eeing in OJ Simpson the signs both of hyperthymic temperament and of flat-out bipolar disorder, helped me recognize the signs in someone else, someone I hopefully was able to help.  First off, OJ’s charismatic personality is a perfect example of what a hyperthymic personality looks like.  Not only that, there’s the far more distinctive fact that in his mug shot, the tone of the muscles outside his eyes seemed to have been gone, so his eyes and eyebrows seemed to have been running down the sides of his face, looking as unnatural in doing so as does the liquid pocket watches in Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory.

This is a sign of someone with bipolar disorder suffering a depressive episode.  A college textbook on abnormal psychology gives Van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr. Gachet as a good illustration of what this looks like,

and says that the depressions that come with unipolar depression involve more anxiety.  Just after OJ murdered Nicole and Ron, I read a book which gave accounts of OJ’s sports career, and at the end mentioned that the reason why he wore sunglasses to Nicole’s funeral was to hide his “sunken eyes,” though I always thought that “sunken eyes” meant downcast eyes, and one wouldn’t go to a murdered spouse’s funeral wearing sunglasses, looking like Hollywood glamour, in order to hide downcast eyes.  Yet when the mug shot was taken, there were his sunken eyes, and that photo is included in plenty of publications, websites, etc.  (I think that I even remember seeing a big copy of the mug shot at the center of the Ask OJ website, though the photo that’s there now shows OJ in a formal setting holding a platter with a ham that’s been partially sliced up, with a caption of, “Happy Holidays, From a real cutup,” followed by his signature, which sure does make him look worse than the mug shot would have, and he actively participates in this website.  He obviously has no problem going public with premeditated heinous shock value, and hyperthymics are harmlessly so  much  morexciting  thavacuoushocvalue .)  Yet it seems that except for some people, like the author of that book, some psychiatrists, etc., people are totally in the dark about just how unusual was the muscle tone outside his eyes in the mug shot.


Then there are the other signs that were there just after the slow-speed Bronco chase.  The newspaper article that appeared in Los Angeles, where I live, said some very revealing things.  Just after the murders, he was suddenly acting completely normal which was why several of those who saw him at the time thought he looked innocent.  He probably was at least somewhat suicidal at the time of the Bronco chase.  Robert Shapiro said that before OJ escaped he had four “doctors” with him and they agreed that the note that he left behind was a suicide note (Like, what was he doing surrounding himself with psychiatrists?).  Even back then, with the limited practical experience I had in recognizing the signs of chronically manic personalities, I saw that hyperthymic families often give their kids eccentric (as in non-conformist) names, and OJ’s first name is Orenthal.

Lawrence Schiller’s American Tragedy says the following about OJ on the day of his arrest:

O.J. was deeply depressed.  His emotional self had fled.  Baden serves on a board that reviews prison suicides.  He turned to Dr. Faerstein.  “We have to notify the jail people to put him on a suicide watch.”  The psychiatrist agreed, and he briefed Shapiro.

It was now almost eleven, and Parker Center was at least half an hour away.  Shapiro asked Faerstein to call and explain that they were trying to get O.J. down there, but that he was clinically depressed.  There are three doctors here, Baden heard Faerstein explaining to someone, and we’re trying to get him together to bring him down.

OJ’s usually very willful mom Eunice was suddenly hospitalized just after the murders, the family’s public relations agent refused to say why, and in OJ’s suicide note, among his good-byes to his “golfing buddies,” etc., he seemed to be making a special effort to let his mom know that she had no reason to feel guilt and self-blame: “I’ve had a good life.  I’m proud of how I lived.  My mama taught me to do unto others.  I treated people the way I wanted to be treated.  I’ve always tried to be up and helpful.  So why is this happening?”  At that time I’d heard enough depressive self-blame to recognize that Eunice must have been feeling this about the murders, even though she clearly wasn’t to blame.  The newspaper article about the slow-speed chase gave the name of the hospital where Eunice was staying, so I wrote her a short get-well card, on a card which had hand-painted hearts on the front.  I wrote inside that I know that she deserves better than that small card, since this was the best way to respond to depressive self-blame.  (At that time I did have years of experience in doing this, as I describe on my My Story webpage.)  Soon after I got a form-letter thank-you note for those who sent support to the Simpson family (“During these trying times for our family we wish to thank you for your kind words of encouragement.  Your many floral arrangements, cards, food, visits and telephone calls lifted our spirits.  We are truly grateful to have family and friends like you.  Please continue to give us your loving support, along with your spiritual enlightenment’s, and most of all your prayers.”), adorned with hearts made up of the strokes of a paintbrush, sealed with a heart sticker and with a “LOVE” postage stamp with a heart-shaped cluster of roses.


Rumor had it that Nicole engaged in promiscuous adultery, didn’t care how this affected her kids, and when OJ tried to talk her out of it she refused to stop.  This a textbook case of a behavior pattern that can result from hyperthymic temperaments, called a “chaotic lifestyle,” sort of like a diluted prolonged version of Louis XIV’s formal dinners.

During the suppers which Louis XIV was wont to have with the princesses and the ladies at Marly, it sometimes happened that the king, who was very dexterous, amused himself by throwing little rolls of bread at the ladies and allowed all of them to throw them at him.  Monsieur de Lassoy, who was very young and who had never been present at one of these suppers, told me that he was extremely surprised to see bread rolls thrown at the king, and not only rolls, but also apples and oranges.  It is said that Mademoiselle de Vautois, a lady-in-waiting to the Princess de Conti, the king’s daughter, who was hurt when the king threw a roll at her, threw a salad at him, fully dressed.


