This is a rant.
I have addressed this issue before. However, I have just come across some blather that is so ugly and which so exposes the hypocrisy of the anti-psychopath community, I have to address it. The following appeared on an Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders Forum. The ostensible topic was the Hare Psychopathy Checklist. The topic is addressed responsibly and reasonably. The authors appear to be fair and professional. However, they invite comments from random readers. I have reproduced the entire contents of the resulting forum in order to expose and respond to it as this goes beyond even the usual hate.
Psychopathy is the only kind of so-called mental illness that is only seen as a problem for others. I am sick of seeing stuff about how to “spot” a psychopath and how to protect oneself from one. Now, we learn from these “worthy” people that empathic people like themselves should throw their 84-year-old mother on the street and abandon her, institutional their 16-year-old son or “kick him out and forget about him.” Mel’s contribution is stunning. “These people do not deserve kindness and for those psychopaths commenting on this forum asking for the non-psychopaths to have pity on you – can just go to hell.” And yet you people wonder why psychopaths treat you as the enemy. Mel: You go to hell. Mike expresses the same conviction that we deserve no mercy. And, Jocha, as far as I’m concerned, you must have come out the wrong side of a horse.
There are two contributions from psychopaths, well, actually three now as the last one is my own. It is obvious that neither one of them is a monster. Nevertheless, Kid sees us as “a constant threat.” R. Smith believes his stepson is dangerous and kicked him out of the house. He now “worries,” not about the kid who has been thrown away but about the safety of others. K thinks we should be shown how “good” behavior will get us more success than criminal behavior and asks psychopaths for feedback on this idea. I think it is on the right track and psychologists have also tried it successfully. Deborah expresses concerns for the classicism and racism of the approach that only focuses on those who fall afoul of the criminal “justice” system. Good for you, Deborah and K.
I reproduced these responses verbatim so readers can see just how toxic public hostility can get. These are not the folks who see Silence of the Lambs and think we are just serial killers and the like. These are people who have known psychopaths in their personal lives and have (for the most part) decided to discard us as trash. They seem completely oblivious of their own toxicity and think they are among the justified. Well, “good folk” are the ones who commit genocide. (Native Americans, Jews and Palestinians come to mind.) They shake their heads at our “lack of empathy” but show a “stunning lack of empathy” of their own and enable psychopaths and other outcasts to write them off as they have written us off.
helcast, what do we do? Unfortunately many pyschopaths remain unidentified and are members of society- a constant threat and an unnerving thought. The guy in the VT shooting, however, was not diagnosed because his instructors and family ignored the warning signs (which to me seemed quite blatant). It’s scary world.
Geri, my cousin is also a psychopath. You’re so noble for caring for your granddaughter and her mom. I wish you strength and blessings. For my cousin, we just have to constantly be frank but nurturing to him. We make sure he knows that he is being erratic when he’s behaving as such…we let him know how he SHOULD feel about certain things. The more we individualize him, the more he’s able to recognize what will gain him affection and respect.
so should we nurture such behaviour and guide them as to whats right and wrong or socially acceptable?i have recently come out of a 4 year relationship with a sociopath and still am unable to break the bond.
I am a psychopath, as I have been recently diagnosed. We are not all violent and mean. Some of us, me for example, are simply empty. We feel little and are as shallow as a baking pan. I am not out to hurt you or anyone else for that matter but, Gregg, do not get your hopes up about guiding us to the social norm. Actually understanding the social norm is the problem. Our brains are wired so differently that society and its patterns make no sense. I, personally, have to ask “why” to everything. If no one can provide a clear why, I create one and it’s usually a very askew perspective. Therein lies the problem. Things have to fit our schema before we can apply them. Violence is often associated with psychopaths and sociopaths because it makes for great drama but a psychopath can have a very successful life without harming anyone; They just don’t connect to others as normal people do.
