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Dr John B
Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 557
Experience:  PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
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My friend received a threatening note from a student in the

Customer Question

My friend received a threatening note from a student in the martial arts. Can you give a diagnosis (wave the magic wand) from the text of the email? He has already decided to go to the police in the morning, but I thought I'd give this a whirl...good luck! now...release your life forces ....they will gladly escape your false and empty existence.......dissipate........let go.....return to your "one point".....wait for me to find you..... i will bring you one randori you will remember for 1000 years ...little aikido sensei....you have offended more than just me..... we are destined to meet again....soon....sooner than you can prepare yourself for what the universe requires you to pay back.....pay back.....be ready.....little aikido sensei..... like your friend endo shihan said.....i am not karate.....i bring that awakening wind the shihan appreciates..... dissolve....wait for me to find you.......you will be wearing shame and humiliation when i finish painting you with the harm you caused me.... remember....like your real aikido sensei , glenn....i can talk to eagles.....can you? i was telling you the truth and you f****d me......you sent me out to die......not a care in your world...remember, little sensei? that word...."f****d"....i bet you like that word....don't you? return to "one point".....wait for me to arrive at your side.... (There, that is the complete message. This individual is suspected of being "off" meds, and my friend has been nothing but nice to him. Wondering what you think...)

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr John B replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Sorry to read of the situation. Before I proceed, is there any other information you can provide about this person (the author of the letter)? Also, what is the nature of the relationship between your friend and this person? Has there been any form of conflict or competition between them at any point in time? Does your friend recognise or understand any of the more unusual references? For example, 'little akido sensai', 'talking to eagles', 'randori', etc
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dear Sir,


 


My friend is a teacher of Aikido, a Japanese defensive martial art which promotes conflict resolution. He is 30 years old, has an artificial heart valve, and is a very wonderful teacher and human being. This gentleman appeared at their dojo (place of training) with some strange ideas about aikido, tried to lure my friend into an unsafe area at night to "see what he's got" in terms of fighting skills (not at all what aikido is about), and I believe this gentleman has a (suspected) history of mental issues, as he mentioned to my friend that a nearby "hospital" was cutting off his medication, and he was "going to charge them with manslaughter". Yes, sounds complicated. This individual could also not afford dues to the dojo, so they allowed him to train while paying what he could afford.


As to the references, randori is a form of training in which one defends oneself from one or more attackers freestyle. In this setting, he means that he will or is threatening to attack my friend with no warning. "Little" aikido sensei may just be a derogatory reference, as sensei means teacher, and my friend was his teacher. Talking to eagles, in medical terms may just be "nuts"..(sorry, can't help it.) There has been no conflict between my friend and this person, my friend has been his teacher at the dojo. My friend will be going to the police this evening after work to ask them what to do. I was just curious if there is anything to be gleaned in terms of threat assessment from his letter. My friend feels bad about the situation, because he said the guy did not seem like a "bad guy" at all when he was training, just eccentric, and with a lot of misconceptions of what aikido was all about. To make a long story longer, the letter writer disappeared a couple months ago, and then the owner of the dojo where my friend teaches got an email from another dojo saying that this person (the letter writer) wrote them an email saying that he practiced with my friend's dojo, but they don't do "real" aikido, he wanted to come and do combat, etc. and other weirdness, so the owner of my friend's dojo explained that they thought this guy has some problems. No communication for a month or so, my friend texted the letter writer to say "Hey, we haven't seen you for a while, are you doing ok" but got no response for another month, then this threatening email out of the blue. Thanks for any insight you can provide on the matter...


 

Expert:  Dr John B replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the extra information, it certainly clears up a few questions for me. There are a range of Psychiatric 'scenarios' in which a person can become dangerous and while I'm only privy to a limited amount to information there are some comments I can make here that may be helpful.

Given the apparent lack of actual conflict between your friend and this person I would presume that a person acting in this manner (assuming that there is in fact a Psychiatric cause) is either

1) intensely over-reacting, that is, an inappropriate pathological behavioral response
2) confused or mistaken about events that have transpired, that is, delusional


1) Broadly speaking maladaptive behavioral responses (in the absence of delusions) can be common to some of the personality disorders (PDs). PDs are not psychotic as such so they usually have a realistic understanding of what is going on around them. However, they way they behave is often extreme, unstable and rigid particularly in regards XXXXX XXXXX interaction. People with Borderline PD, for example, can respond aggressively and intensely to minor insults, or transgressions due to their poor ability to regulate their own distress and emotions. It may be that this person is offended and unable to manage their anger and behavior in an appropriate way.

2) Delusions can occur as part of psychotic illnesses and also at times as part of mood disorders, however delusional thinking within mood disorders occurs during periods of acute sever illness so I would presume that delusional thinking as party of psychosis is more likely. Delusional thinking can occur at times of sever illness (think Psychiatric ward) or with lesser intensity at other times. It may be that this individual has developed some delusional beliefs around your friend and is reacting within that context.

Regardless of the underlying cause your friend is wise to contact the police. While individuals with Psychiatric Illness or not necessarily more aggressive or violent per se, they can be less predictable, volatile and reactive.

If I had to put my two sense on something (given the lack of information I have) I'd be leaning towards delusional thinking. Psychiatric medications are more routinely used in the treatment of Psychotic illnesses and given the references to medication it may be that his condition is deteriorating. PDs are relatively stable (that is there behavior is usually quite consistent even when disordered) whereas Psychotic symptoms can vary intensely as a person moves in and out of acute illness.

I'm not sure if this is the kind of reflection you were looking for. If you have further questions or I haven't quite responded in the manner you were expecting please let me know and I'll respond further. If not....I wish your friend the best of luck!
Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 557
Experience: PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
Dr John B and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks a lot for your insight on the limited amount of information..it is appreciated. If there was a mechanism for letting you know how this turns out, I would do so...have a happy holiday!

Expert:  Dr John B replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. I might send you a messag in a while and see how it turned out!

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Dr John B
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PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.