he differences are recognizable, to different degrees with different hyperthymic people.  Sometimes this is a matter of seeing several traits that alone would say nothing about the person, but together they’d indicate that the person likely has a hyperthymic personality.  Sometimes this could be intuitive, more like an art than a science, but unlike intuition, you could usually explain exactly why someone comes across either as unusually chipper, in the same way you could explain why someone who’s chronically depressed seems unusually reserved.

I’ve had so many people respond as if my ability to recognize this is something arcane, that I figured that I might as well spell it out right here.  Once you’re able to recognize this, you could easily feel that those who can recognize this are so rare, and recognition of this could solve so many problems, that it would be as if you’ve cornered the market on some very vital knowledge!  Probably the best way to really learn how to recognize this, is to spend time with people who have hyperthymic personalities, and see their recognizable differences for yourself.  But for now, here’s how you could spot the distinctive features.

Also, probably the best way to recognize this, is with a sense for what Schopenhauer called the “idea” of things.  If a charismatic celebrity who has plenty to lose, now has a problem where she keeps physically attacking people for stupid reasons, and she had formerly had a drug problem, the basic idea of what makes her tick, should look different from the basic idea of what makes most people tick when they’re irritated.  If you see someone getting agitated about something trivial, by going hysterical for a few seconds to a few minutes and then suddenly acting like everything’s normal again as if he just snapped out of a problem, the basic idea of that should look radically different from the basic idea of normal agitation.  (BTW, I scored my greatest success by recognizing a boyfriend of mine, a neurologist who specializes in biopsychiatry, doing that, though somehow he hadn’t recognized what it is.)

One of the positive aspects that could be recognized, is a certain hyped-up quality that looks like the person has something juicing him up more than most people would be in the same situation.  In fact, when I recognize someone whose demeanor has this quality, I signal this to those who know about this signal, with the American Sign Language symbol for the letter H, for “hyped-up,” as in exceedingly hyped-up as hyperthymics often act.

Some of these distinctive personality traits, look like both the positive and the negative stereotypes of artists.  These positive stereotypes are the empathy, idealism, caring, soulful insight, etc.  These negative stereotypes are the artistic-temperament-style behavior problems.  Though the positive stereotypes might look like absolute opposites of each other, you’ve probably noticed that plenty of celebrities, and others, fit both the positive and the negative stereotypes of artists, Bohemian-peace-and-love and Bohemian-carelessness, at different times.  You end up with a pretty strange picture, sort of like the Dow company, which had manufactured Napalm, running artsy and fairly sensual commercials celebrating “The Human Element,” and how much better it is than the nerd mentality.

As an example of someone who followed the positive stereotypes of artists, The Way of the Mystics, by John Michael Talbot, says the following about Saint Francis of Assisi:

All they knew was that the bells of their town church were clanging chaotically in the middle of the night.

These were the same bells that sounded throughout the daylight hours, chiming out familiar tones at morning, noon, and dusk...

When a few droopy-eyed town fathers made their way to the central square in their nightshirts and slippers, they were greeted with a surreal sight.  Francis was yanking on the bells’ thick ropes with all his might and shouting out through the tower’s windows: “Lift up your eyes, my friends!  Lift up your eyes!  Look at the moon!”

Dr. Thomas A. Harris’ I’m OK—You’re OK, proposes that we strive to make both the individual and the society more sane, by reducing the influence that our inner “Parent,” meaning our shame-based cultural conditioning, and our inner “child,” meaning our unsophisticated and passive tendencies, have on us, and increasing the influence of our inner “Adult,” meaning our sophisticated and rational side.  This book begins its section “P-A-C and Religion,” with, “The Parent-Child nature of most Western religions is remarkable when one considers that the revolutionary impact of the most revered religious leaders was directly the result of their courage to examine Parent institutions and proceed, with the Adult, in search of truth.  It takes only one generation for a good thing to become a bad thing, for an inference about experience to become dogma.”  St. Francis has got to be a perfect example of this, in that his profound caring came from inside of him, while his followers pretty much have to sacrifice themselves in a servile fashion.