My son is just 16 and all his life he has been diagnosed Aspergers Syndrome, ADHD and ODD. Recently his psychologist said he is extremely concerned about his cruelty to animals, his manipulation, physical and verbal abuse and lying. He is obsessed with fires, lies profusely and denies all actions unless backed into a corner then has no guilt and justifies his actions and says ‘so what’. His Psychologist said he is heading towards a psychopathic diagnosis. I am tired and emotionally drained and no one will help. He has just had a IQ test that said he is socially (.3%) and memory (9%) retarded but because in everything else he is high functioning, all Govt agencies wont fund us for help and we don’t know where to turn. He rules our house simply by saying ‘I have rights and you can’t do anything about it’. We have been advised to put him on the streets but as a parent that isn’t an easy answer to the problem. Bar the criminal record (which I am sure will come eventually) he fits all the categories for psychopath. Can anyone help me with where I can turn next before this child ruins his and our families life?? (We are in Australia)
Is there anything that can be done in order to evaluate someone who is Psychopathic? My stepson has antisocial personality disorder, is a pathologic liar, and probably Psychopathic. After my wife and I witnessed a violent outburst we believe he is dangerous and kicked him out of our house. I worry about the safety of others that he may or may not harm, (especially children).
There must be program for psychopaths to be not necessarily expected to understand society’s rules naturally, or through intuition, and empathize with people, but to at least be shown how to project their actions forward in their mind, to emphasize that certain actions won’t get them the best result. From there, they could be shown how to think of other actions that get them what they want without hurting anyone.
This way, even if they never understand how it feels to be hurt and empathize with their victims, they can be taught to at least see that society will retaliate if they hurt others and stop their control of their own lives, so it doesn’t do them any good in the long run either.
In other words, they could be taught to work with their cold, calculating ways to plan actions ahead in better ways, perhaps ?
Any psychopaths out there have feedback on whether they think this approach would help, or if they know any such programs already in place ?
I have an 84 year old mother who is bi-polar and has psychopathic personality disorder (under medication and psychiatrist care). I am now caring for her and have moved her in to live with me and my family and I am wondering how to protect myself and my family from her cunning and manipulative behavior. She has already had one of her “so-called” friends report me to Adult Protective Services saying that I “pushed her” down our stair way. Approximately one year ago, she fell down the stairs in our home, but it was on her own. Luckily, she’s been under a psychiatrist care since she’s been living with me and he is well aware of her history and her background. He knows that she has a major problem with tellling the truth but I’m concerned about protecting myself and family from any future drama she may cause.
Any advise will be greatly appreciated!!!
Response to all the people here:
Marti – Get rid of your mother. Put her in a nursing home or just dump her. Why jeopardize you and your family members’ well being for someone so obnoxious. She is not young but your kids are. They are also vulnerable.
Cindy – For your and your other kids’ sake, Institutionalize or kick him out and forget about him.
Unfortunately, your son is exhibiting sociopathic/psychopathic tendencies. The anger and sadism manifesting in animal mutilation is considered a significant precursor to violent behavior later in life. If you can’t get him proper mental care, or begin fearing for your or your family’s safety, he may be too far removed from normal life, and should be institutionalized. If you explain to him how animals simply desire to live, to explore, and continue to survive, then ask him why he would want to stop that, the response should give you a lot to think about.
It seems to me that 11 of the traits listed above describing psychopathic behavior can be true of anyone, the remaining 9 are for those who have been caught committing crimes. What about the rest of the society where their behavior seens to be normal. Many of those going undetected are people of wealth and affluence. These people are running the country and dictating what is morally correct in society. Psychopathic behavioral traits include but are not limited criminal activities, but also demonstrates a lack of concern for other peoples feelings, a lack of regard for their safety, along with many, many lies for selfish gain are spread through propaganda via the media. This type of psychopath has been rewarded and gone undetected due to being distracted by survival. I find your testing to be discriminatory and racist, and many of the people incarcerated in the USA are people of color.
I stayed married to a sociopath for 20 years. I tried to help him “heal” while he destroyed me physically, financially, etc. My message is that you cannot help these people. Get rid of them as soon as you realize that everything you thought about him or her turns out to be a lie. Save yourself and especially your children. I wish I had.
I find your comments fascinating. Fascinating because I myself am a sociopath. It’s very sad that sociopathic/psychopathic people cannot be more forward with doctor’s and clinicians with their disorder. Imagine if you didn’t have feelings for anyone but you couldn’t tell anyone because of fear of how they would react? It’s a very lonely existence. I remember when I became aware that I was a sociopath and how disturbed I was by it. I’m non-violent which makes it easier for me to function in society but I can’t imagine how hard it is for others. It really bothers me that the only psychopathic people who receive treatment are the ones who have committed crimes and are incarcerated. Those of us who have never broken the law however, have no choice but to remain silent.
