scott joplin: undiagnosed antisocial personality disorder

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Scott Joplin: Undiagnosed Antisocial Personality Disorder

Darryl Lynn Jones, BA, MAEd.Southern New Hampshire UniversityMay 17, 2015

One of the ways we can respect their descendants and their work in contemporary American society is to honor the efforts of those who have attempted to make a cultural statement on their behalf. Music may well be the dominant black art, and Scott Joplin must count as one of its major practitioners. To fail to fill in the blanks on his particular quest for identity is to do a great injustice to black America in general(Stewart & Duran, 2007, p. 99, Para. 1).

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What is antisocial personality disorder? Anti-social personality disorder comprises any combination of six trait models; e.g., negative emotionality, introversion, disinhibition, compulsivity, antagonism, and schizotypy. The result is anxiety, disorientation, social isolation, fits of rage, and promiscuity; not to mention a myriad of other culminations (American Psychiatric Association, n.d.; Messent, 2013; Shedler, Beck, Fonagy, Gabbard & Gunderson, 2010; Zeng, Wang, Zhang, Chen, Huang, Liu,.&Yang, 2013).

Descriptions detailed in DSM-V support cohesion with anti-sociality/psychopathy and Scott Joplins plight, which eventually led to his death, comprised similarity. For example, negative emotionality, introversion, disinhibition, and compulsivity earmark personality disorder trait models originating from empiricism in re non-clinical clusters (American Psychiatric Association, n.d.; Messent, 2013; Shedler, Beck, Fonagy, Gabbard & Gunderson, 2010; Zeng, Wang, Zhang, Chen, Huang, Liu,.&Yang, 2013). All of which were part of Scott Joplins soci-cognitive and environmental condition.

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Scott Joplin ?-1917Compounding the difficulties of sparse factual data are years of accrued misinformation. One tenacious myth tells us that Joplin was born in Texarkana, Texas, on November 24, 1868. The location is easily dispensed with: Texarkana was not established until 1873. Testimony of a family friend has Scott born in Marshall, Texas, some 70 miles south from what was to become Texarkana; in 1870, according to the U.S. Census, the family lived on a farm in Linden, Texas, almost 40 miles away. That same census, of 1870, certifies that on July 18, 1870, the young Scott wasalreadytwo years old, thereby ruling out a birth date of November 24, 1868. The 1880 census and his death certificate support that conclusion. Though we cannot cite an exact date for his birth, documents place the event between July 19, 1867 and mid-January 1868 (Berlin, 2013).

A historical figure forced into the soci-psychological abyss by plagiarism, lack of recognition, and medical malfeasance was Scott Joplin. Compounding the difficulties of sparse factual data are years of accrued misinformation. One tenacious myth tells us that Joplin was born in Texarkana, Texas, on November 24, 1868. The location is easily dispensed with: Texarkana was not established until 1873. Testimony of a family friend has Scott born in Marshall, Texas, some 70 miles south from what was to become Texarkana; in 1870, according to the U.S. Census, the family lived on a farm in Linden, Texas, almost 40 miles away. That same census, of 1870, certifies that on July 18, 1870, the young Scott was alreadytwo years old, thereby ruling out a birth date of November 24, 1868. The 1880 census and his death certificate support that conclusion. Though we cannot cite an exact date for his birth, documents place the event between July 19, 1867 and mid-January 1868 (Berlin, 2013). One of the compositional geniuses during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, acclaim manifested and was publicized more than 50 years after death. It was an untimely demise for a man in his creative autonomous prime.

From the 18th through the 21st centuries we find that Black men are subject to extreme violence and neglect while in the care of white authority. African/Carribean behavior is assessed from a European perspective, often with no hint of knowledge of African/Carribean culture or indeed European history/culture with regard to their view of African people (Warner, 2011).

