Case Formulation on Theodore Bundy

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There are a variety of psychological disorders that people normally suffer from. One of these disorders is the antisocial personality disorder which is a condition that makes a person want to be alone, secluded from the rest of the society. This disorder is also known as psychopathy or sociopathy. This illness is a mental health condition where a person has an extended pattern of manipulation, exploitation, and violation of others rights. This behavior is considered to be criminal. According to research, the antisocial personality disorder starts at childhood or at teen age whereby it is normally mild and unnoticeable. It can sometimes be confused with the adolescent in teenage children. There many different symptoms that can be detected in a person with antisocial personality disorder (Laws, 2001). People with this disorder have the ability to act cheerful and charming. They are considered to be like a time bomb because of the fact that they can have an unexpected episode. A common symptom among the people who suffer this disorder is that they constantly break the law and do not show signs of remorse or culpability. Also, they are impulsive, compulsive liars, they get easily irritated, and they continually neglect their own and others safety. Another important symptom is that they are very good when it comes to manipulating others feelings. Those people who have the disorder may also present problems like chronic boredom, compulsive need to gamble, and drug and alcohol abuse. Since they present many sudden changes in the behavior and a lack of many senses, they are more likely to commit suicide. After a brief explanation of the personality disorders that people suffer from, this paper will expound on the case study of Theodore Bundy who happens to suffer from the antisocial personality disorder.

Theodore portrays symptoms that can be attributed to the disorder and which have evidently changed his lifestyle. He cannot venture into leisure or recreational exercises which he previously found to be fun, and prefers to stay in bed all the day. The patient seems to have a completely different approach to thinking, and behavior which makes him become an introverted person who prefers to be alone. Notably, the patients has trouble recognizing and connecting with situations and people, even himself (Meyer, Chapman & Weaver, 2008). This paper will expound on the case of Theodore and derive arguments from other authentic sources so as to reach a conclusion about the diagnosis and treatment of the personality disorder. It is very important that people know how to recognize this disorder to be able to take necessary medical action in good time and prevent any further problems.

The specific origin that can cause this disorder is unclear because each person can present a combination of different characteristics and can only be discovered after rigorous sessions and intensive studies about the patient’s history. According to research, there are many theories, however, about the possible causes of are likely due to factors attributed to genes and other biological factors as well psychological factors. To understand this, we can divide it into two parts, genetics and external causes. When we talk about external causes, we can refer to the environment that the people with this disorder had in the past like parents or relatives with alcohol or drug problems, grown in a specific urban environment where both violence and child abuse dominates. Another cause could be children who had a very permissive familiar environment without clear rules of education or children who have been educated too freely without any supervision of the parents (Meyer, Chapman & Weaver, 2008). Research has established that there are various physiological responses which are more likely to frequently in people with antisocial personality disorder. For example, these people have a flat response to stress and are generally less anxious than the normal people. Another important aspect that research highlights is that the disorder is probably caused by a combination of psychological factors. Having one of the many character traits does not necessary mean that one has the disorder.

The antisocial personality has been termed as one of the most complicated psychological disorders.This is because the condition is quite hard to contain and treat mainly because people who suffer from it rarely come out on their own to seek treatment. It has also been found out that some people suffer from this disorder for some time and it fades off on its own as they approach the age of forty. Despite that, many psychotherapy techniques have been believed to treat this disorder. In patients of younger age, the involvement of the family, as well as psychotherapy, can help to suppress that behavior in a child (Bennie, 2012). The cognitive therapy technique is yet another strategy that is used to treat the antisocial personality disorder. Kendra Cherry who is a psychology expert explains that cognitive behavior therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach that helps patients to contain and control the thoughts that have a fundamental influence on thinking and behavior. In some severe cases where the patient seems to be in a critical condition, some medication is used to contain the adverse effects of the psychological condition. These are mainly the cases where the patient portrays signs of depression, aggressiveness, irritability, and anxiety, but there are still a lot of concerns raised concerning the effectiveness of these techniques and their compatibility in the treatment of this type of disorder mainly due to the fact that people affected by it do not recognize that they have a problem (Sturmey Et al, 2007). It is more likely that the treatment will be successful if it is started as soon as possible, but their general behavior and thinking remains unaltered.

If this behavior is detected early enough, it can be treated through a variety of both psychological and medical approaches that will free the patient from the disorder. However, the problem with detection of the disorder there are so many people with this disorder who do not recognize it. Many people who have it do not realize that they have a psychological problem and therefore they cannot be convinced to seek medical attention. The duty lies with the immediate family, relatives, and friend who should urge the patient to seek treatment or psychological help. The society should also be sensitive when it comes to this disorder as some people who have it may not pay attention to it, and it may have adverse effects on their reasoning eventually to violent and depressing endings.

