A recent news story caught my attention.
A driver, on a freeway, honked his horn at a car that had veered into his lane causing him to slam on his brakes and swerve to avoid a collision.
It seems the driver of the offending vehicle did not appreciate being honked at and took immediate action to demonstrate his displeasure.
He slammed on his brakes causing the horn operator to stop behind him and then angled his car so as to prevent the other vehicle from leaving.
He got out of his vehicle, opened the trunk, grabbed a tire-iron and preceded to assault the driver of the other vehicle while also attempting to reduce the car to rubble.
Two other vehicles stopped and the driver’s attempted to restrain this person but it was only when one of them pointed a handgun at him that he quit his violent assault on both the car and driver and began verbally insulting the person with the gun.
I’ve always been taught it is bad form to insult a person who is pointing a gun at you but apparently this gentleman missed that class.
The police were called and while they were arresting him he was attempting to explain to them that he was the true victim as the other person had honked at him and, well, what other choice do you have but to respond the way he did.
At his trial a few months later his lawyer attributed his behaviour to the fact that his client was under a great deal of stress resulting in a mental disorder.
This story, in and of itself, is not unusual but I happened to read it shortly after I had read another article on the increasing frequency of mental illness and as behaviour triggered by mental illness is different from what we might call “normal” and, as in my opinion, assaulting a car with a tire-iron does not fall under any category of “normal,” I determined that this person is clearly suffering from some form of mental illness.
Which poses the question, which one? I immediately consulted with a colleague and was surprised to learn how many forms of mental illness exist, with new ones being added to the list almost daily.
Here are a few that perhaps you have not yet heard of.
APD: Antisocial personality disorder.
DID: Dissociative identity disorder
BPD: Brief psychotic disorder.
CISD: Caffeine induced sleep disorder.
AD: Amnestic disorder.
CRSD: Circadian rhythm sleep disorder.
CD: Conduct disorder.
DP: Depersonalization disorder.
DD: Derealization disorder.
FD: Factitious disorder.
In reviewing the ever-growing list of supposed mental illnesses, I could not find a single one addressing the attacking of a car and its occupants with a tire-iron.
This concerned me greatly and I felt compelled to add a new disease to the list so as to aid this man in his defence, and ensure that as a victim and a sufferer of this ailment, he clearly could not be held responsible for his actions.
This man undoubtedly suffers from SPOD.
I have identified three strains of SPOD. The first is known as Sporadic Pissed Off Disorder and is treated by having the sufferer stand in a corner for several hours while reviewing what he has done.
The second form of SPOD, Spontaneous Pissed Off Disorder, is slightly less common, but more serious and requires constant reminders that throwing tantrums like a three-year-old is not societally acceptable. Treatment requires that the offender close his eyes and pretend really, really, really, really, really, really hard that he is an adult.
The third form of SPOD is called Stupid Pissed Off Disorder. Sadly, there is no treatment because, as everyone knows, you can’t fix stupid.
I am not making light of mental illness. Like many of us I know folks who deal with the wide range of mental illnesses that can bring havoc into their daily lives while making each day a challenging struggle in their efforts to live normal lives.
I am addressing the proliferation of the types of spontaneous and unnecessary violence we learn of everyday in the media brought about by people with hair-trigger temper’s and low impulse control, who then, pathetically, try and use mental illness as justification to explain away the fact that they have never grown up or taken responsibility for their own actions.
The old saying that “we do what works” suggests that many of those responsible for these gratuitous acts of violence have a history of similar behaviour and keep doing it because it “works” for them.
Society owes it to the driver of that car who spent many months in a hospital and has many years of recovery ahead to send a clear message to these morons that such behaviour will not be tolerated and that the consequences will be more severe than anything they have previously faced.
If you disagree with me, you may be suffering from SPOD.
Till we read again.