Wednesday, September 27, 2006

TO Suicide Attempt

I'm sure most of you have heard, as it is the top sports story of the day, that Terrell Owens, wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, claims to have tried to commit suicide last night. I'm sure many are going to share their opinions on the matter, so I couldn't be left out.

What do I think? I in no way think that TO wanted to kill himself. TO is a man's man. If he really wanted to kill himself, he would've blown his head off which a gun. That reminds me of an interesting statistic I learned in criminology class a few years back: women attempt suicide 3X as often as men, yet men are successful 3X as often as women. Basically, that's because (as a general rule) when women want to kill themselves, they do things like try to OD on pills or slit their wrists - highly uneffective. Men, on the other hand, are much more likely to grab a shotgun and blow their head off. There's no doubt in my mind that if TO really wanted to kill himself, he would've succeeded. After all, he's succeeded at everything he's done in life.

Why did he do it? Attention, obviously. Most people probably think, "He's crazy and all, but I really don't believe he'd do that just for attention." I do. This is the perfect way to get attention: "attempt" suicide, yet still be able to take the field within a couple of weeks and garner attention on that medium as well.

My diagnosis: Narcissistic Personality Disorder. And no, this isn't a joke - it actualy exists, and is a very serious thing. After reading the symptoms below, I think it is obvious that someone would attempt suicide just for a little attention:

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
(1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements) (2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love (3) believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions) (4) requires excessive admiration (5) has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations (6) is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends (7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others (8) is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her (9) shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

UPDATE: I spoke with a clinical psychologist here and she said that it is unlikely that someone narcisstic would attempt suicide. Oh well. Most people around here think he's Borderline.


Anonymous bots member said...

Completely agree.

2:07 PM, September 27, 2006

Anonymous Donny said...


One who is diagnosed with any personality disorder, has extreme difficulty functioning with the outisde world. Especially without medication.

TO might not be the most beloved person out there but he definitely can function.

I would guess that he has many of the tendencies associated with Narcassistic PD, but does not actually have it.

2:32 PM, September 27, 2006

Blogger AlanLaz said...

As a general rule, Donny, you may be right. But psychological disorders, as you are aware, are not something that you merely "have" or "don't have". The sets of behaviors that define them lie on a continuum, and most of us have alot of the traits, albeit in a healthy amount. The job of clinicians and the DSM is to assign cut off points as to diagnose when someone has an unhealthy amount of these traits.

Thus, it is plausible that someone has "mild" NPD, just falling within criteria. And, while as a general rule it may be true that those with PD's have trouble functioning in the real world, those with NPD and OCPD, specifically, are the most capable of functioning in the real world.

2:48 PM, September 27, 2006

Anonymous Donny said...

OCD can function.

OCPD cannot really function.

3:07 PM, September 27, 2006

Blogger AlanLaz said...

I know someone very well with OCPD who functions at a high level. Maybe this is the exception though.

6:05 PM, September 27, 2006

Blogger fashionista said...

That is an interesting diagnosis. I've heard of that one before, but I guess I wouldn't think of him with that particular one.

7:35 PM, September 27, 2006

Anonymous aishel said...

We used to joke about this one guy about how he may have had this dx. I've encountered many personality disorders, but never actually met someone who fits this one.

9:46 PM, September 27, 2006

Blogger ADDeRabbi said...

terrel owens is a 5 year old. as the father of a 5-year-old, i can vouch that she fits at least 5 of those criteria.

BTW, here's my official clinical definition of NPD:
"a person who, upon watching the death of his barber, wonders where he will now get his hair cut".

7:23 AM, September 28, 2006

Anonymous Donny said...

I hear the borderline diagnosis.

9:11 AM, September 28, 2006

Anonymous aishel said...

Alan, you may still be right. The news stories are now saying that he did NOT attempt suicide:

10:09 PM, September 28, 2006


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