Admiring Jeffrey Dahmer: Should I Get Help?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I appear to be “normal” yet I still have the desire to do psychopathic actions. I am currently growing up with a supporting, loving, middle class family. I am in the IB program, so i am very educated. On the outside, my life appears to be great, but in my mind, I struggle. I have strong desires to kill. I do not want to, but in my mind, it is almost like 2 people instead of one and they always argue. I do not believe I am mentally ill, but all clues point to it almost. I am going nuts trying to find out what is going on. I do not do anything for attention and am very anti social. After watching a Jeffery Dahmer documentary, I became inspired and today I idolize him. I really don’t know what went wrong but I just want to settle things in my head; whether it’s me or something else… which leads back to the argument on the 2 sides of my mind. Please help, thank you.

A. Jeffrey Dahmer is not someone who should be idolized. He was a murderer and a cannibal who destroyed the lives of many people. His behavior was evil and his acts of heinous violence are condemned.

In interviews, Jeffrey Dahmer described a compulsion or an urge to kill that he could not suppress. As a adult, his compulsion escalated, likely in part because he indulged his fantasies. He visited bookstores, gay bars and bathhouses and eventually began using sleeping pills to drug unsuspecting sexual partners. Committing murder was not something that he originally intended.

Though no one can be certain, it is reasonable to believe that had Dahmer pursued intensive psychological treatment to address his compulsion, he may never have killed. Psychological help could have made a positive, life-altering difference. If you were to follow Dahmer’s path your future would include public humiliation, a conviction and being beaten to death while in prison.

Don’t ignore this issue. Your urge is unhealthy and concerning. The next step is to address it by seeing a therapist. A therapist can evaluate your situation and provide an appropriate course of treatment. Therapy could help you to understand your thoughts and teach you how to redirect your urge on healthier outlets.

Please consider therapy. Your thoughts and urges are not healthy. Thinking in a positive way about a serial killer who ate the flesh of his victims could never, under any circumstances, be considered healthy or even tolerable. You, at this point in time, have hurt no one. Therapy can help to make sure that you do not hurt anyone, including yourself.

Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Oct 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Admiring Jeffrey Dahmer: Should I Get Help?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 17, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/10/08/admiring-jeffrey-dahmer-should-i-get-help/