Sometimes the mentally ill can be the perfect pretender.
”The murderer killed a person, and it is impossible to go away. He has to solve many problems. How to deal with the body is one of them.” said Gwen Asheide, a forensic psychiatrist. For nearly 30 years, she has been providing consultation services to prisons and mental hospitals in the UK. When she said this, she was talking about a serial murderer named Tony.
Tony had three lives in his hands, and he also chopped off the head of a victim. The court sentenced him to life imprisonment and put him in the Broadmoor Mental Hospital. “Why did he cut off the victim’s head? There are many creepy rumors among the people.” Ashead wrote in the book. But she said that the real reason is actually very common-Tony felt that his head was too heavy, and in his original words, “as heavy as a bowling ball.” He waved the butcher knife again just to facilitate the transfer of the corpse outside.
A psychiatrist is not an enviable job. Once, a patient held a knife and opened several holes in the door of a colleague of Ashead. She heard the patient’s roar and hurriedly hid in the closet. But this job is not that dangerous most of the time. The murders of the cold-blooded murderers were all planned carefully in advance, and all she came into contact with were people with severe mental illness. They will be violent only when they are sick, and nothing will happen if they are not sick. “They may have killed their wives on the front foot, buried the body, and went to the supermarket to buy milk on the back foot,” she said.
The current world is tiring, confusing, and frightening. If we can simply divide the good and the bad into two camps, we will naturally feel more at ease.
Ashead described his patients as survivors of the disaster. Of course, the disaster was caused by themselves. She wants to help patients to frankly accept their crimes and reach some kind of reconciliation. She had contact with a middle-aged man named Ian, who sexually assaulted her two sons. She said: “Ian wanted his son’s forgiveness. But he knew very well that even if his son forgave him for such a sin, he would not be able to forgive himself.” Ian later committed suicide.
Some would say that these prisoners are not worthy of treatment and understanding. Ashead fully understands this idea of battling a tooth for a tooth. “The current world is tiring, confusing, and frightening. If we can simply divide the good and the bad into two camps, we will naturally feel more at ease.” She said, “But these mentally ill prisoners are not demons. Their lives are at a certain moment. Out of control, it brought disaster. When they recovered and found a corpse lying beside them, they were also puzzled. My God, how did this happen? “What made them commit the atrocities? Only by finding the answer to this question can we avoid a repeat of the tragedy.
Most violent criminals are men, but Ashead emphasized that we cannot explain this problem in terms of gender. The tragic childhood experience and drug abuse may plant landmines, as is the case with a female stalker named Lydia in her book. This patient had threatened a male psychiatrist. Let’s call him Dr. W for the time being. The following is an excerpt from Asheid’s book.
Dr. Ashead has been dealing with sexual assaults and murderers for most of his life.
After the death of her father, Lydia consulted with Dr. W in order to get out of the trough. Lydia made several appointments for treatment, and the results looked good. After the treatment cycle, they never met again. But six months later, Lydia sent Dr. W a Valentine’s Day card to show her love to Dr. W. She said in the letter that she wanted to see Dr. W, “I don’t want to wait for a moment.” Her words make people feel as if they have had a relationship. Dr. W responded cautiously to a letter, saying that he could not make the appointment, but she could find another doctor.
Lydia could not accept such a reply. She had never broken the law before, but since then, she has frequently harassed Dr. W by emails and letters. When she saw that Dr. W did not reply, she reported to the supervisory department, saying that the doctor had slept with her during the treatment. Things got worse, she even ran to the door of Dr. W’s house.
Lydia harassed Dr. W for a year. She can do anything to see Dr. W. She even called the police, saying that Dr. W had sexually assaulted her, so that they could see each other in court. After the police investigated, it was found that Dr. W was innocent. Afterwards, the police warned Lydia, but this aroused her dissatisfaction. She then illegally monitored Doctor W’s house, smashed his car, and wrote to his wife, which was full of lies about Doctor W sexually assaulting her.
