any impulsive risk-taking tendencies seem like just slightly excessively normal human imperfection, and could even seem appealing, so attempts to get them under control might seem like attempts to re-engineer others’ human nature.



Even if these tendencies lead to the people’s deaths, as in the case of drug abuse, then that would seem like just a natural result of people’s imperfections.  It would seem that you must understand when someone does something that he had strong desires or emotional “needs” to do, even if it had considerable bad consequences.  Therefore, the choices of those with Hyperthymic Personality Disorder, “tend to be rash and show poor judgement,” would be self-justifying, since they’d feel strong desires or emotional “needs” to do it, and these needs wouldn’t be neutralized by concerns about how it would affect others.  Non-impulsive people would naturally have less of a tunnel-vision desire to do things at others’ expense.  HPD is the only personality disorder that, for the most part, could be excused away with, “Oh, well, everyone makes mistakes,” though since HPD is diluted mania, it’s actually a lot more selfishly impaired than are most personality disorders.

Here it would be good to keep in mind what German Jew Hannah Arendt called “the banality of evil.”  When Adolf Eichmann was put on trial he didn’t act full-force hellacious, but simply like a bureaucrat who wreaked a lot of misery in his duties, so evil often isn’t something immense and profound.  Or, as the second law of thermodynamics, the Law of Entropy, would put it, it’s all too easy to destroy.

The Nazi Conscience, by Claudia Koonz, went into how Eichmann and his ilk might have claimed that they were just following orders, though Nazi intellectuals actually shaped the details of the ideology that the population in general was supposed to accept.  “Thus, collaborators in racial persecution were ordinary in a different and more frightening way than the image of banal bureaucrats and obedient soldiers suggests.  Despite having been raised to believe in the Golden Rule and probably more or less honoring it in their private lives, citizens of the Third Reich were shaped by a public culture so compelling that even those who objected to one or another aspect of Nazism came to accept the existence of a hierarchy of racially based human worth, the cult of the Führer, and the desirability of territorial conquest.”  It’s probably possible to find excuses for just about anything, even:

Sure, our current cultural dynamics that would at least accept the sort of destruction that Hyperthymic Personality Disorder could easily lead to, are a lot more subtle than was even the pre-1940 non-violent excluding of Jews from much of German society, which is the main topic of The Nazi Conscience.  Yet it really is amazing how their Wagnerianism, is similar to ours.  Dynamism such as that of The Romantic Renegade, the intrepid risk-taker, the devil-may-care man, our strong desires (They don’t have to make sense, only be strong.), etc., seems so compelling!  At the very least, you’re supposed to adjust to this supposedly inevitable human imperfection, ineradicable human aggression, etc.  If you don’t, then our public culture would treat you as too mollycoddle, untermensch, controlling, judgmental, maladjusted, etc.  Fundament Christianity tends to hate Situation Ethics, which determine the wrongness of any destructive behavior on its consequences in its particular situation rather than on what any holy book says about it, but if you judge by this standard, behavior with big consequences, you might as well be a dogmatic moralist.

Here we have the similarities between what Freud described in Mourning and Melancholia, in 1917: “Manic-depressives show simultaneously the tendency to too-strong fixations on their love-object and to a quick withdrawal of object cathexis.  Object choice is on a narcissistic basis,” and what Steven Carter described in the modern self-help book for women about commitment-phobic men, Men Who Can’t Love, called the “pursuit-panic syndrome”: “All that really means is that the guy does a one-thousand-degree pursuit until he feels that the woman’s love and response leaves him no way out of the relationship—ever.  The moment that happens, he begins to perceive the relationship as a trap.”



Therefore, the sort of “freedom” that the commitment-phobic fight for, is just another version of la vida maníaca.  Theoretically, a symptom of behavior problems that could be called “antisocial,” is that the person thinks and acts as if there are two sets of rules, those that apply to himself, and those that apply to everyone else.  In practical terms, if one acts as if the rules that apply to everyone else don’t apply to him, and he feels a strong need to break those rules, then liberals would figure that expecting him to follow them would be moralistic, and conservatives would figure that expecting him to follow them would be whiny restrictive passive and manipulative victimology.  Fascism, including Nazism, is big on the concept of the hidden nature of man, meaning that even when people assertively stand up for their own rights, that’s just a manifestation of hidden selfishness.