I really want to feel emotion and I would love to be a part of program that was dedicated to helping people build emotional responses. These programs need to exist so that people like myself can be treated. It’s hard being trapped in your head all the time. You really don’t understand what that’s like. People always complain of what it’s like to be victim to a sociopath but you rarely hear of what it’s like to victim of sociopathy — to have the disorder.
Susan-I was married to a sociopath for 25 years: he lied for 3.5 years about a job he did not have, forged my name on the mortgage, stole my jewellry and pawned it and ran away when he was found out he ran away and is now trying to get 50% of my assets,inheritance and pensions. He has never apologised and said that I was mean to him. All I did was try to help him. Given I live in the UK he may succeed.
Nick, from my experience it isn’t so much about a lack of emotions, but more about non being able to recognise them. You probably do have emotions and they end up registered somewhere in your body, but you’re not able to recognise them, and even if/when you realise you’re feeling something you have no words to attach to the feeling anyway.
That’s the reason why you hear from the victims – they can verbalise their distress: psycopath or sociopath can’t.
I have no solutions, but why not start from the way you felt disturbed when realising you’re a sociopath. Try to give more details to it, trying to describe the feeling. It’s a bit like describing a taste or a smell, it’s always approximate.
I read this and I am sickened by all the comments. No, I am not exaggerating. I am utterly disgusted by the amount of animosity displayed in these comments. You post these horrible comments about people who have problems and *could* be helped if they were just understood a bit more. You speak of them as monsters before suggesting that society abandons and disowns them. Most of you probably vote for human rights, but you are quick to disown anyone that can’t do something so mundane as feel emotions. Have any of you considered that these sociopaths might not feel any incentive to change because the society in which they live is already so cold and unforgiving? Who would want to get better for such a place to live?
No, I’m not a sociopath- obviously, since I am infuriated by what I’m reading. In fact, I could say that anyone who could so easily dispose of others in the name of social balance is a ‘sociopath’. I understand a lot of you have been hurt by people without empathy, but I’ll tell you what…I have been hurt a *lot* by such a lack of empathy by everyone who is doing OK in life and feels too complacent with life to care about anyone who can’t measure up to their standards.
It’s people like all of you that make me want to say “screw it” to all the ‘knowledge’ about psychology, after years of being taught by therapists and doctors to get better mainly so other people will like me. I have Bipolar Disorder and OCD, and the fact that I am expected to accept that I am ‘flawed’ in comparison to you hypocrites infuriates me. You guys lack the empathy you claim to have more than anyone else, and yet, you only write about yourselves, and do so with such pride. You don’t deserve to call yourselves compassionate individuals. Do that when you realize that the world is a cruel place, and people suffer outside of your comfy little worlds and limited awareness.
This is for Jay, my husband is a psychopath, we are married for 11 years and I just want to get way. You have no idea what is life with such a person, they destroy you. When I had cancer he send me away and said he wanted to get divorced. I was no good anymore. We are still married because I spend many time away but I just want to run away from hem. Hope you never meet one.
Jay. Reading between the lines, can you not see the hurt these individuals cause in other’s lives? It’s not always easy to be compassionate to someone who has destroyed your life. Personally, I don’t give a damn what happens to the sociopath who has recently caused so much pain to two of my friends and me. I don’t think he should be locked up but if I were to hear that someone had administered to him a sound beating, I would not turn a hair. You can’t expect to go through life hurting people so and expect no come-backs. That’s life.
I also had bi-polar for many years, but it just doesn’t bother me that people see me as flawed. We are all of us flawed, and I have tons of awesome amazing friends who don’t see me like that. I seek kind, trusting people out, because that is what I try to be. Sociopaths should leave the rest of us alone and hang out with each other. If indeed they feel nothing, then they can’t get hurt.
Obviously you have been affected by your problems with OCD and Bipolar Disorder.
Believe me when I say I feel for you and anyone with mental disease problems. I have a friend with OCD and ADHD and sometimes I need time out with him, however he is my friend and he knows that. I have had a few friends with other problems as well and grew up with a mother who frabricated stories and manipulated others to further her own ends…but I would not go so far to say she was a psychopath, simply a very smart woman who did not live to her potential.
Now, having said that…you are dead wrong about psychopaths. Most are dangerous to society at large in one way or another. I will never befriend a psychopath simply because we can never be best friends who love one another. I will work along side with one, but I will always be watchful.
The few overriding factors that separates psychopathy from other mental disorders is: Psychopaths KNOW EXACTLY what they are and definitely know right from wrong. They are usually intelligent and want what they want with no regard for others. I am not talking about the 1% who are killers and criminals…it’s the other 4% that appear normal and live amongst us.
