Splitting, Part 2

bpdthinkvsnormalthink“Splitting” is considered a characteristic of people with Borderline Personality Disorder. It means seeing people as either all bad or all good. But they’re not. Most people — no, all people are a combination of traits. “Good” and “bad” are subjective.They usually refer to what is beneficial or harmful to our egos. Really? I thought only psychopaths are supposed to be so fixated on our own well-being. But, guess what! Everyone is looking out for number one. Even the most selfless look out for their well-being. Otherwise, they wouldn’t survive.

panaceaEveryone thinks in terms of “good” and “bad,” even when we know better. It’s human nature. But most of us realize that people are a combination of both. Splitting is considered a “symptom” of a personality disorder because represents unrealistic thinking. Although I’m not a Borderline, I can relate. We want to avoid the bad and reach for panaceas. The panaceas change from time to time. Sometimes, it’s a noortropic. Sometimes, it’s a political candidate. Sometimes it’s a job we want. But we, well, I, sometimes think my life would be so much greater if only I had fill in the blank.

angeldevilBut with splitting, the panacea is usually a person. And the panacea’s evil opposite is also a person. I just made an interesting discovery. I was on one of the anti-path pages and I realized that these haters are also guilty of splitting. They see narcs and ‘paths as the BAD and empaths (themselves) as the GOOD. (The most alert reader will notice that I’m also guilty of splitting, making the authors of these pages the BAD. I call them “haters,” after all. Oh, well, I’m only human and they do direct an enormous degree of negativity at a group I belong to. Disclaimer:  I realize these “haters” are human too and have good qualities as well.)

donotfeedA dandy blog I recently discovered called Flying Monkeys Denied  states, “We’re not Narcissists, Sociopaths, or Flying Monkeys… we’re Empaths.” Claiming Empathy is like flying a banner, displaying a badge of pride. I belong to some Facebook groups relating to  Cluster B, Psychopathy and Sociopathy. Members of these group sometimes express skepticism that all the members are genuine. Who is the real deal and who is a “wannabe?” I wonder if the same thing happens among self-proclaimed “empaths.” I don’t think every NT (neurotypical) is really an empath. The Mind Unleashed  defines empathy as “when you are affected by other people’s energies, and have an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others. Your life is unconsciously influenced by others’ desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods. Being an empath is much more than being highly sensitive and it’s not just limited to emotions.” Do the Flying Monkeys Denied test members for empathy. “Personality disorders” can be “diagnosed” by professionals. I doubt if they “diagnose” people with empathy as it’s not considered a disorder.

empatheyeThe blog addresses the reader as if it is assumed s/he is an empath. “Simply knowing (from an intellectual standpoint) that a person who is attacking you is guilty of egocentric and toxic thinking can help you depersonalize and compartmentalize abusive key terms, mind control methods.” See? You are the good guy. Anyone with whom you are at odds must be the bad guy. How do they know? Anyone can be reading their blog, even someone like me.

aspdCluster B consists of four “disorders,” Histrionic, Borderline, Narcissistic and ASPD. The latter is used as a stand-in for psychopathy or sociopathy. Many psychologists think ASPD is inadequate as a substitute term but that’s another subject. The people on Flying Monkeys Denied, however, expand ASPD to four separate categories:

  • “Sociopath” (accessible using the hashtag #Sociopath) ~ a hyper desensitizing emotional response to being victimized or traumatized at an early age
  • Psychopath” (accessible using the hashtag #Psychopath) ~ people with aggressive or violent antisocial personality tendencies by nature and nurture
  • Narcopath (accessible using the hashtag #Narcopath) ~ Narcissists with comorbid Anti-Social personalities
  • Dark Triad (accessible using the hashtag #DarkTriad) ~ Malignant Narcissists with comorbid Psychopathic or Anti-Social personality tendencies

narcopathI notice they define a psychopath as someone with “violent antisocial personality tendencies.” This is incorrect. Some psychopaths are never violent. The biggest dispute with  using ASPD as a stand-in for psychopath is the behaviorist focus on external behavior rather than the inner workings of the mind. You can be emotionally detached, unempathic and conscience-free without ever performing a violent act. The last two categories really look like one. A “Narcopath” and “Dark Triad” are both defined as “Narcissists with comorbid Anti-Social personalities.” I think these empaths just can’t decide whom they dislike the most, narcs or psychopaths so they created a category lumping both together. Whatever. Anyone under the ASPD umbrella is bad news.

