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View Full Version : King George III was probably suffering from a mental illnes-- new research



warwick
05-30-2018, 09:20 PM
Link to article:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170322153040.htm




Researchers have concluded that King George III was probably suffering from a mental illness after computer analysis of hundreds of his letters.

When programmed to 'read' historical texts by scanning for certain features, a computer 'learned' to predict the King's mental illness from the characteristics of his writing.

The 1994 film The Madness of King George portrayed aspects of the King's behaviour and researchers now say his letters reveals that the cause of his illness was most likely to be due to a mental health problem rather than a physical disease. In a control condition, the computer found no difference between the language used in circumstances that could also have influenced the King's mental state, such as the different seasons, or periods when the country was at war or in peacetime.

This implied that the differences the computer did identify were specific to mental illness -- probably an 'acute mania'- a term used to describe an excitable, hyperactive condition. In today's modern psychiatric terminology this might form part of a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

The researchers at St George's, University of London had previously argued that the King probably suffered from episodes of 'acute mania', rejecting the once popular notion that his well described periods of strange behaviour were the result of the inherited condition porphyria.

Peter Garrard, Professor of Neurology at St George's, said: "King George wrote very differently when unwell, compared to when he was healthy. In the manic periods we could see that he used less rich vocabulary and fewer adverbs. He repeated words less often and there was a lower degree of redundancy, or wordiness."

Professor Garrard has previously shown how language changes can give clues to the behaviour of other well-known figures, including the onset of dementia in the novelist Iris Murdoch and the development of hubristic tendencies in British Prime Ministers. He concluded: "It would be fascinating to look at how modern patients write during the manic phase of bipolar disorder, as this could create a definite link to King George and possibly other historical cases of the illness.

"The technique could then be applied to the analysis other historical figures' language in periods of health and illness, as well as patterns of language production in contemporary politicians such as the new US President Donald Trump."

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of St George's London. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

Vassiliki Rentoumi, Timothy Peters, Jonathan Conlin, Peter Garrard. The acute mania of King George III: A computational linguistic analysis. PLOS ONE, 2017; 12 (3): e0171626 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171626

rms2
05-31-2018, 12:19 AM
"The technique could then be applied to the analysis other historical figures' language in periods of health and illness, as well as patterns of language production in contemporary politicians such as the new US President Donald Trump."

Naturally, implying Trump is probably insane. No need for a computer to know that Professor Garrard is a twit.

firemonkey
06-01-2018, 08:01 PM
I think with Trump it depends if sociopathy is regarded as a mental illness.

JosephK
06-01-2018, 08:21 PM
I think with Trump it depends if sociopathy is regarded as a mental illness.

Let's not let this forum descend into mutual patting-on-the-back-for-being-liberals...

rms2
06-01-2018, 11:15 PM
I think with Trump it depends if sociopathy is regarded as a mental illness.

Thanks for your inexpert analysis.

I think better candidates for this program would be Angela Merkel and probably whoever thought arresting Tommy Robinson was just.

firemonkey
06-01-2018, 11:45 PM
Tommy Robinson is a nasty little thug. No civilised and decent person on these forums should be supporting him.

rms2
06-02-2018, 12:06 AM
Tommy Robinson is a nasty little thug. No civilised and decent person on these forums should be supporting him.

In civilized and decent societies, one actually has to commit a crime to justify an arrest, conviction, and jail sentence, whether or not he is a "nasty little thug".

firemonkey
06-02-2018, 08:43 AM
In civilized and decent societies, one actually has to commit a crime to justify an arrest, conviction, and jail sentence, whether or not he is a "nasty little thug".


https://inews.co.uk/opinion/why-was-tommy-robinson-arrested-and-jailed-and-why-were-reporting-restrictions-in-place/ explains why he was arrested .I agree it was not crime of the century but it was a crime nonetheless .

rms2
06-02-2018, 11:58 AM
How is standing outside the courthouse using one's phone to make a video "broadcasting details about the trial"?

We're not going to agree on this.

