Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

British Maniac Patrick Mackay

Poor Prognosis

At that time, there was no diagnosis for Intermittent Explosive Disorder, now in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This is considered a disorder of impulse control in which there are aggressive outburst, assaults, and property destruction well out of proportion to any stressors. Mackay certainly fit this pattern. While sometimes it seems uncharacteristic of the person, quite often, there are lesser incidents of aggression between the more intense outbursts. In any event, even during shorter stays at other hospitals and treatment centers between the ages of 11 and 14, a number of doctors believed that Mackay ought to be admitted for a substantial inpatient observation where he could undergo therapy. Most believed he was quite disturbed.

Oddly, Mackay would take a doll to bed with him at night and pressure people to kiss it. He was clearly immature, and one psychiatrist even believed that the damage done to him was irreversible. Another predicted that he was a "potential murderer of women." Most of them blamed his mother's ineffectual skills and her indifference to his problems. But then, it was an age in which mothers took most of the blame for childhood disorders. Often, where ignorance prevailed on causal factors, the easiest target was Mom.  

The mental health experts believed that Mackay was a psychopath without mania. In other words, he had a character disorder but was not considered psychotic. An independent tribunal who interviewed him saw nothing wrong — most likely because what's wrong with such people doesn't manifest in obvious appearances or behaviors. Mackay went through two extended periods of hospitalization in this place, and was twice released, despite psychiatric fears that he might be dangerous. His tendency toward violence was assisted by his growing obsession with the philosophies of Nazism.


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