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This trial has it all - mystery, celebrities, huge media buzz, confusion, lawyers, forensic psychologists, and much more.
No wonder it's all over the news and we may never know what really happened between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, but as the rating goes up, it is clear that people are intrigued and the speculations are all over the internet.
This defamation lawsuit was filed by Johnny Depp against his ex-wife Amber Heard, in respect of an article she published in December 2018 according to which she "became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out." Johnny claims in his lawsuit that he did not use violence and that he himself is a victim of violence.
Each of the side's legal teams hired forensic psychologists and they did not agree with each other's diagnosis. Different sides - different opinions. The psychologist from Depp's team (Dr. Shannon Curry) diagnosed Heard with both Histrionic and Borderline personality disorder while the psychologist from Amber's team (Dr. Dawn Hughes) diagnosed her with PTSD as a result of intimate partner violence.
There does not appear to be unequivocal evidence but I found it as an opportunity to explain more about personality disorders and in the video below Dr. Shannon Curry explains them as well in detail as part of her testimony.
What are Personality Disorders?
Personality disorders are manifested as stable and inflexible patterns of behavior, emotions, and thoughts, which usually begin in childhood and usually stabilize in early adolescence. Personality disorder represents a human inner experience that often does not conform to the demanding demands of the society around.
What is Histrionic Personality Disorder?
The word histrionic means “dramatic or theatrical." and people with Histrionic Personality Disorder needs to be the center of attantion and they show a pattern of extreme emotionality and attention-seeking behavior that begins by early adulthood and is obvious in different situations. Their interactions with others are characterized by inappropriate sexual behavior or projective behavior.
What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
People with borderline personality disorder show behavior that has features of both personality disorders and some of the more severe psychological disorders. In borderline personality disorder, there is pervasive instability in interpersonal behavior, mood, and self-image. Interpersonal relationships are often intense and unstable. There may be a profound identity disturbance manifested by uncertainty about self-image, sexual identity, long-term goals, or values. There is often intense fear of abandonment. Suicide attempts and self- mutilation (cutting or burning) are common.
The Dangers of "Internet Justice"
When it comes to Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's trial it can be easy to get swapped away by the amount of information presented in front of the world to see. There are millions of comments and theories on social media and even though the Hashtags go both ways it looks like on social media Depp is the winner. Part of the reason for that could be that he is better known and people liked his movies for years, developed an affection for him, and want him to not be guilty.
Remember that the testimonies and evidence show patterns of violence on both sides and we will never know what really happened between them. It is therefore better to leave justice to a judge in court and not take part in turning social networks into the new court.
American Psychiatric Association.(2013).Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.)
GRE Psychology (2016) Kaplan