June 14, 2011

Casey Anthony: Borderline Personality or Narcissistic Sociopath?

As a psychotherapist with 15 years experience, I find myself strongly disagreeing with Psychotherapist Fran Sherman's assessment of Casey Anthony's mental state and the possibility of sexual abuse by George. First, I don't agree with borderline personality disorder as the primary diagnosis. In my experience, BPD's have much more extreme emotionality. I do see her as having a blend of personality disorders, including antisocial and narcissistic personality disorder. She seems far more calculating and in control than most BPDs. Also, I understand that Ms. Sherman feels trauma was involved in Casey's early childhood. I do not. Many personality disorders and certainly antisocial personalities seem to derive from abandonment, real or imagined. And all their behavior subsequent to feeling abandoned is designed to relieve that sense of abandonment and prevent it. Jeffrey Dahmer, for example, was left alone a lot, and literally abandoned by his parents when they divorced. All his crimes were a way to stop the pain of feeling alone or abandoned. I find Casey far more sociopathic and far less vulnerable than your typical borderline. Further, I don't believe the claims of sexual abuse. George and Cindy Anthony seem very bonded- in the way mature adults become in a long term marriage or partnership. To imagine him as a man who would molest an 8-yr-old, one has to assume he is a pedophile, behavior which does not come and go. Pedophiles do not tend to maintain the kind of adult bond the Anthonys appear to have. Further, Casey seems to take any opportunity to get attention, especially sympathy. Why tell her "boyfriend" that Lee attempted to molest her, if she has a far more chilling story. I don't imagine she'd suffer in silence. I feel that Casey was born damaged. I believe there are some people who have a physiological predisposition to sociopathy- at least, there are some killers who do not appear to have a history of
abuse at all, yet who present with antisocial personality disorder. I believe Casey killed Caylee out of narcissistic rage. She felt emotionally abandoned by her parents and could not bear seeing Caylee receive the nurturance and unconditional love from them that she so badly wanted.

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