Posted: October 17th, 2013
Ryan O’ Riley of OZ: Anti-social disorder
Ryan O’ Riley of OZ is a unique character because of his anti-social and yet manipulative character traits. The script is set in a multiracial setting of a prison, which is alive with many unstable characters like him who are out to kill others in order to get their way and to survive due to the prevailing conditions of the prison. Ryan, an Irish-American is very persuasive in his manipulative ways such that he convinces his brother, Cyril to commit murder on his behalf. Before he is brought into prison, he is extremely convincing such that he manages to control a gang of hoodlums known, as the Bridge Street Gang. He is the reason to almost every death in the prison. He is able to manipulate a guard by bribing him to allow another character Johnny Post to burn a prisoner in solitary confinement. He portrays a particularly strong character trait of a sociopath due to his ability to convince and deceive people (Psych Staff,4).Multisocial axis provides that in the Axis 4 psychosocial and environmental problems may bee negative life events an environmental deficiency or more so interpersonal stress.
DSM IV states, “Social problems related with the behavior such as lack adequate social support, loss of close member or discrimination” as an indicator of the antisocial behavior. Ryan O’Riley who lives in a prison and has to survive by being very cunning and manipulative. The character does not exhibit any mental disorder but only shows signs of psychosocial behavior attributed by the environment he grew up in and his current place of stay. His previous experiences show that he had social problems due to the frequent fights and arrests. Previous events in an individual’s life as stipulated by DSM IV contribute to an individual’s present state of antisocial behavior.
He also was in a plan to have another character Jefferson Keane that did not succeed but Keane is put on death row for killing an attacker. With Simon Adebisi, they both liase to kill Nino Schibetta by feeding him with ground glass causing internal hemorrhage. His various physical assault incidents are a true characteristic of an exact socio path because of the aggressive behavior and desire to rule the prison criminal world. O’Riley does not trust anyone throughout the entire first season. In season two, O’Riley continues with his deceitful ways and is diagnosed with breast cancer. The chief physician is married, but Ryan O’riley again manipulates his brother, Cyril to kill her husband because he is in love with her. This is a clear indication that his immense jealousy and manipulative behavior and the need for him to seek out control over everything and everyone around him so that he could get his way.
DSM IV outline states “social problems identified with antisocial behavior such as lack of a clear support network or hostilities” (Psychiatry Online, 25). Such that when an individual is subjected to very harsh social conditions such that when Cyril is raped by the Aryan brotherhood gang, O’Reily is enraged, and he cannot withstand the thought of being able to protect his brother. His level if irritability is unusually high which leads him to look for ways probable to revenge and protect his brother from the Aryan brotherhood. When a guard needs a blood type the he is the only person who can offer the blood he manipulates the jail manager to change his brother’s unit to facilitate him take care of his mentally ill bother. His aggression to have the doctor is so intense that he refutes any association in her husband’s death. His lack of remorse for killing an innocent is also another sure sign the metal instability and his state as a sociopath. He convinces Jaz hoty to attack another inmate; Shillinger who luckily escapes. His lack of respect for human life is a sure sign of the mental instability that is present in him because he only thinks of what is beneficial to him. Ryan O’ riley is a highly bizarre man because of the degree he goes to get what he wants and needs without fear of any repercussions.
DSM IV states, “Discord in the social environment leads to antisocial behavior” (Psychiatry Online, 20). Discord with the fellow prisoners may have led to the behavior exhibited by Ryan. .Sociopaths tend to get what they want and need via any means they consider necessary. To save his brother from the wrath of the Aryan brothers he enters his brother in a boxing match. This is a clear indication that he does not care about his brother’s mental condition lest he is hit and falls into a coma and ends up being brain dead. He has no regard for others lives and ends up spiking other peoples’ drinks so that his brothers Cyril can win all the games and the money. This is in order to pay the Aryans to leave Cyril alone. Sociopaths also threaten others to attain their end goals; they consider being nothing else being valuable to them except what they want immediately. He has no emotional consideration for Cyril who is already mentally unstable and goes ahead to invite his father who was very abusive to them to watch the game. Cyril fights aggressively and ruthlessly and puts his opponent in a coma by leaving him brain dead. This shows that regardless of Cyril’s mental state he manages to remember his troubled childhood, which might be the reason for his aggressive and hot-tempered nature. Most sociopaths have a troubled historical background hence their natures to compensate for the acts they faced and let out the anger that emanates from the acts they face, such as violence or even sexual molestation.
Ryan also frames Jia Kemin who was at the heart of a plan to have both brothers, Ryan himself and Cyril on death row. He tells the guards that Jia was talking bad about them and is restrained and dies from the intense beating from the guards. O’riley orchestrates the death of Nino Shcibetta’s son Peter Schibetta by telling the then current mafia leader that Peter is about to use the superstitious evil eye to curse the Pancamo because he failed to protect him from the brutal rape by Adebisi. Pancamo and the Italian gang immediately have Peter killed and they specifically have his eye removed. Ryan O’riley employs the most captivating deception schemes through his Machiavellian style of living in the series.
Ryan O’ Riley depicts all character traits associated with anti-social personality disorder. He is very irritable when he does not have what he wants or when things do not go his way.DSM Axis IV provides the reason for the behavior in anti social disorder. Based on the abuse that Ryan and Cyril faced from their father this played a significant role in forming the unstable character that is Ryan O’Riley. As provided for as a reason towards the development of sociopath behavior by the DSM Axis IV, ”the lack of supportive figures” was also another factor that led to Ryan’s antisocial behavior (Psychiatry Online,19). The father who was very abusive did not make his presence to them valuable by being supportive but instead was very abusive. The lack of a mother played a huge role in molding of Ryan because he did not get the chance to experience compassion and care as usually taught in a true family setting but instead had to experience abuse from the father. Growing up in a very insecure and violent neighborhood Ryan had to do anything to survive and protect his brother for whom he cared a lot about because he does anything to keep him from harm when in jail.
The diagnosis of the character is based on the multiaxial assessment to arrive at the character that the character exhibits for a relevant diagnosis. DSM Axis I provides a diagnosis based on other conditions that are not listed that warrant clinical medical attention. The character’s behavior and disorder is listed as under the DSM Axis II as a personality disorder. His mental instability is also contributed by the fact that he seems not to have any emotional connection with his vile actions of murdering and framing people to be murdered. Such emotional disconnect is only evident in socio pats who are very convincing and manipulative. Ryan orchestrated most of the deaths in the series of OZ. This is a clear indication that he has a very different of brain function that requires him to smooth talk other people into committing heinous acts on behalf of him making them think that they are committing such acts in their own interests. Psych central states, “Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure” as character trait of the sociopath (Psych staff,29). However, the character is in need of emotional nurturing because at the end of the series they are re-united with his father. Sociopaths can thus be described as very convincing and manipulative at the same time aggressive such that they cannot stop at anything to complete what they want or need. They can be characterized by being easily agitated by very insignificant issues and always want their demands to be met. They act on impulse whereby their thought and actions are not controlled and if something comes to their minds, they act without even the necessary caution.
Psych Central Staff. Psych Central: Antisocial Personality Disorder.15 February 2012. Web. February 16, 2012. http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx7.htm
Psychiatry Online Organization. DSM Library: Multiaxial assessment.23-37.January 12 2012.Web. February 16 2012. http://psychiatryonline.org/content.aspx?bookid=22§ionid=1894557
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