flyingWe are told, “If you see a Narcissist or a Sociopath walking into a bar, you are hanging out at the wrong club. Stop duck hunting, excuse yourself politely, and run — don’t walk — to the nearest exit. Narcissists and Sociopaths cannot control their impulse to lie, manufacture chaos, engage in crazy-making behaviors, and socially destroy clueless targets by betraying confidences, engaging in serial cheating, and/or spreading false rumors about them behind their back compulsively all the time.” Sadly, so often people don’t realize that when talking about people, they may be speaking to the very person they are talking about. Psychopaths have been the subject of discussion by psychologists, psychiatrists, gossippundits and “recovering victims.” We have been portrayed in Hollywood drama, the subject of documentaries. Our speaking for ourselves is a fairly recent occurrence. Now we have a voice in the blogosphere, on Quora and even in books. We are still demonized and I doubt that this will end anytime soon. As with anything that is demonized, we are also glamorized. This can’t be an accident. I think it is splitting again. The thing we find most unacceptable acquires a certain allure. Jung talked about it.

platonicidealThe truth is that we are just people, neither devils nor angels. Empaths aren’t angels either. They do plenty of terrible things. We are all individuals, all a combination of qualities, some of which are probably in conflict with each other. The reification of a group of people is a way of stylizing them, raising them to the level of a Platonic ideal. Just remember, an ideal is just that. It’s an abstraction not part of the universe we really live in.


We Are Living in “Interesting Times”


I think it was the Chinese who had a curse that went, “May you live in interesting times.” Yes, a curse, not a blessing. “Interesting times” are times of chaos, turmoil and hardship.

The “unthinkable” has happened. Donald Trump has been elected president. People are in a tizzy. Since he hasn’t even taken office yet, we don’t really know what his presidency will entail. This post will be about, not Donald, so much, but people’s reactions.

Of course, the Right is jubilant. They won, after all. The rest of us should just “get over it,” they keep reminding us. Many people have weighed in. Michael Moore pointed out moorethat many Americans have just been abandoned by the Democratic Party. They want their damned existence to be acknowledged and they will achieve that by voting for the other side. “Trump’s election is going to be the biggest ‘fuck you’ ever recorded in human history.”

bubbleburst.jpgThen there are Leftists who consider Hillary so corrupt that it either doesn’t matter which side wins or that Hillary is worse than Trump. There are plenty of those around on Facebook. Laura Phipps said, “Hillary Is a consummate politician. Knows how to lie smoothly, which Trump can’t do. No, I don’t like Trump. But if you had bothered to educate yourself on any of her terribly horrific lies and other crimes, you would know she is far far far worse. Sorry for the HE&R. I used to publish with plenty of documentation. But right now I am too stressed out for that. And it is really upsetting to me that so many people don’t see her for what she truly is.” She went on to say, “I have wanted to keep certain information confidential, but I really can’t deal with this election stuff while sitting on it. So… at some risk… I know more about NWO than I let on. I have belonged to that group in a recent lifetime. I know what is there. It is NOT “theory”. I look for people I know are part of that group. I look for signs of active participation. I see who they are friends with. I don’t believe Hillary is NWO herself. But they are all around her. They have control of her. And I have also noticed they actively draw her more deeply into their world.”

chrisChristopher Allen Driscoll takes an even more dire view not only about Hillary but about Obama. “As America’s premiere Soviet-Russia expert, Stephen Cohen, has said many times in the last year, this period under Obama has brought us closer to nuclear confrontation than any since the Cuban (really, the Turkish) Missile Crisis of 1962. It looks as though Obama has been chastened by the opposition of the American people and is now backing down from WW3, but he still has two months in power. The price of survival today is constant vigilance. Now that the batshit crazy nuke-wielding banshee has been defeated and sent into retirement, don’t relax. Stand up to Obama’s nuclear ambitions and don’t relax till he’s gone.”