Just imagine that you’re having a conversation about some profound topic (For example, as a Zoloft webpage says, “Depressive disorders affect about 34 million American adults.”), with someone who has the character of the stereotypical artist.  His insight and concern as he talks about this, is considerably greater than most people’s.  What he says could probably be called deep, soulful, heartfelt, caring, and cosmopolitan.  He’d also be able to think for himself, and often disagree with convention.  For example, he certainly wouldn’t say, “I guess that for depressive disorders to affect 34,000,000 Americans, it's just one of those biological diseases that are parts of the natural order, so they’ll each just have to get medical treatment.”  Sure, everyone has those qualities to different degrees, but he obviously has them to such a degree that, either you’ve got it, or you don’t.  Even when I was a kid I liked the sort of insight that artists are known for, so even then I could tell how unique this is.

 

 

 

Now, just imagine that you’re hearing about the behavior problems of someone who has the character of the stereotypical artist.  These also would come across as something that, you could say, everyone does to some degree.  To many, his quirks could look like just slightly excessively normal human imperfection.  Yet if you really thought about it, you could see that if everyone showed that level of impulsivity, it would be pretty hard to carry on a normal civilization, yet it would be hard to hold people seriously morally responsible, since the intent behind the behavior wasn’t very malicious.  Once again, while the behavior doesn’t seem different in the sense of being outside the norm, it still has its own very distinctive quality to it.  The webpage of the GP Notebook, Hyperthymic Personality Disorder, says that those who have HPD, “tend to be rash and show poor judgement,” the sort of rashness and poor judgment that you’d expect of someone impaired by disinhibiting uppers, not the sort you’d expect from an unimpaired person.  Intuitively, this really does come across as about the level of conscientiousness that you’d expect from someone considerably under the influence of booze to one degree or another.  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.

In 1809, John Haslam wrote, in On Madness and Melancholy, “The slighter shades of this disease [insanity] include eccentricity, low spirits, and oftentimes a fatal tendency to immoral habits, notwithstanding the inculcation of the most correct precepts, and the force of virtuous example,” and, “Madness has many colours, and colours have many hues;... it very frequently occurs that the descendents from an insane stock, although they do not exhibit the broad features of madness, shall yet discover propensities, equally disqualifying for the purposes of life, and destructive of social happiness.”  That was pretty much an informally-observed version of what Psychological Treatment of Bipolar Disorder, said about “psychosocial functioning.”

The origins of the word paranoia, actually have nothing to do with fear.  What this word really means is “para-,” meaning above, and “noia,” meaning knowledge.  Especially when some hyperthymics really want to believe something, their thinking, also, could become above knowledge, above reality-testing, as well as above anything that they may have learned regarding what is and isn’t reality.  But just as one way of recognizing hyperthymic over other irrationality is that hyperthymic irrationality seems like the sort of thing that most people would want to do in the short term whereas other irrationality, such as paranoia, doesn’t seem attractive or self-indulgent, when hyperthymic above-knowledge thinking leads to problems, it could seem a lot more immoral than would problems caused by paranoid, etc., above-knowledge thinking.  (Of course, to different degrees, most of those engaging in any sort of above-knowledge thinking aren’t not guilty by reason of insanity, so they can’t escape all responsibility by saying, “But my disease made me do it!”)  And strangely, those who have the sort of fatalism about human nature that one could see in, “Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” might be more accepting of the destructive behavior that results from hyperthymic above-knowledge thinking, than they’d have for paranoid, etc., above-knowledge thinking, since believing what one would naturally want to could seem to be “just the way that human nature is sometimes,” while believing that others are out to get you, couldn’t.  One who regrets acting impulsively, or even just acts out of anger, would probably think, “What could I possibly have been thinking, to have thought that I should do that?” whether or not the impulsivity or anger is hyperthymic.  Relapses from addiction that truly do result from the disease of addiction, i.e. those in which recovering addicts see something that triggers them and then all of a sudden they experience drug cravings and a strange belief of, “Just one won’t hurt me,” even if they’d been taught that just one would hurt them, are also above-knowledge thinking.

