Normal people don’t usually repeatedly do things considered abnormal; if abnormal things are repeatedly done then the person doing them can be assumed to be abnormal until proven otherwise (Friedenberg & Silverman 2005). The behavior exhibited is maladaptive or better still can be considered to constitute mental illness.
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Any behavior exhibited that could be showing mental illness or distress qualifies a character to have suffered a psychopathological functional breakdown especially considering the cognitive, emotional, biological and behavioral sense.
In the case of O. J. Simpson, a renowned football player of all times in the American history, a movie star and a television news announcer had two sides of life, one, a legendary darling of the masses and on the other side an irresponsible wife batterer culminating into her murder and that of her boyfriend.
One is then left to ask whether this absurd kind of gesture could have really happened out of the blues or whether it was ignited by a kind of mental illness and cognitive breakdown (Green 1994).
In the cognitive aspect of psychology which explains how people perceive, interpret and react to issues surrounding them, every individual person perceives and interprets things differently. It delves to explain internal mental processes which are the motivation behind any action that comes from a person.
These internal mind processes are the ones that trigger emotions which in return translate into an action (Friedenberg & Silverman 2005). The cognitive inspires all kinds of thinking and making of decisions which in return explain why individual people make different choices which is why there are varied interpretations of a single entity by many people.
Having been a man who was not ready to let go of his marriage, O.J. Simpson, swore to never allow Nicole get married to another man, not when he was alive.
He said that nobody was going to have her. This indicates that in as much as they had divorced physically and in the face of the world, he still considered her his property that no one was to take from him. Nicole on her part had let go of their marriage and was ready to move on now that they were divorced.
O.J. on his part kept on stalking her and indicated that he wanted her back, if not, then murdering her and getting her off existence and preventing her from getting married to another man was the only way out. This could partly explain why he constantly assaulted her in their marriage.
Beating her up at the slightest provocation (Friedenberg & Silverman 2005) and getting away with it all the time because she never pressed charges. It had been accustomed in his mind that no matter the battering, she could still forgive him thus the repeated behavior of accosting her.
And even after divorcing, he just thought that all was going to work out in the long run and now that it had failed to work out his cognitive thinking led him to murder her.
O. J had a rough childhood. His upbringing was characterized by poverty in the ghetto where they lived. His family was indeed poor to such an extent that early in life he suffered calcium and vitamin D deficiency and thereby diagnosed of rickets.
He had to wear leg braces for about two years because of this. This could have led to his feelings of low self esteem as well as hindering his understanding of his self image and personality and this could have been the reason for his pathological behavior (Green 1994).
Despite the correction given to his legs, long after the scars of his stature could be seen in his abnormally skinny legs, he was pigeon toed and bow legged.
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He must have thought of this problem causing any form of misbehavior from Nicole thereby engaging in domestic violence as a defense mechanism. He must have lost impulsive control over time thereby leading to impaired decision making him act brutal.
In regard to the instances of violence exhibited by him towards his wife, he must have really had a problem with managing his anger and thereby controlling his emotions was a bit difficult (Friedenberg & Silverman 2005). Before the murders of Nicole and her boyfriend, there had not occurred instances where he got out of control and assaulted anyone.
His constant attacks on Nicole could have resulted due to his emotional attachment to her. To an extent of stalking her and vowing to get her back into their marriage after they divorced explains the reason why he behaved rudely to her yet never hated her but loved her all the while.
Rather than view O.J. as a criminal due to his actions resulting to domestic violence, he should be seen as an individual suffering from a psychological defect. An emotional attachment even long after a marriage or relationship ends is always caused by denial on the part of the victim (Green 1994).
It can therefore be said that O.J. lived in denial because he remained emotionally attached to Nicole even when their marriage could not work out and therefore could not stand her going out with another man. This is an indicator of an underlying psychological problem that could otherwise be called mental illness.
In 1995, during O.J.’s first trial, he was portrayed as an insanely jealous, pathologically controlling, abusive husband. What could have really caused this kind of attitude in an otherwise achieved personality in American history? One could be left to wonder.
Could this attitude be prevented if it were to be detected early in life? All the same, this kind of personality could have been caused by his upbringing, having had a distant father figure who was there to punish him when called upon by his mother; he could have learnt no better, on how to be a good husband and father.
Besides his harsh life as a teen in gangs might have the reason why he acted the way he did. O.J. Simpson’s personality could have been prevailed by outside forces beyond his control (Green 1994).
It can be argued that his actions over Nicole and her boyfriend in regard to the murders, if he is the one who committed them, were also instigated by anxiety and anger that had welled in him due to the fear of losing her for good. Seeing her with another lover aroused in him the urge to prevent her from doing what he considered impossibility.
Behavioral components that could be alleged to have contributed to the events of late Sunday night , June twelfth 1994 could be said to be, first, the overly abuse of drugs which was seen both in both O. J. and Nicole. Besides, he showed a behavior of repeatedly being unfaithful to her and battering her.
This persisted for quite a long time, in fact as long as they were married. This kind of behavior might have greatly contributed to the murders because O.J. had formed it as a habit of getting violent all the time. He had grown to do this all the time.
Any behavior is formed due to repeating some actions over and over again (Friedenberg & Silverman 2005). Having repeatedly abused Nicole physically in their marriage for a long time could have led to suicidal motives on his part, which is murdering her completely now that Nicole had shown signs of never getting back to him.
The fact of losing her could not go down well with him and thereby his actions. Simpson can be said to have deteriorated into some form of psychotic state because his actions tell it all. To an extent of threatening to kill Nicole and when she is found dead, means that he really had to live up to his word, see her dead.
Friedenberg J. & Silverman G. (2005): Cognitive Science: An Introduction to the Study of Mind. London, Sage publishers.
Green, S. (1994): Principles of psychology Philadelphia, Psychological Press.