depression is possibly of psychotic proportions but
the protocol was too guarded to be certain. Mental
functioning is clearly fragile. Extent of pathology
is evident in borderline features: 1) intrusions or
personal concerns into intellectual functioning, 2)
primitive fantasy content, e.g. mutilated bodies,
masked, distorted figures, concerns about bodily
integrity and deformity, 3) inadequate capacity for
attachment to other people.
Borderline feature number two is, obviously, of special concern to us. Such preoccupations are alarming, and suggest an unusual capacity for violent thought. Later in the report, Dr. Quinlan states: Impulse control is marginally adequate. This point, coupled with borderline features number one and two, suggest Michael may just be pathological enough to sidestep his intellectual functioning. In other words, his rationale could be superseded by the temporary madness of a psychotic episode. If Michael was, as suspected, under the influence of alcohol and drugs on the night of October 30, 1975, the possibility of such a psychotic episode is increased, while Michael's wherewithal to resist it is decreased.
Remember, Dr. Quinlan states: The depression is, possibly of psychotic proportions but the protocol was too guarded to be certain. At first, one might take this to mean that Michael himself was too guarded, that he used a certain protocol and/or polite behavior to distance himself from the doctor in a protective manner. Consider the sentence again. Dr. Quinlan says "the'" protocol, not Michael's protocol, or Michael's manner. Is it possible that Dr. Quinlan was prevented from conducting a thorough examination of Michael by other individuals--perhaps through some imposed and limiting guidelines or circumstances? Could this be the "protocol" of which she speaks?
The core of the depression is the feeling of being helpless, of being buffeted and brutalized by external forces. He sees himself as the helpless victim. There is also great fury inside him focused primarily in hatred for his father. This anger is very frightening and he has inadequate defenses to deal with it except for avoidance and inhibition of behavior. There is some trend toward a more paranoid stance in which projected anger and fear that other people see him as crazy combine to produce interpersonal distancing and disparate resistance to manipulation by external forces.
Part of what Dr. Quinlan seems to be establishing here, is the notion that Michael lacks a sense of self-control in his life, and very much resents this fact. He hates his father, because his father is the one who most controls Michael's life. His father also represents a legacy and a family standard which, as much as anything else, places both great expectations and limitations on Michael's conduct and identity. There also seems to be evidence of family pressure which Michael felt from his brothers. From Thomas Sheridan's digest of Anna Goodman's Elan report: Thereafter, commencing in the last paragraph of the 1st page she reports that Michael has "started to talk about a lot of things that bother him which be blocks out most of the time." In a distraught state, i.e. crying off and on, he talked about feeling that "he always had to be a certain way because of who he is." Anna Goodman, then, interprets this to mean that because he is a Skakel he had to do things (many of which were dangerous, i.e. drinking