For example, on July 16, 2002, Alan Greenspan said, “...an infectious greed seemed to grip much of our business community....  It is not that humans have become any more greedy than in generations past.  It is that the avenues to express greed had grown so enormously.”  Yet after that, such as in his book The Age of Turbulence in 2007, he believed in his same old laissez faire ideology as if he was above that knowledge.  This book includes, regarding the easy mortgages that led to the housing boom and bust, “I was aware that the loosening of mortgage credit terms for subprime borrowers increased financial risk, and that subsidized home ownership initiatives distort market outcomes.  But I believed then, as now, that the benefits of broadened home ownership are worth the risk.  Protection of property rights, so critical to a market economy, requires a critical mass of owners to sustain political support,” so this risk to bolster support for private property rights, was in the context of that greed.  When, in his testimony before Congress on October 23, 2008, he said, “As I wrote last March: those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder’s equity, myself especially, are in a state of shocked disbelief....  I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interest of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms,” it was as if he’d just learned this for the first time.  The ideology that he went above knowledge to believe, is exactly the sort of belief that a hyperthymic would want to believe in, exciting and anti-inhibition.

Yet it would also be good to keep in mind that those with hyperthymic personalities are very likely to fit the positive stereotypes of artists, as well as the negative stereotypes of them.  For example, as Manic-Depressive Illness, by Drs. Frederick K. Goodwin and Kay Redfield Jamison says, “Only in the category that we would term bipolar illness was there any significant difference in distribution across occupational classes.  In this group of patients, members of the professional and managerial classes were significantly overrepresented.”

Any group of brainy people, especially those who must engage in innovative thinking, would include plenty of Us.  The website of the Federation of American Scientists includes a good deal of documents showing how, just before Saddam invaded Kuwait, American presidents coddled Saddam to a very irrational degree.   For example, this includes a section of the Congressional Record of September 20, 2002, which tells of how the Reagan Administration, with Donald Rumsfeld as the main liaison, arranged for a good deal of military aid, including many varieties of deadly germs, to be shipped to Saddam’s regime!  Some of these germs were shipped to the Iraq Atomic Energy Commission!  This section of the Record was from when Dubya was trying to convince the American public to invade Iraq, so to make it look as if Saddam still had those same germs 20 years later, the Bush Administration made public plenty of shameful information!  This section includes a current article from Newsweek magazine, lists of the many germs permitted to be exported to Saddam, etc.  These webpages also include a presidential document, “NATIONAL SECURITY DIRECTIVE 26,” dated October 2, 1989, after the gassing of hundreds of thousands of Kurds.  Its section on Iraq begins,

 

 

Would “Iraq to moderate its behavior,” have meant that next time Saddam not gas as many innocent civilians?

To have set up this collection of webpages, on the website of the Federation of American Scientists, certainly is something that people who fit the positive stereotypes of artists, would do.  Not only does this rebel against the pragmatically patriotic “increase our influence with Iraq” norm, but it also shows a strong, gadfly-type, concern for people.

The negative stereotypes of artists, could look like either the negative stereotypes of the 1960s, or those of the 1980s, the much-ballyhooed greed like that which Enron epitomized.  Though the hippie culture and the Wall Street culture might look like opposites of each other, the bottom lines of both of them are combinations of, “It’s all about me!” and, “We stand for freedom!”.  As a square wrote to Time magazine to protest the accepting tone of their article on Woodstock and those who attended it, this tone implied, “They’re gonna build, no matter how they destroy.  They’re gonna teach love, no  matter who they hurt.  They’re gonna be useful by being useless....  They want to be nonproductive on someone else’s production.  Now I understand why I don’t understand.”  While that may certainly sound like something that one of “the pigs” would say, in fact chances are that despite all of the hippies’ talk about loving principles, they did hurt a lot of people, such as the women who had to bring up children on their own simply because the children’s fathers didn’t want to be “trapped” and “repressed.”  That’s about what hyperthymic idealism tends to look like.  And though plenty in the 1960s were sure that the hip ethos was right, those who lived like that now would probably look like freaks.  Of course, the ethos characteristic of the 1980s is still alive and well, and would probably be defended self-righteously even after the massive excesses that led to the Great Crash of 2008 become known.  It would still seem that they are gonna build no matter how they destroy, etc.

