Bulgarian Journal of Psychiatry, 2021; 6(2):20-27
"FRIGHT" AND "PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTURBANCE" AND THEIR ESSENCE IN THE MENTAL STATE FORENSIC ASSESSMENT
Abstract. Analysis of the forensic assessment of the states of fright and psychological disturbance in some criminal acts is made. It is suggested that the assessment of the perpetrators should be done by a complex psychiatric and psychological forensic expertise. The contents of the terms fright and disturbance and their synonyms are introduced, with the stipulation that the similarities between them prevail over the differences. The states of fright, embarrassment (disturbance), and fear in their archaic roots and preconditions are evaluated, with description of the mechanisms of origin and the physical and psychological components. A working framework for analyzing these phenomena is proposed accounting for appraisal of the nature of the influencing factor, personality’s individual value, basic capacity, and his/her current state during the act. Significant arguments from the legal interpretation of fright and psychological disturbance are presented outlining the difficulties in perceiving and assessing reality and in choosing adaptive actions that are similar to those with diminished responsibility. A parallel with other forensic and psychological areas such as the disorder of consciousness and mental immaturity is drawn.
Key words: fright, psychological disturbance, fear, complex expertise, diminished responsibility
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