 Either way, they know how to scare people about the supposed suppressors.  As long as one’s own desires to do anything in relation to a romantic relationship or marriage, are strong enough, that would justify his acting out, whether this be because he refuses to accept that his disease is what makes him want to do it, or because he does accept that what his disease makes him need to do is the real him, so either he succumbs to his disease or he’d be untrue to himself in a way that makes a big difference to him.  (Then again, if an American tells a depressed person to go to cognitive therapy so that he wouldn’t just succumb to his disease, that would be getting an untermensch under control, whereas telling someone with a self-centered mental illness not to succumb to it, would be trying to get an übermensch under control.)



This “narcissistic basis” NEEDS certain things, though if most people had such desires, they’d be neutralized by concerns about those hurt by them.  For the most part modern psychology prides itself on its replacing the old psychological paradigms with the new biopsychiatric paradigms.  Yet whenever such power dynamics are in play, chances are that if a modern psychologist were faced with a hyperthymic narcissistic pursuit-panic syndrome, he’d figure that we mustn’t try to repress such feelings through moralism.  As long as objectifying someone in a very hurtful and costly way, is what he feels driven to do, then that’s his real self, so expecting him to say “no” to himself in this regard would seem to be just the sort of repression that means psychological trouble.

It would seem very natural to tell women driven into depression by these men, “Just take the right medication, and that would stop your problem,” very unnatural to tell these men, “Just take the right medication, and that would stop your pursuit-panic syndrome.”

As a favorite book of the Reagan Revolution, Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind says, the big difference between the original version of this Wagnerian excitement, and its American version, is that the German culture, before Hitler, was aware of the consequences.  “The image of this astonishing Americanization of the German pathos can be seen in the smiling face of Louis Armstrong as he belts out the words of his great hit ‘Mack the Knife.’...  The scenario for ‘Mack the Knife’ is the beginning of the supra-moral attitude of expectancy, waiting to see what the volcano of the id will spew forth, which appealed to Weimar and its American admirers.  Everything is all right as long as it is not fascism!”

Yet the self-reliance that’s characteristic of Reaganomics would be just as supra-moral.  One could most see this when women are expected to be independent, rather than depend on their husbands and boyfriends.  This would then have to mean that whatever spews forth from their ids, even if this is pathological, would then shape what these women are supposed to adjust and adapt to, or else they’d seem maladjusted and maladaptive.  This has to be supra-moral, since prioritizing morality would seem judgmental, manipulative, controlling, unrealistic, etc.  After all, the entire unredacted Serenity Prayer as originally written by Reinhold Niebuhr says, “God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.  Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it; Trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; So that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next—Amen.”  At most, The Establishment would have an acceptance along the lines of, “Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” condemning the behavior as sinful, but in the end figuring that well-adjusted realists would adjust to it.  Neo-Buddhism could be very valuable, even necessary, to those in trouble.


One can only wonder whether what Niebuhr wrote in The Nature and Destiny of Man about what pre-agrarian tribes are really like, “The very strictness with which primitive custom binds the individual to the group and prohibits individual deviations from established norms (however capricious the origin of such norms may be) is the mark of the primitive community’s fear of anarchy.  The primitive community has no freedom in its social structure, not because the individual lacks an embryonic sense of freedom but precisely because he does have such a sense; and the community is not imaginative enough to deal with this freedom without suppressing it,” means what Teutonic thinking would regard as strict repression, or what the balanced thinking that cares about the rate of depression, would regard as strict repression.


A mark of sociopathy is that the person thinks and acts as if there are two sets of rules, one that applies to everyone else and one that applies to himself.  Yet you’d be amazed how likely those around us are to serenely accept someone acting as if more lenient rules apply to himself, especially if he has more status than does the person he hurt.  “Boys will be boys” behavior would qualify as “this sinful world.”  Even in a marriage, it would seem that as long as one spouse, especially the husband, thinks that he has to cut out, then, therefore, he does have to.  If he stayed, then he could portray himself as basically a slave.  If he acts impossible to get along with, then it would seem that of course his wife should accept him divorcing her, since of course he can’t help acting in that way toward his trapper, and of course she shouldn’t want to live like that.  Just as one can’t really say whether “Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it” is basically German (at least excusing the übermenschen and condemning the untermenschen) or American (at least excusing the redbloods and condemning the mollycoddles), one can’t really say whether that acceptance of people acting as if different rules apply to themselves, involves German nihilism or American unconditional resiliency, self-reliance and realism.