Some of these artistic-temperament-style behavior problems may look far more square than hip, such as drinking problems, pathological gambling, and Enron-style inane risk-taking in business, but these problems have the same impulsivity behind them, the sort that you’d expect from people who are under the influence, not people who choose to be very uninhibited.  On an intuitive level, such behavior, when it’s more intense, could be described as:

In fact, psychoanalyst Dr. Karl Menninger’s book from 1938, Man Against Himself,

 

says, in its chapter “Purposive Accidents,” “My dismay was the greater because I knew that she knew that ‘accidents [to quote from a recent insurance advertisement] don’t happen; they are caused.’”  He thought that these purposive accidents are an example of man being against himself, subconsciously.  Of course, enough accidents and mistakes hurt people other than those who cause them, so these could seem subconsciously sadistic.  Since this book has the usual psychoanalytic themes of people subconsciously needing both to act aggressively and get punished for it, accidents or mistakes that harm others would fit this pattern perfectly.

Yet as The Health Seeker, by J. I. Rodale and staff, copyright 1962, says, “The editorial quotes the findings of Flanders Dunbar in 1942, which showed that [accident-prone people] are ‘quick-minded, impulsive people, given to immediate action, inarticulate about their feelings, apt to divorce and remarry easily, unusually healthy, seldom off work, not subject to colds or indigestion, consciously or unconsciously hostile to authority, but rather careful to avoid conflict with it.’”

Man Against Himself also includes, as two of its chapters about “chronic suicide,” “Alcohol Addiction,” and “Anti-Social Behavior,” along with asceticism, martyrdom, and neurotic invalidism.  Though we’ve since become aware of the compelling power of addiction, pre-addiction drinking problems would still fit the pattern of behavior that most would think of as “sinful” in the sense of selfishly harming others.  The chapter on anti-social behavior begins by discussing sexual perversions, criminality, and “Finally, there are individuals who are driven by their impulses no less than the criminals and sexual perverts but who, on the other hand, do not leave their punishment to the state or to organized society, but manage to inflict it (indirectly) upon themselves,” then says, “All three of these overtly aggressive types of behavior react like boomerangs upon their unfortunate authors, driven as they are to these unsatisfactory goals usually to suffer in the end what it was their original intention (often successfully) to make others suffer.  The net result is thus self-destruction.”  Yet the very impulsivity that he mentioned here, could explain how anyone could have a booze and/or dope problem, predatorial sexual perversion, criminal tendencies, and more obviously self-defeating aggressive tendencies, without any self-defeating desires.  Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to cause destruction, even when one has absolutely no desire to do so.  Sure, the dangers of such behavior would be obvious to most people, so they’d put the brakes on it before they did it.  The only difference between a normal, functional life, and the harm to oneself that would result from “tend to be rash and show poor judgement,” is a rather extreme impulsivity.