Then there is Jill Stein who ran as a third party candidate while saying Trump is “less dangerous” than Hillary. She has also said a Trump presidency would help the movement grow. Nader said the same about a Bush presidency. We know how well that turned out.

jenniOn the opposite extreme, are people who supported Hillary and really believed in her. Jenni Silberstein (my sister) said, “Hillary is not a liar. She would have made an excellent president. Trump is an unmitigated disaster whose election (not to mention his plans for nepotism and his appointment of Bannon the Bigly Bigot) may protect the Second Amendment from ANY background checks or restrictions on automatic weapons but spells a serious weakening of the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech, the press, and religion.

corporatehillaryMy own opinion is that Hillary is a corporate drone. She stands for neo-liberalism, business as usual, the status quo. Bernie Sanders would have brought change. Hillary is a grievous disappointment. Many people, myself included, are bitter about how Hillary seemed to fight Bernie more vigorously than she did Trump. I blame her for Trump’s victory. She was a weak candidate. I also blame Stein and Johnson. Johnson took enough votes away from Hillary to give Trump Florida. I also blame Bill Clinton’s failure to protect fair voting. That allowed enough voter-suppression to also have made the difference.

whitemenThe clearest and most on-target statement about the significance of Trump’s victory came from Bill Ayers. He reminded us of how racist Trump’s campaign really is. He nailed the pundits for their many platitudes trying to minimize the seriousness of what has happened.

But the outcome should not have surprised us. This election was, among other things, a referendum on whether the United States will be a straight, white nation reminiscent of the mythic “old days” when armed white men ruled, owned their castle, boasted of unvanquished military power, and everyone else knew their place. Henry Giroux’s new book America at War With Itself made this point with clarity and foresight two months before the election. The easy claim that Trump appeals to legitimate working-class populism driven by class anger, Giroux argues, ignores both the historical link between whiteness, citizenship, and humanity, and the American dream of wealth accumulation built on private property. Trump’s followers are not trying to redistribute the wealth, nor are they all “working class”—their annual median income is about $72,000. On the contrary, they are attracted to Trump’s wealth as metonym of an American dream that they, too, can enjoy once America is “great” again—which is to say, once the country returns to being “a white MAN’s country.” What Giroux identifies as “civic illiteracy” keeps them convinced that the descendants of unfree labor or the colonized, or those who are currently unfree, are to blame for America’s decline and for blocking their path to Trump-style success.

whitesupFor the white people who voted overwhelmingly for Trump, their candidate embodied the anti-Obama backlash. Pundits who say race was not a factor point to rural, predominantly white counties that went for Obama in 2008 and 2012, but now went for Trump, and to the low black and Latinx voter turnout. However, turnout was down overall, not just among African Americans. Post-election analysis shows that as a percentage of total votes the black vote dropped only 1 percent compared with the 2012 election, even while the number of black ballots counted decreased by nearly 11 percent. (Why this happened is beyond the scope of this essay, but one might begin with Greg Palast’s findings about voter suppression and the use of “crosscheck” to invalidate ballots.) Moreover, claims that nearly a third of Latinxs went for Trump have been disputed by the website Latino Decision, whose careful research puts the figure at 18 percent. The turnout does not contradict the fact that Trump drew the clear majority of white votes. This is not startling news.

welfare.jpgAyers points out that Bill Clinton was, himself, a force for reaction. Clinton “oversaw the virtual destruction of the social safety net by turning welfare into workfare, cutting food stamps, preventing undocumented workers from receiving benefits, and denying former drug felons and users access to public housing; a dramatic expansion of the border patrol, immigrant detention centers, and the fence on Mexico’s border; a crime bill that escalated the war on drugs and accelerated mass incarceration; as well as NAFTA and legislation deregulating financial institutions.”

I am burned out of politics. It looks like an enormous effort with little result. Those who can still remain active and have the optimism to keep fighting are amazing. I hope they will win. Maybe with the Millennials and the Third World, there is a chance. For myself, I see myself on a wild ride. I am hanging on for dear 728px-identify-a-psychopath-step-6life, hoping I won’t be harmed too much by the “rough beast slouching toward Bethlehem to be born.” I have read first-person accounts of life under the Third Reich. Well, I guess we’ll get to experience fascism first hand. Hopefully, the number of voters on Social Security will keep zealots like Paul Ryan from demolishing the program. I know Obama was no friend of Social Security. His “chained CPI” bullshit alienated me from him forever.

operaglassThis is where I live, in the heart of the beast. If nothing else, life is going to be “interesting.” Many parts of the world have it a lot worse than I/we do. With a little luck, I will die before my own country reaps the chaos it is sowing. Until then, I’ll be a “good German” and keep my head down.


