The Missing Piece in the Puzzle of Psychopathy

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As I read all I could find about psychopathy, I found something was missing.

A key piece of the puzzle was consistently absent, and it bothered me. I wasn’t sure how much this missing piece even mattered, but it seemed important enough to search for and ponder, and finally to come up with a possibility of my own.

We are told that psychopathic people don’t have a conscience, that they can’t feel love or remorse, and that they don’t experience empathy as we do. I understand that, but it raises some big questions for me and I realize these questions point to the missing piece of the puzzle, which I will soon reveal.

These are the questions I find myself asking:

Are my conscience and my ability to experience love, remorse and empathy the only things that keep me from hurting others? As far as I know, I don’t even have any serious desires to hurt anyone. If I did have such desires I could understand how these qualities would stop me from acting on them, but I don’t have them and I don’t think the majority of people do, either.

So, then, does the lack of these qualities (conscience, love, remorse, empathy) in the psychopath somehow cause dark impulses to arise? That doesn’t make sense.

Or are the two unrelated, such as that in psychopathy a person lacks these qualities and also has abnormal impulses to hurt others? I’ve never read anywhere that psychopathy causes the brain to generate thoughts of harming others; I’ve only read that psychopaths lack those qualities (or at least the expression of them) probably due to the fact that psychopathy is a neurological disorder in which the emotional (feeling) parts of the brain are not connected to the executive (thinking) parts.

 

But I haven’t read anywhere that this disengagement within the brain causes thoughts of harm to arise, or is related to it in any way. In fact, so far I’ve never seen the issue of ‘the origin of thoughts of harm’ addressed in anything I’ve read or heard about psychopathy. Did I miss it? And does it really matter? Would it make a difference? Maybe not, but I’m curious about it anyway.

These “thoughts of harm” are the missing piece of the puzzle for me.

If the thoughts and desires to harm others weren’t there, a psychopathic person would not be any more dangerous than anyone else. They would still be unable to experience love or empathy or remorse and still be unable to bond with others, so they wouldn’t be the best choice for a close friend or partner or parent. But they wouldn’t be dangerous.

There is a theory that the behavior of psychopathic people depends on the environment they were raised in. If they’re raised by abusive parents or in a violent neighborhood, for example, they can turn out to be violent themselves (neurotypical people are also at risk of the same fate). But if they are raised in a loving and supportive enviornment, they may turn out to be what’s known as a “pro-social” psychopath, or a psychopath who does not purposely harm others. This theory may explain it. Maybe…

But I can’t help thinking maybe there’s something more to it.

What about the ones who do grow up in loving and supportive homes, but grow to be anti-social psychopaths anyway? I’ve read about little kids who are described as “callous-unemotional” (a psychopathy diagnosis is not given to children but this term means basically the same thing, although some researchers believe that with the right treatment — which is still in development — there is still hope at this point). These kids do things like torture family pets, seriously injure infant siblings, and cause all kinds of chaos within the family. There’s a fascinating article on the subject: Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath?

Here’s an excerpt:

“By the time he turned 5, Michael had developed an uncanny ability to switch from full-blown anger to moments of pure rationality or calculated charm — a facility that Anne describes as deeply unsettling. “You never know when you’re going to see a proper emotion,” she said…..Over the last six years, Michael’s parents have taken him to eight different therapists and received a proliferating number of diagnoses……Then last spring, the psychologist treating Michael referred his parents to Dan Waschbusch, a researcher at Florida International University. Following a battery of evaluations, Anne and Miguel were presented with another possible diagnosis: their son Michael might be a psychopath………“This isn’t like autism, where the child and parents will find support,” Edens observes. “Even if accurate, it’s a ruinous diagnosis. No one is sympathetic to the mother of a psychopath.”

“….Another psychologist described one boy who used a knife to cut off the tail of the family cat bit by bit, over a period of weeks. The boy was proud of the serial amputations, which his parents initially failed to notice…In another famous case, a 9-year-old boy…pushed a toddler into the deep end of a motel swimming pool in Florida. As the boy struggled and sank to the bottom, Bailey pulled up a chair to watch. Questioned by the police afterward, Bailey explained that he was curious to see someone drown……Mark Dadds, a psychologist at the University of New South Wales who studies antisocial behavior in children, acknowledges that “no one is comfortable labeling a 5-year-old a psychopath.” But, he says, ignoring these traits may be worse. “The research showing that this temperament exists and can be identified in young children is quite strong.”

