I Don’t Suffer From Psychopathy

I enjoy every moment of it.

I’m high on myself.

This post is copied from my website, The Slytherin’s Journey formerly called “The Hero’s Journey” but I decided I didn’t want to be a hero, I leave that to the Gryffinders (Harry Potter reference).
lecter

Psychopathy is possibly the only “personality disorder” that those affected don’t want to be cured of. Psychopathy isn’t painful or unpleasant. On the contrary, unpleasant feelings that normal people are subject to don’t affect psychopaths. These include guilt, shame, anxiety or fear. I should go into therapy in order to have those feelings restored? I think not. Psychologists and psychiatrists seem to take that personally. They act offended and withhold diagnostic services to those (like myself) who decline to be “cured.” Not that anyone has ever found a cure. As Dr. Michael Stone, a world-leading specialist in psychopathy, said in Psychopath Night, “Psychopathy is like diamonds. It’s forever.”

Neuroscientists have found differences in the brains of psychopaths from those of “normal” subjects. The amygdala and frontal cortex don’t respond the way most people’s brains respond to stimuli particularly of people suffering and in distress. Parts of the brain that normally light up stay dark in the brains of psychopaths. This explains the lack of “empathy” which most people experience and the psychopath does not. As M.E. Thomas (a pen name for the author of “Confessions of a Sociopath”) says, “…the duttonoddity that I consider empathy to be. This is somebody who claims to be feeling what other people are feeling and isn’t that weird?” Professor Dutton, not, himself, a psychopath, believes psychopathy confers considerable advantages to those who “have” it. “Psychopaths are optimists. They’re positive… They have a remorseless ability to focus on what they can get out of a situation, often to the expense of safety, danger, other people’s feelings, anything, even their own pain.” It is this very trait that has given psychopaths such bad press. Dr. James Fallon, a neuroscientist who discovered psychopathy in his own brain scans once took his brother into a part of Africa where ebola and many fierce predators were known to exist. He didn’t tell his brother about the ebola because he wanted him to come along but he considered it a wonderful adventure. Years later, his brother found out what they had risked. “It was a great experience,” he told James , “but I can’t forgive you for bringing me to that place.” Dr. Kevin Dutton, professor of psychology at Oxford, had some friends arrange a special treat. They manipulated his amygdala in such a way that he was able to experience psychopathy.

It isn’t long before I start to notice a fuzzier, more pervasive, more existential difference. Prior to the experiment, I’d been curious about the timescale, how long it would take me to begin to feel the rush. Now I had the answer: about ten to fifteen minutes. The same amount of time, I guess, that it would take most people to get a buzz out of a beer or a glass of wine.

The effects aren’t entirely dissimilar. An easy, airy confidence. A transcendental loosening of inhibition. The inchoate stirrings of a subjective moral swagger: the encroaching, and somehow strangely spiritual, realization that hell, who gives a shit, anyway?

There is, however, one notable exception. One glaring unmistakable difference between this and the effects of alcohol. The lack of attendant sluggishness. The preservation—in fact, I’d even say enhancement—of attentional acuity and sharpness. An insuperable feeling of heightened, polished awareness. Sure, my conscience certainly feels like it’s been spiked with moral Rohypnol, my anxieties drowned with a half dozen shots of transcranial magnetic Jack Daniel’s. But, at the same time, my whole way of being feels like it’s been sumptuously spring-cleaned with light. My soul, or whatever you want to call it, immersed in a spiritual dishwasher.

So this, I think to myself, is how it feels to be a psychopath. To see through Gary Gilmore’s eyes, To cruise through life knowing that no matter what you say or do, guilt, remorse, shame, pity, fear—all those familiar, everyday warning signals that might normally light up on your psychological dashboard—no longer trouble you.

me

Another advantage, is a natural charisma most of us have. I think it’s a biproduct of our joyousness. People who enjoy life are fun to be with. I think it is the childlike acceptance of the moment that does it. According to Dr. Robert Hare, we have “superficial charm.” What would “deep charm” be like? I think charm is superficial by it’s very nature. But Hare adds the word “superficial” to take away anything complimentary in his description. Too bad. He seems like a nice person, at least to empaths.

A trait of psychopathy that I really enjoy is grandiosity. It feels so great, like a warm cloud that lifts us above the ordinary that we can float on; a cloud of euphoria.

I have not mentioned crime as yet. As I said in my essay, Free to Chose, psychopaths don’t have to chose crime. We have the option and can do anything heinous with no repercussions from the conscience we don’t have. But an option is not a compulsion. Sure, I have broken the rules of society, sometimes violating the law and sometimes just the norms. But I’ve managed to avoid the nasty consequences “misbehavior” can cause.

No, dear doctors and moralists. I will not be changing what works for me. Love me or hate me. I wave to you from my cloud of euphoria.

To the Haters

I wrote the comment on someone’s blog that had a revolting number of hostile comments after it, all signed “anonymous” and all denying the blogger is a “real” psychopath:

I notice most of the hostile comments here are labeled “anonymous.” Seems like you haters can dish it out but not take it. I also find it interesting that many people like to deny the psychopathy of anyone who proclaims him/herself as a psychopath even when they’ve been diagnosed. None of these anonymous nay sayers are able to claim professional credentials but still seem to think they are more qualified than a professional to contradict his/her professional opinion. At the same time, people are highly prone to call people “psychopaths” when they have done something the hater doesn’t like.

I challenge every anonymous poster to identify him/herself or shut the fuck up.


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3 thoughts on “I Don’t Suffer From Psychopathy

  1. Feeling stuck in the victim mind-set, wanting out, I was interested in one of your links above…”The Cluster B stigma and the nature of evil…” but found that it doesn’t got to where it apparently was meant to.

    I get a verizon survey page. I’m wondering if you could fix it or tell me what site it goes to?

    Like

      1. No problem. It’s an old post so I thought it was a long shot. Thanks for the updated link. I sub to her too. Not sure if I read this one though, gonna check it out now.

        Like

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