Vegan Shame

For those who don’t know, there is a personality on You-Tube called Freelee the Banana Girl. She is actually quite attractive. I enjoy her bubbly personality. She is on You-Tube to promote her ideas about diet. She is a vegan, a low-fat, high-carb vegan. She was a raw, primarily fruitarian, vegan for years along with her old man, Durian Rider. Then she changed to what she called Raw ’till Four. One hundred percent raw wasn’t feasible for many people so she suggested eating raw and then having a cooked meal in the evening. Now she has switched back to 100% raw and she has also vowed not to wash her hair anymore. So far, her hair looks fine.

The subject of this post, however, isn’t so much about her lack of shampoo, her raw lifestyle or her love of carbs. (One of her favorite slogans is, “Carb the fuck up!”) It is her moralizing about the virtue of veganism and the evil of consuming any animal products that I am focusing on. Freelee has said people who know the facts about the cruelty of the meat and dairy industry and still continue to each these things literally don’t deserve to live.

Freelee has attracted a lot of hostility through her extreme stance. She must enjoy it because she has doubled down with another video. “Why I am superior to you.”

I enjoy Freelee’s in-your-face debating style. That’s the way I like to argue too. Of course, I don’t buy her ideas. But I like her style. Some people really get butthurt over Freelee telling them she is superior to them.

stfreeleeBeing a psychopath, her efforts to guilt-trip me only make me laugh. In this second video, she tells the story of two hypothetical girls. One decides to go vegan and the other doesn’t. Naturally, the one who went vegan is “superior” to the one who didn’t. Freelee doesn’t seem to get the fact that there are many ways someone can be superior to another. Maybe the non-vegan becomes a virtuoso violinist. Maybe she writes a great novel. Maybe she finds a cure for AIDS. No. Freelee thinks the only criteria for superiority is how we eat.

At one time, vegetarianism was a fairly radical new idea. Vegetarian societies were formed. They preached their diet regime on the basis of good health. One can make a good case for the idea that humans are supposed to eat plants. Our teeth and our digestive system is that of a plant eating animal. A lot of people thrive on a veggie diet. killyourself.jpgHowever, when veganism came into vogue, the good health motivation was edged to the side by the moral argument. To be a good person, we should minimize the harm we do to our fellow-creatures. The religion that takes this concept the furthest is Jainism. To quote Google, “Jainism is an ancient religion from India that teaches that the way to liberation and bliss is to live a life of harmlessness and renunciation. The aim of Jain life is to achieve liberation of the soul.” This seems to be the core of Freelee’s philosophy.

Freelee goes further than this. She has joined the people who think humans are a scourge on the earth. She wants to make it mandatory for men to get vasectomies and antihuman.jpgonly a few allowed to procreate. I kid you not. There is actually a movement of people who believe this. It’s a real thing. And there is some logic to it. Humans are destroying the planet. There’s a certain allure to being against the group you are in. Lots of Americans hate America, whites fulminate against white supremacy. You can feel really smart when you see through the brainwashing of your group. And it’s all true. Seeing through the established lies is one thing. Actually fighting to bring down the system is something else. It’s nice to take such an objective point of view that you transcend the interests of your demographic. But those who really fight to eliminate imperialism end up living lives of sacrificial selflessness. Been there. Done that. I am in awe of those who continue to fight for their cause for years. I wish them well. Some radicals have said they are glad Trump won the election because Hillary would have pursued war against the Third World more viciously than even he. I had to admit that I am more invested in whose policies would have impacted my life domestically than in saving the rest of the world. Color me selfish. I will cop to that.

Living without harming animals isn’t enough though. Freelee sees herself as a woman with a mission. She uses her You-Tube channel to spread her message. Recently, she decided to do this by reaching out to celebrities and trying to reform them. But that has had mixed success. Now that she has gone back to her raw diet, Freelee is again emphasizing her joyful life as a vegan in Australia, going to the beach and eating fabulous raw, vegan meals. I like her better that way.