Our only defense (we empaths) is to recognize these differences.
I do agree that before passing judgements, people need to learn more about different mental diseases. For example, I recently learned that autism is opposite to psychopathy.
Psychopaths became really good at reading people so that they can be socially responsive…however usually with ulterior motives. Autistics are empathetic but cannot read people. However they do have human emotions unlike psychopaths.
I am fascinated about what is being learned within the brains. THIS IS SCIENCE!
Perhaps one day, these brain problems can be corrected when discovered in young children.
Now that is what we all ought to hope for.
Also, did you know that psychopathy is inherited (the brain problem I mentioned)?
That ought to tell you something.
From my personal experience I have two sons; one natural, one adopted. Both are sociopaths, one is also bi-polar. The oldest has made a living hell for anyone around him.
At 15 he was convicted of kidnapping, attempted murder, robbery, grand theft auto ad nauseum. He is now 42 and has spent over half his life incarcerated.
On this Christmas Eve he was released from custody. The first thing he did was telephone my 19 year old grand daughter and ask for money and transportation. She gave him neither and received a death threat for her troubles.
We have tried everything possible to help him but nothing works. We have written him off, disengaged ourselves entirely and hope he obeys the state restraining order. Small chance of that though.
The second showed anti-social problems at a very early age of 9 years. He was also incarcerated at 15 for multiple felonies. When he got out at 21 I warned him he would not survive to 30 if he didn’t change his ways. Prophetic words! One day before his 30th birthday he was killed committing another violent crime. Such is life in the real world.
I’ll admit to being firm in my views on sociopaths. I feel they have no place in our society unless willing to learn and change their ways. My twenty seven years in law enforcement has exposed me to too many of this ilk.
If you have a psychopath in your life run as fast as you can in the opposite direction! These people do not deserve kindness and for those psychopaths commenting on this forum asking for the non-psychopaths to have pity on you – can just go to hell. We aren’t stupid, we know you are just trying to use our own ability to feel against us. These people pray on those of us who have feelings for sport! We are their entertainment. I have no pity for psychopaths. They do not deserve anything in life. Highly intelligent and great at reading people… they are all bottom feeders who know right from wrong but mess with us just because they are bored. It’s inexcusable and disgraceful. They are unable to feel. Unable to feel!! They destroy the lives of the people around them unnecessarily. My mother in law is a psychopath and while I can’t avoid or escape my abuser I limit contact. If I must talk to her, keep my conversations about the weather. I say please and thank you and when she asks about my family I tell her everyone is great, thank you for asking. Nothing more. I no longer engage her or tell her anything personal about myself. She can turn just about anything into some drama. The things she’s said and done are just amazingly horrible – so horrible that people can’t even comprehend how or why someone could do those things that they usually don’t believe me and think I’m the crazy one! LOL. I get the “why would anyone do that”… why? how” because she can’t feel anything about anyone, not even her own children.
Sympathy and pity are the hallmark characteristics of a socio. If you meet someone and think “wow what a personal thing to tell me..They must really think I’m trustworthy” You are being “baited”…They use the pity and sympathy card to try and find codependents, its like fishing…My dad is one and the only emotion he has is fear. Fear of being “caught” and having his freedom taken away. If he did go to jail his next step would be to figure out how to charm his way out, it wouldn’t be to reflect on the crime…He does not feel shame or guilt at all. My motto I live by is “Never trust anybody that is too giving, too nice, too soon!” This motto has saved me a few encounters the last few years. Also, I don’t think the people claiming to be sociopaths on this blog really are, they may be on the spectrum, but a real antisocial sociopath would never care enough to research their personality. To them nothing is wrong it’s the “other” persons fault.
I agree with Jay that the comments by most of you are heartless and disgusting. Telling Marti to abandon her 84-year-old mother is appalling. You are supposedly the “normal” ones who are supposed to be emphatic. Makes me wonder what empathy really is. It certainly has nothing to do with kindness. You people demonize psychopaths as thoroughly as Hitler demonized Jews. That makes you bigots in my eyes. I don’t know what this kind of garbage is doing on a page about Hare and his checklist. Hare has tried to understand psychopaths all his career. You are just haters. Treat us like demons and we will be demons for you. And you will deserve it.
The pictures illustrating the posts are generic clip art, not actual people (except for the one of me.