Narcissistic entitlement: What made Elliot Rodger kill?

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Elliott Rodgers
Elliott Rodgers

VIRGINIA, May 26, 2014 — The tragic circumstances of rampage killer Elliot Rodger may have happened over a long period prior to his killing spree.

According to media reports, Rodger was receiving mental health therapy and his parents knew enough of Rodger’s outward signs of mental disorder(s) to get him help. A social worker was also trying to assist the family.

When his therapist and family discovered some unnerving and unsettling writings and YouTube postings from Rodger, they called in law enforcement. Their hope was that authorities would take Rodger in for psychiatric evaluation to determine if he were harmful to himself and others.


READ ALSO: New medications found effective in treating schizophrenia



Rodger put on a display of kind humility and honesty that conned the untrained eye so efficiently that law enforcement did not follow procedure and determine if Rodger had purchased weapons or ask to go to Rodgers’ bedroom to determine if there was evidence of a disrupted mind.

A bedroom search would have uncovered guns and knives and evidence of intent on his computer. By Rodger’s own admission, that search likely would have prevented him from acting violently.

Unfortunately, this scenario happens all too often. It is left to law enforcement or an undertrained social worker to determine the mental and emotional state of those they evaluate, and people with narcissistic traits easily con others who are not equipped to see through the veil of untruth.

Narcissistic entitlement appears to be a large part of Rodger’s mental disorder and despite the mournful accusation of the father of victim Christopher Michael-Martinez, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and politicians could not have predicted, affected or stopped Rodger’s actions or the onset of Rodgers’ final psychotic break.

What psychology knows of rampage killers is they are usually young, single men who feel inferior, have been bullied, carry a severely wounded pride, have continually come up short in sexual competition and often fault their parents for their problems desire media attention.

Rodger’s own ‘manifesto’ and YouTube videos display all of these features.

Rodger is a young, single male, had severe feelings of inferiority, alluded to having been bullied by his statement that the pretty girls date “obnoxious brutes,” complained loudly and constantly of sexual oppression and his wounded pride and blamed his mother for not “Marrying a rich man.”

Both parents’ worked jobs that kept them away from home quite often, and Rodger’s slight build and odd manner may have made him a target of bullying.

What was wrong with Rodger’s psychometrics? At the very least, he suffered from narcissistic entitlement that is a narcissistic disorder combined with an unrealistic sense of entitlement, and when his efforts failed to fulfill his fantasies, he had a psychotic break.

Rodger’s biggest concern was he could not ‘run with the wealthy’ and not only blamed others for his lack of wealth, but blamed others for their access to wealth. Rodger’s reach exceeded his grasp, and he could not accept this. He was a very small fish in a very large pond looking to be a whale among sharks.

Rodger was competing against athletes, wealthy students and popular, attractive males. He had his sight set but little ammunition and refused to consider himself anything less than those he came to despise.


READ ALSO: Mental illness, Women or Asberger’s: Why did Elliot Rodger kill innocents in San Diego?


Rodger’s own words show his proclivity to self-entitlement as he fantasized himself as brilliant, was consumed with self-centeredness and did not understand why he was not the center of attention among his peers, particularly females. He was in college, drove a nice BMW and claimed he was the “ultimate gentleman.”

Rodger had little empathy or sympathy of others and was envious of those around him meaning he may have had a co-morbid or a separate but associated disorder and this or these disorders were activated to keep law enforcement and his social worker from making better decisions. His outward appearance was deceiving.

Rodger’s delusions of grandeur can be found in the wording of his intent via descriptive adjectives. He used ‘slay’ in lieu of kill or murder, spoke of “rivers of blood and mountains of skulls” followed by forced and fake laughter.

Rodger appears to be not unattractive, and his complaint of being a virgin at age 22  indicates his peers, particularly females, must have picked up on Rodgers’ odd personality traits and he may have tried too hard, pushing people further away.

What may have prevented this bloodshed would be to have sent a psychotherapist to the Rodger home for an evaluation. This is a nationwide problem.

Having law enforcement making psychological evaluations is akin to calling a psychologist to make an arrest.

Rodger was out of his league and instead of adjusting his social strata, he tried to fly to high and like the Greek mythical figure Icarus, he burned.

Unlike Icarus, he burned those around him, as well.

 

Paul Mountjoy is a Virginia based psychotherapist and writer.