The basic tenor of this when the person is in a good mood, could look like the tone of the following exchange of e-mails, from the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs report on the Abramoff scandal, “GIMME FIVE”—INVESTIGATION OF TRIBAL LOBBYING MATTERS.  Though Michael Scanlon, about whom this same report says, “According to Schwartz, Abramoff further described Scanlon as a ‘bulldog,’ ‘tenacious’, ‘people were afraid of him’, he was ‘DeLay’s attack dog,’ and was one of the reasons that Congressman DeLay was so successful,” is the one who here is said to be acting like he was on drugs, Abramoff doesn’t seem too aware of important realities, either.  This report talks about him donating to some Hassidic, or Pentecostal Jewish,

       

 

 

organizations, so maybe it wouldn’t be too surprising if he’s as impulsive as Jimmy Swaggert:

Understanding the urgency of the situation and acknowledging the fact that Scanlon’s grassroots campaign was a failure and an embarrassment—“amateurish” in Mielke’s words—Mielke and the Tribe began their own grassroots effort, independent of Scanlon’s.  The Tribe also hired a local public relations firm to assist in their efforts.

Mielke and Paisano continued to express concern and criticism of Scanlon’s work  product.  As an indication of how out of touch he appeared to be, Scanlon actually entertained the idea of asking the Tribe for more money, as evidenced in the following June 25, 2002, email exchange with Kevin Ring and Jack Abramoff:

SCANLON: Hey- I have a few thoughts-1) The land exchange concept was a huge tactical blunder that is going to haunt the tribe for years to come.  2)We need another 3mil to win this thing now.  3) They should Take [sic] Bingaman and be happy.  Wow [,] we are in a pickle now.

RING: Are you on drugs?

SCANLON: Really good ones!

ABRAMOFF: Tell him to recommend some for us to take!

RING: I know.  All kidding aside, if he even thinks of asking for more money, they are going to hunt him down and kill him.  And then come after us.

ABRAMOFF: Ha ha ha

SCANLON: I’m gonna go for it – Im [sic] gonna schedule a conference cal [sic] and ask for 2 more mil!

ABRAMOFF: I love it!!!!!

Just as, as the old saying goes, “The drunkard is discovered by his praise of wine,” hyperthymics can often be recognized by their praise of the sort of impulsivity that comes from Hyperthymic Personality Disorder.  They may adamantly defend such behavior, especially when it seems that others want to “control,” “restrict,” “guilt-trip about,” etc., it.

The following are out of The Smartest Guys In the Room, by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind.  (The other main book about the Enron scandal is titled Conspiracy of Fools):

To those around Skilling, the signs of his emotional distress were clear.  “He was spiraling,” says one.  In the best of times, Skilling was a volatile, moody character.  A few years earlier, when he was still COO, he gave the finger to an employee who had almost run into his car during the morning parking rush.  It was hardly the sort of gesture one expected from a big-time corporate executive.  But Skilling blew off complaints about the incident, word of which spread like wildfire.  “I’m an entrepreneur, not a politician,” he said.

Now, in the wake of broadband’s failure, some speculated that he suffered from depression.  He sometimes came to work unshaven and looking haggard, as if he hadn’t slept.  Instead of providing ballast for Enron, he seemed to be sinking with the ship.

And:

While Fastow was trying to sound chipper, Skilling could tell that he was down in the dumps. Skilling told his old colleague he should get on antidepressants and start seeing a psychiatrist—just as Skilling had done.
And:
But Fastow was also greedy and out for himself—a “take-no-prisoners political animal,” according to a former colleague—who had no qualms about taking credit for things others had done.  And he had a vicious temper.  “You could tell when he was about to twist off,” says one banker.  “That mouth would go in a certain way, and then he’d stretch his neck.  You knew he was going to explode, and it would be terrifying.”

And more of the same.  (It looks like those who write books about high finance, may be unusually likely to be savvy about this!!!!!)  While this book doesn’t say anything about Ken Lay doing anything that fits the pattern of mania diluted to the strength of a normal-looking personality, his irresponsibility that contributed to the Enron scandal reminds me of the sort of behavior that I’ve seen in the hyperthymics I’ve known, reckless rather than malicious, but causing just as much trouble.  I.e., one chooses to believe his own “positive thinking” rather than reality-testing it, and since he’d honestly believed his unfounded guarantees, he didn’t pull a fraud.

