Advanced Psychology

Submitted by Helen Tarnation
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Thursday, 3 December 2009

A professor of psychology was nearing the end of a seminar in advanced psychology and to challenge the students, he proposed a set of symptoms and asked the students to suggest a diagnosis.

"How would you diagnose a patient who walks back and forth screaming at the top of his lungs one minute, then sits in a chair writing morose essays predicting doom?"

Melissa raised her hand. "A manic depressive?" she suggested.

"Quite perceptive," the professor responded. "However, there are other symptoms as well. This patient has extreme distrust of others, suspecting that they have hidden motives or represent a conspiracy. He has a persistent fear of being deceived, and is argumentative and self-righteous. He compulsively seeks proof of deceptions and secret motivations, and interprets any contrary evidence to be a personal attack."

Daniel raised his hand. "Definitely a classical paranoid," he said.

"Also very good," the professor said. "However, there are further symptoms. The patient claims the ability to understand the needs of plants, animals, the atmosphere and dirt, and says he speaks for them."

Patricia raised her hand. "With the grandiose delusions, schzophrenia, absolutely," she announced. "Certainly there are manic and para..."

She was interrupted by Richard, who leaped from his chair and shouted, "This man should not be a patient and should be released immediately! You're all wrong! Can't you see? This seminar is nothing but corporate propaganda! This man isn't ill, he's an environmentalist!"

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