Dr. W had to apply for a personal safety protection order, but Lydia went her own way and ran to Dr. W’s door again. This time, she threw several pieces of carrion into the garden, wanting Dr. W’s pet dog to eat it, so that the dog might die. This kind of practice is very bad. Her target is a living animal, and it is a pet that the victim is very concerned about. If this continues, the next target may be Dr. W’s relatives. The police arrested her and sent her to prison for a three-year sentence. Later, because of her good performance and sincere remorse, she received a one-year sentence reduction.
The Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital, where Dr. Ashead once worked, holds the most violent and dangerous mental patients in Britain.
Lydia looked calm when we first met, when she was about to be released from prison. I need to evaluate her mental state to see if she might cause harm to society. I talked to the prison managers and they all felt that letting her out was not a big problem. Lydia said that she had committed a big mistake and that she must have reformed and become a law-abiding citizen after she was released from prison. She also said that although she was a lawyer before, someone had already advised her to find a job to help people walk the dog after she went out, and slowly get back to her state without worrying. She sounded normal, and it was hard to imagine that such a person would have forced a doctor to apply for a personal safety protection order.
After Lydia was released from prison, I started to provide her with psychotherapy. When we met, she was in the same state as when I first met her. She told me about the kitchen renovation plan, and also talked to me about the weather. After we made an appointment for the next meeting, she got up and left. Before going out, she turned around and said: “Oh, I forgot to say, I searched for you on Google.” I nodded, not thinking it was strange. Many people google the doctor’s information before consulting. “See you next time.” As she said, she opened the door and went out. At that moment, the word “control” came to my mind because she pulled the dog leash very tight.
In order to prepare for the next treatment, I looked through her trial records. I discovered that after Lydia’s father died, the memories of her youth disrupted her life. She confessed to Dr. W that her father sexually assaulted her. She had never mentioned this matter to anyone before. I can’t help wondering: Did the process of her recounting this tragic experience caused insanity and caused her to confuse her father with Dr. W?
When we met again, I asked a few questions, all about her childhood, and her answer was very brief. I asked her to briefly describe her relationship with her father in five words, and use five memories to explain these five words.
This question seemed to stump her, and we sat silently for several minutes. Finally, she took a deep breath and said: “I’m sorry, I can’t think of any words. How to put it, I have a very good relationship with my father.”
”Then can you recall a specific experience with your father? What? The experience that reminds you of the word’very good’.” I asked.
She frowned and said nothing, the atmosphere dropped to freezing point. As a forensic psychiatrist, I know that every emotion I perceive in the ward is related to the patient’s symptoms. At that moment, I felt horrified. I glanced at the glass on the door to see if there was anyone in the corridor, but I quickly recovered. There was an alarm button on my belt.
She bent down suddenly and picked up the briefcase. What’s in it? Weapons? My heart touched my throat, and at this moment, she took out a folder, which was filled with paper.
I breathed a sigh of relief, but I immediately became nervous again. I found that the paper was full of exclamation marks and capitalized words. Only then did I realize the seriousness of the problem.
”Doctor Asheide, what I want to say has nothing to do with my father. I don’t like your question. To be honest, I think you are a little amateur asking these questions. You have to be clear, I am a victim of judicial injustice. I have evidence, Dr. W not only sexually assaulted me, but also other patients. I was wronged!”
”But when we first met, you admitted that you did something wrong, did I remember correctly? You still said You need our help.”
She glanced at me as if I was the one with the problem, “Of course I need your help. I need your help to reverse the case so that I can become a lawyer. I am the victim. Don’t you understand? “I know it will not help to say anything to her, and if you continue to say that, she is likely to lose control completely, and I must end the conversation as soon as possible.
”Lydia, let’s talk about this first today, okay? You, I need time to think about it.” She closed the folder hard, obviously disappointed in me.
Obviously, Lydia has been acting since her arrest, hiding her insanity. She lied to everyone, including me. Her behavior reminds us again that sometimes mental patients can be perfect pretenders. Later, I heard that she rushed to the clinic, and the receptionist said that after Dr. W was away, she lost control of her emotions and shouted.
She was arrested again. This time, she was sent to a mental hospital. The last time Lydia and I met was ten years ago. She may still be in a mental hospital now, thinking about how to rectify her injustice.