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CLINICAL EXAMPLE OF HYPERVIGILANCE:

Maria was only 15 when she was attacked by a group of men on the
way home from school. They took turns screaming abusive, vulgar
words at her and then each took turns to rape her. Finally, they tried to
stab her to death and would almost certainly have succeeded had the
police not arrived on the scene. For months after this horrifying event,
she was in a state of constant alertness and fright against anything
reminiscent of that night. She would relentlessly be vigilant against the
slightest sign of danger and excessively reactive to sights, sounds,
people, smells, behaviors or anything else that had a similarity to the
event.
Now, if for example Maria was lets say, waiting at the bus stop. She
observed in her peripheral vision a robust man rushing towards her,
speaking inaudible words, feeling intense fear and perceiving there is
imminent danger upon her, she takes out her pocket knife and stabs
him. It turns out it was the town drunkard who merely wanted to ask
for change. If Maria pleads mistake of fact in the context of selfdefense, she would necessarily fail because based on our Revised
Penal Code and our existing jurisprudence, as gleaned from the facts of
the case, her mistaken belief of the imminence of the unlawful
aggression and the means she resorted to are objectively
unreasonable.
CLINICAL EXAMPLE OF DISSOCIATIVE FLASHBACK:
Joe was engaged in active combat during his time in the military. Some
incidents in particular had never left his mind like the horrifying sight
of Gary, a close comrade and friend, being blown-up by a landmine.
Even when he returned to civilian life, these images haunted him.
Scenes from battle would run repeatedly through his mind and disrupt
his focus on work when faced with reminders of the trauma. Filing up
at the gas station, for example, the smell of diesel immediately
rekindled certain horrific memories and he would have vivid, waking
flashbacks of being in combat. When he heard loud noises, he literally
jumped, as if he were readying himself for combat.
Now, if for example, Joe upon hearing the sound of fireworks and Joe
associates this with the sound of crossfire during combat, he
undergoes a dissociative flashback although he does not entirely lose
awareness, he finds himself acting reflexively, takes out his gun as he
would do in combat and shoots at the people on the street. If Joe
pleads insanity because of the complete absence of control over his
actions, then his defense would necessarily fail because our jurisdiction

adheres to the doctrine that it is the complete deprivation of


intelligence that will support a defense of insanity.