Recently a very close friend of mine had quite a traumatic experience. Something happened in his life that he believed to be entirely his fault and due to his lack of responsibility and short sightedness. The results were tragic. He is now devastated and does not know how he can go on without always being reminded of something that he feels he should have averted. This is a story that most of us can tell about moments in our own life. Most of us, if not all of us, have regretted an action, or a non-action, which resulted in a tragic outcome. Some have formidable ghosts haunting them when the tragedy is just too great to accept.
All lives are unique. Each of us creates a story that will never be told the same way again. Each of us sees the world in a slightly different way, and each of us brings something unique and special to the other people and other living things we encounter on our journey through life.
We have heard a lot of talk these days about Mel Gibson’s apparent narcissistic rage. It is impossible and unethical for a professional psychologist to make a diagnosis of mental illness without seeing the subject as a client. Although Mr. Gibson may have presented characteristics of narcissism there is no way to know if he qualifies as suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder as it is defined by the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders the manual professionals use to diagnose mental illness. What we can say with some certainty after listening to Mr. Gibson’s painful tirade is that he is suffering…and suffering quite a bit.