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Category Archives : Dr. Oldham


Fit to Be King?

BY JOHN M. OLDHAM, M.D. Consider the case of Prince William vs. Prince Harry:   Do you need a princely temperament to wear the royal crown? “This isn’t a power struggle,” acknowledges Sam Walker, The Wall Street Journal leadership columnist.   “William is the heir by birth and Harry, sixth in line to the throne, has no […]

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Holiday Harmony with Difficult People

BY JOHN M. OLDHAM, M.D. If you are expecting holiday harmony, you may have to think twice. The family gathering just may not turn out like the Norman Rockwell images of perfect family bliss. Instead, as a Thanksgiving-day op-ed in the New York Times put it, “Make Room at the Table for Difficult People.” Grumble, […]

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The Personality Style–Personality Disorder Continuum

BY JOHN M. OLDHAM, MD What’s the difference between a personality style and a personality disorder?   The Personality Self-Portrait system emerged in answer to that question. First things first: Organized medicine utilizes official terms to diagnose illness.  In psychiatry, these are itemized in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association (APA).  […]

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Scammers and Schemers

  Pretty frequently these days there is a big news story about the latest con artist who seemed to have pulled off an amazing scam until the glittering house of cards collapsed. Bernie Madoff comes to mind, referred to in Wikipedia as “the confessed operator of the largest Ponzi scheme in world history, and the […]

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The Hubris Syndrome

John Oldham M.D. What do George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Harry Truman have in common aside from being past presidents? All developed a psychological condition called the hubris syndrome while in office, says Lord David Owen, a peer in the U.K.’s House of Lords and a physician-author of several remarkable books, including In Sickness […]

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How Well Do You Mentalize?

By John M. Oldham, MD At the Menninger Clinic, where I work, we speak a lot about the importance of mentalizing. It simply means the ability to see yourself from the outside and to see others from the inside. In other words, the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes and try to see […]

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Dr. John Oldham commends Pete Davidson on Good Morning America

Watch Dr. Oldham, an expert in personality styles and personality disorders,  as he commends comedian Pete Davidson for being open about his diagnosis of borderline personality disorder on Good Morning America. Dr. Oldham is the interim chief of staff at the Menninger Clinic in Houston.

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