Nevertheless, the You-Tube vegan world has become a hothouse of drama. How did such a “peaceful” lifestyle become so full of vegans attacking each other. It’s a hoot. Freelee has many enemies, most of whom are vegans. But she remains cheerful and unflappable. I am happy to be immune to shaming by vegans, political people and, of course, Christians.


Will the Real Psychopaths Stand Up?

This post has persistently been the most popular thing I have written. Accordingly, I have put it in the more prominent spot in the top menu.

A question posed on Quora got me thinking. “Why would people pretend to be a psychopath?” The question was answered by one of the most respected people on Quora on the subject of psychopathy, Athena Walker. Her own credentials as a psychopath are impeccable and her answers usually very intelligent. She deservedly gets many “upvotes.” I agree with most of what she says but not everything. For example, she denies that psychopaths are grandiose or narcissistic. I know I am those things and I think most of us are.

I have included below Athena’s answer as well as my own response (and the responses of others). While writing my response, I realized this is a big enough issue to warrant full treatment in a blog post so here it is. First, the Quora exerpt:

Athena Walker, Psychopathy is present from the first breath one takes, to the last.

That’s a very good question, and one that a number of us psychopaths have wondered about. Probably because they have no idea what they mean when they say that. There are several misunderstandings when it comes to psychopaths. Perhaps it has to do with the idea that they have in their heads about what they believe us to be.

Maybe they want to be devoid of guilt. Maybe it’s so they have no fear for the sense of power. So if they are in a confrontation, they might feel like they have an upper hand. They wouldn’t be intimidated and instead be in control.

Perhaps they want to be without sadness or remorse, or heartbreak. There are a number of people that seem to think that we are all super geniuses that all have our secret caves where we plot world domination…….. yeah, we don’t, and no, we’re not. Psychopathy in no way relates to intelligence. Where this thought came from eludes me. We can be of low, average, to high intelligence. Nothing about the condition makes us want to be super villains.

Really, it seems to come down to the idea of psychopathy being very attractive, or conversely I have noticed a new trend, and that is the idea of psychopaths being the tragic victims. Somehow it has become a romanticized emo ideation that we are dark lost souls just wanting to be loved. Now, I thought super genius/villain was bad, but tragic dark horse hero wanting someone to save us, that one is even worse.

To both of them, no…………..just no.

My response:

Fran Theresa Nowve

The underlying question is what is a psychopath? How do we identify the “real” ones? Who can say which one is genuine or which one “pretend?” I don’t think anyone really pretends to be one. Some people may falsely believe themselves to be one. People falsely believe themselves to be many things but psychopathy seems to be the one self-diagnosis most often challenged by other psychopaths (self-diagnosed or otherwise). As you say, Athena, psychopathy is glamorized. Therefore, calling oneself one is seen as a form of self-aggrandizement. Like someone is claiming an honor he/she may not deserve. Even you, Athena, was recently accused of being “fake.” Apparently, nobody is immune to this accusation. The fact that there is so much confusion, even among professionals, doesn’t help the situation. The fact that so many self-identified psychopaths on the social media are not properly “diagnosed” by a psychiatrist or psychologist also contributes to the confusion.

Other people’s responses:

Hyerim Park

3 votes


Jennifer Guerra

The question of self-identity is always a sensitive one. As I said above, many self-identified psychopaths have never been psychiatrically diagnosed. Many don’t want to be. A label can impact one’s future prospects in our society. Yet it is clear to me that some of them are “real.” I don’t need a shrink to tell me. I think we “know” each other just like gays have gaydar enabling them to recognize others of their own kind. Speaking for myself, I have the ASPD diagnosis. I don’t really consider ASPD identical to psychopathy. This has been a much debated point by the top experts in the field.

People don’t even have consensus about the meaning of commonly used words. The difference between “psychopath” and “sociopath,” for example. Most use the former to mean an inborn condition of the nervous system and the latter to be acquired by environment. Some consider psychopaths more cool and self-contained and sociopaths more impulsive and out of control. Others say the reverse. Without a consensus, it’s deuces wild. Under the circumstances, calling anyone a “fake” strikes me as presumptuous. Having been properly diagnosed by a professional doesn’t even end the discussion. For example, even Athena Walker, who is diagnosed, has been questioned:

Everything she writes strikes me as exaggerated and untrue. I doubt a real psychopath would care enough to answer questions in depth.

