Gaddafi : 'He's psychotic, maybe bordering on paranoid schizophrenic'
Gaddafi has claimed his people love him and are willing to die for him, laughing at the camera during an interview. His remarks prompted Britain and the US to question his sanity. Susan Rice, US ambassador to the United Nations, said: "It sounds just, frankly, delusional." Asked if Prime Minister David Cameron agreed with that view, his spokesman said: "I think that is a reasonable assessment." Here, Dr Lars Davidsson asks if the West is in fact dealing with a madman.
"I think it is very obvious that Gaddafi is in an unstable frame of mind and his perception of reality is distorted.
"Having watched some of his speeches on television, his comments and speech seem very erratic. What he has been saying does not make any sense and it has been very incoherent.
"His suggestions that some of the demonstrators in Libya trying to overthrow him have been spiked with hallucinogenic drugs is an outrageous thing to say, and it suggests that he has lost touch with reality.
"When you read or listen to what he has been saying, it is not really possible to follow his meaning, because none of it has any coherent message. He seems like an unwell person and I am sure that if it were possible to analyse him, he would be diagnosed as suffering from some kind of psychosis.
"Even before the current protests began, Gaddafi was erratic. There were lots of curious things he said and did which did not make sense in any context. What he is doing now is even worse. He is obviously facing severe challenges in Libya, with his regime on the brink of collapse, if it hasn't already. That is not making things any easier for him.
"He is under an enormous amount of stress and I think that an erratic person like him will make erratic decisions.
"I read that when Tony Blair called him and during their conversation, asked him to step down, Gaddafi replied that the Libyan people loved him, he would not step down and that he would die as a martyr. That's an erratic answer not based on reality.
"He's psychotic, maybe bordering on paranoid schizophrenic."
• Dr Lars Davidsson is a consultant psychiatrist and medical director of the Angloeuropean Clinic.
Libya in turmoil
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