Is Elizabeth Holmes Nuts?

If you are not familiar with Theranos then you were under a rock for a while. It was the company that was going to change how did bloodwork forever. Nope. You can watch any documentary on it from your subscription channel of choice to see the whole story. The amount of money that was poured into this company was ungodly. But it never was a real thing. Now she is under investigation for fraud and the woman who dressed like Steve Jobs is going to claim insanity:

This week, Judge Edward Davila of the US District Court for the Northern District of California granted federal prosecutors the ability to have Holmes examined by two experts — a psychologist and a psychiatrist — over two consecutive days and for no more than 14 hours combined. The ruling comes after Holmes’ defense team previously notified the government of intent to “introduce expert evidence relating to a mental disease or defect or any other mental condition of the defendant bearing on … the issue of guilt,” according to the filing.

Sorry, Elizabeth, every inventor or innovator is crazy so there is nothing special about you. ADD, Bipolar, and on and on. They all have it. Many of these people have committed suicide over the years. But here is the thing: they don’t lie the whole time. They have to have an idea to be an innovator. There needs to be substance. You didn’t have that.

They say that the only difference between insanity and genius is success. And, Elizabeth, you failed.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  4 comments for “Is Elizabeth Holmes Nuts?

  1. LK, Ph.D.
    September 16, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    I’m reminded of a psychiatry case conference I attended in the 1970s when I was doing my internship in psychology at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. The patient, whose particularly outrageous behaviors I forget, was interviewed by the resident and the outside examiner, and was asked to leave the room while the staff discussed his diagnosis. One of the other psychiatry residents addressed the senior faculty and asked, “What, exactly, are the DSM criteria for schmuck?”

  2. Stewart
    September 15, 2020 at 8:17 am

    You know who was really nuts?

    All those venture capitalists who poured money into her empty black box.

  3. Dave Mittman, PA, DFAAPA
    September 12, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    There is a con around every corner.
    All you have to do is want to believe.
    Dave

  4. BLH,MD
    September 12, 2020 at 8:39 am

    (Standard disclaimers: Obviously I haven’t seen, examined Holmes; I don’t do capacity evals or NGRI opinions. But I watched the documentary on Amazon.) I’ve known a lot of manic patients over the years with a variety of outlandish ideas in a wide variety of areas, including religion, politics, and yes, technology. The difference is that the people around them can quickly and easily identify that the ideas are bunk and that the individual’s level of functioning is usually low– they just can’t “get it together.” In the case of Holmes: I’m sure they’ll find some high-dollar “expert” to say that she couldn’t help herself whether due to mood disturbance or ADHD but probably she’s just a narcissist. In other words, she believes her own hype. If a jury starts to buy psychiatric disturbance as an excuse, then it may be up to the prosecution to show enough documentation in corporate records that she knew (or should have known) that none of this crap worked but that she kept stringing people along anyway. So, yeah, she’s probably “nuts” but only in the often-infuriating way that people with severe personality disorders are. In practice, personality disorder alone usually isn’t used as an affirmative defense for criminality. (For example most people incarcerated after committing repeated acts of violence meet criteria for antisocial PD, but that doesn’t get them off the hook.) From a clinical perspective this is a very interesting case because of the sheer size of the scam. Side comment– a small number of huge tech successes, especially Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates who both dropped out of Harvard, have given rise to a kind of archetype of a college-dropout tech genius, a brilliant entrepreneur who’s too smart for whatever fancy school he/she was attending. In Holmes’ case, Stanford, which she left after her 1st year.

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