Theodore Bundy is the main case study that this paper is going to focus on as well as other cases which show great similarity to the behavioral characteristics that Bundy depicted. Bundy grew up like any other child in his neighborhood. He was bright in class, and his performance was way above average. His parents were greatly involved in is education whereby they helped with homework and other school work. Young Bundy did not portray any questionable character traits, and if any, his parents suppressed them and did not openly talk about it. Bundy did not engage in private talk with his parents on issues such as dating and sex and that made them remain unaware of his sexual desires and escapades (Letourneau & Borduin, 2008). Bundy used to go to the neighbor's dustbins to look for pictures of naked women. In most cases, Bundy chose to be alone whereby he listened to a small radio that he had and did no engage in playing games like the rest of his age mates. His parents were not keen on his behavior, and therefore they did not notice something odd with his character. Bundy was obsessed with material possessions and fantasized about being adopted by a rich family of actors. Though he attended a couple of parties while in high school, Bundy did not develop proper social skills and that made him refrain from engaging in social activities. His antisocial behavior was more evident in high school where he became introverted and spent most of his time alone, unlike when in junior school.

After school Bundy volunteered to work in a local political race. Bundy developed a political career where he associated with a lot of people and began to make friends. Someone could have easily thought that he was like any other person in the political arena. However, Bundy explained that he had a separate entity which coexisted within him and forced him to kill. Bundy was quite intelligent, and even after he started his killings, he managed to escape justice for about ten years. The judges who passed his judgment were amazed by his intelligence. Indeed he seemed to be a separate entity from the killer personality. His antisocial personality disorder was believed to be the main factor behind his multiple killing of innocent victims.

Like Bundy, Hilde had the antisocial personality disorder which showed up later on after teen age. The family doctor directed Hilde to a therapist when the cure with quick assurance and valium became unsuccessful. Particularly, Hilde who is 42 years and a house maker was undergoing marital difficulties at her marriage with headaches and slight depression too.  The physician had the perspective that her condition was due to panic attacks, (Meyer, Chapman & Weaver, 2008). But after valium cure, Hilde did not stop complaining about the same effects, which made the physician direct her to my clinic. When the first consultation was conducted with a different physician, she seemed to be really eager and had an urge of talking to me. She was questioned whether she was aware of what brings a headache, slight depressions and also marital problems. While answering, she went to the extent of describing her past. The examination revealed that during her descriptions, she was unable to relate their spontaneous role with the headaches, minor depression, as well as matrimonial troubles.  Hilde was so happy speaking to a person about her life and forgot about the intention of the interview. However, she was given an ear to her for a little bit and when on the discovery that the irrelevancies became more and a decision of helping her connect her past with the present know-hows. But she repelled my efforts and went ahead turning moody and angry. She sauntered when I challenged the irrelevancies. That is when it started to occur to me that her condition was more related to antisocial personality disorder.

Diagnosing Joseph using the stated diagnosis, I had gone through his life past. When Joseph was a year old, his father fell from the roof of the church while he was mending it. Also, his mother came back to the house that belonged to her father, and the father was chosen as the guardian to Joseph. Further, the grandfather was murdered in less than a year afterward (Meyer, Chapman & Weaver, 2008). Two years later, the other maternal grandfather passed away due to a heart disease.  Because of emotional and financial issues from a parental grandmother who raised Joseph, he spent about a year in an orphanage at the age of 12 to 13. They had a life featured with a movement from place to place. This led to a change in family friends as well a change in roles of parents. His education was faced with a lot of disruptions, and he had the ability to achieve eighth-grade schooling. That is the time he began showing emblems of dyslexia and negligence (Meyer, Chapman & Weaver, 2008).

However, he managed to acquire an overall similar high school degree.  Despite the fact that Joseph acquired a job and married, he life continued to be referred as a sad one. He was very good at his job and went ahead spending extra time to get overtime pay.  He became angry when his wife got a job away from their home. Due to this, he went out with the hope that his wife would return (Meyer, Chapman & Weaver, 2008).  Thus, the occasions catalyzed presence and also rise of clear psychiatric signs. His disorder became known in 1980 when a physician was curing him for bursitis on his shoulder.  From the psychiatrist's report, there was an indication that Joseph was working for 16 hours in a day. Rather than going home to get sleep, he bar wished and ended sleeping for only two hours. The quickening of his condition came about due to the anger he had towards his wife’s Brenda ex-husband. He began hating him when he found out that he makes money very easily. He also got angry due to depression from the spells of difficulties arising from his stepchildren. The fury he had to the ex-husband of Brenda intensified,   which made Joseph track him a month. He had the mindset of bowing brains of the ex-husband of Brenda out. In the following seven years, there was breakage of relations with his mother as well as his eldest son because of personal disagreements.  The year 1984, he attempted to commit suicide which made his wife divorce him (Meyer, Chapman & Weaver, 2008).

