René J. Muller, PhD


The Columbia Mall Shooting

April 01, 2014

In periodic entries in his journal, the Columbia Mall shooter acknowledged having a “general hatred toward others.” He had insight into his deteriorating condition, as he felt himself slipping away from rationality and health.

Eliciting the Phenomenon of Schizophrenia From an Autobiographical Narrative

August 28, 2012

In spite of a chronic mental illness (schizophrenia)and a psyche that increasingly blurred the boundaries between fantasy and reality, this lawyer and professor graduated from Vanderbilt with a perfect academic record.

Psychiatric Symptoms Can Be Understood Even When These Symptoms Cannot Be Explained

July 16, 2010

What is transparent to one person may be opaque to another. It is clear to me that before symptoms can be used to make a valid psychiatric diagnosis the meaning and context of these symptoms must be taken into account. Many clinicians do not see it that way. Neither did the DSM-III and its subsequent editions.

Pathological Anger, Existentially Speaking

May 27, 2009

Anger is an emotion that is familiar to everyone. An episode of anger may dissipate quickly and harmlessly or evolve into a murderous rage. Between the benign and malignant end points in this spectrum, a seething, chronic anger may come to dominate a person’s thinking, feeling, and behavior.

Neurotheology: Are We Hardwired for God?

May 02, 2008

Considering that the brain is increasingly being credited with having a role in everything we think, feel, and do, it was probably just a matter of time before it was postulated that religious belief has a neural substrate.

Willing Paranoid Delusions

December 01, 2006

Psychotic symptoms--delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, thought disorder--are mostly attributed now to aberrations in brain structure and function.

A Patient with Dissociative Identity Disorder 'Switches' in the Emergency Room

August 25, 2006

Many highly regarded clinicians have built careers working with patients they believe to have dissociative identity disorder (DID). Other distinguished practitioners consider DID to be a bogus diagnostic tag.

A Woman Who Refused Treatment for a Paranoid Psychosis

July 01, 2006

Dr Muller describes a case of a patient with a paranoid psychosis who clearly needs help, yet refuses treatment.

To Understand Depression, Look to Psychobiology, Not Biopsychiatry

August 01, 2003

Rather than looking at the biological basis for depression, it may be more useful to look at the patient's worldview and how that may have primed them for depression. Examining events that took place in the patient's past lead to a solution to their current depression.

Renegotiating the 'Contract for Safety' in the ER

May 01, 2002

There is a range of meaning that underlies patients' violent acts against themselves. The usefulness of so-called "safety contracts" to actually predict suicidal behavior is questioned.