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Head Case

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As Jerry once told George, it isn’t a therapist he needs, it’s a team of Viennese specialists. Too true. For as immature or eccentric or duplicitous as his friends may be, Liar Boy’s in a neurotic league all his own. We couldn’t afford a team, so Dr. Will Miller — Nickelodeon’s resident analyst — will have to do:

RAGE
The clinical name for George’s irrational, vein-popping anger? Histrionic personality disorder, defined by Miller as ”a pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking.” When George follows a guy for an hour because he thinks he was given the finger, ”that’s psychotically deranged.” The anger’s source? The elder Costanza. ”George is modeling his father, a paranoid hysteric with intimacy phobia. But George is worse than Frank, who’s a teapot — all noise. George is a cauldron.” And Mrs. Costanza? ”She’s anxious from Frank’s mood swings and probably depressed, which helps explain why she’s never laughed. In short, who’s shocked they produced George?”

BATHROOM ISSUES
”It goes back to his toilet training,” says Miller. ”Can you imagine that his parents would have treated this sensitively? George would have felt ashamed and unclean.” At the same time, ”very young children think they produce something great on the toilet; it’s their first creative act. Since George is stuck in the anal phase, he enjoys anything that adds dignity to his endeavor.” That might explain his fetish for handicapped toilets: ”It’s like a throne,” agrees Miller.

RELATIONSHIPS
George’s historic failure in this arena stems from acute narcissism. ”His first orientation is himself,” says Miller. Remember the episode (80) in which he trampled children to escape a fire? ”That’s the most horrific antisocial action you could imagine.” Self-obsession is also to blame for George’s monumental commitment phobia: ”When you’re narcissistic, emptying yourself for the good of the other is an alien concept.” Narcissism is at the heart of George’s pathological lying, too. ”He does it to put himself in a better postion.”

SEX
”He really is a 13-year-old masturbator who never got out of that stage,” says Miller. ”He’s preoccupied with his desire for instant gratification.” And yes, there’s something wrong with that.

STINGINESS
George’s notorious (and deadly, as in cheap wedding invites) penny-pinching ”is rooted in George’s fear of abandonment,” says Miller. ”If Mommy and Daddy can’t take care of me, who will take care of me? He realizes he has to take care of himself.”

TREATMENT
”I’d put him on Prozac instantly,” says Miller, who notes that George also needs thrice-weekly therapy sessions to delve into that nightmarish childhood and frequent group-therapy sessions to help him deal with others. ”As he gets into how horrible his life really is, I expect there will be multiple short-term in-patient treatments.”

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