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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

Stephen Paddock's Motives for his Mass Murder in Las Vegas

My hypothesis is derived solely from news reports. Several explanatory factors seem significant to this mass murder. The killer, Stephen Paddock, was sixty-four, an age when one begins to sense their mortality if they haven't earlier. Despite his two brief marriages and paramour later, Paddock was basically a loner and might have resented never having fulfilled his (unconsciously sensed) longing for intimacy.

Paddock experienced periods of anxiety which his mind attempted to alleviate by using the innate obsessive-compulsive ego defenses. These psychologically mature mechanisms reduce anxiety naturally and video-game gambling play, at which Paddock spend long uninterrupted hours, have major obsessive-compulsive elements.

The anti-anxiety psychotropic medication that he was prescribed, in addition to being an excellent muscle relaxant, can have powerful psychological side-effects which include a lowering of the threshold for aggressive behavior and paranoia.

Paddock's sociopathic father was present in his life until he was seven-years-old, a crucial developmental period for those experiences and perceptions form the bedrock of the adult personality.

Overlying these hypothesized motivational elements is one indisputable fact: the unconscious is very powerful, and one must respect its power.
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