As I go into on my webpages on victim correction as a panacea, right now it may seem only natural to respond to one’s own society’s having rampant depression, by figuring that the millions affected had better take antidepressants and/or learn to think right.  Yet a society could take to that sort of “solution” for only so long, especially since, if the socially-sanctioned causes aren’t addressed, they could only get worse.  The logic of commitment-phobic men is a very typical example of how these socially sanctioned causes work.  You might think that for a man to just cut out of a committed relationship or marriage, is hardly socially sanctioned.  Yet our culture is very quick to forgive “sinful” behavior, and since things must still be able to function and produce, very slow to forgive dysfunctional and counterproductive untermenschen.  The logic that a commitment-phobic man would use to justify himself would be very self-righteous pro-freedom and defensive, defending his rights against the supposed repressors.  The woman who’d try to “trap” him would be treated as basically un-American, tyrannical.

When he’d accuse her of trying to “trap” him, he’d be trying to induce a culturally-based shame in her.  She’d seem to be trying to violate his sacred rights.  She could seem to be trying to get what she wants by manipulating him through guilt, rather than by winning it.  She should be stronger; since if they stayed together he’d inevitably treat her very badly, she should have enough independence maturity and self-respect that she’d do her best to avoid him.  Our culture’s norms would pretty much have to treat this just as it would treat any other problem that seems to result from inevitable human imperfection (especially “boys will be boys”): that sure, accepting his leaving might seem morally bankrupt, but the phobic pain that would result from his being “trapped” would be far worse than that.  The dangers of moral bankruptcy seem more remediable than are the dangers of moral commands.  While the more serious effects of this particular instance of moral bankruptcy would be temporary, the effects of “trapping” him, or of her maladjustment to it, would be as permanent as the “trap” or her maladjustment would be.  Therefore, the only partner who our cultural norms would seriously try to correct, would be the “trapper.”  Of course, we mustn’t be whiny, anti-freedom, manipulative, etc.

Sure, those who are abandoned like this are very likely to suffer from depression, but caring about this cause of our rampant depression would seem anti-freedom, unrealistic, whiny, emasculating, moralistic, etc.  Ignoring such socially sanctioned causes of depression could only mean their getting worse, since believers would be encouraged to become more and more “pro-freedom” “pro-independence” and “realistic,” less and less “weak-spirited” and “manipulative.”  This moral bankruptcy is along the same lines as the unconditionally well-adjusted forgiving logic that realists must use when they must cope with any of the helplessness that contributes to our rampant depression: “Everyone knows that we should all courageously change what we can and serenely accept what we can’t, even when we’re up against hardship and/or others’ sinfulness ad infinitum!  Self-empowerment and self-reliance are everything!”  Those who are now reading this may be very aware of the seriousness of rampant depression, but also may be very likely to insist that others conform to such “pro-freedom” “pro-self-reliance” and “anti-repression” traditions.

Despite what religionists preach about people needing religion in order to be moral, Islam says that men could get divorced simply by telling their wives “I divorce you,” three times, yet you don’t see Muslim men frequently avoiding “repression” by getting divorced like this.  Conceivably, they could use commitment-phobic logic, that of course they got divorced since their wives aren’t going to “trap” them, that expecting lifelong commitment to one person with all her imperfections, to the exclusion of others, would be expecting too much, etc.  Yet most of these men have an inner sense telling them not to do this.

Another old paradigm that modern psychologist would likely keep, is to figure that very likely the woman with a commitment-phobic partner, had a subconscious masochistic attraction to a man like that.  After all, though Men Who Can’t Love condemns self-help books that blame the female victims of such men, Men Who Can’t Love is all about how the women could best deal with the men, so it must work by simply treating the victims as response-able for their own welfare.

As one of the summaries of scientific journal articles on MEDLINE search on Soft Bipolar Spectrum - Hyperthymia.  By Ivan Goldberg, M.D. says,

43: J Affect Disord. 1998 Sep;50(2-3):215-24.

The high prevalence of bipolar II and associated cyclothymic and hyperthymic temperaments in HIV-patients.

Perretta P, Akiskal HS, Nisita C, Lorenzetti C, Zaccagnini E, Della Santa M, Cassano GB.

Department of Psychiatry, Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Biotechnology, University of Pisa, Italy.

