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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"Mommy blogger throws autistic son off bridge: cops"

This article appeared in the NY Post yesterday. A few excerpts:

A mommy blogger told police that the voices inside her head told her to hurl her 6-year-old son off the side of a bridge Monday.

Oregon mom Jillian McCabe, 34, was standing on Yaquina Bridge about 10 miles north of her hometown, Seal Rock, when she dialed 911 to report that she had tossed her little boy over the side and killed him...

The McCabes also wrote “Autistic London,” a blog about their experience raising their son. “What gets me through the day & stops me from pulling a Thelma & Louise,” read the title of one of McCabe’s archived posts from April 2012.

In the posting, the wife and stay-at-home mom describes several things that help “get her through” life — including her husband, family and friends. She also lists simple things like dark chocolate, cardio and famous quotes which help her deal with her struggles, as well. 

(Judging from her picture, Jillian used more dark chocolate than cardio.)

If McCabe actually heard those voices in her head, then she is genuinely schizoid. But if she is just claiming to have heard them, then she could well be a sociopath who is just setting up an insanity defense. 

My guess is that she's genuinely crazy, though. If she was devoted enough to her son to write a blog about him, had a good relationship with her husband, and phoned 911 herself to report what she had done, chances are she's not a sociopath. 

(A sociopath would have been far more likely to try to make it look like an accident. Or she would have set it up to make it look as if her husband murdered the son, so she could have rid herself of both of them at the same time; and then would have phoned 911 only to report that her son was missing.) 

Another possibility is that she is on the autistic spectrum herself; it does, after all, run in families. The current generation of kids is probably over diagnosed when it comes to the milder forms of autism, such as Aspergers. But the previous generation was undoubtedly underdiagnosed, especially given that Aspergers wasn't even formally recognized in official psychological manuals until the 1990's. 

What caught my eye about the headline above was, of course, the word "blogger." When I read the article I couldn't help but feel a little embarrassed at this one additional piece of evidence that bloggers tend towards insanity. Or, at the very least, weirdness. 

A friend, who in the pre-internet era would write occasional letters to the editor, once told me that he had heard that writing letters to the editor was the first sign of incipient insanity. 

Writing a blog is probably the closest thing to writing letters to the editor. So I kinda wish my friend hadn't told me that. 

Anyway, if McCabe does try to mount an insanity defense, maybe she can use her blog as Exhibit A.


Anonymous said...

A had a friend who's Dad came off as quite Narcissistic, he seemed quite benign to me although my friend suffered from great anxiety and chronic fatigue. He is well now though.

His Dad would write letters to the editor (pre-internets) and also wrote a book on how to become a millionaire (he wasn't a millionaire). I have a signed copy!.

In regards to schizophrenia, you will find that the condition is put down to being organic. I believe this may not be true. Often a person who is schizophrenic is raised whereby they find themselves in a family whereby they are constantly put in a double bind situation e.g. parent abusing the child but at the same time telling the kid they love them and are doing it for their own good.

I also think it is the same reason why kids develop autism. The parent is giving affection saying the 'right' things however the parents facial expressions to the infant are the opposite (the parent may resent, be jealous) of the kid. The hugs the kid receives may not be warm, loving hugs and this is sensed by the infant.


John Craig said...

Andrew --
I get the impression that most of these guys who write books on how to become rich become rich through their books, and wouldn't be otherwise. if you're making a mint in real estate, for instance, why share your secret with others?

I have to respectfully disagree about schizophrenia. You just cited the old theory about the disease from about 40 years ago (I actually remember people saying that from when I was young), but that has since pretty much been discredited; they now have drugs which can control schizophrenia, which pretty much proves its organic basis.

Nobody really knows what causes autism, but my guess is that's organic as well. Who knows, there could be an environmental influence there too.

Anonymous said...

Rates of previous sexual abuse among schizophrenics are very high.

I think that the double bind theory makes a lot of sense.

Diabetes symptoms can be controlled with drugs, this doesn't mean a high sugar diet of soda and fries did not cause it.