Manic depression, drugs and Hitler's mind

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Manic depression, drugs and Hitler's mind

Post by gavesako » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:57 pm

Hitler came to power 80 years ago.
The events of 30th January 1933 are a warning of the dangers

Manic depression examined as fuel for tyranny of Hitler, Stalin and Napoleon

In their new book, "Brotherhood of Tyrants," the writing team of D. Jablow Hershman and Dr. Julian Lieb examines the careers of Hitler and two other dictators, Josef Stalin and Napoleon Bonaparte, to arrive at a pathology of evil.

It has a very familiar name: manic depression.

"Only a particular type of manic depressive develops delusions of divinity, and only a small minority of manic depressives possesses the qualifications to succeed in political careers. The dangerous individual is he who belongs to both groups, for he is the stuff of which tyrants are made. The brotherhood of tyrants -- Napoleon, Hitler and Stalin -- as they develop their delusions of divinity while exercising absolute power, behaved in startlingly similar ways."

The authors challenge the traditional historic view that "tyrants are rational men who sometimes make mistakes or are forced into their despotic behavior by historical or political circumstances, or else by some 'tragic flaw'." On the contrary, the evils and misjudgments committed by dictators are identical to one another -- and also identical to the types of things that clinically insane people do. ...

The three dictators also shared an inability to grasp the value of human life, sending millions to their deaths -- often by conceiving grandiose projects only to suddenly abandon them. Stalin is the grand champion of death, killing more than 40 million of his citizens in purges.

Napoleon wreaked death and destruction on all sides during his misconceived Egyptian campaign, losing more than 20,000 men. The rest of his men surrendered after their leader sneaked away under cover of night.

Hitler's delusions divorced him completely from reality. He refused the information and advice of his generals, moving troops into suicidal positions. He planned a defense of Berlin using nonexistent battalions.

Stalin likewise hindered his military by purging the best and brightest officers. His World War II strategies sent millions of his men to unnecessary deaths and would probably had resulted in defeat had not Hitler been even more inept.

This ineptitude is one of the book's most shocking revelations. Hitler and Napoleon were both ultimately vanquished not so much by the resistance of their enemies as by their own manic delusions or depressive inaction. Stalin died in power, surviving his own mistakes by the stranglehold he kept on the country. ...

Perhaps the most important point made by Dr. Lieb and Mr. Hershman is that manic depression creates tyrants. They suggest that by identifying potential leaders who exhibit these symptoms, we might be able to keep them from reaching power. ...
Such tyrants are more apt to arise in countries with poor or nonexistent democratic traditions, the authors say. It behooves other nations to be alert to the pathological indications of tyranny, and to suppress them. For example, Mr. Hussein might have been contained, but instead, Western democracies supplied him with a massive arms buildup.

It is important to remember that most sufferers of manic depression are not going to become murderous dictators. Some manic depressives -- Lincoln, Churchill, Lyndon Johnson -- have made positive contributions to history. ... nts-stalin" onclick=";return false;

“Tyrants see enemies everywhere within and outside their own borders. Those that can afford it turn their countries into fortress states. Their paranoia turns tyrants into time bombs, set to misinterpret the policies of another head of state as aggression, and then order their own forces to attack… Tyrants, in their monstrous egoism and frenzied fears, are willing to destroy the world rather than submit to defeat… The greatest threat that tyrants present today, is that they can endanger the world if they possess weapons of mass destruction.” (A Brotherhood of Tyrants, p 201).

Hitler - A Portrait in Evil

Dr Morell prescribed amphetamines for depression (and a narcotic and other drugs for GI problems and barbiturates for sleep). Confidantes such as Hess and Himmler immediately noted the change in their boss' behavior. In 1941, there is evidence Hitler was taking amphetamines intravenously on a daily basis, supplemented by oral doses. By 1943, he was receiving multiple daily injections. Dr Ghaemi points out that oral amphetamines cause mania in about half of individuals with bipolar, with a much greater certainty with intravenous injections. Rats are deliberately injected with amphetamines to produce an animal model of psychosis.

The Hitler Langer profiled was a man with a boundlessly grandiose concept of himself. Langer said Hitler believed fate set him apart as a superman, a chosen one, the messiah of a future German empire, who was infallible except for when he had engaged in what he called "the Jewish Christ-creed with its effeminate pity-ethics." When crossed, Hitler wanted retribution that was godlike in its devastation.
Hitler, needless to say, could always rationalize as legitimate his every action, no matter how bizarre and contrary to human nature.

Murphy notes that Langer's analysis was made without reference to Hitler's massive methamphetamine consumption, which only came to light after World War II. Clearly, Hitler's drug cocktail greatly worsened his pathology. According to Murphy:
Witnesses describe the 56-year-old Hitler in 1945 as a shuffling old man wearing a uniform spotted with food and grasping for a handhold every few steps. His left hand trembled violently. Cake crumbs clung to the corners of his mouth. The bags under his eyes were swollen and dark. He drooled. ... By April 1945 he had little left physically or mentally.