Fran Theresa Nowve

Fran Theresa Nowve, A self-aware psychopath who has shared information with others of my kind.

That’s the dumbest reason to call someone a fake. Answering questions in depth can be fun. What do you do for fun? Call people fake?

 Athena is right about the public image of a psychopath being larger than life. Either we are the epitome of evil or we are brilliant and all-powerful. Perhaps both. Perhaps our grandiosity and the public’s inflated view is what accounts for the presence both of wannabes and the tendency to be skeptical of any claims of psychopaths. Maybe we were better off when we were in the closet. But then it would left to Hollywood and the psychiatric profession to define us. And I’m sick of that.

Starting Kids on the Right ‘Path

tina2Tina Taylor, author of the blog, No Psychos, No Druggies, No Stooges, and newsletter, Psychopathic Times (Narcissist Nation), is an experience in herself. A self-described genetic psycho, she says she is the only NT (neurotypical, non-psychopath) in her family of psychopaths. As such, she claims expert knowledge of psychopaths. She is definitely an original, promoting ideas that are definitely her own. She denies that her blog is anti-psychopath. While we are not to blame for our condition, according to Tina, since we are neurologically impaired, we can not be trusted in positions of power or authority.

psychoinchargeTina has long been known for her idea that all political candidates should be tested by brain scan for psychopathy, the idea being that society should not allow psychopaths to hold political office. But she has now outdone herself with her latest blog, The Corrupt DSM-5’s Missing Psychopathy Diagnosis  (update). I agree with her (and with Dr. Robert Hare) that the DSM is wrong to eliminate psychopathy and substitute it with “ASPD.” I consider that choice on their part to be a hideously behaviorist decision. Behaviorist basically denies the existence of an inner self, at least one that can be known and studied scientifically. Behaviorists want to limit psychology to the study of behavior.

psykidWhat I don’t agree with her on is her statement: “Society would best be served by diagnosing children so that they can be led to a less destructive life path. And, also schoolchildren should be taught the basics of personality disorders so we all don’t grow up oblivious to the deviant con artistry of the psychopath’s mask.” The plan to diagnose children with psychopathy goes against the current standard bigtime. Psychologists are forbidden from giving children such a diagnosis on the ground that children are still developing and we can’t know what they will become.

psychokidI do agree that psychopaths are born and, so, psychopathy is present from the earliest age. But the profession insists on calling children with these tendencies “callous unemotional,” and say they have “conduct disorders” or “oppositional defiant disorder.” But children are still undeveloped and have potential to grow in many different directions. She hasn’t said how she would diagnose childhood psychopaths. She would subject adults to the MRI brain scan.

mriTina has long advocated compulsory testing of everyone who seeks a position of power and authority in the community. But, if children are also to be tested, it amounts to testing the entire population. Doesn’t it?

psybrainThe brains of psychopaths do look noticeably different from those of the rest of humanity. But what about the brains of kids. Some studies have tested kids’ brains. “As a group, the boys with serious conduct problems tended to show decreased activation in areas of the brain — especially the anterior cingulate cortex, and the insula — that are critical for empathy for pain, in comparison to the control group of boys.”

labelBut the article goes on to say, “No child should ever be labeled a psychopath, Viding said, because their brains and life experiences are still  developing and, especially if given intervention, they may never wind up psychopathic, but callous traits are a real problem.” Jennifer Kahn wrote, “Currently, there is no standard test for psychopathy in children, but a growing number of psychologists believe that psychopathy, like autism, is a distinct neurological condition — one that can be identified in children as young as 5.”

mythHowever, other scientists such as Jarkko Jalava, Stephanie Griffiths, and Michael Maralin are more skeptical  who wrote The Myth of the Born Criminal: Psychopathy, Neurobiology, and the Creation of the Modern Degenerate. This book points out that it isn’t necessarily the brain causing qualities in the psyche. The psyche, including a person’s behavior, can shape the brain too.

