TheDC Twitter Investigation: Is Keith Olbermann suffering from a mental illness?

Jeff Winkler Contributor
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Keith, we need to talk.

Look, you’re a great guy. Really. Hell, we like you so much that we bought you. Quite frankly, though, we’re worried.

It’s one thing to make a big sanity-induced stink about “suspending” the “Worst Persons” segment before revving it right back up again three weeks later. We get it, you have some complicated parental issues that neither Freud nor Jon Stewart can adequately address.

And it’s another thing to “suspend” your Twitter account after a horde of marauding feminists tweet the crap out of you so hard you began to WikiLeak. After that Julian Assange/Michael Moore/rape apologist fiasco, it made perfect sense to take a break, which you said you were doing. So we thought you were alright.

We were wrong.

Four days after “suspending” your Twitter account you came back with a fury. You had 115 tweets on Dec. 20 alone. There were more than 300 by Dec. 22. It wasn’t just a barrage of tweets, though. Based on the tweet below, it’s clear you’re becoming a danger to both you and those around you.

This isn’t just simple addiction. When you wrote the following tweet, we knew there was a more serious, underlying issue we had to deal with:

In all honesty, that’s absolutely disgusting. Don’t you think? Hey dude, if it were a personal fetish, that’d be one thing. But your tweets are clearly a threat not only your safety but to those around you.

Keith, we think you need help.

You need psychiatric help.

We’re here for you, Keith.

We can help. We think we can help.

Psychology Today’s website doesn’t have a paywall and we’ve turned off Dr. Google’s “SafeSearch” filter. We tried analyzing every single tweet you ever twatted, but in all honestly, the computer keeps crashing when we try to search past Sept. 16 (What happened then, Keith?).

So based on about three months of tweets and a two-day House, M.D. bender, we’ve tried to find the best diagnosis for your mental illness. Really, it’s our mental illness, because as you suffer, we suffer. So here’s what we’ve come up with. It could be one, two or an odd combination of all. If House’s diagnosis is correct, however, it’s Lupus. It’s always Lupus on House.

Paranoid Personality Disorder

After reading over a thousand of your tweets, Keith, one thing is clear: You direct-Reply to those who send you a message. A lot. Like way too much. While some — even you — may attribute this to “connecting with the audience” or “keeping it real,” we know that’s not the case.

A lot of those folks sending you tweets are random know-nothings writing snarky little comments. You, however, responded with the force of three Barney Franks.

MentalHealth.com says Paranoid Personality Disorder “is a condition characterized by excessive distrust and suspiciousness of others.” Those suffering form PPD have combative behaviors which “may elicit a hostile response in others, which then serves to confirm their original expectations,” and they “tend to develop negative stereotypes of others, particularly those from population groups distinct from their own.”

See, Keith? A rational adult male in a stable mental condition would ignore these tweets, move on, maybe go for a run. You, however, address these blithering idiots head-on, and you get mean, angry and personal. Weirdly personal.

Paranoid Personality Disorder often manifests itself in short, quick blasts. Something that’s clearly been happening on your Twitter account. Not only that, but it’s clear that you sometimes think there are spies everywhere and that people are out to get you:

How do you know the number is 83?

Treatment: Thioridazine, Haloperidol or a three daily doses of a back-handed pimp slap

General Psychosis/Schizophrenia

This diagnosis is serious, Keith. About 2.7 million Americans suffer from it, and it affects both males and females.

The DSM-IV-TR defines psychosis as “restricted to delusions or prominent hallucinations, with the hallucinations occurring in the absence of insight into their pathological nature.” It seems your psychotic hallucinations manifest themselves as projections of yourself as other people, or other people as imaginary creatures.

With this complicated disorder, it’s often difficult to tell if patients are suffering other problems. If this hustler-on-the-streets tweet is any indication, it seems you might also have Split Personality Disorder:

As with most Schizophrenics, the disorder “commonly manifests as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking.” You can’t really argue with this one, Keith. Some of your imaginative tweets just don’t make any sense.

The repetition and ability you have to construct an entire imaginary universe is almost impressive in its consistency. It seems it doesn’t matter who you’re talking to, your visuals of that world remain intact.

Treatment: Shock therapy. Coloring books. A job in Hollywood.

Chronic Delusions of Grandeur

This diagnosis isn’t easy Keith, mostly because we’ve made it up.

We’re convinced, however, that CDG is a serious and seriously debilitating condition. It’s like regular Delusions of Grandeur except it can cause a person to lose all touch with reality and worse, cause them to tweet excessively.

Not only is a person with CDG incapable of regular human emotions like sympathy, empathy and manners, but CDG can also cause such severe self-referential and self-validating narcissism, that those around you can suffer debilitating headaches and eventual brain hemorrhaging.

We thought this disorder worth reviewing, especially considering how extensively you tweet on it:

Occasionally, this crippling narcissism results in a tweet begging someone for a “follow back.” The disorder is also commonly confused with adequacy issues. Quite frankly, Keith, we’re blown away that you’ve never even considered asking us for help, especially with such a rampant disorder.

Treatment: More shock therapy. Boot camp. Decrease in number of viewers and/or followers.

We love you Keith and again, we’re here to help.

Apart from always attacking fellow Twitterers, your fetishes seem to be getting a little of control. You’re acting out. Since you started Twittering this past April, you’ve posted some 9,000 tweets.

Keith, buddy, we understand addiction. Half our office are nicotine fiends, there are a couple alcoholics, most definitely one pothead and our collective family histories are filled with former meth addicts, heroin users, and repeat sex offenders. One of us is an occasional gas-huffer (occasional!). We know an addictive personality when we see one.

This isn’t your normal addictive personality, though. You’re sick, Keith. You’re confusing yourself as well as others. On more than one occasion, you’ve castigated someone for not getting your “joke” or “sarcasm” like it was their fault. But you were cured of humor years ago, Keith, you know this. Please, accept the burden.

Treatment is a rough, difficult road filled with emotional and physical obstacles. The Twitter substance abuse is certainly not helping. We’d be happy to set you up on a strict regiment of heavy wool mittens. As for the actual psychological disorder, if it goes untreated you could end up giving us chronic laughing fits. Having to go through so many of your tweets has already resulted in Irritable Bowl Syndrome and a mild stroke.

Again, for the sake of others as well as yourself, please get some help. Our office is always open if you ever just want to talk. We’ve even got some gasoline left.