When President Bush pranced before a crowd of captive soldiers last Tuesday at
Fort Bragg he swaggered, smirked, gesticulated, glad-handed, grinned, and in many
respects acted as though he had swallowed a handful of uppers before coming on-stage.
Yet, despite grandiose pronouncements about offering a new strategy, Bush gave
the same basic speech he gave many times previously: staying the course, insurgents
hating democracy, our brave troops, and setting an exit date from Iraq might give
comfort to the enemy.
One must wonder why, on the face of it, there was all this hoopla, all this
fervor without substance, this tempest in a broken teapot? Was it because Bush
needed to empress his emotions at failure after he thought he had been chosen
by God Almighty to bring about an apocalypse?
Why all the intense personality display, the pleading, the staged sincerity,
the pre-arranged clapping of assembled troops? Was it a prelude to the Ides
of March of a Julius Caesar? Or was it a mental disorder?
A blogger from Bellacio suggested that Bush suffers from bipolar disorder,
manic-depressive behavior. A glance at medical information reveals the Positive
Aspect of manic-depression. Examining a list of possible symptoms the reader
might ask if it is possible that George Bush is indeed expressing manic behavior.
Here is a culled list of symptoms:
From high to low. From euphoria to depression. From recklessness to listlessness.
These are extremes associated with bipolar disorder, which can be a serious
and disabling mental illness. Causes are elusive, with no cure. Flare-ups of
bipolar disorder may last for weeks or months.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by an alternating pattern of emotional highs
(mania) and lows (depression). Intensity of signs and symptoms varies. For many
people, manic signs and symptoms may include:
- The "highs" of bipolar disorder
• Increased physical and mental activity and energy
• In the most severe cases, delusions and hallucinations.
During the manic phase, symptoms can include:
• High level of energy and activity
• Irritable mood
• Decreased need for sleep
• Exaggerated, puffed-up self-esteem
• Rapid or "pressured" speech
• Rapid thoughts
• Tendency to be easily distracted
• Increased recklessness
• Quick to anger
• Impatience with other people
Delusions of jealousy
• False beliefs (delusions) or false perceptions (hallucinations)
During elated moods, a person may have delusions of grandeur, while irritable
moods are often accompanied by paranoid or suspicious feelings.
Manic symptoms may also include:
• overly inflated self-esteem
• decreased need for rest and sleep
• increased distractibility and irritability
• increased physical agitation
• excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that may result in painful
consequence; this may include provocative, aggressive, or destructive behavior
• increased talkativeness
• excessive "high" or euphoric feelings
• increased sex drive
• increased energy level
• uncharacteristically poor judgment
• increased denial
Many projects may be started but few are finished
Obsession to finish a single project while other work is neglected
Grandiose ideas with delusions of grandeur
Tendency when speaking for sentences trail off without finishing them
Forget words but may invent new ones
Speech may speed up and become unintelligible
Intense urge to do things, even knowing that they are stupid
Get irritated about the smallest things
Ignoring people and criticism
Denial of any responsibility for acts committed
Talking to oneself
Getting verbally twitchy
Illusions of hearing voices of unseen persons
Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety
• Excessive irritability, aggressive behavior
• Grandiose delusions, inflated sense of self-importance
• Racing speech, racing thoughts, flight of ideas
• Impulsiveness, poor judgment, distractibility
• Reckless behavior
• In severe cases, delusions and hallucinations
-distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant
-increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or
sexually) or psychomotor agitation;
-more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking;
-flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing;
-irritability, intense anger
-Poor concentration is an early symptom of this disorder. A depressed person
quickly becomes mentally fatigued when asked to read, study, or solve complicated
Marked forgetfulness often accompanies this disorder. As it worsens, this memory
loss can be easily mistaken for early senility (dementia).
Psychomotor retardation manifests as a slowing of coordination, speech, and
impaired articulation. A person appears sluggish and seems hesitant or confused
in speech and intention.
Mood incongruent themes include delusions of control, persecution, thought broadcasting
and thought insertion.
Psychomotor agitation can also lead to generalized restlessness.
Psychomotor activities are the physical gestures that result from mental processes
and are a product of the psyche. Many psychomotor behaviors associated with
mental disorder affect impulses, cravings, instincts, and wishes. The spectrum
of agitated behavior includes: Incoherent conversation, Expansive gesturing,
Pacing and hair twirling
Feelings of euphoria, extreme optimism and inflated self-esteem
Rapid speech, racing thoughts, agitation and increased physical activity
Recklessness or taking chances not normally taken
Extreme irritability Bipolar disorder may be confused with Psychosis, a major
mental disorder in which the personality is disorganized and contact with reality
is impaired, often including auditory hallucinations and delusions - firmly
held erroneous beliefs.
Of course it may all be coincidence, imagination, or wishful thinking, but
our petulant and arrogant leader, who talks to God and has grandiose illusions,
who often makes unintelligible remarks, is extremely impatient, and denies all
responsibility for his acts, seems to match many of the symptoms listed.
The alternate choice, Dick Cheney, is even worse. May God, Allah, Buddha, Krishna,
or Quetzalcoatl help us all!