gifts. I think if families dropped the gifts in general, they would have a lot more fun. But there would still be comparisons, who has fun, who doesn't.

Not having a mom, or having lost one, it doesn't matter how long ago, many of us are going to have difficulty on May 11, Mothers Day. And the reminders in the media won't let up until next week, when it is over. We will choose no brunch with Bloody Mary's (I just heard this, that people have pitchers of Bloody Mary's at brunch). Rather we'll opt out to go to a cemetery, have a discussion with relatives, some long gone, some new residents. Memorial Day is also in May. My thinking, one visit will do.

One of my kids sent me a link to a good podcast about Mental Health Awareness Month. A local radio station, THE MIX, WTMX (101.9 FM Chicago), features a social service agency, TURNING POINT. Susan Wiencek conducts the interview. I had wanted to write something substantive about mental health month, but didn't quite know where to begin.

Now I'm off the hook. You can listen to therapist Julie Rooney, and Ann Fisher RaneyCEO of Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Services, They do a better job. Turning Point, a social service organization in Skokie, Illinois, has been there for thousands of families over several decades. The agency hosts a new program called The Living Room, and it is literally a drop in center, an actual living room. People stop by and can talk to a professional, let go of some of their stress. Such a great idea, isn't it?

When asked,
"What can we do to become more aware of mental health issues?" 
either Julie or Ann, not sure  which panelist, replied, and I'm paraphrasing,
"Take a look inside yourself. You matter. Seriously consider your own mental health."
I loved that because we all do it, often, think about ourselves, look deep inside.  But this month we're supposed to consider ourselves important enough to deserve someone else to share in the process, too. Someone like a mom, in some ways. Or a sister or brother. Or not. No matter, no gifts are allowed.

So Turning Point, and surely hundreds of other creative social agencies have torpedoed the myth that mental health isn't affordable,  therapy is too expensive. Community mental health is alive and kicking. If you're lucky enough to have an agency with open doors, one like Turning Point, stop by.

My guess is that they serve cookies, too, and make a decent cup of coffee.  Just a guess.

Here's the link to the podcast.

therapydoc

Sunday, May 04, 2014

A League of Our Own

The title of the film is really A League of Their Own. But watching it, many of us want to be a part of the sisterhood. It is my job to encourage aspiration and fantasy, feel-good processes.

But before we begin, to the Anonymous reader who commented on the Viagra post (that last one) about the reaction of a patient to a religious symbol, a cross he wore to work, sorry I missed that!  Just read it and replied in the comments section.

The Story:
Tom Hanks, Geena Davis in A League of Their Own

I thought I knew men. After all, 60% of my practice is men, and I have a brother, once had two. One father.  I married a male. Every dog we sheltered and loved was a male, counting three plus a relatively new male granddog, so make that four.

But what really had me assuming I understood men was my belief that as your everyday, nonthreatening, female therapist, males of all ages, not merely canine males, but humans, have shown me their soft side, the vulnerable side. It is exactly like ours, the female soft side, but men are a little more embarrassed to show it.  

If you take a large sample of any group, any population of, let's say males, and look at the very center of the bell curve, the mean, forget the better differentiated ten to twenty percent in the tails, the outliers, but look at everything to the immediate left and right of center, you will find what is considered normal for the sample of whatever it is you are measuring.

My hypothesis, and many would agree, is that if we look at men and male bonding, communing within the male biological sex, we will probably find: Men bond best when bonding over . . .

baseball.

Not only baseball, of course, but whatever sport is seasonal. Hockey, football, basketball, soccer, golf. Any sport will do, either to play or spectator or speculate about. Any sport is safe for males to discuss together, mull over, grieve, gamble, theorize, philosophize, or celebrate.

Whereas women seem to prefer to bond over what is bothering them: their emotions, how to handle their paranoid aging father, a jealous colleague, loneliness, the condition of their oldest child returning from a party.

Not that some men don't bond this way, even lunch, too. Some of us are finding in our practices that male patients do talk about their troubles with other men, not just their therapists. But my hypothesis is that 80-90% are more likely to bond at the water cooler at the office about a catch, a throw, a kick or a putt.

And brothers will call each other or text about sports, whereas they will not do that about anything else, and the conversation will go something like this: Did you see that tackle! Do you believe that! I know!  End of conversation. Hang up.

Not that this is bad! Being fanatical about sports beats getting all excited over drag racing or bullying or dog-fighting. Nevertheless, for years, mea culpa, I mistakenly believed female bonding to be deeper, more intimate, better. Superior. Because it strengthens our understanding of one another, ties relationship knots tighter. Emotional intimacy trumped recreational intimacy! Or so I thought. Not that recreational intimacy isn't wonderful, it surely is. Indeed, in relationship therapy we shoot to increase every type of intimacy.

But that’s not the point here. The point is that for most of my professional life, and that's a lot of years, and certainly for years prior to that, I held a bias about men and sports, considered the entire phenomenon, being glued to the screen especially, bizarre. So much emotion, so much money, so much time and effort on a game. And most of the time those invested aren't even playing the game, they are merely admiring amazing athleticism. But doesn't it get old? Apparently not, no more so than Dancing with the Stars or the Olympics gets old.