 

This article, like the others, still does not address the missing piece of the puzzle — where do thoughts of cutting off a cat’s tail or watching someone drown, come from? Why is there an urge to harm when empathy and emotion and remorse are missing? Where does that come from, and why is it there?

What I wonder about is this:

  • Could it be that we all have these dark thoughts emanating from somewhere deep within our brains, and that they are kept from our conscious awareness by our conscience, which acts as a gatekeeper? Is it possible that our conscience acts as a defense mechanism to protect ourselves from acknowledging these thoughts, in order to keep our self-image intact? After all, these thoughts are unacceptable to us and would be very disturbing, enough to disrupt our ability to function and to live our day-to-day lives and maintain close relationships.
  • And if that gatekeeper — the conscience — does not exist, does it then mean that those dark thoughts are let into our conscious awareness and are thus available for our consideration, unstopped by morality, empathy, guilt, or love if one does decide to act on them?

♥ Thank you for reading. I appreciate you. 

 

 

 

LOTUS DIVIDER

Comments are closed. 

 

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91 thoughts on “The Missing Piece in the Puzzle of Psychopathy”

  1. Nikita

    Yes yes yes! Thank you!!! Indeed this is worthy of further investigation. I read that when someone has a conscious thought to harm someone over a long period of time that they will usually end up hurting themselves. My narc did – he lost everything he had by the end of our relationship. Chillingly I realized that it resulted from his own conscious desire to hurt me. We must address the active side of evil to properly put them into perspective.

    1. Admin

      Hi Nikita. It seems strange to me that this has been overlooked and it seems worthy of some investigation. Here’s where it would be handy for me to have a PhD. Oh well, at least I can ask the question…I just wish someone would answer it!

    2. Andrew

      I have found articles that say that the psychopathic brain is set up to get rewards for violent behavior. They have nearly four times the level of Dopamine as neurotypical brains. Other brain structures and systems including the hypothalamus and amygdala are responsible for sexual urges and violence. Most male psychopaths have a lot of testosterone and female psychopaths have very active adrenal glands. Adrenalin is the female equivalent of testosterone.

      1. Andrew

        Also, he frontal lobes, the largest (and most recent) part of the hunan brain are not functioning. It is suspected that certain genes turn these off. The frontal lobes are reponsible for empathy (among many other things). Look up frontal lobe damage and you will see that these people (who were nerotypical before) are now behaving like psychopaths. Add together the extra dopamine and the atypical hypothalamus and amygdala (from my post above) and you have a recipe for someone who gets pleasure from hurting others.

        1. Adelyn Birch

          They do have problems in a few areas of their frontal lobes, although they aren’t “turned off.” “Findings were localized to the right orbitofrontal cortex, right anterior cingulate cortex, and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.” A problem with all of these studies are that the vast majority are done on violent criminal psychopaths, so we don’t know how those results might differ in non-criminal psychopaths.

          The problems are related to a variety of abnormalities: genes, neurotransmitters and hormones, structure, and connectivity (such as the neural connectivity between the frontal lobes and the amygdala). But even if it’s a recipe for someone getting pleasure from hurting someone, it still doesn’t answer my original question: where do their ideas of hurting people come from? Why do their brains generate these ideas?

          1. Andrew

            My idea for genes turning off parts of the brain come from James Fallon, the neuroscientist who wrote The Psychopath Inside. Also, I’ve read, elsewhere, that liking to hurt others, at least sexually, may come from having been sexually abused as children. This may lead the brain in these people to associate anger, aggression, and sexuality. Also, I’m thinking that people who abused others were considered dominant in a psychopathic family, so kids grew up determined to be abusers rather than abused – in other words to be dominant and not subject to abuse.

            1. Adelyn Birch

              James Fallon is all for the theory that environment plays a role in how someone with psychopathic genes turns out. It makes sense, but other researchers refute this idea. There is still so much to learn. I don’t agree with your theory about them becoming abusers to avoid abuse, though. That sounds like more of how a normal person might respond to being abused; you know, the theory that bullies are just really scared and insecure deep down inside. Some probably are, but not the psychopathic ones.

