Sunday, January 27, 2008

Does Hugo Chavez's NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) have something to do with his taste for coca and his martyr behavior?

Metamorphosis of Narcissus, Salvador Dali (1904-1989) Spanish, oil on canvas, 9½” x 13”,
The Museum of Modern Art; New York City, 1937.

This week, news media outlets of the world have filed news on the "too odd to believe" section regarding a head of state disclosing his illegal taste of chewing coca leaves in the morning, just like that. There's even a video of the guy digging on a coca leaves bag in the middle of a speech...

Now, this news have two considerations, first, obviously the coca thing, but secondly, why is he provoking international laws by coming out of the closet like this? (Also, accordingly, his tyrannicide cries...) Isn't this behavior looks a little to "martyr" to you? Does he desperate needs a Sierra Madre in his resume? Immolate himself against the evil empire for the sake of the revolution, this time by promoting the coca leaves habit of the indigenous of Bolivia and Peru, but also at the same time by getting too cozy with drug dealers and drug consuming habits. Good recipe for martyrdom, uh? (everything anti-USA can makes the list). Kind of crazy if you ask me.

It is. But, it happens that Hugo has some mental problems already. He has been clinically diagnosed with NPD (narcissistic personality disorder), and apparentely, people with NPD have a tendency to subtance abuse (specially cocaine) and also have suicidal tendencies. It is also important to make clear that people with NPD can be prosecuted in a court of law since they are aware of what they do, unlike other more serious mental illnesses, like psychosis for example.

According to clinical psychologist from Appalachian State University in NC, Dr. Bob Hill, about Narcissistic Personaly Disorder:

In regards to substance abuse:
"Narcissistic patterns have been identified as "a precondition for addictive behavior... and with regard to NPD and"... the self-medicating effect of drugs, such a cocaine,... [it is believed that, in NPD, drugs] can diminish the disorganizing influence of rage and overwhelming feelings of depression, and contribute to a sense of mastery, control and grandeur, and [increase] the sense of self-sufficiency.

Co-occurence rates for substance abuse and NPD are 24-50%."
In regards to suicide:
"Persons with NPD are particularly prone to suicidal ideation and attempts in response to perceived failure, criticism, or humiliation. Kohut and O. Kernberg, "related suicide in narcissistic patients to specific types of self-directed aggression" egosyntonic sadism in malignant narcissism and narcissistic rage in response to narcissistic injuries. They also agreed that suicidal behavior in narcissistic patients is not necessarily related to depressed states with accompanying guilt, but contrary, can increase the narcissist's self-esteem and induce a sense of power, freedom from fear, control over life, and triumph over death."
Don't tell me this doesn't fit Hugo's behavior like a glove.

Note on Dali's painting, the beautiful narcissus flower on one side and the rotten one the other... guess what side Hugo must be in, yes, the one with the rotten plant on his head...

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