Wed | Feb 19, 2020

What personality disorder?

Published:Saturday | April 23, 2011 | 12:00 AM


The continuing discussion on the prevalence of personality disorders in Jamaica prompts my attention to two letters to the editor drawing a parallel between the criminal mind and personality antisocial disorders.

He who thinks he is not capable of committing a crime is deceived by his own mind. By 'not capable', I mean 'not having the capacity or ability', not necessarily the intention. One's mind may form the intention to take revenge by murder, but not carry it out. We can intend never to commit a crime, but we can commit the crime if a circumstance were to push us to that limit. And, we can intend not to sin, but to 'not sin' we cannot do it.

If we go back to the creation of man and agree that personality disorder is the cause of crime, we have the example of Cain, whose 'disorder' caused him to be a murderer and kill his brother. But, do we ever say that Moses had a personality disorder when he killed a man? If he had a personality disorder, did it start in the bulrushes or under Pharaoh's guidance? Would God entrust a man with a personality disorder, a psychopath, with the Ten Commandments and even speak to him directly while he was out of his mind, assuming that he was at any point out of his mind?


The Apostle Paul was definitely a criminal at one point. He was cured of his murderous 'personality disorder' by a single dose of Christ's personality-correction treatment. Did that make him perfect? I think not.

Equating personality disorder with a criminal mind would be a deterrent for people seeking help for mental issues when the cause of the disorder is not known. They may anticipate that if they were diagnosed with a personality disorder, they may be stigmatised as being persons who are potential criminals. It is opening a door for discrimination, as well as inviting a wider scale of prescription drug use having a potential for unknown side effects.

I am, etc.,