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People who Self-Identify as Napoleon Not Crazy, Shrinks Now Say.   Leave a comment




Actor Rod Steiger played Napoleon on film.

By C. Michael Forsyth


Mental health professionals are ditching the long-held view that people who believe they are Napoleon are necessarily crazy. Such colorful individuals are actually quite normal, many shrinks now say – and if anyone needs medication, it’s family members who refuse to acknowledge that their relative is the 19th century French emperor!

“In the old days, people who believed themselves to be Napoleon Bonoparte were viewed as delusional, and were heavily medicated – often institutionalized,” explains leading psychiatrist Dr. Nolan E. Branks. “But our understanding of identity has evolved. If someone deeply believes himself to be a person, and has shown commitment to that belief over a period of many years, and cannot be dissuaded from that belief, he is that person for all intents and purposes.”

The same philosophy applies to individuals who self-identify as Jesus, Elvis, Teddy Roosevelt and other famous figures.

“Today we avoid using antiquated terms such as  ‘really is,’ or ‘really isn’t,'” says Dr. Branks. “A person’s subjective sense of self — their true identity — may be quite different from the name arbitrarily assigned to them at birth.”

Family members and employers should be supportive and respectful of a person’s internal identity, and not object if the individual dresses in the French monarch’s signature two-cornered hat, poses with one hand in his vest,  and constantly bemoans his short stature.

“It may be very stressful for some loved ones to ‘play along,’ as they see it,” Dr. Branks notes. “We often prescribe anti-anxiety meds for those who find it unnerving to address their family member as ‘Your Royal Highness’ and speak to them only in French.”

In extreme cases, in which distraught relatives continue for months to insist a person is not Napoleon, they may be diagnosed with dementophobia — an inordinate fear of craziness — and hospitalized until the condition subsides.

If you want to support a relative or co-worker who identifies as Napoleon, here, from experts, are 10 important do’s and don’ts:

• Address the person respectfully as “Sire,” or “Your Royal Highness.”
• Offer to reach for objects on high shelves, even if the person appears to be quite tall.
• Make disparaging remarks about the English.
• Give appropriate advice such as, “Maybe you should go over those Waterloo plans one last time.”
• Politely inquire about his wife Josephine.

• Play “gotcha” by quizzing the person about details of the Napoleonic Wars.
• Criticize the person’s French, even if he or she can’t speak the language at all but only talks with a bad French accent.
• Use the person’s birth name when introducing him at cocktail parties.
• Bring a cat around (since Napoleon suffered from ailurophobia).
• Speak fondly of the British royal family.


THE REAL MCCOY: Military genius Napoleon Bonoparte is considered one of the greatest men in history.

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth



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Cat-to-Dog “Species Reassignment” Surgery Is Hot New Trend   2 comments

Transpecies Dog_edited-1

BUSTER started out life as a biological cat.

By C. Michael Forsyth

SAN DIEGO — Buster barks, wags his tail and chases mail carriers—yet incredibly, the playful pooch started his life as a cat named Sparkles!

The furry former feline is one of a growing number of “transpecies pets” that have gone from dog to cat or vice versa.

“When Buster, the only name he answers to now, was just a 4-month-old kitten, he lifted up his hind leg to urinate on a fire hydrant,” says his doting owner Felicia, 42. “That’s when we began to realize he was ‘different.’”

As time passed, the wannabe mutt increasingly exhibited traditional canine behavior while turning up his nose at the typical practices of cats.

“He absolutely refused to use a litter box and the one time we were able to coax him into catching a mouse, he showed no interest in playing with his food before he ate it,” Felicia remembers. “What excited him was burying bones in the backyard and riding in our car with his head out the window.”

Yet Buster was often depressed when he found himself rejected or even harassed by his peers who refused to accept him as a “real” dog.

“You’d see him sitting in the window sill wistfully watching a pack of strays chase a cat up a tree,” his owner says. “You could tell he wanted to join in but couldn’t. It was heartbreaking to see him so sad and we knew we had to do something about it.”

The operation cost just over $13,000 and was performed in a Philadelphia animal clinic, one of only 11 nationwide that handle veterinary snip and tucks. In the five-hour procedure, Sparkles’ ears were reshaped from triangular to floppy, his snout was lengthened and surgery was performed on his vocal chords to turn his meow into a deep bark. Contact lenses altered the distinctive slit-like appearance of his pupils.

PRE-OP : Before going under the knife, “Sparkles,” as Buster was known at the time,  dreamed of becoming a pooch.

Since his transition in July, Buster couldn’t be happier.

“You should see the joy in his eyes as he leaps into the air to catch a Frisbee,” said Felicity’s husband Roy, 43. “We’re so blessed to have a role in helping Buster to finally be the animal God intended him to be.”

According to a recent report, there were 145 dog-to-cat operations and 96 cat-to-dog surgeries last year, along with three hamster-to-guinea pig species reassignments. Those are twice total number of species swaps in 2013 and experts predict the figures will only grow.

“The old paradigm was that if you were born a dog, you’d spend the rest of your life as dog,” observes animal psychologist Jeneanne Hebleck. “But our understanding of what a species is has evolved. A dog raised among wolves would act like a wolf, believe itself to be a wolf and for all intents and purposes would BE a wolf. Same goes for a chimpanzee brought up in a human household.

“It turns out species is largely a state of mind.”

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

If you enjoyed this mind-bending story by C. Michael Forsyth, check out his collection of bizarre news, available on Kindle and in other eBook formats.

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The tables turn on an identity thief in the latest thriller by C. Michael Forsyth. To check it out, click HERE.

The tables turn on an identity thief in the latest thriller by C. Michael Forsyth.

If you found this story by fiction writer C. Michael Forsyth entertaining, you might enjoy his thriller The Identity Thief.

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