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  • Nuschler

    In California it is lawful for an adult to be put into a 72 hour INVOLUNTARY psych commitment by the police (or by a trained health care or social worker). This is from the California legal code:

    [Quote] California law allows police (and certain other designated mental health professionals) to take you into custody if they believe that, due to a mental disorder, you are:

    1. A danger to yourself, and/or

    2. A danger to others, and/or

    3) Are gravely disabled and unable to care for yourself. [Close Quote]

    It’s black letter law. These California police had the law backing them to put this person into a 72 hour hold. This can then turn into a 14 day intensive hold to determine if the person needs long term (6 months) commitment.

    I noticed that the family’s “pink-shirted” lawyer was always by the side of the “Hollywood” father. I just hope that the police were NOT afraid of a lawsuit if they had started the 72 hour commitment.

    These 72 hour involuntary commitments are used every day on “normal folks.” Folks who don’t have celebrity fathers and pink-shirted lawyers lying in wait. This young man needed to be seen by forensic psychiatrists! Our country is so litigious! The justice system was in place. The police failed to do their job! As did the social worker. If they were unable to see that this kid was a danger to others then they need to either have further education AND better backing by their superiors OR BE FIRED!

    • NZSnapper

      You clearly underestimate the intelligence of someone suffering from mental illness. One of the most prominent attributes is their ability to hide their suffering – from everyone, family, partners, police etc.. You assume, by your statements above, that when you arrive at person’s home or dwelling that they have some sort of “sign” that says “I am mad and am about to murder loads of people”. They don’t, quite the opposite, they tend to be VERY level headed, clever, cunning and VERY capable of hiding their intentions. THAT is part of the illness and is WIDELY documented.

      • Bren Pool Vignaroli

        NZSnapper….you are telling everyone on this board that they ASSUME too much. I believe that YOU assume that we are all idiots and you know better then us. We all have opinions and I give everyone credit for working through this one. Why do you assume that we are not intelligent enough to figure out when a person is mentally “off” or just cunning enough to be using his skills to act out a part. This tragedy hits all of us in the heart. There are victims here to be prayed over and I am pretty sure their families at this point don’t give a damn about how intelligent the shooter was or how nice his parents are. I think maybe YOU are missing the bigger picture here.

        • NZSnapper

          Is it not widely documented that symptoms of mental illness include being very astute at hiding the illness? My point was and still is that sometimes someone with a deep issue can go undetected and to assume he had some sort of flashing light on his head and should have been spotted earlier. The person I was responding to above seemed to write their comment based on the assumption that this person could have should have been spotted – my point, which I think was completely reasonable, was to suggest that it’s not easy to see mental illness sometimes. I don’t see how that is missing the bigger picture.

          I should add I have NOT ONCE suggested that I do not care for the poor victims or their families. Not once.

          I am commenting to try and get people to stop blaming this young man – he needed HELP. He was SICK. Yes he did an awful, awful thing, but WHY? In my opinion, society also played a part in those deaths by not being open to mental illness and failing to help. If there was more awareness, perhaps that may not have happened and none of us would be discussing it…

          1 in 10 people on this planet will suffer from a serious mental illness in their lifetime and from my experience, most won’t even realise or care to weak help. And if they meet someone who has a mental illness they will critique and wash themselves of any responsibility to try and HELP that person. Rather, they would come on a comment board like this and state how horrible the person is and how he should go to hell and so on. Completely ignoring the fact that he was sick and he too had family who are also grieving now.

          • Bren Pool Vignaroli

            NZSnapper… I know that you and I are both on the same side of this issue. I just think we may differ a bit on the fine line details of this particular case…and that’s fine. The main issue at this point is, as you say, being open to the fact that mental illness exist and is here to stay, and we must find some kind of common ground on how to deal with it as a whole society and stop placing the blame and using these types of incidents to push an agenda, such as the gun haters and those who jumped on the “I hate women” bandwagon…just because this sick man expressed that in his videos and manifesto.
            Awareness IS a big part of this issue…the rest of it lies in fixing the problem instead of sweeping it under the carpet of red tape and politics.

  • RedneckCryonicist

    And this Elliot Rodger fellow goes to show why a rational society wouldn’t leave something as important as young men’s sexual socialization to the haphazard when it becomes clear that a boy can’t figure out how to negotiate and close the deal with any girl at a developmentally appropriate age. Parents should start to worry if their son hasn’t stumbled into this by age 20 or so. These young men need interventions by that age, like coaching in dating skills and possibly even working with sex therapists and sexual surrogates. If Elliot’s parents had done this for their son a few years back, that might have defused his growing alienation from womankind and given him the rudiments for building an adult sex life.

