An Incomplete Psychological Assessment on JAMES HOLMES

On July 20th of last year James Holmes, a 24 year old medical student opened fire in a movie theater at the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises”. Ever since his heinous act psychologists (and everyone else) have been looking into his past to try and figure out how and why he could have done such a thing. It turns out that Holmes was a very bright individual, described as ‘gifted’ by some who knew him personally. He was a graduate student at University of Colorado-Denver enrolled in the honors neuroscience program. With no criminal background and no apparent ties to terrorist organization, one has to wonder why someone in a seemingly stable life would murder innocent people. To answer this question we must examine his personality, beliefs, and interactions with those around him. Two different neighbors of Holmes simultaneously described him as friendly and not friendly. In fact no one he knew personally had anything radical to say about him. It seems that he probably didn’t suffer from borderline personality disorder or antisocial disorder because we would most likely hear reports about laws he had broken or people he had wronged. There is evidence, however, that he had planned the shooting weeks in advanced, having acquired an AR-15, sophisticated body armor and even mortar rounds. In addition he had booby-trapped his apartment with explosives as if anticipating a police search. These facts point to the fact that Holmes knew what he was doing and knew what the repercussions would be. An observation that contradicts Holmes’s stable state of mind is that he apparently viewed himself as ‘The Joker’ and eerily died his hair orange. This fact could possibly be explained by diagnosing (or proposing a diagnosis) of one of the delusional disorders. Because it was reported that he suffered from manic and depressive episodes many psychologists have suggested a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Although, because of his delusional beliefs including being the joker most experts believe he most likely suffered from bipolar 1 with schizophrenic symptoms (i.e. delusions) otherwise known as schizoaffective disorder.


About ben james

"The stars keep me up at night" -some song I heard one time Human. Studying the intersection of Neuroscience and Computation. Wanna be (astro) physicist.
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