'Twainiac' doctor was suicidal, depressed




First posted:

OTTAWA - A Lamborghini, four kids and a wife mean nothing to one deprived of deep, abiding love.

Dr. John Palumbo, 51, was smitten with country superstar Shania Twain, though an assessing psychiatrist preferred the term "erotomanic ideation."

So, after Palumbo and Twain split up from their significant others at about the same time in May 2008, he began sending her letters and flowers, according to a 2010 mental health assessment.

The mental health assessment was contained in a file for Palumbo's divorce proceedings. It had been prepared for proceedings in a criminal matter.

The letters, eight of them, professed his love. The flowers were timed for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and her birthday.

Twain's reaction "remains to be seen," he told Dr. Helen Ward, according to the report.

Her staff had, in fact, beefed up security, "but they are male and may have some jealousy issues," Palumbo said.

He was cleared of criminally harassing Twain earlier this year when the singer didn't show up to court.

It wasn't the first time Palumbo's mental health had faltered.

The Italian-born doctor got his bachelor's degree in science from the University of Ottawa before attending medical school at the University of Toronto. But after a London, Ont., residency he returned to Ottawa in 1991 and was admitted to hospital as a patient.

Depressed and suicidal, he reacted poorly to anti-depressants but was discharged within three days, improved.

He was back in hospital in the summer of 1992, a few months before he got married, according to the report.

Family were surprised to find him speaking to his father, who had succumbed to lung cancer in 1980. Palumbo refused medication but again improved and was discharged three days later.

Palumbo remains in a Toronto jail, charged with violating court conditions when he allegedly went to the Juno Awards, which Twain was attending.

He is also to appear in Ottawa court on May 17, where he is accused of threatening his ex-wife with death in February 2010 and two breaches of probation.



Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre

Dr. John Palumbo refusal to take medication, to remove himself from medication, is a symptom of the extremely serious and difficult problems with his mental health problems.

In his delusions, he sees himself as a victim. His mental health problem in addition to his personality disorder  make most probable that he will refuse or fail to continue to take medication.

Once people become that seriously mentally ill, its often an endless cycle of taking medication, feeling better, ceasing medication and another cycle of mad behaviours.

He obviously wants to make himself a victim and spend some time in jail and while most would be tempted to put him in jail , the appropriate solution is a secure medical facility for the seriously mentally ill.