A Counseling and Opinion Blog

There is no time like the present


Dr. Lee Outlaw


Christians must speak out

In light of the upcoming election and recent events pertaining to it, I thought an update and reposting of this article was both in order and appropriate.

Within the past five years since this article was written, there appears to have become a near withdrawal from reality by many within the Christian church.

Although many Christians today remain concerned that there’s not enough attention being paid to the negative going on throughout the world, there has also developed an almost escapism attitude by others. Many so called Christian churches have become nothing more than repositories of universal truth, Eastern mysticism and metaphysical thought.

Pastors and preachers of many mega churches have become more “New Age Free Thinkers” than proclaimers of the good news of Jesus Christ.

One well known pastor of one these churches recently Tweeted, “If you cannot be positive, then at least be quiet”; a kind of new age version of the old adage, “If you can’t say something good, then don’t say anything at all”.

The problem is, if what you know is considered negative by some or even the majority and you fail to say something or acknowledge such a negative reality, it might actually hurt you or someone else.

There have been decades of emphasis away from discerning truth and reality among Christian people; it’s been more of a “let’s just get along” approach to life. According to many believers, this has separated fact from fiction with more emphasis on what could be rather than what is.

Again, if there is a failure to acknowledge a negative situation, it can destroy both growth and progress. Many people, including an increasing number of Christians are refusing to discuss anything which they consider negative while withdrawing from the real world all around them.

An important point to remember here is that refusing to talk about the negative does not remove a negative situation and denying the negative does not eliminate it’s reality.

It’s quite amazing that the “Tell it Like it is” Christian youth of the 60’s and 70’s have grown up with such a complacent, compromising, politically correct mentality that has put the Christian church in a sad state of decline in this country.

The country’s difficult financial situation hasn’t helped in the past several decades either. Church memberships are rapidly declining leading to reduced giving. At the same time there has been increased overhead in church operational expenses for things like utilities, office expense and even higher salaries for full-time pastors and clergy. As a result, the church is often seen by many as living in a world of fantasy rather than fact.

Some churches will not even discuss finances with their congregations simply for fear they will be interpreted as being “negative”.

As each week goes by and everyone puts on the proverbial “Happy Face”, they rarely discuss the real problems being faced by everyone in the country for fear of the “negative” label.

Churches simply don’t want to get involved politically either; they fear someone is going to call them on the carpet for doing so. Individual Christians might involve themselves in “The Tea Party” or a similar political movement, but if they’re at church, they’ll talk in code and say things like, “Do you TP?”, If you don’t know what that means, you might consider the person is either a little off or just getting way too personal about personal hygiene.

The point is, Christians must stop being so laid back and speak up. Just because we who call ourselves Christian speak out about a topic does not mean we are either negative or against everything. We demonstrate love, care and concern for people better than any group in the world.

Christians give the most help to people the fastest and stay longer following a catastrophe than any other group. Government groups like FEMA usually show up late and leave quickly. It is the Christian church that builds and maintains most of the hospitals and universities in America and much of the world.

As a result of all that the Christian church does and has done, it is time for Christians to speak out openly. We need to “Tell it like it is”. When something is negative, politically incorrect, wrong, something is bad or something is evil, we need to stop side stepping, stop avoiding the controversy and simply say it.

Jesus said, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one”. Matthew 5:37 In other words, don’t try to put a positive “spin” on something that is actually negative; to do so is to lie.

There is no time like the present to take a stand for Christ.

© 2016 Dr. Lee Outlaw


Martyr syndrome by any other name


Dr. Lee Outlaw

Most of us are aware of the old saying, “Misery loves company”. For many people that saying can often move one step forward turning dependent and becoming, “Misery needs company”.

The idea of course, is that some people focus their entire life on either previous and present problems or difficulties attempting to draw attention to those life experiences. In turn, these individuals seem to enjoy and are even insistent on sharing these experiences anytime, anywhere and with anyone who will listen.

This personality disorder is referred to by many names: Martyr complex, Martyr mom syndrome, Martyr Victim complex, Martyr Personality Disorder, Relationship Martyrdom, Romantic Martyr Syndrome, Hero complex, Heroic Martyr Syndrome and even to some extent, Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissism and Social Anxiety Disorder (or SAD).

