Charles Manson's Antisocial Personality Disorder Essay
Charles Manson's Antisocial Personality Disorder Essay
Charles Manson was born in 1934, Ohio as Charles Maddox. In early childhood, Charles Manson lived with an alcoholic mother. Charles Manson's mother was not ready to provide quality care to her son, thereby leading to the development of a disadvantaged child (Sidner, 2015). As a single mother, Kathleen Maddox could not meet responsibilities that are traditionally expected from a mother. I argue that serial killing as an antisocial personality disorder developed due to poor quality childhood conditions experienced by Charles Manson.Charles Manson's Antisocial Personality Disorder Essay
According to DSM-V, Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) can be defined as a "pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood" (American Psychiatric Association, 2012, p. 659). In general, the phenomenon falls under the umbrella term of social disorders, which are viewed as disparaging other people's rights. The definition provided above aligns with some of the earliest episodes of Manson's life, as well as his terrifying crime that he has become infamous for.
Warf and Waddell (2002) argue that the Social Learning Theory (SLT) should be used to explain how serial killers acquire their behavior. According to SLT, serial killers learn from the environment (Warf & Waddell, 2002). Other factors such as poor childhood upbringing also contribute to serial killing. Children who live with abusive parents are likely to develop serial killing because they lack quality development. Furthermore, experiences such as watching family members commit suicide in early childhood, and the adolescent stage is bound to motivate the development of APD (American Psychiatric Association, 2012).Charles Manson's Antisocial Personality Disorder Essay
In 1970, Charles Manson went to trial for a string of serial killings. Within two nights, Charles Manson and his followers managed to kill over seven people, including pregnant Sharon Tate and her husband. In all the murders, stab wounds, as well as gunshot wounds, were discovered. The horror of the murder and the link between all the murders means that serial killing is a coordinated activity (Sidner, 2015).
Serial killers are likely to tamper with the scene of murder so that they are not blamed for the murder. In normal life, serial killers attend Bible studies to hide their identities from the rest of society. In the case of Charles Manson, disturbing notes were made with the blood of victims to write phrases such as "pig" and "Helter Skelter" (Sidner, 2015, par. 6). This was meant to start a race war so that blame would be placed on Black Panthers as the killers of victims.Charles Manson's Antisocial Personality Disorder Essay
Additionally, APD manifests itself in substance abuse, according to the information provided in DSM-V (American Psychiatric Association, 2012). The above information aligns with the behavioral patterns displayed by Manson, who confessed to consuming drugs consistently: "I play music, and I smoke a little grass now and then because it helps me and I like to relax with it" (Wayward Electro Use, 2013).
Similarly, APD triggers inevitable impairments in interpersonal functioning, which the criminal also displayed in a rather apparent manner. Detailing the characteristics of their behavior that displayed the lack of understanding of interpersonal relationships, one must note his behavior during the trial. According to the existing evidence, Charles Manson's trial and his followers shocked the nation with their behavior during the trial. Manson and colleagues sang, giggled, and engaged in an angry outburst. A circus-like atmosphere in the court made the judges and psychologists believe that Manson had a personality disorder. The carving of X on the foreheads of Manson and his colleagues also led to an assumption that they enjoyed killing and murdering people (Sidner, 2015). Charges for serial killing were initiated after one of Manson's colleagues known as Atkins bragged in the jail about engaging in the serial killing of the Tate family members. Manson admitted that part of the motivation to kill was based on the need to shock the world. The above patterns showcase a complete lack of empathy, which is an essential feature of APD according to the American Psychiatric Association (2012). Charles Manson's Antisocial Personality Disorder Essay
ORDER A PLAGIARISM- FREE PAPER NOW
Finally, the fact that APD is often accompanied by a manic episode (American Psychiatric Association, 2012) needs to be brought up as an essential piece of evidence that Charles Manson suffers from the specified problem. The murder committed by Manson can be described as a manic episode and, therefore, rendered as the prime example of APD hitting its climax. The incident can also be viewed through the lens of behavioral analysis, which states explicitly that people with APD are prone to the "impulsive aggressive outbursts" (American Psychiatric Association, 2012, p. 468). Alternatively, the murder committed by Manson can be interpreted as the outcome of the comorbid state, which is also typical for people with APD and involves the effects of disorders with disruptive behaviors.
Moreover, Manson showed rather evident symptoms of disinhibition, which are also interpreted as prime features of APD. For instance, the impulsivity and irresponsibility, which his actions at the crime scene could be characterized by, also point to the fact that he most certainly has an APD. A closer look at the description of the crime will show that it occurred at a rather rapid and thoughtless pace, involving very little calculation. As the existing records of the crime say, the murder of Sharon Tate and her husband, as well as four others, are viewed as serial killing activities of Charles Manson (Sidner, 2015). Within two nights, Charles Manson and his followers managed to kill over seven people. In all the murders, stab wounds, including gunshot wounds, were discovered. The horror of the murder, as well as the link between all the murders, means that serial killing is a coordinated activity (Sidner, 2015). Therefore, the killing spree that Manson was on could not be defined as impulsive and committed under the spur of the moment, which coincides with the current interpretation of motives behind the actions of people with APD (American Psychiatric Association, 2012).Charles Manson's Antisocial Personality Disorder Essay
In addition, the fact that the above impairments in Manson's ability to function in the society were defined by not only the substance use but the exposure to a large variety of factors including the history of childhood abuse needs to be brought up. As DSM-V states quite explicitly, the development of ADP needs to be spurred by the factors other than childhood abuse, though repressed memories also play a crucial role in the development of the above syndrome.
Charles Manson is 81 years old now. Currently, it is not clear whether he received treatment. The criminal spent several years in prison as the current rehabilitation system suggests that criminal behavior can be altered through therapy. However, there is no treatment for psychopathic criminals at present since cognitive therapy and medications have no effect on serial killers. One of the assumptions is that serial killers do not fear punishment from authorities. As a result, neither therapy nor treatment can work. Long prison sentences such as life sentences are imposed so that criminals with ADP could be separated from the rest of society.Charles Manson's Antisocial Personality Disorder Essay
American Psychiatric Association. (2012). Diagnostic and statistic manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). New York City, NY: American Psychiatric Association.
Sidner, S. (2015). Little-known facts about Manson Murders. Web.
Warf, B., & Waddell, C. (2002). Heinous spaces, perfidious places: The sinister landscapes of serial killers. Social & Cultural Geography, 3(3), 323–345.
Wayward Electro Use. (2013). Charles Manson about drugs. Web. Charles Manson's Antisocial Personality Disorder Essay