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Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 OPINION of his mother. The ���high strung��� mother who believed in an impending and violent end to the nation���s social and economic order passed her apocalyptic vision to her son, who absorbed and cultivated it. She taught him marksmanship with rifle and pistol ��� skills he would need to protect himself when civilization collapsed. Page 60 its from his father. His brother busied himself with his new life and dropped contact with Adam. The closest male role models in Adam���s life had simultaneously vanished from his life and did not return. Only his mother remained. The divorce decree gave Adam���s mother complete authority over his upbringing. After the divorce, she began buying guns. Adam���s life then more than ever centered on and depended upon his mother. She home-schooled him, further restricting his socialization possibilities. Each one���s neuroses fed off of and reinforced the other���s. Adam���s already fragile psyche was a fertile field in which his mother planted her obsessive-compulsive fantasies. In order to condition himself for the end of civilization that she had foretold, he played violent video games in the seclusion of his windowless basement refuge, where he also likely thought about ma- A third psychiatrist consulted for this article tricide. doubted that Adam would have responded to treatment even if it had been sought for him. Another psychiatrist agreed that Adam���s disOnly someone like the late Bruno Bettelheim, order is likely rooted in his family���s history. an expert in treating troubled young people, This psychiatrist was skeptical, however, that might have been able to reach Adam, but even Adam had ever been professionally diagnosed that is doubtful. with Asperger���s syndrome because there is no evidence he was ever treated for it. Even CHILDHOOD TRAUMA? when Adam was in high school and had been Described by one contemporary as a ���weird assigned a psychologist, there is no record kid��� since the age of 5, Adam, this third doctor that the psychologist had been aware of a past said, may have suffered a violent episode in diagnosis of Asperger���s syndrome. The psyearly childhood that left him brain-injured as chologist���s chief concern, as was that of the well as psychologically impaired. The brain���s school administration, was that the socially ability to repress the recall of dreadful events maladroit Adam, who had no criminal record, is strong, this doctor added, and the brain might do harm to himself, not to others. would have suppressed the conscious memAdam���s parents separated in 2001 and di- ory of such a traumatic episode, holding it in vorced in 2007, when he was 17 years old. check until a stressor event released it. Over the next three years, his father regularly visited Adam and Adam���s elder brother on weekends. In 2010, Adam���s father remarried, and Adam���s brother went to work in New York City. It was then that Adam refused further vis- The psychiatrist commented that a post mortem examination of Adam���s brain might not discover the physical injury, if in fact there were one ��� unless it was a gross anatomical lesion, a tumor, etc. Chemical lesions in the

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