Women like me watch a game every once in a while, suffer through every Cubs season, whether we truly follow or not, as do most die-hard  northside Chicago Cubs fans. (This is our year, by the way). Maybe that's why some of us can't relate to bonding over sports. Cub fans generally just sigh, won't talk about the game. Not that sighing together isn't intimate.

That said, relating to sports obsessions is still hard for me, the idea that men connect socially primarily over sports. My usual empathy goes AWOL on this topic, or it did until I finally saw A League of Their Own.

Warning, SPOILERS coming right up, if you haven't seen it.

The film is a decidedly women's film, full of relationship pathos, so women love it. But because women play amazing baseball, men love it, too. Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks at his best) manages a team in the AAGPBL All Girls Professional Baseball League, one of several to replace men's baseball during World War II. Soom after the men returned from battle, the AAGPBL died a natural death. The players went their separate ways.

Some thirty years later, a Hall of Fame is dedicated to the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. (The biographies have to be good reading). Jimmy Dugan's team meets at the opening. So happy to see one another after so many years, the bond of female friendship and admiration is palpable, the expression of affection and intimacy, heart-warming. These women know one another and feel free, because they are women, to merely let it go, express the happiness, the love. Playing together, working together, their lovers and fiance's overseas, they had something very special, a temporary group commune of sorts, with a common goal.

Maybe male athletes do it too, behave bonded, share the love at reunions. Maybe they even keep up with one another years after having retired their numbers, hanging their uniforms in plastic. Maybe they have lunch or go for drinks, reminisce about younger days.I'll have to watch more baseball movies to find out. All I know is that we see genuine emotional intimacy at its finest in this film, as the women who played ball in their young adulthood come together as almost seniors to celebrate their past trials and tribulations.

Perhaps this happens at your average high school reunion, too. That's the idea, isn't it? Such would be another example of how one type of intimacy, recreational or academic/work intimacy contributes to and enhances another, emotional intimacy.

The film brought me back to my years as a pre-teen, a child playing baseball at the park after school, and made me wish the games had never ended, that sports for girls hadn't somehow become uncool. The denouement, the ending, that reunion at the museum, simply capped the loss, the missed nostalgia. We could have had that, had we simply dropped the mystique of being female and Played Ball!

No, we took up tennis.

Thank G-d, it is finally warm enough to take out my mitt from that bottom drawer, grab a grandchild, see if he wants to play the oldest game ever. Catch.

therapydoc

Just one more observation with therapeutic import, maybe. We'll throw in that Jimmy Dugan is influenced by his female team members to give up the sauce.
Most of the time I fall asleep watching TV. It's one way to wind down, for those of us who have trouble turning off our thoughts, our fears. Worries come naturally before bed. So if you are me, you watch movies on television in pajamas, on a small screen on a dresser only a foot away from the bed. It isn't all that comfortable. You have to crick your neck a bit to see, but in twenty minutes your eyelids droop, retinas burn. Before long you have lost the plot, are asleep no matter how good the film, the Modern Family or Madmen. An old Sopranos is better than Ambien.

But I stayed up for Geena DavisLori PettyMegan CavanaghRosie O'DonnellMadonna and the rest of the team. Why?

Probably because No crying in baseball had me in tears, naturally. 

Team manager Jimmy Dugan is a little rough on his right fielder (Evelyn Gardner, played by Bitty Schram), after Evelyn throws wild to home, when she should have thrown to the shortstop. Dugan screams at Evelyn at the top of his lungs, glares at her bug-eyed. He probably reeks of liquor. She cries. He's incredulous. You're crying?  No crying in baseball!  he shouts.

She cries even more, and from this incredible scene that exemplifies the most obvious difference between the sexes (and genders), we learn the now famous mantra: No crying in baseball!  There is no crying in baseball! 

Geena Davis, playing Dottie Hinson, the star of the league, Dugan's most talented player, chastises him, both about his delivery (Why don't you give her a break, Jimmy) and that he drinks too much. Smitten by the tall, wry, reserved, mysterious catcher, Dugan works on all of it.

And later in the film, Hanks has us in hysterics again. Tested once more by a terrible throw to what was supposed to be shortstop, as soon as the side is retired Dugan confronts his right fielder. But this time he desperately tries to control his anger. He literally stutters and shakes with rage, but holds it in. He's calm compared to the last time, even if he is physically trembling with emotion to contain his rage and what comes out of his mouth. He tells Evelyn to keep working on that throw to the infield.

That's all. Just the facts, assertive.

Brilliant, classic anger management, so brilliant that now I have to buy A League of Their Own (unless one of my kids wants to give it to me for Mother's Day), so that I can show it at the office, thus deducting whatever equipment is necessary to do that.

Oh! Just checked the scores. It seems the Cubs beat the Cardinals 3-0 yesterday. Yes!