Although each varies slightly, regardless of the associated label, they each tend to fit into the general “learned behavior” classification of Martyr (or Martyrdom) syndrome. The important thing to emphasize here is that this is a real and genuine personality disorder and a legitimate mental health issue which should not be taken lightly.

Because this is generally a “learned behavioral problem”, it is important to remember that these individuals are unstable and can be dangerous (extremely dangerous) to both themselves and others.  The very use of the term “martyr” with the associated disorder is indicative as to the limit that these individuals are willing to go in order to emphasize their condition.

Generally speaking, Martyr Syndrome is a condition in which a person uses their suffering, self-sacrifice, and role as a victim to manipulate others into psychologically rewarding them for their ongoing misery. In other words, these individuals actually enjoy their suffering and unconsciously see it as a means of self-gratification and (to some degree) personal accomplishment.

Just like full blown narcissism, these individuals usually hide their personal belief that they are superior to everyone else and entitled to the very things for which they claim no desire. They actually hide deep emotions of envy and the desire to exploit their situation. They are controlling and manipulative without empathy, guilt or remorse.

Many of these individuals also tend to laugh at everything, leading many psycho-therapist to believe that some with Martyr Personality Disorder might also have a degree of  connected Hebephrenic Schizophrenia due to the fact many of these individuals appear at times as almost emotionless. Their drive and determination are lost and goals abandoned, so that the patient’s behavior becomes characteristically aimless and empty of purpose. Many patients will often refer to even serious situations with, “Let’s just wait and see what happens”.  There is also a superficial preoccupation with religion, philosophy, and other abstract themes which may add to the patient’s difficulty in keeping with an  obvious train of thought.

Unfortunately, these individuals also self-label themselves with fad, neo-religious or pseudo-philosophical identities such as minimalist, naturalist, Universalist, poly-ist (contemporary term for non-religious modified polygamy) and even veganism (as opposed to vegetarianism). Most with Martyr Syndrome usually know very little about such lifestyles or philosophies but associate with them simply because (for the moment) “it sounds good”; some would even initially say, “It’s the right fit”. As a result, they will often force themselves and their families into an associated lifestyle which they then emphasize and project to those around them; whether intended or not.  

The two current philosophies being mentioned by many Martyr Syndrome/Martyr Personality Disorder patients is minimalism and poly-ism; both are extremely dangerous philosophies and lifestyles because they’re pseudo-religious with roots in religion. There is also much about these philosophies on both cable television and the internet which simply adds fuel to a Martyr Syndrome fire.

As an example, some individuals who identify with “minimalism” will get rid of everything they own; just give it away and not even try to sell it. Their philosophy usually goes like this, “I don’t like things or I don’t need things I don’t use”. The problem is these “minimalist” (as they call themselves) are selective. They might give up chairs, beds, use only minimal clothing, no TVs, cars, have only one cup, bowl or plate for each house hold member to give an outward appearance of “being without or doing without”. But they also have high speed internet, thousand dollar phones, tablets and selective appliances of conveniences. In other words unconsciously they want to talk the talk but not walk the walk; a hypocrite by any other name. This usually ends badly.

Over the years as a counselor/psychologist, I have seen marriages end, children run away at an early age, unwanted pregnancies occur, the elderly, children and disabled abused or abandoned, criminal acts committed, deaths (that didn’t have to occur), suicide and homelessness result as a direct result of the minimalist lifestyle.

Still others will become fascinated with a different sexual lifestyle such as “poly-ism” which is a contemporary non-religious modified form of polygamy (this includes almost every sexually deviated relationship imaginable involving multiple partners); usually this lifestyle is chosen because of previous bad relationships and/or failed marriages. Like “minimalism”, this usually ends badly and often leads to another bad and ended relationship. Almost with certainty, someone usually ends up hurt and out on the street.

Martyr syndrome patients unconsciously want to be hurt and in pain. As such they recognize the potential for pain and suffering in both these lifestyles resulting in a desire to experience them both; it’s like another reference in their mental resume of pain and suffering.