Smithers (2012) espouses clear connection amid sexual promiscuity and the rise of sexual exploitation by Whites on both sides of the gender spectrum. According to Phillips and historians of his generation, such as Claude G. Bowers, the rise in the African-American (and mixed race) population resulted from the sexual immorality and promiscuity of black women (Smithers, 2012, p. 64, Para. 2). Suffice it to say, Jim Crow doctrine instilled fear into the hearts and minds of African-Americans; especially businesspeople considered at the precipice of long-term success. Rather than risk livelihood, consensus choice to exile Scott Joplin from the music industry and the African-American social and economic elite was a prevailing pique; coupled with ancestral and soci-psychological abuses leading to social interactions among some of the most unsavory inhabitants of the era. His life was exemplary of deliberate malfeasance in the interest of capitalist gain; along with soci-psychological aberrance, ostracization, abandonment, alienation, pathological introversion, substance abuse, and promiscuity. All of which led to syphilis infection, anti-social personality disorder, and dementia.

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Scott Joplin ?-1917

Grief, pursuant to perceived loss of the dream/aspiration to be among the icons of American music, proves to also be a contributor to Joplins promiscuity, along with social mentality in re the African-American family, which forced him into social isolation; a component of anti-sociality. Immersion into the caste of slave breedings less cultured descendants and its cyclical atrocities edified disdain and derision toward American society en masse. Coping skills, which included listening to and writing music, deteriorated; thus limiting outlets in favor of grieving process completion. In the final analysis, his existence depicted high-end tendency toward personality disorder. The untreated syphilis infection irrefutably sealed his fate.

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Likeness on display at the missouri state house Joplin during the turbulent times

American culture bears imperialist fruit at the expense of exploited clusters. Post-modern social conditions, albeit comprised of fewer overt extremes, remains a socially disparate platform. For example, medical and mental health services do not venture far from the norm of inequality based on ethnicity. In other words, non-Euro-Americans do not receive commensurate benefits requisite for quelling the spread of disease or its residual manifestation. Common practices include misdiagnoses, misprognoses, and complete denial of examinations by licensed Euro-American physicians. As a result, generations of Native-Americans, African-Americans, and others are left to glean remnants of medical maleficence in the form of undiagnosed illnesses and eventual mental incapacitation from inadequate treatment.

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Informal Treatment of African-Americansduring Reconstruction

Racism has its own flawless logic. A country which lives by and draws its substance from the exploitation of different peoples inferiorizes those people. The racist treatment of those people is normal.~ Frantz Fanon, Internationally-known psychiatrist, 1925-1961. Drapetomania was the name given to the mental illness that numerous enslaved Africans demonstrated by running away from the European slave masters who were abusing them. Scott Joplin was a product of that environment. Since Jim Crow law went unchallenged until the late 1800s; i.e., near the turn of the century, so expect all people of African descent to be subjected to harsh social treatment. His second generation circumstances were not circumvention. Instead, he was viewed by most as an anomaly whose claim to recognition was owed to the slave owners of his parents and their descendants. As sharecropping increased throughout the United States, so did incidences of gross discrimination and theft of labor fruits; such as bumper crop payments earned by African-American farmers which were routinely stolen by white neighbors or destroyed in order to preserve the plantation culture amid informal rules of society. By no means was Scott Joplin afforded anything more than the same kind of abuses proven to be foundational for anti-social personality disorder.

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Few African-Americans among Medical ProfessionalsArkansas Physicians1888

Arkansas Insane Asylum during the U.S. Post-reconstruction period

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015) posit,The latent stage of syphilis begins when all of the symptoms you had earlier disappear. If you do not receive treatment, you can continue to have syphilis in your body for years without any signs or symptoms. Most people with untreated syphilis do not develop late stage syphilis. However, when it does happen it is very serious and would occur 1030 years after your infection began. Symptoms of the late stage of syphilis include difficulty coordinating your muscle movements, paralysis (not able to move certain parts of your body), numbness, blindness, and dementia (mental disorder). In the late stages of syphilis, the disease damages your internal organs and can result in death (p. 1, sub. 10).

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Scott Joplins Personality DisorderJoplins Immediate EnvironmentTheoretical Constructs for Anti-social Personality DisorderAnxiety, Depression, Shame, and GuiltWithdrawal from Social Interaction

Impulsivity which Piques Promiscuity

Perfectionism and RigidityNegative Emotionality

Introversion

Disinhibition

Compulsivity

Social facilitation fueled social isolation due to disagreements with Caucasian business pe