BACKGROUND: Although recent studies have shown high rates of current and lifetime depression in HIV-infected patients, there is little systematic data on the occurrence of bipolarity in these patients.  METHOD: We compared 46 HIV patients with index major depressive episode (MDE) to an equal number of age- and sex-matched seronegative MDE patients, and systematically examined rates of DSM-III-R bipolar subtypes (enriched in accordance with Akiskal’s system of classifying soft bipolar disorders).  RESULTS: Although HIV and psychiatric clinic patients had comparable background in terms of familial affective loading, HIV patients had significantly higher familial rates for alcohol and substance use.  The more important finding was the significantly higher proportion of HIV patients with lifetime bipolar II disorder (78%), and associated cyclothymic (52%) and hyperthymic (35%) temperaments; the findings were the same irrespective of HIV risk status (intravenous drug user vs. homosexual and other risk groups combined).  LIMITATIONS:  The major methodologic limitation of our study is that clinicians evaluating temperament were not blind to affective diagnoses and family history.  The comparison affective group was a sample of convenience drawn from the same tertiary care university facility.  CONCLUSION: The finding of a high rate of bipolar II disorder in HIV patients has treatment implications for seropositive patients presenting with depression.  More provocatively, we submit that premorbid impulsive risk-taking traits associated with cyclothymic and hyperthymic temperaments may have played an important role in needle-sharing drug use and/or unprotected sexual behavior, leading ultimately to infection with HIV.  Given their public health importance, these clinical findings and insights merit further investigation. In particular, systematic case-control studies, as well as other large scale studies with prospective methodology need to be conducted.

PMID: 9858080 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Here we have an example of exactly the sort of obliviousness that’s equally oblivious to the consequences to oneself, as to the consequences to others, yet those who engage in it could defend it along the lines of The Romantic Renegade, that this is pro-freedom, that those who agree with it are hip and those who disagree are square, etc.  Sure, when the behavior harms oneself, it’s a lot harder to excuse it along the lines of “Oh, well, that’s human nature,” as one could excuse the “pursuit-panic syndrome.”  Yet in the end it’s still always possible to “understand” such “imperfection,” see the consequences as unintended “accidents” or “mistakes,” etc.  Yet it would seem a lot more natural to tell those engaging in high-risk behavior who haven’t yet gotten HIV, “Just take the right medication, and that would stop your problem.”



This is exactly the sort of thinking that makes codependency, wrong.  All that codependents presume that they could do, is, through tenderness, coax the addicts into stopping their own self-destruction.  To some degree the thinking of addicts, even recovering addicts, is impaired by their disease, but at the same time, it isn’t so impaired that they could plead not guilty by reason of insanity.  Yet everyone simply accepts that, of course, getting romantically involved with even addicts who’ve recently began recovery, is so dangerous that anyone who does want to give them this moral support which would greatly help their chances of success, must want to go on codependent “rescue missions.”

In June, 2000, 1,931,859 people were incarcerated in American jails and prisons, 0.702% of the American population, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics recently said that 6.5 million American adults, 3.1 percent of the adult population, are in the correctional system whether incarcerated or on probation or parole, and while many of these people committed crimes heinous enough to have aggrieved victims who are aware of the evil of what these convicts did, each of the prisoners except those troublesome enough to drive away all of their family members and former friends, have several supporters who are aware of the banality, the ordinariness, of the thinking behind the crimes.

Granted, a lot of criminality results from poverty and child abuse, but plenty of criminals out there simply think that wreaking mayhem makes them real redbloods.  Even the abuse that results from childhood misery could have a neurological component, since childhood misery can cause the brain to develop in abnormal ways which can be proven.  Most people would see such motivations as insane just as the reasoning behind addicts’ relapses seem insane.  Most people would find a lifestyle of criminal pursuits to be very unattractive, yet many criminal types persist in it.  Also, battered wives who say that before they married their husbands they seemed so normal and non-violent, aren’t the only ones who’ve ever noticed that in most cases, simply because someone has violent tendencies doesn’t mean that this person is a dyed-in-the-wool monster all the time.  You can see TV shows on how some of those on Death Row for heinous murders, act so normal and have interests and pursuits that take others’ rights into account.  Self-respecting men who talked about mundane subjects with some men like this, and with some men with no records of violence, without knowing which men had which histories, probably wouldn’t be able to tell the murderers from the normal men.  This could be a thinking version of Christian forgiveness, one that doesn’t tell us to just keep on forgiving and encouraging forgiveness as if we’re mechanistic instruments, and one which is allowed to weigh the specifics of each situation.  Several websites tell of how some of the most hated murderers aren’t such bad people after all, and this certainly offends victims’ family members and others who see the magnitude of what the murderers actually did, but the murderers’ positive characteristics still exist.