Monroe was the daughter of Gladys Baker and wasn’t aware of her father. She underwent lots of difficulties when she was young.  She lived in an orphanage as she underwent her childhood as well as adolescence (at this point she was given the responsibilities of being a kitchen assistant while she was at a caring age of nine). At her grandparent’s place as well as that of families who adopted her, she didn’t get a family (Mever et al, 2008).  The young Norma Jean didn’t have a home. She was moved from one foster household to another and never coped. She stayed with about seven adoptive families in the period of 4 years   (Meyer et al., 2008). Being a sexual abuse victim, it’s usual for a young girl to writhe from mental disorders. Among one of the households, she underwent sexual abuse from an actor but wasn’t believed by her foster parent when she reported it.  She was made not to mention the experience ever again.

She was left in the care of a friendly marriage until the moment she turned seven.  Thereafter, she took her and stayed with her. But after a year, she got hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital where she got spotted of paranoid schizophrenia, which is a disease that Mary came to find out that she inherited mainly the moment she got admitted due to recurring depressions. Therefore, Marilyn Monroe is from a specific group, which is really common, of women who acquired an interior force analytically deteriorated by severe structures containing a conventional, striking world, strong when it comes to its prohibitions,  but again insincere for it diminished her as a  lady. Sexual abuse is an issue which has been there from the start of humanity.  Due to this, small Monroe in a number of years became withdrawn, a mumbling girl, due to hallucinations, where she woke up yelling mid night and woke her mates who were in the orphanage.

Sexual abuse is a common cause of psychological disorders. Some people manage to move on, others get used to living with the trauma, and others simply cannot continue and end up with their lives. However, Marilyn's childhood was very stormy since she never had a "regular" family. His mother could not take care of her because of her economic and emotional problems and gave her to several families for adoption. It is said that the first time Marilyn was sexually abused was at the age of five years. These abuses continued throughout her childhood and at the hands of different individuals, most of which were members of her family. This affected Marilyn throughout her life (Meyer et al., 2008).

The three cases analyzed in this paper display problems with Over-generalizing Features of Relationships. Bundy in his killings would ask for favors from strangers even asking them to get in his car which was a trap that he used to get young girls and torture them before eventually killing them. People who suffer antisocial personality disorder in most cases have these problems as they tend to have no friends (Plante, 2005). They, therefore, try to reach out to anyone who happens to be available, and from the brief interaction, they get to trap them and use them to carry out their desires. For instance, a client who insists on meeting the therapist during off hours twice a day or even immediately would probably have the problem of generalizing features of relationships which is a character trait evident in the three cases analyzed in this paper.

Some other clients tend to discriminate against appropriate context to make a request or to reveal a new need that they have. Such clients tend to some difficulties in engaging in these activities to avoid or escape aversive contingencies. Such individuals have a problem with expressing themselves and talking about their needs at the appropriate times or difficulties responding to requests that are made by other people or have an attitude of opposition to the clients own needs. This is evident in the cases analyzed whereby Bundy had issues in focusing on the needs and responding to requests made by other people and sometimes would even turn violent (Popescu, 2010). Monroe on the other side was determined to lead a normal life but kept on drifting due to her inability to relate and respond to the people around her, and especially those who were out to help her.

Another problem that the characters analyzed seem to have is rejecting that a Need is Present. This can be described as the behavior by a client that shows that they believe that their needs are less likely to be catered for satisfactorily. This is usually a prejudgment that occurs even before the person has communicated the needs or experienced a service that does not satisfy them. This prevents these people from exposing their problems due to fear that they cannot be helped. The people analyzed in the paper have similarities with relation to antisocial personality disorder. When an inquiry is made to this people about their condition, they would most likely decline that they have a problem and dismiss the inquiry which is one of the main reasons that makes people think that they actually are normal.

In conclusion, this paper has analyzed case studies of people with the antisocial personality disorder as well as analyzed the dominant behavioral character traits that these people possessed. Bundy grew up like any other child in his neighborhood. He was bright in class, and his performance was way above average. His parents were greatly involved in is education whereby they helped with homework and other school work. Young Bundy did not portray any questionable character traits and if any, his parents suppressed them and did not openly talk about it. Monroe was the daughter of Gladys Baker and wasn't aware of her father. She underwent lots of difficulties when she was young.  She lived in an orphanage as she underwent her childhood as well as adolescence at this point she was given the responsibilities of being a kitchen assistant while she was at a caring age of nine. Physicians have a problem addressing issues related to the condition of these people due to various factors that have been analyzed in the paper.

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Case formulation on Theodore Bundy. (2019, Oct 10). Retrieved September 30, 2023 , from

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