    And no, prostitutes don’t really solve the problem. Prostitutes don’t teach young men the adult skill set they need to have competent relationships with women.

    BTW, I find it weird that many progressive commentators on the story say that Elliot should have seen prostitutes. I thought progressives believe that the cash nexus causes alienation in capitalist society; the commodification of natural human interactions like in prostitution does violence to human nature. In their utopian alternative, human relationships would develop organically without the intervention of the market and the exchange of money.

    Instead these progressives tell male virgins, hey, you only deserve alienated capitalist sex with prostitutes, buddy! No healthy, voluntary sexual relationships with women for you! Male virgins should reject this kind of “advice” because it shows a real lack of respect for them.

    • NZSnapper

      His issue was not with women, his issue was with being alienated due to mental illness. He articulated that feeling by expressing his lack of success with women, but he also eluded to many issues with not being able to make friends, and so on. There is a far deeper issue than sex in this case – you seem to have concentrated on sex and his parents. His parents are not mental illness professionals, they can only do so much. To suggest they failed is particularly cruel. They are very nice people and tried everything they thought was necessary.

      • Bren Pool Vignaroli

        …right down to buying him an incredibly expensive car that he ended up using in his crime spree. Maybe they were very loving, and I don’t doubt that…but out of touch, yes! In a way, they were living in la la land…and not totally keeping up with what was going on with their son. Sorry, but that’s the way I see it. When you have a child with mental illness…the only way you are going to be able to help them is to be involved and stay involved. You don’t buy them a BMW and send them off to college.

      • You know, the idea that he was mentally ill/alienated/etc and the idea that he viewed women as commodities who should be available to him are not mutually exclusive. His rhetoric was startlingly similar to that found of many PUA-type sites. Did his mental illness exacerbate this view of women? Did the PUA-rhetoric he wallowed in shape how his mental illness manifested? Sure, probably both are true. But you cannot just dismiss his own, clearly stated views. This was a man who thought his mother should have married into a wealthy family so that HE would have the money and social capital to get hot blondes to sleep with him. This is not hyperbole. It’s precisely what he said. His own mother’s body and life was a commodity that should have been traded to make his life better. You can’t just say none of that mattered, any more than you can say that the Belgium shooter’s anti-Semitism had nothing to do with him going out to kill Jews and their allies.

        • Rhan Tegoth

          There are a lot of PUAs out there and the vast majority of them are not violent. Trying to argue that Elliot Rodgers rampage was the result of societal conditioning is an exercise in futility.

          • Yes, and there are lots of people who type all day who never get RSI or arthritis. That doesn’t mean that lots of typing doesn’t aggravate an innate tendency toward those conditions. I’m not saying his rampage was the result of social conditioning; I’m saying that the misogynist, tried-to-be-PUAs-and-failed communities shaped the target of his mental illness. Seriously, he flat-out SAID he was shooting people because women had not given him the awe he deserved. How clearer does someone have to be before we entertain the thought that maybe, just maybe, the misogyny at the root of pick-up culture can be toxic?

          • Rhan Tegoth

            Well besides Elliot Rodger, if there really is evidence that PUAs are more likely to engage in criminal acts….And I’m not just talking about spree killings and homicides but sexual and physical assaults against women then you might be onto something. Only 2 of his 6 victims were actually women. The other 4 were MEN including his roommates.

            Hostility towards the opposite sex, whether misogyny or mysandry, can have multiple causes.Being unattractive is only one of them. Another is having a bad relationship with the parent of the opposite sex.

          • Dude, I don’t know where you’ve been, but the rest of us had all of these arguments a year ago. I’m not going to retype the whole damn debate for you. Just…go read the posts we made then. Or go away, either one.

      • Mountjoy

        A large portion of his perceived issue was, in fact, with women as women were, in his view, objects of contempt, anger and blame.

        • Mark

          And if he is mentally I’ll his perception of reality is warped. That is what mental illness does.

          • Mountjoy

            “Warped”? unrealistic, distorted or delusional, perhaps.

