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Opinion | Jul 16, 2009

HANNIBAL ODESSEY COMPLEX

Definition
This is a psychiatric illness where the patient shows the urge for going to war or becomes exhilarated to engage in war and other war matters. The patient may display some special happiness for war and may go his way to prefer to utilise arms or combat troops to solve a minor problem that crops up between people or nations with the intention of humiliating his enemies or opponents. Such people usually fanaticise about war and it may have to do with upbringing and environmental factors that make it that he develops this special taste for war and conflicts. An individual who plays with machine gun toys and tanks when he is a child may have special liking to become a soldier or a war hero in the future. While this may not be a bad idea, he may assimilate some of the cruel manner soldiers treat their enemies that may cause him to behave throughout his adult life this way. It may control his life and he shall be made to deal with these improper manners in later life as well. He will then become obsessed with the thoughts of going to war or practice gun shooting to kill a victim.

Symptoms
Persons who suffer Hannibal Odyssey Complex have already gained both their upbringing and partly some of their adults' lives in certain milieu where there are some talks about people being classified in classes. They grow to become familiar that some groups of people are better than other groups. This may have to do with their race, colour or religion which due to certain myths they have been capable of elevating themselves as “superior,” “chosen people,” “holy war goers,”“ “better breed,” “exclusive group.” In order for this fantasying or imagination to gain footing they are capable of invoking and attaching these myths with God or gods (unseen mentors) that have created them in a special manner to be better than others. Therefore, the mentality is not seen as sickening but a glory and blessing they have from a “Thou” in the outer space of man. We can name supremacy group members elsewhere in the world, illusory superiority group members elsewhere in the world, and most people behind the cause of the Second World War as suffering from Hannibal Odyssey Complex psychiatric illness. The disturbance they cause to themselves and others may be individually or as a group orchestrating havoc among different communities or race.

Case Studies
1. Herr Adolf Hitler was one of the persons that showed clearly that he possessed such an illness. Throughout his life he lived to enjoyed war among other people or his own people. In the First World War, due to fate or accident the Corporal had been seriously injured and lied in bed in one hospital recuperating from his injuries. Someone who had been brought to the hospital and being treated for his illness, as soon as he heard that the war had been over and that this was the decision of the Commander on their side to end this war, he was very much saddened and hit his heard on his pillow several times shouting: why? why why? why did you have to give up? We observe this kind of illness compelling him to pursue his political carrier in later life so that he would get the opportunity to go to wars and see others maltreated the manner he had been brought up to see and adore war.

2. Prime Winston Churchill was one of the most respected Prime Ministers the Island of Great Britain had ever had. He was known in the whole world as the leader who with the allied Forces defeated the Nazi Regime in Europe. But according to records, the most distinguished Prime Minister of Great Britain seriously suffered from Hannibal Odyssey Complex. Many of his family members discovered that when there was war, whilst everybody at home was deeply disturbed and saddened, the Prime Minister became very gladdened and this is only based on his appearance and demeanour at the dinning table. Later, his co-workers would also discover something, which had to do with fanaticising and fantastic war plans to defend themselves from the enemies. One of these co-workers remembers his plans, for instance, for the Army to climb somewhere in the Alps, a mission that they considered as impossible judging by the rugged nature of these mountains and the heights the soldiers had to climb. Churchill was a great soldier and statesman but he was also suffering from the Hannibal Odyssey Complex, a special love for war in times when every one was sad. It was also discovered that during his childhood he was seen always playing with toy guns, toy soldiers, and acting most of the time as a brave soldier in the midst of war. He was known, for example, for his wild war tactics, which sometimes had to be corrected.

3. King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden was also known to be suffering from Hannibal Odyssey Complex. The King was very famous because he led Sweden through many wars that helped the country as power nation for sometime. Though eventually he died through the Thirty Years' War, his legacy is something which people write about all the time. This king indeed suffered from Hannibal Odyssey Complex; he never rested from going to war. The incident of Thirty Years' War in which he met his fateful death was not the only one. His own people became tired of these unnecessary wars that he led them to go. It was told his death was the result of one of his own subjects shooting him from behind.

4. One of the Presidents of the Gulf States who died recently was also seen as suffering from Hannibal Odyssey Complex disorder. In his reign he fought a neighbouring state for more than eight years. His love for war did not make him tired of war. Not only was he shown appearing in public most of the time with guns, sometimes shooting in the air to indicate to his people about his strength as a leader. At last when he had created one of his last wars on earth before his downfall, he responded to his enemies “The Mother of all Battle is here.”

5. President Idi Amin of Uganda did not engage in many wars, yet his characteristic manner of inviting war upon himself and the people of Uganda he ruled showed that he suffered from Hannibal Odyssey Complex psychiatric illness. His frenzy mood in saying and doing things in public, and his fanatic behaviour about his Moslem religion was that of inviting “holy wars” which never happened because people really discovered his psychiatric illness in good time. In his later days, he promoted himself from “General” to “Field Marshal,” not having engaged himself in a major war during his ruling years.

6. Though this serious psychiatric illness, which made many leaders of old as well as of modern times to brutalise their subjects and other subjects outside their kingdoms did go without notice, presently it has come to the notice of enlightened people of the world. It is possible that many of the wars fought by Ancient Jewish Kings in their Holy Book, and the Ancient Kingdoms of old as a whole had been wrought due to the rampant suffering of their kings from Hannibal Odyssey Complex psychiatric disorder.

Conclusion
War is primitive and had been employed by the Ancients because they knew no better manner of settling their disagreements and conflicts. When their leaders were seriously ill and developed a secondly symptom of Hannibal Odyssey Complex, they had no adequate knowledge to diagnose. Just as we have people that love too much sex (nymph mania), food excessively (glutton), and etc., there are some that love to go to war and like seeing others suffer for nothing. Such sickening behaviour had escaped the world and eminent psychiatrists for sometime. But now the discussion offered to us by prominent psychiatrists of late on the Discovery Channel and the BBC has unveiled that, indeed, the illness of Hannibal Odyssey Complex exists and could have been one of the underlying causes to the many unnecessary wars fought around the Globe.

Desmond Ayim-Aboagye (Ph.D.)
Desmond Ayim-Aboagye (Ph.D.), © 2009

This author has authored 147 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: DesmondAyimAboagye

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