Also worthy of note is that when the transcript of Fastow’s sentencing hearing was made public, he asked that matters regarding his personal medical condition be redacted from the transcript, matters that had come up in those discussions.  It sounds to me like the guy has a stigmatized medical condition, which would have been brought up in those discussions on how responsible he really was for his choices to commit those crimes.

A Money magazine webpage just after Fastow’s sentencing quoted his rabbi as saying, “What you have seen is a man that innately had good values...a moral man who strayed.  This man had returned to the true person he actually is [and] hopefully will be in the future.”  This is what pathological impulsivity looks like.  In fact, the issue of the Angolite magazine that came out at the time, dated March/April 2006, quotes in the cover article, a leading psychiatrist as saying that since the part of the brain that controls impulsivity isn’t fully developed yet in teens, “This is why kids who are good kids, who know right from wrong, sometimes do stupid things.  They act on impulse.”  This quote was also emphasized in the article:

Enron did a lot of buying and selling of energy, so those who made big decisions for it should have been careful to see whether any speculative risk was a good bet.  Enron was so selective on which employees it hired and kept, that its policy, called “rank and yank,” alienated a lot of employees.  Yet since these people certainly weren’t stupid, they took risks as if they were a conspiracy of fools.  If, hypothetically, a smart person was under the influence of a drug that made him both more stimulated, and disinhibited, he’d probably take some stupid risks too, as if they were the bold, red-blooded, thing to do.  “Nothing about having a 176 IQ means you have good judgment,” though that was originally said about a child molester who sent suicidal e-mails to his victim.

Yet, especially in certain interpersonal relationships, such as business (“business as usual,” “nothing ventured, nothing gained,” “dog-eat-dog”) or the family (within one’s “comfort zone” where he’s less inhibited, “familiarity breeds contempt,” “Boys will be boys.”), a lot of this behavior could seem to be very close to the normal range.  In such cases, it really is necessary to think through just what a society would look like if such behavior really was that common.  For example, the

 excuse that could seem to excuse any impulsivity, whether negligent reckless or malicious, is, once the consequences had already happened, “But now I’m completely helpless to turn back the clock and undo what I did.  Therefore, if you hold me morally responsible, then you’re the one who’s angrily making me helpless!”  Yet if most people had that much of a lack of a sense for the future consequences of dangerous behavior, our society would be even more problematic than are the troubles that lead to depressive disorders affecting 34,000,000 Americans.  Most people don’t often find themselves helpless victims of their inability to turn back the clock.  Sure, everybody does sometimes, but not to the degree that would look like one has a consistent pattern of doing this though he should have learned to be more careful.

The sort of outgoing enthusiasm that might be most characteristic of hyperthymic personalities, has this same distinctive quality to it.  Sure, most people are enthusiastic and outgoing to different degrees at different times.  Yet the enthusiasm of the typical hyperthymic personality is usually to such a great degree that it really does look distinctively different.  Not only that, the enthusiasm has the quality of a basically constant temperament, just as some people have chronically depressed temperaments.  Sure, many hyperthymics are charismatic only some of the time, but the rest of the time they still have a certain sparkle.  Some of these demeanors and dispositions also have a certain amount of uncomfortable feelings to them, and these come across as chronically anxious, or feisty, or just plain agitated, or, as the expression goes, “wired (for sound).”  All in all, you could be amazed how much someone’s demeanor is similar to the demeanors of others you know.  Related to this are other flamboyant tendencies.

You might run across books that tell of a family’s quirks, a family’s quirky history, etc.  If those in the family, those who they were obviously very compatible with, etc., have a strange tendency to fit the patterns of the flamboyant impulsive impetuous artist, then that means a very good chance that hyperthymic temperaments run in the family.  Of those who I’ve told their family histories indicate this, some didn’t like the fact that I figured out the family secret and some didn’t care, but all probably ended up benefiting from knowing that these quirks were nobody’s fault!

