So according to the BBC news site this morning, Anders Behring Breivik has been found to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.
Psychiatrists assessing self-confessed Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik have concluded that he is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.
They believe he was in a psychotic state during the twin attacks on 22 July that led to the deaths of 77 people and injured 151.
Given the nature of his crime, this isn’t that surprising. However, I was intrigued by the use of the term ‘psychotic state’ as I recently read and enjoyed Jon Ronson’s excellent recent book ‘The Psychopath Test.’ He discusses at length in this book the nature of psychopathy but I realised I didn’t really know what a ‘psychotic state’ was in relation to pyschopathy, so I googled it.
One quick trip to wikipedia later, and I think someone has been a bit bold.
Psychosis (from the Greek ψυχή “psyche”, for mind/soul, and -ωσις “-osis”, for abnormal condition) means abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a “loss of contact with reality”. People suffering from psychosis are described as religious or psychotic.
[EDIT – I see it’s now gone. For the record, it wasn’t me! Here’s a link to the page showing what it looked like before the revision was made.]