What is important to remember here is the “martyr” aspect of the syndrome.  The person uses their suffering, self-sacrifice, and role as a victim to manipulate others into psychologically rewarding them with outward expressions of appreciation or sympathy for their ongoing misery. It’s because of the martyr syndrome, that a person’s actual (unconscious) enjoyment of their misery; their pain and their suffering that they desire to experience more of the same in these unusual lifestyles.

It’s also important to point out that these individuals might seem normal in every aspect of the word. They might occasionally desire things of convenience or comfort, express a need to have physical pain stopped or even to emphasize their enjoyment of the lifestyle or relationship they have chosen. But as soon the opportunity arises and the unconscious desire kicks in to be the martyr, everything is given or thrown away, philosophical talk and reasoning begins about mentally removing pain, changing to a diet that can eliminate an illness and any positive relationship is suddenly considered wrong.

The result is the reversion to full blown “Martyr Syndrome or Martyr Personality Disorder”.

It should be noted that the reversion factor in most patients comes without warning like most syndromes and personality disorders. A person diagnosed with Martyr Personality Disorder can be undergoing therapy, be making significant progress and then suddenly and out of the blue revert back to their former condition.

The great irony of Martyr Syndrome and Martyr Personality Disorder  is the patients don’t know they’re sick and when a person doesn’t realize they have an illness it is difficult to treat the illness. Part of the reason for this is that like most mental health problems, there are denial and avoidance issues.

When someone attempts to confront a person with Martyr Syndrome about their condition, they deny they have a problem. They subsequently avoid any further discussion about it or their related lifestyle.

Of special importance to those in the healthcare and home healthcare industry is the fact that many of them suffer from Martyr syndrome. Very often these individuals which give so much of themselves  get so caught up in the daily process of giving and witnessing the pain of others that they develop a Martyr Personality Disorder.

Groups which teach Eastern mysticism, unified or universal philosophical thought (or truth), self-healing, miracles, minimalism and advanced or “super-spiritualism” usually attract those with Martyr Syndrome and Martyr Personality Disorder. Such teaching is almost like a magnet to these seriously troubled people. It is unfortunate that many of these groups attempt to “counsel” these people increasing their pain, hardship and the inability to face reality.

Sadly, many of these people search their entire lives trying to “find their way”, seeking approval and the proverbial truth while just trying to “fit in”. Because most never find the answers they want (or need) their unconscious mind takes over and many end up in cults or dictatorial communes just to survive; still others end up as part of the tens of thousands of homeless which walk America’s streets every day.

Again, it is important to realize that Martyr Syndrome is a very serious Mental Illness which requires real, genuine professional Psycho-therapy. All the Eastern mysticism and the like will not solve the problem.

If you know someone or personally identify with “Martyr Syndrome or Martyr Personality Disorder”, please seek out a professional mental healthcare counselor immediately. Remember, your pain and suffering is real but does not have to continue.

I will have more to say on this subject in future articles.

 © 2016 Dr. Lee Outlaw








The Suspicious Mind Part IV

The Conspiratorial Mindset


Dr. Lee Outlaw


In the development of the Suspicious Mind there is probably nothing which can trigger its permanency within the identity and character of a person faster than the fascination with conspiracies.

It is one thing to become personally paranoid about something or someone over a period of time but it is entirely another matter when we allow ourselves to be dragged into the dangerous world of conspiracy, otherwise known as group paranoia.

There is an old saying among those within professional mental healthcare, “Like begets like”; which is why many of us as psychologist favor group therapy for some of our patients. Patients of particular phobias, syndromes, disorders, etc.  are usually similar and actually learn from each other and recover faster when brought together to discuss their situations.

Unfortunately, when it comes to suspicion, the same holds true; those who tend toward suspicion are often drawn towards others of the same mind resulting in many of these people becoming entangled in wild conspiracies, ideologies and even cults.