And we could also be very earthy, interested in nature and critters, basically having very earthy proclivities.  For example, Fads and Quackery in Healing, by Dr. Morris Fishbein, from 1932, includes the text of an ad selling light bulbs as a producer of a light that could substitute for sunlight in sun baths.  (The Modernist Era included some strange stuff!)

Dr. Fishbein wrote about the following ad, “It is presumed that the gentleman who wrote this statement is now more gainfully employed selling lots in Florida,” though the following style would have come naturally to the writer if he was one of Us:

 

We are all familiar with the marvelous vitalizing, beautifying and regenerating power of Sunlight.  We have seen the earth, brown and sear in early Springtime, quicken to life and beauty; the tiny buds burst their prison cells, and develop into flower and fruitage; the fetid odors of putrescence disappear—and all, under this magic influence of the sun’s rays.

Yes, more; we have watched with keenest interest the red blood come into the veins, sparkle into the eye and vigor into the limb of the anemic and invalid, through the stimulating effects of the “Sun Bath.”  But somehow, we limit the Electric Light to its luminous qualities, forgetful that in it we have real “bottled sunshine” under our absolute control, ready for application when desired and with the widest range of adaptation.

 

In fact, if you tried to get him to write in a more reserved tone, he’d probably think you were trying to repress him!

Then you could add to this the intellectual aptitudes that often come with hyperthymic temperaments, the genius, creativity, and reliable intuition.

And then are the details such as: We tend to have an affinity for other hyperthymics, and can often recognize each other, in the sense of “It takes one to know one.”  Therefore, our significant others also tend to be Us.  We and our significant others might be particularly involved in organizations that help the mentally ill.

And central in recognizing hyperthymic temperaments is that certain people, even certain families, tend to have several diverse characteristics that are typical of hyperthymics.  Sure, it might be possible that by coincidence, someone just happens to fit both the kind and the unkind stereotypes of artists at different times, has a vivacious personality, and is very smart.  Yet chances are far more likely that this person has a hyperthymic temperament.

For example, let’s take Sober Joe, a dentist in Mexico City, and both his alcoholism home page and his alcoholism biography page.  The main sign is histrionics in middle age, 113 exclamation points in 872 words.  Possibly a good way to find hyperthymics on the Net is to do a search on Metacrawler or your favorite search engine, for “!!!!!!!”  He also has charm, is smart, kept indulging himself in costly ways, is cosmopolitan in that he includes near the top of his biography page an inter-racial drawing as if this is an important part of his personality, has alcoholism-prone tendencies on both sides of his family which seem to have given his parents personalities that were compatible with each other (Why else would people with these same family histories have matched up?), and has a rebellious tendency to be “much too ‘cool’ “ when middle-aged and probably also even when he’s geriatric.  The guy’s entire style seems very spontaneous.  Even before I saw this web page, when I first saw Joe’s alcoholism home page, I knew he looked hyperthymic to me, with all the bold bright colors here despite the dismal topic, along with its own overuse of exclamation points.  When you see hyperthymic people in your day-to-day life, the signs will have basically the same spirit, with the same sort of consistency.  Also, his alcoholism home page gives me the impression that he’s anti-sexist, in that his photo at the top illustrating alcoholism in general is of a boozed-up woman.  Sounds like an interesting sort of personality, doesn’t it?

Something else that would be worth keeping in mind, is that this impulsivity could be far worse when the people are under considerable stress, even if this stress is of the type that would make most people more careful.  That Angolite article, just before the above quote, quotes The New York Times Magazine as saying, “new MRI-based research has shown that adolescents in stressful situations lack the ability to draw on certain parts of the brain that are fully developed in adults to control their behavior.”  When adults under the sort of stress that would make most people more careful, makes them so impulsive that they seem to feel absolutely right with doing very risky things, then that really doesn’t look like the sort of choice that unimpaired people would make.


 
 

 But wait.  There’s more...

 Go To the Next Page, which Tells of the Most Unambiguous Sign.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 
 

 

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