          • NZSnapper

            Yes, exactly that. So if his illness made him think in distorted ways then his treatment of women as you have written can be put down to his sickness. My point being HE didn’t didn’t think sick and twisted thoughts, the sickness made him behave that way. He needed help and didn’t get it. There are many reasons why he did what he did, one is most definitely mental illness and others include the failings of the services that are provided for people with mental illness. He himself was not beyond help – he simply didn’t get it.

          • Mountjoy

            Or ‘got it’ and refused it so he assigned blame. One of his final public statements were “I am the alpha male” something he could not achieve and desperately wanted to.

            I suspect he was bullied by those he perceived as alphas.

          • Glen

            You just done get mental illness do you!

    • Out of idle curiosity, where does the sexual socialization of girls and women fit into this world of yours?

    • Mountjoy

      “Close the deal?” Really?

    • A guy

      His problem wasn’t sex at all. He didn’t just want to have sex with one woman. He could have hired a prostitute if that was the case (and he was lucid enough and had enough money to know that). No, he wanted the respect and admiration of ALL women and ALL men. In his manifesto he talks fondly of boarding an airplane on a business class ticket and smirking at the people in economy. He talks of playing the lottery in certainty he would win, because he was entitled to it. He then escalates into becoming Ruler of Earth, castrating all men, and locking up all women in concentration camps and starving them to death.

      Sex was just one aspect of his self-victimization, a proof he could hold up (one among many) that people weren’t treating him with the respect – no, godly admiration – that he deserved.

    • Rhan Tegoth

      The thing about “progressives” is that they believe very strongly in sexual freedom but oppose economic freedom. Monogamy promotes sexual equality and if it continues to erode you’re going to be seeing A LOT more men like Elliot Rodger! The Islamic middle east is filled with guys like this.

  • Bren Pool Vignaroli

    “…Unfortunately, this scenario happens all too often. It is left to law
    enforcement or an under trained social worker to determine the mental and
    emotional state of those they evaluate, and people with narcissistic
    traits easily con others who are not equipped to see through the veil of
    untruth…”

    Having lost a brother in 2000 to bi-polar disorder after 28 years of pure hell on the streets and inside the “safety” of our home, it’s sad to me that these tragedies are still occurring as frequently as there were for the past 50 years and beyond. We have made NO progress. In fact, the closures of our mental facilities across this nation is nothing short of a mental health travesty. The kangaroo courts that handle these cases are simply a joke….but, to our own dismay, it’s all we have to work with and try to live with these everyday occurrences that can, and more often then not DO, turn deadly.

    Yes, there are laws in place as Nuschler mentions below, however…in order to obtain that INVOLUNTARY 72 hour hold, a 5150 had to be obtained through the court and I cannot tell you how many times my brother was picked up on a 5150 only to be turned back to the streets because he was able to convince the officers who picked him up, that he was stable and feeling fine. So they simply took him to the other end of town and turned him out on the street. Sometimes he was taken in and after a very short evaluation was once again, released and many times we, as family, were never warned and before we knew it, my brother was at our front door mad as hell, and trying to kick the door in. We often times found that some of these untrained psych tech’s were not in touch with their own self-being…let alone, the patient that they were treating.

    Our problem was that as family members, we often times had NO RIGHTS. Every single time my brother was put into the overcrowded County Mental Health facility OR even worse… jail to be held or cared for …the ACLU vultures were there to see that “his rights” were not violated and we, as loving family members had no voice. In fact, OUR RIGHTS..meant nothing. WE were victims, not only from a very disturbed and dangerous family member…but by the courts who often times went against the wishes of the family, and returned my brother back to the streets. I ask you….how humane is THAT? To see a human being put through this kind of torture and to deal with it on a day to day basis…is simply unconscionable.

    This most recent case concerns me, because it seems that this boy was never arrested. He had NO arrest record for strange and unacceptable behavior, though it appears there were many instances that his parents AND his psychiatrist were all aware of. This is how he was able to obtain his weapons. One of them being bought in my own city…and because of the bureaucracy and red tape BS..this boy was a loose cannon just waiting to explode…and now we see the aftermath of that senseless tragedy. Changes have GOT to take place here…and we need to start REOPENING the mental hospitals and step up the laws that pertain to this very difficult line we are walking and keep the ACLU OUT OF IT!