As previously stated, the mind can become a dangerous thing. If a mind is predisposed towards suspicion and then becomes involved in the wild group paranoia of conspiracy, the imagination runs wild like a fire out of control. This usually leads to near obsessive tendencies including OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) or OCS (Obsessive Compulsive Syndrome); OCS being the lesser of the two and only a temporary condition. OCD and OCS are mild compared to what happens to many; some individuals become so caught up and entangled in a single conspiracy that it leads to successive theories and groups.

Some conspiracy theorist get so involved in their conspiracy that many stop working, eating, sleeping and become fixated on nothing else, often leading to various forms of Schizophrenia requiring powerful anti-psychotic medications or even hospitalization.

The sad reality to the conspiratorial mindset is that by the time a person becomes involved in a conspiracy, it is difficult to convince them otherwise; the result is a permanent suspicious mind which leads, to marriage and relationship difficulties, poor job performance and even financial ruin.

It should be noted that curiosity is healthy and the occasional curiosity of a conspiracy should not be confused with becoming obsessed; law enforcement and even history remind us that real conspiracies do and have existed.

When it comes to conspiracy theories, it’s best to apply the same principle as a “get rich” plan, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t”. With a conspiracy theory, “If it seems too fantastic to possibly be true, it’s probably not (true)”. conspiracy

If you become simply curious or interested in a conspiracy, don’t dwell on the subject. Put it down and walk away for a while, it will be there later and when you return to it, you might see the conspiracy in a whole new light; what you initially thought was a conspiracy might no longer exist.

Remember that suspicion is not all bad. Suspicion aids research of diseases, aids law enforcement in fighting crime and even plays an important role in parenting; if you suspect your child is having a problem (behavioral, academic or social) you need to address the subject.

A Suspicious Mind however, if left to its own desires can become the very nuclear explosion of all human characteristics destroying everyone and everything in its wake.

Be careful not to let suspicion overtake your mind and destroy your life.




© 2016 Dr. Lee Outlaw



The Suspicious Mind Pt. III,

The Doubt and Secrecy Determiner


Dr. Lee Outlaw



If paranoia is the poisonous pretense to the Suspicious Mind, certainly doubt and secrecy play a significant role in both its development and function.

Doubt and secrecy are unique partners in this process, due to their ability to suggest and maintain the proverbial “status quo”. In other words, you might not believe or trust someone but if you simply act in secret, go along or simply keep your lack of belief or trust to yourself, no one will be the wiser.

Unfortunately it is this harboring of doubt and secrecy (holding it in or keeping it inside) which ultimately leads to paranoia and the subsequent suspicious mind. The longer doubt and secrecy linger in the far recesses of the mind, the deeper the paranoia often becomes and the greater the resulting suspicious mind.productmockup

Almost everyone becomes skeptical or doubtful that a person is telling the truth or if a certain thing is real at some point in their life. A few examples might be a fantastic story   which sounds utterly ridiculous and our mind tells us, it couldn’t be true such as, “I caught a fish as big as a whale” or the person we all know that was extremely over weight and then suddenly we see them in a chance meeting and they look perfectly fit; it’s simply difficult to believe so our mind says, “There is just no way”.

Added to this is usually the “secrecy factor”; not that the person, event or thing deliberately hid from you but due to our lack of knowledge about it, our mind says, “Why would they keep this secret”?

The doubt and secrecy determiner will definitely affect the degree of a person’s paranoia. The greater the doubt and the longer that secrecy is involved, the more determined the mind will become convinced that either someone or something is out there, to harm or destroy them.

One of the growing paranoia’s of our day leading to almost near hysteria is that of health care and medical treatment. So much has been reported in the media concerning health and fitness that the minds of people are overwhelmed with skepticism as to what is truth and what is exaggeration; especially with regard to allergies. It seems that almost everyone today has some form of allergy from dust mites to peanuts and even the very air we breathe.

The paranoia over allergies is so wide spread, it is almost impossible to find someone without an allergy and many of these are food related. It would be fine if all the reported allergies people claim to have were diagnosed by competent physicians, but that is not the case.

