View Full Version : Histrionic personality disorder?


sarahsweets
06-16-12, 04:46 AM
There is a case going on in my area and one of the defense team's options is to bring up that they believe their client has this disorder. I had never heard of it before and I am curious. Does anyone have any info about this? Do you know of someone in your life that has this disorder? I'm just posing the question because I thought that people with personal experience in addition to understanding the diagnostic criteria would be able to explain things. As an aside...would this kind of a disorder be a viable defense to various crimes? ( please y'all keep this nice, clean and guideline friendly, i really dont want this to get locked because we cant play nice together.)

Fortune
06-16-12, 05:35 AM
I've read a lot about it but I don't have any personal experience with it (at least not to my knowledge). I have seen many of the behaviors in people I've known over the years. My understanding is that it tends to involve manipulative behavior and is mostly diagnosed in women.

Do you mean Jerry Sandusky?

Here's some basic information about HPD:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002498/

Anyway, I don't think "not guilty by virtue of HPD" is likely to succeed as a defense.

ginniebean
06-16-12, 09:30 AM
My mother has HPD and BPD, both officially diagnosed. I doubt it would make a good defence in a trial tho I have no idea what the trial is about. Any insanity defense is unlikely, even people who are out of their mind psychotic are seen to be accountable.

sarahsweets
06-16-12, 10:16 AM
I've read a lot about it but I don't have any personal experience with it (at least not to my knowledge). I have seen many of the behaviors in people I've known over the years. My understanding is that it tends to involve manipulative behavior and is mostly diagnosed in women.

Do you mean Jerry Sandusky?

Here's some basic information about HPD:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002498/

Anyway, I don't think "not guilty by virtue of HPD" is likely to succeed as a defense.

yes its the sanducky trial. Being in the tri-state area its a real hot topic here.

Sandy4957
06-16-12, 12:59 PM
There are two basic ways in which mental illness can come up as a defense to a crime.

There's the usual insanity defense, a typical example of which is the M'Naghten Rule, which is that the defendant could not appreciate the nature of his or her act, or that it was wrong. So someone who is psychotic and thinks that he or she is petting a puppy, when in fact he's molesting a child, for example, would not be criminally liable. Or someone who has dementia and thinks that it's ok to fondle a kid even though they know that the kid is a kid and that they are sexually touching them.

Doesn't seem likely that that defense would work for him. People have to be pretty darned sick to meet the M'Naghten tests. But there are other tests. That's just the one that I remember anymore because it's what applies in my state.

There is a second sort of mental illness defense that could be the way that this is coming into play. Some states will consider whether the crime was the result of an irresistible impulse. They argue that the impulse is irresistible because of their mental disorder. It's a pretty disfavored defense, but maybe PA recognizes it.

States may also recognize "diminished capacity" as a defense. That's the infamous "Twinkie Defense" from the Dan White/Harvey Milk/Mayor Moscone murder in San Francisco. And that has to so with a mental illness that impairs a person's ability to form the intent to commit a crime. So if I'm suffering from, say, PTSD, and I panic and run when I should stay at the scene of an accident, then I might try to argue that I had a diminished capacity to form the intent necessary to commit that crime. Again, that's a pretty disfavored defense.

The Sandusky defense strategy has been baffling to me. Did he finally get rid of the lawyer who fathered a child with a former client (who was a teenager when he represented her!)? (That would be a crime in my state. Even if she was the age of consent, she was a client. Big, big, BIG no no.)

No. I just looked online and he still has that guy as his lawyer. :faint:

WOW. He's just gonna fry for this. :eek: He'll end up in a Supermax somewhere for his own safety.

Fortune
06-23-12, 05:14 AM
Convicted of 45 counts. Seems that HPD is not a good defense.

Abi
06-23-12, 06:06 AM
My ex was almost certainly HPD. Advice: Avoid.

They are mentally sound in the sense of being legally responsible for crimes.

There is no psychosis or diminished intellectual capacity, etc. associated with HPD.

ginniebean
06-23-12, 11:54 AM
I decided to read up on this case and the HPD is being used to show that some letters he wrote are a result of HPD and should be inadmissible. The defense is doing it's job as I see it. There is a lot of moralization when it comes to Pd's and it is important to establish what is a product of a mental illness and where culpability begins. Given the extreme suspicion surrounding people's attitudes towards mental illness it's unlikely to be given much in the way of merit.


Many people will not believe that we didn't choose to forget something, the extremely impaired self insight you find in personality disorders can and does lead to abuse of others, however culpability is definitely needing to be looked At if we are to uphold any form of justice.

spunkysmum
06-23-12, 12:13 PM
Sorry, I don't know much about it.

Twiggy
06-23-12, 12:41 PM
I think most teenagers have HPD.

ginniebean
06-23-12, 01:58 PM
I think most teenagers have HPD.

They don't.

mctavish23
06-23-12, 02:21 PM
I'm certainly familiar with it.

Think Scarlett O'Hara meets Anna Nicole Smith.

ur welcome

silivrentoliel
06-23-12, 02:29 PM
I haven't heard anything about the case, but the name sounds familiar...

After reading what HPD is tho, I don't understand that competency could be tried if someone did have a valid diagnosis of it. From my quick scan, it sounds like a dramatic personality (aka a drama queen) on steroids. I could be wrong, it's been known to happen before ;)

That said, Mctavish, your illustration of Scarlett O'Hara is amusing to me. Totally OT, my best friend and I were talking about her a few weeks back- she'd never read the book and I read it often (about once a year or so)... and she wondered why a fellow co-worker had described her as "Scarlett" ... I had to explain the stereotype and guess at the description based off my best friend's personality and what many southern women see in Scarlett. Gah, and I swore I'd never get into literary criticism again and here I am bringing it up in every day conversation! lol wouldn't my professors be proud ;)