    • NZSnapper

      One of the key attributes of someone suffering from mental illness is their ability to hide their issues from society – from law enforcement, friends, their closest loved ones – as you can clearly relate to. Why should we expect that this young man could not come across as being normal, intelligent (Asperger’s sufferers often have a very intelligent streak) and so on.

      Your statements above seem to suggest you understand some of it, but you seem to stop and not look at the bigger picture. What if this young man was able to “fool” the police? He fooled his parents – and they were the closest people to him… They didn’t know he had guns, even if they suspected it, they are not mentally ill but they didn’t check under his bed – they can’t have even searched his room – so they can’t have sincerely thought he had guns, can they?

      I would say this much. Mental illness is FAR more powerful than nero typical people give it credit. It can completely take over your mental state of mind. Someone recently said to me that Peaches Geldoff was “evil” to have said she would “look after her children” and then to take drugs around them. That person had not considered that when Peaches made that statement, she was ALREADY very sick, mentally sick, way beyond what you or I can comprehend. Peaches believed what she said, entirely, and she sincerely meant it – she just didn’t know she wasn’t actually capable of executing the care she said she wanted to give.

      Much like Semour Hoffman, no one knew he was a drug abuser until he overdosed – his public persona was one of a level headed, drug free, professional. He was clearly in turmoil, suffering, and not able to cope, but he could not elude to the world of his perils. Peaches – we only found out about her because she too hid all her perils until it was too late – too late for her family to realise, too late for professionals to see it, too late for anyone. Yet YOU expect the police to see this young man had these horrible intentions…….

      Mental illness is FAR worse than you can imagine. Likewise I think if you spoke to ANYONE who has lived with or cared for someone 18 years or older with Asperger’s, you’d get a perspective your mind is not even capable of imagining right now. It’s so much worse than your mind is capable of imagining, it would leave your mouth wide open with shock. Trust me.

      • Bren Pool Vignaroli

        Quite the contrary NZSnapper…I stop short of nothing. Not only do I understand “some of it” but my family and I lived it right along with my brother. Sometimes many family members have no choice. WE loved my brother…we NEVER turned our backs. We lived the illness and dealt with it right along with him. The thing is, we knew the difference between what was delusional and what was real. My brother was extremely intelligent, attended college, taught elementary school, played banjo, piano, guitar and performed at the Blue Bird Cafe, right there in the same city, Santa Barbara, as Elliot Roger. He married, had 2 children and that actually happened after he was diagnosed. His wife wrongly thought that she could “handle it” ..My brothers mental illness struck him in his early 20’s…which fits the pattern of bi-polar disorder. I could literally write a book on the crazy things he did over the 28 years he suffered with this horrible disorder.
        The “bigger picture” in Elliot Roger case, is that he was not living at home with his parents. Yes, I DO believe he was able to “fool the police” however, don’t kid yourself for one minute that those police officers haven’t dealt with this very exact same type of cases in the city of Santa Barbara over the years. Mental illness runs rampant on the streets in SB as in any city across America.
        You claimed he fooled his parents…..I cry fowl. They just chose to deal with it a different way. They were not even living in Santa Barbara…and they were wrapped up in other issues (divorce) living apart, to have had a real grip on what was going on with their son. They apparently tried to get him help, because he was under the care of a psychologist, who was quite aware of his troubles, and the patient/therapist privilege…his paranoia was allowed to escalate to the point of where he took it and therein lies the SHAME of it all.
        I don’t know, as you suggested…whether or not the parents knew he had guns or not. It’s quite possible they didn’t, since they were not living with him. His room mates on the other hand, may have known. There was a huge HUGE lack of communication going on…but the finger pointing is pretty much a mute subject at this point right?
        The one thing I will agree with you on, is that mental illness IS a very powerful and extremely growing problem in this country and across the globe. Closing mental institutions and turning the patients out on the streets and literally tying the hands of those who have to deal on a day by day basis with those afflicted with this horrible disease was NOT the answer or the way to handle this very intrusive problem.
        So by you telling me that I do not understand the “bigger picture” here, is a shortcoming all it’s own. I totally understand that there are laws that many times …protect them from getting the help they need. Those laws need to be changed in order to protect (medicate) them on the inside, and us on the outside. We need to pull the political red tape out of the equation and start helping these people. Next time you walk down the street, know that every 5th person…may be that walking time bomb and you won’t even know it by the way they smile at you…talk to you…or even drive that school bus your kids are all riding on during their morning commute. My brother drove a school bus for Special Ed children for 2 years before he decided to take them all on an unauthorized “field trip” one day. He wore many hats…and performed the jobs as well as anybody else, until he
        cycled and went off the deep end, without his meds. Get the picture??