Still, there does seem to be perceivable connection between psychopathy and what shows up in an MRI. So should we test children for psychopathy? A lot of parents would resist that. Perhaps children who have already proven extremely difficult could be tested. A blanket test for all children doesn’t seem necessary.


symptomsThen, once a child is found to have signs of psychopathy, what can be done with or for him? Is psychopathy treatable in children? Most psychologists don’t think adults can be treated. There have been efforts to treat kids with “callous unemotional” traits but the results have not been very promising. A comment inserted in the article Can Psychopathy be Cured says, “Even though their behaviour is extremely primitive, there kidwithgunis no need to cast them out as monsters. Put to work in properly controlled environments, perhaps even psychopaths could yield benefits for the greater good. But first things first, we need to give up the idea that we can save them. They don’t want to be saved. They regard US, normal humanity, as an alien species that needs fixing.” The statement goes on with what I consider a paranoid conspiracy theory that blames psychopaths for all the ills of society. “That is why they have taken over socio-political psycolinstitutions the world over and are busy trying to ‘remodel’ humanity in their image. While humans are busying themselves with concern for psychopaths, psychopaths are busy caging humans into a global hi-tech big brother society then tasering them with economic shock therapy, shock and awe, war and so on.” Quite an accomplishment for 1% of the population. I think some of the fuck-up in society must have been brought about by NTs and/or empaths, wonderful as they are thought to be.

rewardThe article goes on to describe life at the “summer camp” a psychopathic kid named Michael is getting “help” (or so they hope). It looks like there is a lot of behaviorism at work. People get “reward points” for good behavior. They seem to learn how to better manipulate the system to get what they want. But isn’t that what maturing and becoming part of society really is all about? People do what society likes and they are rewarded. They do what society doesn’t like and they are punished.

treatpsych“Treatment” for adult psychopaths in prison sometimes consists of getting the psychopath to understand that good behavior results in more reward than bad behavior. This approach has been more successful than attempts to instill empathy in someone who lacks it. Yet hope springs eternal. Dr. Waschbusch said, “In my view, these kids need intensive intervention to get them back to normal – to the place where other strategies can even have an effect. But to take the attitude that psychopathy is untreatable because it’s genetic – that’s not accurate. There’s a stigma that psychopaths are the hardest of the hardened criminals. My fear is that if we call these kids ‘prepsychopathic,’ people are going to draw that inference: that this is a quality that can’t be changed, that it’s immutable. I don’t believe that. Physiology isn’t destiny.” Yet the kids in the summer program described in the article didn’t seem to improve.

why-i-m-anti-socialA series of studies conducted by Lee Robins showed that while all psychopaths were once antisocial kids, not all antisocial kids grow up to be psychopaths. “That gap is what gives researchers hope. If a genetic predisposition to psychopathy is a risk factor, the logic goes, that risk might be mitigated by environmental influences – the same way that diet can be used to lower an inherited risk for heart disease. Like many psychologists, Frick and Lynam also suspect that the famously ‘intractable’ nature of psychopathy may actually be overblown, a product of uninformed treatment strategies. Researchers are now careful to distinguish between callous-unemotional traits observed in children and full-blown antisocialnetadult psychopathy, which, like most psychological disorders, becomes harder to treat the longer it persists.” Dr. Frick said, ” If treatment is begun early enough, he says, it may be possible to rewire the brain so that even C.U. children might develop greater empathy, through therapies that teach everything from identifying emotions (C.U. children tend to have difficulty recognizing fear in others) to basics of the Golden Rule. No one has yet tested such treatments in C.U. children, but Frick notes that one early study indicated that warm, affectionate parenting seems to reduce callousness in C.U. kids over time – even in children who initially resist such closeness.” I wish them luck. I think accepting psychopathy and teaching psychopaths how to have a better life by working with instead of against society is a better idea.

Personality Disorders 101

gossipTina’s idea of teaching kids about personality disorders is more troubling than the idea of testing those who show signs of psychopathy. Even adults who are well read on the subject have a tendency to label each other with joyful abandon. “He’s a narc.” “She is histrionic.” “He’s borderline.” “What a psychopath!” If grown-ups do it, wouldn’t kids do it even more? Would knowing about these “disorders” really help kids deal more effectively with them? The standard advice given in “how to handle a psychopath” is no contact. In a school situation, that amounts to ostracizing. Surely, there’s enough of that in school without actually telling kids it’s alright. Adults are already highly confused on the subject of “disordered” personalities. If we are confused, how can we give children any clarity on the subject? If it’s wrong or, at least, questionable to label children, teaching the whole class how to label each other can’t be a good idea.