Such an example is found in a conversation I had some time back with a fellow church member discussing various allergies of his five children. Thinking this a bit strange that all five children would be allergic to all the same things, I enquired as to what the allergies were and how long it had been since their doctor had diagnosed the allergies. He emphasized almost immediately that their doctor had not diagnosed any of the children with allergies; in fact, it was his wife (which he praised for doing so) that had actually made the determining factor that all of the children were allergic to peanuts, citrus acid, dairy of all kinds and most meat. As this father began to describe some of the problems his children were having, it was quite evident that it was the mother and not the children who had the problem, which was obviously a mental health issue for the mom and not a physical issue at all for the children. As this man went on to describe two of his children as slow learners and another as dyslexic, it became apparent that at least three of his children were probably not getting enough protein in their diet subsequently suppressing their learning abilities.

It turns out the mother had rarely seen a genuine doctor and was actually skeptical of all doctors, doubting their abilities, and kept secret that she was treating her children for allergies based on the internet and what she’d heard from other mothers, without adequate knowledge or being qualified; yet openly she told everyone about her children’s (non-existent) allergies. Because of her doubt and secrecy, she developed a near hysterical and probable delusional paranoia giving birth to a full blown suspicious mind. Unfortunately her Suspicious Mind resulted more in her children’s harm than good, keeping them from proper nutrition and the potential of actually deterring their growth and learning abilities.

As that old saying goes, “The mind is a terrible thing to waste” but when the mind becomes packed with skepticism (doubt), secrecy, poisonous paranoia and ultimately giving way to suspicion, it can also become extremely dangerous.

As a good friend of mine so often says (facetiously), “Don’t let reality mess with your thinking”; in other words, people don’t immediately want to believe or accept what they intuitively know is real, because they’ve developed thoughts so strong, their mind just can’t accept what is beyond their ability to believe or reason. When it comes to preventing suspicion from totally occupying your mind and controlling who and what you are, it becomes essential to, “Let reality mess with your thinking” because your suspicion can simply be wrong and a wrong suspicion can harm or even kill you.

In Part four of The Suspicious Mind, we look at ways to both cope with and ultimately eliminate the most dangerous aspect of the Suspicious Mind, “The Conspiratorial Mindset”

© 2016 Dr. Lee Outlaw






The suspicious mind Part II

The suspicious mind Part II

Paranoia – The poisonous partner

Dr. Lee Outlaw


The pretense to suspicion in most people is certainly filled with a variety of feelings; everything from fear to delusions of grandeur and even a sense of false security.

Nothing however, is more conditioning and even poisonous to the mind in producing temporary or permanent suspicion than paranoia; the sense or feeling that someone or something is out to get you, cause you harm or even destroy you. Rather real or imagined, this person or thing can ultimately achieve the same result; impregnate your mind with suspicion.

Once the mind is filled with suspicion, it is often difficult to remove.

Paranoia comes in all shapes and sizes and has a tendency to rare its ugly head in almost everyone at some point in their life. It’s because of this near epidemic reach of paranoia and its destructive power that so many therapist and counselors try to eliminate any chance of paranoia being the root cause of their patient’s problem from the very start, giving support to the old adage that, “It’s not what you know but what you don’t know that can harm you”.

In other words it’s the fear of the unknown; the feeling that something or someone is out to get you but you just don’t know who or what it is and in most cases “how” the harm will come.

The obvious effect is the onset of emotional or mental instability which can ultimately lead to Paranoid Personality Disorder, delusional paranoia or even more serious mental illnesses.

Unfortunately, paranoia most often makes its appearance when our minds are most vulnerable such as times of stress, emotional instability, non-clinical depression (a.k.a. “the blues”) and relationship difficulties or changes, such as a break up, separation, divorce or the loss of a family member or close friend.

Most of us have heard someone say (or maybe thought our self), “Everything is falling on me, and everyone just picks on me or dumps on me.”  “Why doesn’t it stop?”

Does this sound familiar?

Paranoid MovieA perfect example as to the destruction  paranoia can have in  developing a suspicious  mind is the novel Paranoia by Joseph Finder from which the movie of the same name was made; starring  Liam HemsworthGary OldmanAmber Heard and Harrison Ford the emotion of “paranoia” is seen from nearly every level.