      • Bren Pool Vignaroli

        One more point..you can NOT compare a person who suffers with Asperger’s to a person who suffers with bi-polar or paranoid schizophrenia although bi-polar disorder can manifest in children with Asperger’s. I have had experience with children who suffer with Asperger’s as well. But the difference between Asperger’s and bipolar is the manic stages which usually cycle every 6 to 8 months with bi-polar so that the person can appear more stable during certain times. A schizophrenic however, does not cycle..and stays in that false stage of grandeur euphoria all the time.
        I don’t know if any of these applies to the Elliot Roger. I haven’t heard anything on that…but I am sure we will as this case moves forward.

        • Glen

          Mental illness is about disalusionment of some sort, with reality. Everyone seems to accept that he “may” have been mentally ill but then quotes him saying things. If he was mentally ill, should we not be taking what he said carefully – i.e. accepting that he was ill, which meant he had a warped perception of reality, not through choice but through sickness – because that IS what mentall illness is, right?

          My experience of someone suffering bi-polar was almost fortnightly cycles – I didn’t know it could cycle over such long periods.

          • Bren Pool Vignaroli

            Absolutely Glen! Elliot Rogers state of mind (mental illness) was surely the driving force behind the scenes. I watch ever single one of his video’s on YouTube when this story first broke…and it was evident to me that this boy suffered for more then just a few months…this went back at least a couple of years or more.

            Bi-polar cycles can fluctuate depending on how they take their medicine, IF they take their medicine and to what degree they suffer from the illness. Some folks have mild cases, while others may have more severe cases and will relapse in a shorter period of time. They may stay in their manic stage longer then they do in the “depressant” stage…or vise-verse. My brother hated the effects of the medicines, so he would often times “cheek his meds” and spit them out when nobody was looking. There were some meds that just had horrible affects on him, and others that were better. Lithium was one of the better meds…however, it had very harsh affects on his liver and kidneys…which eventually took their toll and was part of what took my brothers life. He was only 48 when he passed..but he looked like he was in his late 60’s…and ended up on dialysis the last few years of his life. Living on the streets, as well as in and out of mental hospitals (all which are now closed down) took their toll.

          • Rhan Tegoth

            Mental illness is something that can be acquired. It isn’t always something people are born with. And I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Borderline Personality Disorder which is a mental illness that is triggered by traumatic events in a persons life just like PTSD.

        • Rhan Tegoth

          Absolutely! I have Asperger Syndrome and I have and have had plenty of bipolar friends. Bipolar and Asperger syndrome can be comorbid but they ARE mutually exclusive. The important factor is that bipolar does not by itself affect social skills. And Asperger syndrome is much more of a social disability than a mental illness. It does not impair a persons ability to distinguish fantasy from reality nor does it suppress impulse control.

          • Bren Pool Vignaroli

            RIGHT ON TARGET RHAN!!

          • Rhan Tegoth

            Why hasn’t anyone here mentioned Borderline Personality Disorder? Because I have an ex with borderline and those people have no difficulty hiding their illness from the rest of the world and living in denial for their whole lives but when you get up close and personal with them you see what raging maniacs they are! Many bipolar people I have known really display extreme behaviors when they are manic and are reckless in an obvious way. Borderline people tend have poor impulse control but often do it in secret.

          • Bren Pool Vignaroli

            That is an excellent question and a great observation. YOU have lived it through your EX and witnessed all of the hell that accompanies the illness. You are right…there are various degrees of bipolar/manic- depressive disorder. The cyclical swings they go through can be mild at times or extra harsh other times. There is just no way of knowing until the cycle begins and ends…and it is almost impossible for them to hide the bizarre behavior that accompanies the mood swings. My brother would always wear a pair of dark shades…because his eyes were very revealing…loss of sleep, stress, anger and sometimes even bulging eyeballs were always dead give-a ways. He would try to conceal it up to a point…but mostly from us, those who knew him the best and could pinpoint where he was in his behaviors.
            Very interesting about the Borderline Personality Disorder…I haven’t had any experience with that particular illness…at least none that I am aware of.
            I wish you the very best my friend…it’s never easy to deal with, but understanding the illness is always the first step, and you’ve got that down perfectly. So glad you joined in this conversation…it’s an ongoing learning experience and it sure helps to discuss with others who have walked that walk. Blessings to you!