      2. Adelyn Birch

        I just recently wrote a blog post about how psychopaths have surges of dopamine, although it’s focused on relationships. Day-to-day, though, their level of dopamine is lower than normal.
        It’s Not You, It’s Me… and My Hyper-Reactive Dopaminergic Reward System
        Psychopaths have a very low level of serotonin (so they’re cranky and can’t feel contentment), and low serotonin causes increased testosterone.

        Adrenalin isn’t the female equivalent of testosterone–testosterone is. Women have testosterone, too, and certain ones have more than is normal for a female. Testosterone is what gives all women their sex drive.

        1. Andrew

          I stand corrected. I just looked it up and found that about one quarter of testosterone in women is produced by the adrenal glands. So you’re right that adrenalin and tstosterone in women are not the same thing.

  2. Baglady

    It may not always be a question of psychopaths setting out to do harm per se, but they are driven to seek power and control. Doing harm is a kind of experiment to see how much control they already have over other living beings, hence starting with small animals and working up to people. Control will take various forms, physical, psychological, emotional, financial and spiritual.

    Cruelty will be stimulating and exciting to the psychopath because of their low boredom threshold, they need to provoke reactions, and the more extreme the reaction the more satisfying to the psychopath. Because the psychopath is unable to feel emotions he has to find another source of feeling alive.

    Psychopaths have to go further in terms of violence in order to feel anything at all.

    1. Admin

      Yes, I see the logic here! Excellent answer. It is all definitely tied in with power and control, the link is undeniable.

      But still I wonder why they come up with *negative* applications of power and control — why not positive ones? For example, why would the idea of exerting power over an animal by hurting it, even be considered? Where does that come from? Why not exert control by teaching it to roll over or by walking it on a leash?

      All of us want to believe we have more control over our lives than we really do — it’s a universal desire, from what I understand — but we don’t do diabolical things in an attempt to control — we exert control by doing things like getting a better education, or saving for retirement, or getting a yearly check up, or taking vitamins, or exercising, or becoming a supervisor or manager…

      1. Baglady

        Yes, you’re right, a conscious choice exists to do good or do harm. Maybe the answer lies in finding out why some people prefer to do good. I derive more pleasure from helping someone and I see the bigger picture that our lives are made better by healthy cooperation for individual and group good. The individual is always more important than the group, because groups cannot exist without individuals, and groups can exert amoral pressures on individual action. But we are social animals and there has to be a balance struck.

        If some of us derive pleasure from helping others then we may have something in our physical or mental makeup that are like receptor sites for altruism! Continuing the drug metaphor, psychopaths only derive pleasure from doing harm because they may only have receptors for sadism.

        It may be related to observed differences in brain activity, although I am not in favour of letting psychopaths off the moral hook. Neural pathways are reinforced, destroyed and created constantly. If brain activity is deficient in the higher evolutionary forms such as the empathic and moral frontal lobes then it may follow that the neural pathways are formed without recourse to the higher brain functions and the subject is left with crude, animalistic and uncontrollable drives, without the checks and balances of the more evolved being. Psychopaths are basically in arrested development, they haven’t progressed from the narcissistic stage where they think only of themselves and disregard the common good. They have childlike impulses in an adult body which is quite dangerous if you try to imagine someone at the very trying toddler stage who is six foot tall! It’s a recipe for disaster.

        Now you have to ask the question why psychopaths brains are different in regions of activity, brain damage only accounts for a very small percentage of psychopaths. We may be coming to a more metaphysical/epigenetic reason – the will to do good or the will to do harm will influence the brain’s activity and it becomes a vicious cycle. Just as an athlete’s training eventually modifies and strengthens their body as a consequence of repetitive actions, maybe repetitive acts of good or harm strengthens euphoric centres in our brains. Some people just get a kick from doing harm, and the more pleasure they get from a certain activity the more they want to repeat it. In other words, the pleasure principle is at work here, we’re all drug addicts!

