Blago's mental health is talk of town

December 11, 2008 5:31:37 AM PST
On WLS-AM's Roe Conn show, callers debated the mental fitness of Illinois' embattled governor, Rod Blagojevich."We're talking about sociopathic behavior and personality disorder. A nut job? Crazy? No," said one caller.

"Certainly not a guy you want to be the governor of your state," said Conn.

In the last 24 hours, some comments on the governor's mental state have included psychological terms.

Local politicians even chimed in on the issue.

"I've always had my doubts about him. But to try to sell a senator's seat shows me something is drastically wrong," said William Beavers, Cook County Commissioner.

"This has nothing to do with a full deck. These of serious allegations. Ask the "Chicago Tribune" how serious they are," said Chicago Mayor Daley.

Last summer after a series of special sessions called by the governor, an exasperated State Representative Joe Lyons said, 'We have a madman' and called the governor's actions insane. On Wednesday, Representative Lyons said he regrets those comments, but questions the governor's behavior.

"I'll help you if you can give me something down the road where I can make a come hundred thousand dollars a year? That's not the actions of somebody who is hitting on all eight cylinders in my humble opinion," said State Rep. Joe Lyons, (D) Chicago.

What do the experts say?

"His behavior is consistent with what we would term the psychopathic personality and in that he's very charming but he's not really an authentic person," said Dr. Larry Grimm, UIC Director of Graduate Studies.

Psychologist Larry Grimm doesn't know the governor, but from his office at the University of Illinois Chicago office he's read and heard reports of the governor's behavior that sound to him like a personality disorder.

"They can be quite successful. But the people around them come to know them and can see how manipulative they are and see how they engage in behavior most people would feel very guilty about," said Dr. Grimm.

A personality disorder is not considered a mental illness, said Dr. Grimm. He also says that personality disorders are believed to be created by both biological characteristics as well as environmental factors.

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