      • Mountjoy

        I disagree with portions of your statement. people know when behavior is askew……this is one reason women did not date Rogers and he was, more than likely, bullied.

        Many people knew of Hoffman’s drug use, just not many in public forum.

        Rogers parents knew as did his therapist. One cannot conceal mental illness for 22 years.

        • Bren Pool Vignaroli

          Also…many who suffer from mental illness and are in some kind of denial, will often try to self medicate…with drugs and alcohol…and because of that, people who are not around them quite often mistake their mental illness for alcoholism or drug addiction. I’ve seen this happen so many times. Many end up in drug/alcohol rehabs when their problem goes much much deeper then that.

          • Mountjoy

            psychology teaches us that many substance abuse issues are the result of mental/emotional issues and self-medicating is a symptom, not causation.

          • NZSnapper

            Couldn’t agree more!

        • Darren

          My wife was diagnosed with aspergers at 33.

      • Rhan Tegoth

        Stop calling Asperger Syndrome a mental illness. It’s not! Mental illness varies from one person to another. For some it is far worse than you can imagine, for others it’s something that they can learn to manage and live with.
        There really is NO EVIDENCE that Elliot Rodger was bipolar. And if he did indeed have Asperger Syndrome he clearly had something *else* that caused him to be emotionally unstable to the extreme.

    • Mountjoy

      I agree this is a broken system. I too, have had social workers deny what I knew to be suicidal ideations just to have the client commit suicide after conning a social worker.

      • Bren Pool Vignaroli

        So sorry to read this Mountjoy…something has got to change. One case is one too many..and of course these cases never get publicized.

        • Mountjoy

          So true, Bren and thank you for writing me.

  • Seri Park

    I would go a step further and suggest that he had a clinical case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He displays the hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder: obsession with appearance and status, objectification of others, the need to control others, profound lack of empathy, illusions of grandeur, and of course, the strong sense of entitlement.

    • NZSnapper

      Illusions of grandeur and a sense of entitlement – what like any normal human being? We all believe we are entitled to be loved, don’t we? That is not Narcissistic at all. Obsession with appearance, in fact obsession with anything and everything, objectification of others and a control over things/objects/people (OCD) and a profound lack of empathy are ALL strong symptoms of Asperger’s. Granted the definition may be close, opinionated or even clinically close, but there can be no doubt that his history, and his reaction, have all the hallmarks of Asperger’s/Autism.

      • Bren Pool Vignaroli

        I disagree, for reasons I listed below regarding Asperger’s. If he had it, it was accompanied by other symptoms.

      • Aesthetics80

        Completely disagree. He keeps saying it’s an “injustice” that women don’t want him, and how magnificent and beautiful he is. Also says he “deserves” these hot blonde women. He wasn’t just wanting to be loved, he wanted hot, attractive white blonde women. He was a beggar but also a chooser because he thought he was God’s gift to women and deserved only the best.

        • Glen

          Surely mental illness manifests itself with what you or I would perceive as delusional behaviour? Isn’t that what you yourself are suggesting? I.e. Reaffirming that mental illness is in fact more complex than you seem to believe?

          I mean he may have said these things but if he is sick, he doesn’t know what is or is not socially right. He only knows what his head tells him is right. Everyone seems to be comparing him to what they believe is right.

      • Mountjoy

        Entitled to be loved? Can you think of anyone who may not be so entitled? bet you can.

        • NZSnapper

          Do you understand mental illness? Do you honestly believe this guy was NOT mentally ill?!

          • Mountjoy

            If you saw my credentials, you would see I am a psychotherapist. I have a clue.

            If you read my article, it clearly states he was, by outward appearances, mentally ill and I said he probably had a comorbidity. It turns out he had Aspergers.

            I asked you to think who may not be “entitled” to be loved…can you?

      • A guy

        No. Read his manifesto. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

        • NZSnapper

          No? I’ve read the manifesto and I’v studied Autism for 5 years – I most definitely know what I am talking about.

      • Rhan Tegoth

        A lack of empathy is a hallmark of Autism, but Autism is not the only condition that can cause this!