This brings us back to Ghaemi's proposition that were it not for the amphetamines, Hitler may well never have invaded Poland. But this analysis asks us to ignore Mein Kampf and the six years of mobilization that preceded the invasion.

Perhaps the real question we need to be asking is what if Hitler had pushed ahead with with his irrational ambitions, but in a far more rational and drug-free state of mind? Would he have delayed waging war until say 1942, with an invincible military in place under competent leadership, ready to launch nuclear weapons over the English Channel? Would the Nazis have actually won the Second World War? Very scary thought." onclick=";return false;

Hitler’s Strange Afterlife in India

In a place where Gandhi becomes a coward, perhaps Hitler becomes a hero. Still, why Hitler? “He was a fantastic orator,” said the 10th-grade kids. “He loved his country; he was a great patriot. He gave back to Germany a sense of pride they had lost after the Treaty of Versailles,” they said.
"And what about the millions he murdered?” asked my wife. “Oh, yes, that was bad,” said the kids. “But you know what, some of them were traitors.”
It’s no wonder they cling to almost comically superficial ideas of courage and patriotism, in which a megalomaniac’s every ghastly crime is forgotten so long as we can pretend that he ‘loved’ his country. ... india.html" onclick=";return false;

Why we need more mentally ill leaders

New science shows that, when it comes to people in power, sanity is overrated. The essential argument of the book is that our greatest leaders often have mental illnesses, and often many of our worst leaders were mentally healthy. Certain leadership qualities are enhanced by mental illness — realism, creativity, resilience and empathy — and that’s why these leaders were great.
Depression has been shown to enhance realism. In one experimental study, for example, depressed people were more aware of when they realistically controlled a task, whereas people without depression sensed they had more control than they really did. People who have depression also have higher empathy scores. Mania has been widely associated with creativity. Both depression and mania (especially mild manic symptoms) have been shown to enhance resilience to trauma. I think one message from this research is that sanity is overrated. We shouldn’t be trying to seek leaders who are cardboard cutouts of what we conceive to be normal and healthy. This research should allow us to have more flexible attitudes toward our own emotions and show us that the stigma against mental illness is very harmful, not just for the mentally ill but also for the mentally healthy. We should appreciate and understand that a little anxiety and a little depression and a few mood swings can actually be useful and helpful. ... interview/" onclick=";return false;

Adolf Hitler's medical care.
A detailed medical examination by Doyle D.
For the last nine years of his life Adolf Hitler, a lifelong hypochondriac had as his physician Dr Theodor Morell. Hitler's mood swings, Parkinson's disease, gastro-intestinal symptoms, skin problems and steady decline until his suicide in 1945 are documented by reliable observers and historians, and in Morell's diaries. The bizarre and unorthodox medications given to Hitler, often for undisclosed reasons, include topical cocaine, injected amphetamines (Pervitin), glucose, testosterone, estradiol, and corticosteroids. In addition, he was given a preparation made from a gun cleaner, a compound of strychnine and atropine, an extract of seminal vesicles, and numerous vitamins and 'tonics'. It seems possible that some of Hitler's behaviour, illnesses and suffering can be attributed to his medical care. Whether he blindly accepted such unorthodox medications or demanded them is unclear. ... l_care.pdf" onclick=";return false;

Nietzsche promoted the Dionysian concept, that is, the orgiastic, writhing, sexually obsessed approach, which says, "no" to reason, and says there is no higher purpose in life, therefore, everything is permissible; and divides the population into a handful of masters, and the vast majority of the rest of the population as slaves. In The Will to Power, Nietzsche wrote, "I assess the power of the will by how much resistance, pain, torture it endures, and knows how to turn it to its advantage." In Beyond Good and Evil, he talks about "master morality" and "slave morality," and he says—this is Nietzsche: "Whatever a master commands becomes good, because the master commands it." Nietzsche went on to say, "Masters have the right to do whatever they please. Everything for them is permissible." ... roids.html" onclick=";return false;
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts - Sutta translations

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Re: Manic depression, drugs and Hitler's mind

Post by perkele » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:32 am

Interesting analysis.

Poor Hitler.

Hitler's mind... made me think of "Beginner's mind".

Maybe the next time around or some time later former Mr. Hitler will find an opportunity to turn towards developing the real qualities of an "Ariyan": ... l#humility" onclick=";return false;

At least he has served the world as a very bad example. Not sure if that was in any way helpful, though, Ajahn Hitler. Hard to fathom what suffering awaits him.

Let's take care of our own "Hitler's mind" then.

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