The chaotic lifestyle could consist of a bunch of random chaos, or, since hyperthymics could be hyper-sexual and/or love to flout conventional morality, the chaotic lifestyle is most likely to look exactly like what rumor just happened to say that Nicole did.  Trying to talk someone out of this would be as impossible as is trying to talk a “walking wounded” paranoid person out of his belief that everyone’s out to get him.  Since hyperthymics tend to think that anyone else is half dead, it only figures that we tend to marry each other, and be in romantic relationships with each other.  Paula Barbieri, in her book The Other Woman, My Years with O. J. Simpson, tells of her alcoholic dad sticking the head of his new wife under a running faucet ruining her hairdo, while insisting that she was drunk, and this irritated her so much that she shot him in the gluteus maximus, “‘Can you believe Dad got shot in the butt?’ Michael [Paula’s brother with a drug problem] said gleefully.  [I certainly wouldn’t be gleeful if that happened to my dad, but some people...]  Or as my cousin Melissa put it, ‘You have the most colorful family.’”  And we all know about the revved-up behavior problems of OJ’s latest girlfriend Christine Prody.

When he was put in his solitary confinement, protective custody, jail cell, he had closed-circuit video cameras on him constantly, and once a TV show showed from this, video a close-up of his face as he was in the cell, smiling and singing a show from the Broadway musical Cats.  A commentator joked that singing a song from a musical could be a dangerous thing to do in jail since this could make a man seem fruity.  What the commentator didn’t mention was both how inappropriate it was for him to be smiling just after his ex-wife was murdered, and, most importantly, that his facial expression had a strange, neurologically impaired, quality to it.  Soon after he had the cameras removed for the sake of his general “privacy,” though certainly anyone who’s put in such a cell with such cameras would want the same, but if they were recently suicidal they probably wouldn’t get it.  And recently I heard that someone who recently wrote the book O.J. Is Guilty But Not of Murder, blaming the murders on OJ’s adult son Jason, said that he’s taking the anti-seizure medication Depakote for a “rage disorder.”  The information section of the website says for Depakote, “Common uses: This medicine is an anticonvulsant used to control seizures.  It may also be used to treat migraine headaches, manic episodes, and other conditions as determined by your doctor.”  I never heard of a condition called a rage disorder, but you certainly could describe extreme artistic temperaments as such.  I don’t see how anyone could have found out about the “rage disorder” unless Jason or a friend told them about it, so he must have thought that a rage disorder is more socially acceptable than is bipolar disorder that’s usually very mild.  For crying out loud, even Donny and Marie Osmond are uninhibited enough to say publicly that they have mood disorders, and they got plenty of good, grateful responses from the public.  And the Catholic Church has a patron saint for the mentally ill, Saint Dymphna, with her own medallion.

If OJ did, on September 13, 2007, lead his guards in taking at gunpoint some sports memorabilia that he claims to have been his, that, also would have fit perfectly the pattern of Hyperthymic Personality Disorder, “tend to be rash and show poor judgement.”  This really is as pathological as if the person were under the influence of stimulants that had the same disinhibiting effect that booze has.

The next day, on Nancy Grace’s Headline News show, Jane Velez-Mitchell said, “But Diane, underneath all that is the fact that O.J. Simpson is doing self-destructive stuff because deep down inside—and I don`t care whether you call him a sociopath or not—he wants to get caught.  He wants to get punished.  Wouldn’t it be ironic if he ends up in jail, behind bars...”

Criminal profiler Pat Brown responded by saying, “This—sociopaths don’t feel any remorse, so they can’t go back and want to get caught.  That’s ridiculous.”

While a sociopath could do what OJ seems to have done, probably the sociopath would instead do something that would have benefited himself more.  What OJ seems to have done could seem self-defeating, since he could clearly see the likely consequences before he did it.  This could also seem sociopathic, since he proceeded as if such criminality was simply how he got what he felt like having.  Yet, in the end, this more closely fit the pattern of a radically deviant rashness and poor judgment.

If someone were under the influence of stimulants that had the same disinhibiting effect as booze, he’d likely do something that’s this short-sightedly selfish.  He’d probably be far more likely to do this if at the time he was under stress, such as his EGO being under attack.  September 13, 2007 was also the day that OJ’s book If I Did It was released under the control of the Goldmans.

It also looks like most or all of the others who were there will say that OJ’s guards threatened with guns those who had that sports memorabilia, but OJ will insist that they didn’t.  When he does this, he’ll probably be as oblivious and self-centered as would be someone who was disinhibited by booze.  Someone on booze would figure that of course you’ll think that his own claims of innocence are true, and everyone else’s claims that he was guilty are false.  Though most people would be more careful in stressful situations, HPD could very easily make one act more rash in stressful situations.  Yet if what the person is trying to do is convince others of something, he could act so confident that others could easily figure that he couldn’t be wrong.  He’d gave to give all of the memorabilia to the Browns and the Goldmans, unless he could somehow convince the right people that he doesn’t know where the memorabilia ended up.

And, of course, the excuse that the public’s anger about threats with guns, are overblown, work in the ambiguous area of exactly what is or isn’t forgivable, excusable, etc.


 But wait.  There’s more...

 Go To the Next Page, which Tells of How This Served as An Example that Answered Someone’s Biggest Question.












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     Cancer Victims Corrected Too

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  Breaking Important Confidences for Your Own Good

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