It’s true that during your lifetime you may experience mild episodes of madness, from a second of road rage; from the car that cut you off that morning, or the consent need to check you have switched off your hair straightens before you leave the house.
We all have small traits in that respect which makes us normal, but what if these impulses are more aggressive and turn violent, and if your control over these impulses cannot be recognisable?
Is temporary Insanity a true form of mental illness, or is this term used loosely by the justice system today to escape possible conviction?
The term temporary insanity is quite self-explanatory; a “moment of madness”. But at what point does this temporary insanity shift to become a problem?
Often health professionals are able to diagnose other types of mental illness, such as : Schizophrenia, bi-polar, stress etc, as there are symptoms. But unless the person or member of their immediate social circle is aware there is a problem, then the problems can go unnoticed and worst still untreated.
Could temporary insanity be triggered by Posttraumatic stress disorder? This can occur in a person after they have been exposed to an event causing psychological distress. This usually starts from approximately three months after an event; as recollections of the events trauma still haunts the person, but this can last for months, even years. (Videbeck, S).
It can be argued that this could be the case, as unexpected life changes can alter your whole outlook on life; make you loose you’re inhabitations, responsibility, and even your moral judgement. There must be a trigger, which allows this behaviour even though the person perhaps has never experienced, or will ever experience this behaviour again.
I read in the Guardian recently, where a father from a well brought up background and had a good loving very happy family, just suddenly had an outburst and attacked his wife; In their family home leaving her for dead.
Fortunately for his wife, their teenage son was upstairs and saw what had happened through his window. He called the ambulance and his father was locked up for attempted murder.
With cases like these you have to ask yourself, what are the other factors? Behaviour like this doesn’t just alter for no reason. In this case the husbands mother and sister recently died, which must have brought on traumatic stress.
Behaviour and its change cannot occur in isolation from the environment in which they occur. (Morrison, V., Bennett, P. 2009)
Having no history of violence, being such a sweet and gentle man, his wife; whom he’d just tried to kill, dropped all charges. They all carried on as normal after that, but the cracks within the family still remained, and his son; who had seen the attack went off the rails. (Olden, M. Guardian, 2011).
So what happens in cases like these? According to the law the father isn’t a threat to society; as the police have released him. He is also deemed mentally stable, as he has just carried on as though nothing has happened, at home with his family? Surely if this unexplained phenomenon has happened once, there’s a possibility it could happen a second time. Or is pleading temporary insanity a get out clause in some cases?
At what point can you determine this as being a mental illness and treated, to needing more analysing on each individual case in their own merits, to determine whether someone is dangerous to society or not.
It seems like there is a very fine line.
Videbeck, S. L., (2010). Nursing practice for Psychiatric disorders. In Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010. Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing. Retrieved from http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=2rHoouxT514C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false.