        1. Admin

          Wow, Baglady, you’ve knocked my socks off with this one. Your answer belongs in a dissertation instead of a blog comment (although I’m very happy to have it here!). You are very articulate and insightful, and your reasoning, connections and analogies are right-on. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head because this makes perfect sense. I will definitely be taking more time to consider in more depth the things you’ve said.

          I’m so impressed by the comments I’ve received from readers so far. They are so well thought out and insightful. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to answer my question.

          1. prinses

            And thank YOU for creating thid blog to exchange knowledge!
            There’s still a lot to be discovered in order to make it disappear.
            What I do know, is that when you do it right, cutting off a psychopath, there is NO grief at all. If you do it right, you discover life fuller and gratefuller than you ever did before.
            Just like being born again; the contractions are intense and drive you to your limits; but look at this wonderfull baby you just gave birth to!
            Maybe that was the whole purpose of it… evolution of mankind.

            1. Admin

              “…you discover life fuller and gratefuller than you ever did before. Just like being born again; the contractions are intense and drive you to your limits; but look at this wonderful baby you just gave birth to! Maybe that was the whole purpose of it… evolution of mankind.”

              Well said. I’m so glad to hear you were able to find so much good out of what happened. I think it’s one of the final stages of healing, when this happens (I only hesitate in saying it IS the final stage because I have no idea what might come next — this experience was so full of surprises and the unknown for me, so I can’t be sure). Maybe it is about the evolution of mankind, but it is at least about personal evolution. I hope everyone can experience this.

              1. margott

                What comes next???…heeee, not for the prinses hopefully, but it’s the ‘Character Assassination’ by the ‘mob’, 7 of them. How about this? ANYBODY ON THIS? WHAT TO DO OR READ?

              2. Adelyn Birch

                Margott, I hope you’re not going through a character assassination. If you are, I’m sorry to hear it. In the sidebar, there’s a category “ONGOING ABUSE.” I hope you’ll find something helpful there.

          2. Baglady

            Thank YOU for providing the space and impetus for logical discussion on what is a tremendous problem for mankind.

            1. Admin

              You’re welcome! I’m so happy to be able to do that.

          3. Andrew

            I, too, have wondered these very same things as I’m sure a lot of people have bit you never seen to find any answers. And I, too, am most impressed with baglady’s reply. To add to this, I know there is something in the osychopath’s brain that does seem to cause aggression but maybe in nicer circumstances thus is just competitiveness. Of a child grows up in a hostile environment AND has these aggressive genes, his or her brain will develop in a way to cause harm to others and enjoy doing so. That’s my conclusion anyway. The brain is plastic and develops in accordance with it’s environment so it seems that it takes both nature and nurture to make people nice or nasty.

            1. Adelyn Birch

              That sounds plausible, Andrew. Although in the case of psychopaths, I don’t think it’s “nice or nasty,” but “nasty or nastier.”

        2. I have been saying this for a while…….the psychpath’s “good” brain neuropathways are atrophied, possibly because they initially were “neglected” at some stage of the development. And, not all brains are capable of neuroplasticity in the way most people’s brains are. It’s been proven that FASD brains are not plastic in varying degrees. It’s also been shown that development of certain neuropathways can be enhanced through physical stimulation.
          BUT, the why do harm to an animal for control vs training an animal ” For example, why would the idea of exerting power over an animal by hurting it, even be considered? Where does that come from? Why not exert control by teaching it to roll over or by walking it on a leash?” It’s the reaction they love and what captivates them…..the power to generate the reaction. That’s why Greyrocking them works in many many cases…..no redaction and they are bored with you VERY quickly. Game over!
          I know that Spathtard was a very curious person, as is my Sociobro…..like….”I wonder what would happen if I…..” fill in the blank.
          OMG, it’s just all so bizarre!

          1. One other thing about the commonly sited “loving environment” that some Spaths were raised in and turned out to be Spaths anyhow………how do we know that something didn’t happen? Something secret, an undisclosed abuse or trauma? For example, a two year old baby molested by a baby sitter or a loving mother who accidentally “allowed” her baby to roll off the changing table. There are SO many possibilities when you think about it and it’s just something I always think when I hear the “in spite of being raised in a loving home” caveat. I can almost guarantee that there is no one who knows just how dysfunctional the “loving home” my sociobro and I were raised in was!