This is Tookie Williams, a founder of the Crips who was just executed, who wrote some anti-gang books for kids.  In some cases like this, the person could just be faking his remorse, but in other cases the person could have actually grown up, though we’d also have to keep in mind that if we forgive anyone who’s sincerely grown up, that would mean that when you’re young you wreak mayhem and when you grow up you show remorse and repentance, and get forgiven.


Due to de-institutionalization of the mentally ill, many, either because of impulsive criminality or because they’re dysfunctional enough to need to commit crime just to survive, have ended up in prison.  The modern era’s humanism made mental institutions into more than just bare concrete cells into which people are thrown, but for those mentally ill who only commit crime and get sent to prison, it’s back to being thrown into concrete cells.  An article in the March 5, 1998 issue of the New York Times, “Asylums Behind Bars,” said that due to all of the mentally ill who live in the Los Angeles County Jail, it’s the nation’s largest mental institution.  Inquiry into this area would do a lot of good both for society at large, and also for the imprisoned mentally ill, in that we could now see the relative degrees of what constitutes “insanity” and what this should mean to the legal system.

And then there’s the question of repeat violent crime.  Fairly few repeat offenders commit most of the violent crime, and this has been connected both with endogenous biological differences, and neurological differences which result from a beleaguered childhood.  If you keep in mind that psychiatrist’s statement that if you can’t imagine how you yourself, or others with basically normal motivations, would want to do it, then this likely arose from biological differences, you could see that this would include an unprofitable criminal career.  Such criminality is supposed to result from narcissism, but most people would find wreaking such mayhem to be debasing.

Here the whole idea of using medication to get a behavior problem under control could really look like callous victim correction as a panacea, since poverty leads to a greater crime rate and trying to eliminate such a consequence by aiming for individual differences really seems to be blaming and re-engineering victims.  Dr. Goodwin’s remarks about ignoring everything but individual differences in vulnerabilities, how they respond to poverty, could tell us a lot about the victim-blaming of women, and not only because Goodwin thought that he could fine-tune desperate inner-city families.  If he likes leverage so much, he should have attended a “codependency” group of suburban women whose family dynamics are very disrupted by headstrong husbands, where these women are told that if they think that they could get their husbands to act civilly at home then these women are characterologically naïve and controlling.  The same would apply to Goodwin if he thought that he could make the fathers of irascible kids, act civilly at home.  This allocation of responsibility to the women has the same logic of maximizing leverage as Goodwin’s logic does.  Disruptive men don’t have a reliable motivation to create a healthy home environment but the others who live in that home do, so giving personal responsibility to the other adult in the home, responsibility for her own welfare, would maximize leverage.  Getting the effects of the rampant mood disorders, including criminality, under control through medication is certainly better than nothing, but we’d also have to keep in mind how expediency to this degree is pretty degrading for those who are to be corrected since it also is based on the fact that we could get the most leverage by holding responsible the person whose problem it is, who has the most motivation to solve it, and who has the least opportunity to refuse to solve the problem.

When looking at the whole of the problems that exist because of people’s general ignorance of both the benefits and the problems that can come with hyperthymic personalities, you can see both a lot of misplaced blame, and a lot of problems that go unsolved because of this.  People know what they find attractive about hyperthymics, their personalities intelligence and creativity, but those same people don’t know what to make of it when these very same people do offensive things that seem to be within the American norm, or suddenly do offensive things outside that norm.  Then you’d see two forms of misplaced blame again and again, blaming the victims for being attracted to people like that and thereby bringing about their own problems, and blaming those who act like that for their cognitive distortions though depressed people aren’t blamed nearly as much for their cognitive distortions.  Knowing where the blame really lies, knowing both what those person’s potentials are and where their problems come from, could make a big difference in the lives of all those greatly affected by hyperthymics, which is everyone.



 But wait.  There’s more...

Go To the Next Page, which Tells of How One Could Handle the Dangers of Hyperthymic Personality Disorder.












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