Britain Persecutes Robinson (https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/tommy-robinson-grooming-gangs-britain-persecutes-journalist/)

MikeWhalen
06-02-2018, 01:31 PM
or we agree that honorable people, can strongly disagree on a couple of serious points, and yet go on to talk about other serious things in a comfortable on going sort of way

I know there are some here I disagree very strongly with on a couple of points, yet we seem to share many values and beliefs on a whole host of other things and can enjoy their company, which quite plainly I really do, as I visit this damn site several times a day, just to see what folks are chatting about

Lots of times I have added what I considered to be a minor 'throw away' line in some point I am making, only to have someone view it differently than me and get irritated with it
...I dont think I am being cowardly by not bringing up the same sore point over and over again, just as I dont think they are being a jerk by reminding me that others do not always share my view

my real point is be gentle with each other friends, we really are not required to agree on everything

so in summation...
yet again, the Irish stand up for peaceful, happy coexistence
:)

Mike

rms2
06-02-2018, 06:19 PM
I just get tired of drive-by potshots at Trump by virtue-signaling clowns. We can have peace when that stops. I don't initiate such things myself with regard to the democratically elected leaders of other countries.

firemonkey
06-02-2018, 09:07 PM
Snwoflake and virtual signalling; two jibes regularly thrown by the political right that reveals its paucity of intellectual thought. We are not talking about the sharpest tools in the box here. It's also a way of trying to shout people down while simultaneously claiming their own right to free speech is under threat.

firemonkey
06-02-2018, 09:14 PM
This is what you get with Trump policies. https://abcnews.go.com/US/transgender-member-migrant-caravan-dies-ice-custody/story?id=55558916

This is the kind of thing civilised and decent people of any colour and/or nationality should speak out against. It seems those who support Trump are more than willing to support bad/nasty behaviour.

rms2
06-03-2018, 02:57 PM
We're not going to agree. Best to leave it at that.

I will therefore restrain myself from saying what I think because I don't come here to engage in political arguments, which never ever ever end and probably never will.

Mis
06-03-2018, 03:22 PM
He does not believe in the width of words, if he writes Caucasian-White

firemonkey
06-03-2018, 07:12 PM
He does not believe in the width of words, if he writes Caucasian-White

I did that when I first came here. I wasn't quite sure what to put in the ethnicity box . This was all new to me. Agreed I should be more specific. British and Irish sums it up as well as can be. I've just never got round to changing it.

JosephK
06-04-2018, 07:50 PM
Seriously. Let's leave the Trump-bashing to the news media.

timberwolf
06-04-2018, 08:13 PM
Hey guys there is enough political blogs on the internet, in which people can engage in political debate, to their hearts content.

This thread has the potential to go south real quick.

firemonkey
06-04-2018, 08:19 PM
Rms2 started with a pro Trump post. Perhaps we could make it a rule then-no posts in support of or against Trump. I'm in support of that but not one that's just a Trump admiration society.

JMcB
06-04-2018, 08:32 PM
Rms2 started with a pro Trump post. Perhaps we could make it a rule then-no posts in support of or against Trump. I'm in support of that but not one that's just a Trump admiration society.

Hello firemonkey,

I think it’s time to drop it. This is not what this forum is about and most of us don’t want to hear it. You’re a Gold Class member so if you want, you can go to the special section they’ve set up for political discussions and talk about it over there.

And as a point of clarification, it was the original article that first mentioned President Trump, not rms2.

msmarjoribanks
06-05-2018, 07:09 PM
So back to George III, I saw the play Madness of George III a couple of years ago, and the program contained some interesting pieces on the debates about his illness, so I find the topic (as stated in the title) of this thread interesting.

Here's a piece similar to the one in the header, without any comments on contemporary politicians: https://www.history.com/news/letters-may-prove-george-iii-was-mad

And here's a piece (pushing the porphyria theory) that discusses the possible use of DNA: http://www.history.org/foundation/journal/spring10/king.cfm


Research shows that almost 90 percent of those who have a gene that leads to porphyria never experience the disease. Doctors also know that such things as alcohol use, smoking, fasting, stress, and overexposure to sun can trigger it. It also is clear that the condition tends to affect women more often than men.

Though Macalpine and Hunter made a persuasive case, they did not have definitive laboratory evidence, and not everybody accepted their findings.

In 2005, The Lancet, the British medical journal, published a report supporting the porphyria theory. A research team produced evidence that showed the condition existed among George III’s descendents, suggesting a genetic link for the disorder. In addition, scientists found and tested some of the monarch’s hair clipped from his head when he died.

Attempts to extract DNA failed, but tests showed elevated levels of lead and, more significant, extraordinarily high levels of arsenic. The investigators realized quickly that this was significant—arsenic is a trigger for porphyria. Also important, the analysis showed that George probably accumulated the poison over an extended period.

