Bad Men Do: A Forensic Psychiatrist

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Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream A Forensic Psychiatrist Illuminates the Darker Side of Human Behavior This page intentionally left blank Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream A Forensic Psychiatrist Illuminates the Darker Side of Human Behavior By Robert I. Simon, M.D. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Director, Program in Psychiatry and Law Georgetown University School of Medicine Washington, DC Washington, DC London, England Note: The author has worked to ensure that all information in this book is accurate at the time of publication and consistent with general psychiatric and medical standards. As medical research and practice continue to advance, however, therapeutic standards may change. Moreover, specific situations…show more content…
Interactive video games are a multimillion dollar industry. One particularly violent game, Halo, in its three editions has sold tens of millions of copies. Its credo is “Thou shalt kill,” and players must shoot it out with others to conquer space. Many video games are devoted to violent adventures that reward the player’s ability to kill and kill quickly. One of every eight Hollywood movies has a theme of rape. By the time the average American reaches the age of 18, he or she will have viewed 250,000 acts of violence, including 40,000 murders on television. Mystery writers can count on making a good living by exploring the theme that almost anyone can be driven to kill. The reach of these violent images has been greatly extended by the proliferation of electronic communications—the Internet, DVDs, even cell phones, to which the young seem addicted. What about the good people among us? Most humans go about the daily business of life without robbing, raping, or committing murder. Yet, after 40 years of work as both a treating and a forensic psychiatrist, I am absolutely convinced that there is no great gulf between the mental life of the common criminal and that of the everyday,…show more content…
On administrative matters, forensic psychiatrists are asked to give testimony at legislative hearings—for instance, prior to the enactment of laws governing the sexual misconduct of professionals and the right of an individual to refuse treatment. As a treating psychiatrist, I see patients with a wellness rather than a litigation agenda. Patients come to us because they are suffering mentally. They are depressed or anxious; they have feelings of panic and unbidden thoughts and actions, as well as personality problems that interfere with their day-to-day functioning and quality of life. Although some of these patients may, from time to time, put their problems into action, in the main their personal difficulties are contained within themselves, manifested only as unpleasant, painful

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