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Tales from the New Asylum

Welcome to Tales From the New Asylum

Here you’ll find the latest offerings by Editor in Chief of Psychiatric Times and forensic psychiatrist, James L. Knoll, IV, MD. Dr Knoll is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, where he is Director of forensic psychiatry, and Director of the forensic psychiatry fellowship at Central New York Psychiatric Center.

Tales from the New Asylum

What is truth? In the end, it is not a forensic psychiatrist's place to judge. He or she is a cog in a bigger machine that is supposed to treat psychiatric illness.

American psychiatrists might be able to sympathize in the wake of recent mass tragedies leading to new, hastily conceived laws that directly impinge on psychiatric practice, confidentiality, and duty to protect third parties.

Mental rigidity can occur at any age, while wisdom and experience are hard-won——over time.

This tale involves a “clever” inmate. He enjoyed the respectable rung of bank robber, but found he had suddenly descended to approximately the level of a sex offender. The reason for his slippage was the inmate code, which demands allegiance to other inmates under virtually all circumstances. “Ratting out” a fellow inmate may cost one his life, or at the very least, result in a decidedly anxious, paranoid existence.

The term “pseudocommando” was first used to describe the type of mass murderer who plans his actions “after long deliberation,” and who kills indiscriminately in public during the daytime.

Here’s why it is painful to see a man cry: he's not supposed to. Emotions are arresting when society tells us they should not be expressed. In the case of a grown man crying, there are some thousands of years of cultural training laying down the prohibitive regulations.

The movie Bronson loosely follows the true story of the infamous "most violent prisoner" in the UK -- a man named Michael Peterson who later changed his name to Charles "Charlie" Bronson on the advice of his bare knuckle boxing promoter.

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