“It is a very convincing explanation of the king’s attacks and could account for why he had them at such a late stage in life and why they were so severe,” Martin Warren, one of the team’s scientific detectives, told the British Broadcasting Company.

Initially, nobody knew where the arsenic originated. Study in the archives produced the answer. King George got liberal doses of emetic tartar that contained arsenic. The medicine he was given for his illness made the condition much worse. As the researchers reported in The Lancet, the original physicians’ notes “make for disturbing reading,” especially when one reads of the amount and frequency of the emetic tartar doses, the king’s violent reactions, and the deception or force often used to make him take the mixture.

The test results seem to have gained quiet acceptance. Although the case may never be decided definitively, sophisticated lab work now has offered a compelling explanation of a long-running and curious medical mystery.

The second piece ends with this, from Thackeray: "All the world knows the story of his malady: all history presents no sadder figure than that of the old man, blind and deprived of reason, wandering through the rooms of his palace, addressing imaginary parliaments, reviewing fancied troops, holding ghostly courts."

JohnHowellsTyrfro
06-06-2018, 05:59 AM
So back to George III, I saw the play Madness of George III a couple of years ago, and the program contained some interesting pieces on the debates about his illness, so I find the topic (as stated in the title) of this thread interesting.

Here's a piece similar to the one in the header, without any comments on contemporary politicians: https://www.history.com/news/letters-may-prove-george-iii-was-mad

And here's a piece (pushing the porphyria theory) that discusses the possible use of DNA: http://www.history.org/foundation/journal/spring10/king.cfm



The second piece ends with this, from Thackeray: "All the world knows the story of his malady: all history presents no sadder figure than that of the old man, blind and deprived of reason, wandering through the rooms of his palace, addressing imaginary parliaments, reviewing fancied troops, holding ghostly courts."

I watched this documentary recently and found it very interesting. It includes access to previously unseen documents. "George III - the Genius of the Mad King".


https://youtu.be/YwAEiPjP95c

Webb
06-06-2018, 02:34 PM
The article states that it could have been Bipolar Disorder, but this is generally a disorder that is hereditary. My cousins both have it as did their father. Generally it manifests as highs and lows in the brain. Periods of no sleep, ie. the manic stage, followed by periods where the brain then slows down to the point of excessive sleep and lethargy. From everything I have read, it seems more like something else due to the imagined conversations. I have never known anyone with Bipolar disorder to have imagined conversations or to see people not present.

MikeWhalen
06-06-2018, 02:42 PM
I understand your point Webb, and delusions in my experience are not the norm for bi polar folks, but all should know it is quite possible for them to occur and as with most mental health issues, there is a spectrum from mild to major ect.

I did a quick search and found this article...I am not real familiar with the site/source but it seemed pretty sensible, in any case, and without jumping on any wagon in the discussion

https://www.verywellmind.com/delusions-types-and-role-in-psychosis-379826

Mike

firemonkey
06-07-2018, 04:03 AM
The article states that it could have been Bipolar Disorder, but this is generally a disorder that is hereditary. My cousins both have it as did their father. Generally it manifests as highs and lows in the brain. Periods of no sleep, ie. the manic stage, followed by periods where the brain then slows down to the point of excessive sleep and lethargy. From everything I have read, it seems more like something else due to the imagined conversations. I have never known anyone with Bipolar disorder to have imagined conversations or to see people not present.

"DSM-IV-TR lists visual hallucinations as a primary diagnostic criterion for several psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder,4 and they occur in 16% to 72% of patients with these conditions.14,15 Patients with major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder also may experience visual hallucinations."


https://www.mdedge.com/psychiatry/article/64512/schizophrenia-other-psychotic-disorders/hallucinations-common-features-and



Abstract

Much of the research on visual hallucinations (VHs) has been conducted in the context of eye disease and neurodegenerative conditions, but little is known about these phenomena in psychiatric and nonclinical populations. The purpose of this article is to bring together current knowledge regarding VHs in the psychosis phenotype and contrast this data with the literature drawn from neurodegenerative disorders and eye disease. The evidence challenges the traditional views that VHs are atypical or uncommon in psychosis. The weighted mean for VHs is 27% in schizophrenia, 15% in affective psychosis, and 7.3% in the general community.


https://academic.oup.com/schizophreniabulletin/article/40/Suppl_4/S233/1875426