    • Rhan Tegoth

      I actually think that NPD is a symptom rather than a condition in itself. Many bipolar people develop narcissistic tendencies during manic episodes. When people will not accept our true self, we create a false self in our minds and try to project it into reality by sheer force of will. Narcissism is a reaction to a low self-esteem. In particular it’s very much a psychological defense that gets taken way too far. Narcissists feel they’re under attack and the way to protect themselves is to turn off their empathy for others because they see empathy as a display of vulnerability.

  • KatieW

    A psychotic break? I don’t think so. Compare him to James Holmes and it is Holmes who was delusional and had a legit psychotic break. This kid is just a classic case of Narcissistic Personality D/O, while included in the DSM-V is *not* considered a severe mental illness like psychosis. Rodger knew good and well what he was doing, which is why the end was suicide for him. Why in hell would Holmes surrender peacefully? Because he didn’t know right from wrong at the time of his crime.

    • Mountjoy

      Rogers was skating on the thin ice of mental illness. He finally ‘broke’ through his ability to maintain a hold on reality, became increasingly delusional and finally, a complete break from sanity.

      A psychotic break.

      • KatieW

        You’ll have to prove to me that he was severely mentally ill (schizophrenia, bipolar, etc..) and not just someone with Narcissistic Personality D/O. A personality d/o is vastly different than mental illness w/ psychosis. You’ll have to prove that he was delusional, and so far I see nothing that proves that. James Holmes has proved his psychosis, which is why the prosecution wants a second sanity eval. Holmes *passed* the first one.

        • Mountjoy

          I cannot “prove” anything to you. I never interviewed, assessed or treated Rodger.

          More on his mental/emotionality will surface then we can talk again.

        • A guy

          If you read his manifesto, it becomes pretty obvious… there are insane delusions on every single page. If I didn’t know who wrote it, I’d just think it was satire.

        • Rhan Tegoth

          Elliot Rodger’s actions were completely irrational and ultimately self-destructive. That makes severe mental illness the explanation that best fits the data. Schizophrenia and Bipolar are *not* the only mental illnesses that can cause such extreme anti-social behavior! His manifesto is full of grandiose delusions. Personality disorders are mental illnesses and it’s time society recognize this.

  • John Trapp

    So in other words he was like an average Democrat politician.

    • Mountjoy

      Funny, John…truly, but I am apolitical.

  • Mountjoy

    Seri-good call but to play it safe, I did not make a definite diagnosis because I never met him.

  • Tberryjack

    He knew exactly what he was doing, he had planned it for quit some time. According to some of his friends he had talked about doing something like that for the last few years. If any of us went over the edge one day there is some kind of Mental illness that some good lawyer and shrink could attribute it too. He was a spoiled brat that thought he should have anything and everything he wanted but without his parents giving it to him he didn’t know how to go about getting a girlfriend. I get so tired of hearing no one knew about it in advance. His friends (even though there may have been only a few of them) said he had told them, I’ll bet his family knew what he wanted to do and had heard him say it a few times, and I’ll bet his shrink had heard the story a few times from him too. But now his rich parents and the shrink are covering their butts along with his, now, so that when it all comes out that the poor boy couldn’t help what he did because he was sick, sick, sick. Of course no one wants to think your loved one or friend will carry out some of the crazy things we all say, like I’d love to shove that Bill down his throat, or I’d like to kick their butts or worse, but sometimes when they are like him being so obsessed with this feeling that he makes it a part of his conversation all the time, and he has the means to carry it out, then you’ve just gotta know the person may carry it out and have someone step in before it’s too late.

    • Rhan Tegoth

      Well buddy, a lot people in America go over the edge. Rampage shootings are extremely common. This guy clearly was delusional whether you like it or not. You’re trying to sound hard nosed and self-righteous and clearly have no interest in logic or facts.

  • Tberryjack

    The cops were called in to check on his well being, That sounds only like they were called in to make sure he nor anyone else had hurt him. They weren’t called in to go out and do a complete life story on the guy. When they found him OK and he didn’t sound like he was in trouble they had no reason to do anything else. Now I’m not usually on the Cops side anymore,. but there are times when they are in the right and I’ll step up for them. I’ve not heard anything from his family yet, I sure their lawyers are coaching them as to what to say so that they don’t admit to anything that may end up getting them sued. His biggest problem – Mommy and Daddy had gotten him everything he wanted all his life but they couldn’t get him a girlfriend and he didn’t know how to do anything on his own, not even flirt.