Although it bombed at the box office, “Paranoia” the movie is actually very good. It brings to light all the aspects of the entanglement of paranoia, secrecy, doubt and the conspiratorial mind as they weave their way deep into the unconscious of not just one but most of the characters, almost to the point of no return. It is only after one of the characters actually utilizes his suspicious mind for good that he’s able to turn his life around.

Just like in the movie, sometimes as the burden of no answers coupled with the slightest thought that someone besides you is causing your problems and suddenly paranoia takes root. If such thoughts are not eliminated, they dig deeper into the unconscious implanting a wave of successive suspicions until a once stable mind is totally and completely suspicious.

Everything becomes doubtful and no one can be trusted. Eventually things become extremely serious and even dangerous as reality and fantasy begin to merge and the ability to reason and rationalize become void, leaving the mind to wander aimlessly without purpose or direction.

The end result is the birth of a suspicious mind.

Although the movie “Paranoia” tends to demonstrate a positive effect from a suspicious mind, for most of the characters (as is the case in real life) the outcome was negative. Read the book or watch the DVD to learn more.

In Part III of “The Suspicious Mind”, we will discuss how doubt and secrecy play an intricate part in producing paranoia and ultimately developing a mindset totally controlled by suspicion.

© 2015 The Outlaw Observer and Opinion




The suspicious mind Part I


Dr. Lee Outlaw

The Suspicious Mind


Are you suspicious?

Chances are if you’re like most people, you have your own unique set of suspicions.

It might be about a politician, a friend, an actor or even a family member but in reality suspicions abound.

Strictly speaking, suspicion is defined as a feeling that someone is possibly guilty of a crime or of doing something wrong, a feeling that something bad is likely or true or a feeling of doubt without proof or on slight evidence.

In essence, suspicion is distrust; a distrust that breaks down relationships, families, beliefs and all too often emotional, mental and spiritual stability.

Suspicions are seldom founded, often dis-proven and in many cases become the cause of serious crimes and physical harm or even death.

Suspicion is a close cousin to greed and jealousy of which an argument can be made as to which emotion or action leads to the other. In other words Suspicion often leads to jealousy or greed and similarly greed and jealousy many times results in a suspicious mind.

One of the greatest examples of suspicion and all its fundamental intricacies is the Alfred Hitchcock 1941 romantic psychological thriller Suspicion  directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine.220px-Suspicion_film_poster

In the film, a shy spinster runs off with a playboy (Cary Grant), who turns out to be penniless, a gambler, and an overall dishonest man in the extreme. The character played by Joan Fontaine comes to suspect that he is also a murderer, and that he is attempting to kill her; as such, the perfect example of the “suspicious mind”.

In today’s social media and instant information age, a suspicious mind would seem to be far from the norm but unfortunately it is seemingly more apparent than ever.

Over the next four weeks I will discuss the relationship between suspicion, paranoia, doubt and secrecy and how to cope with every aspect of the conspiratorial mindset.

I will discuss the inter-relationships of each as well their unique differences.

It is important to remember that not all suspicion is bad. Suspicion can be used for good as well as bad.

Suspicion has often stopped crime, war and even prevented illnesses and catastrophes and is a mainstay in almost every sport. What a sports team suspects the other team will do offensively can often win the game.

As Elvis Presley told us in his 1962 hit “Suspicion”:

Every time you kiss me, I’m still not certain that you love me
Every time you hold me, I’m still not certain that you care
Though you keep on saying you really, really, really love me
Do you speak the same words to someone else when I’m not there

Suspicion torments my heart
Suspicion keeps us apart
Suspicion why torture me?

Suspicion is the ultimate temptress that if allowed, will send most people to a nervous breakdown, daily prescription medication and lifelong therapy.

In Part II I will discuss suspicion, paranoia, doubt and secrecy and the general conspiratorial mindset; their differences and their relationships.

© 2015 The Outlaw Observer and Opinion

The Suspicious Mind

The Suspicious Mind

A four part Counseling series

Beginning November  1st


How to cope with suspicion, paranoia, doubt and secrecy.

Learning to deal with every aspect of the conspiratorial mindset.