            1. Admin

              Good points. We can never know the real truth about what goes on in anyone’s home…many families have secrets, and they try to hide them in any way they can.

              And it’s possible that even a “normally dysfunctional” environment is enough to throw that psychopathic switch. Who knows how much it takes, or what it takes for each individual, for an environment to be harmful enough to do the damage?

          2. Admin

            They do have a very high need for intense stimulation, and they find boredom intolerable, so this might just have something to do with choosing the action that results in the biggest reaction, no matter how horrible. Of course it’s not horrible to them — it’s simply fun or interesting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      2. margott

        There is no ‘positive’ application of the ‘power’ and ‘control’….at least not in interpersonal relationships, and I believe in general, look at politics. Sure, you can control somebodies sugar intake, but why would you, if there is no love empathy etc. You can pretend though,…and that’s what they do, when needed.
        However, yes normal people too exhibit power and control, but only to protect themselves, this is called boundaries and is considered to be healthy…healthier, then inability to do so. On this vey site there is an explanation to why psychos go for week, and it’s not because they are cowards, but just because they are hungry. I have lots of contradictory thoughts regarding this, but certainly they need to CONSYME, not to SAVE. Also, they can be sadistic type, as well as non-sadistic (have problems with this too, but generally the idea falls into my observations). In sort yes, just lack of empathy, love itc., IS NOT FULL EXPLANATION. I would go for combo – no conscience plus urges to get HIGH by gaining control, power, position and btw manipulation, which in my view is often the purpose of the whole ‘adage’, not only means. ASKING FOR LITERATURE -GOOGLE DR. GEORGE.K. SIMON.

        1. Adelyn Birch

          “no conscience plus urges to get HIGH by gaining control, power, position and btw manipulation”

          Good thinking! This could very well be it, and with a complete lack of empathy, it might be the answer.

          I think they’re all sadistic, on some level. They all manipulate, and they enjoy it. Isn’t that sadistic? I think so.

    2. margott

      Interesting idea about the ‘experiment’. Will think about it.

    3. Andrew

      The last part of this reminds me of borderlines except that they harm themselves. Borderline and psychopathy are very similar in not all but a lot of ways. It seems that borderlines harm themselves where psychopaths harm others.

      1. Adelyn Birch

        They do harm themselves. Between 5 and 10% commit suicide, and cutting is supposedly a pretty common behavior.

  3. Karen

    I think I see it as similar to how when I was bored as a child, I would cut all the hair off my dolls. As a teenager, when I was angry, I would throw my teddies around the room. Nowadays, I take out my daily stress by doing MMA training, often involving hitting/kicking punchbags/pads. I would never have dreamed of cutting off my sisters hair, or throwing an animal, or punching a person because I knew that would hurt them, and seeing someone hurt would be upsetting, especially if I was responsible. But to sociopaths, that hurt would be more stimulation. That hurt would relieve their boredom even more, and relieve their anger even more, and be an even better stress relief. To them, people are no more than those dolls, teddies and punchbags. Why should they care if objects hurt? So I don’t know that they so much have a desire to hurt others, as that they have no reason to NOT hurt others.

    1. Admin

      More excellent points, thank you! It’s true that to a psychopath, people and animals are no different than objects — and this is an important piece of the puzzle, as you explain so well! You reminded me that I, too, used to cut my doll’s hair off and even put them up in trees, leaving them stranded overnight! I’ll have to think about this more, I’m sure there are many more things I did along those lines, but that I never considered doing to actual living things because of empathy and compassion. Thank you for your thoughts!

  4. LadyVigilant

    Most of us have surely earned the equivalency of a Phd from experience and research, and gained much wisdom from the pain. There is a spiritual drive to harm in them that is more demonic than human. Without demonic inspiration they could not inflict so much harm and derive so much pleasure in doing so. Satan and his minions came “to kill, steal, and destroy” and they are quite adept at it, and always end up destroying themselves as well. I pray daily for discernment to recognize the “wolves in sheeps clothing” and never be devoured again. God Bless you and your readers.

    1. Admin

      While anything is possible, I think there’s a more earth-bound reason for their evil thoughts. Read some of the other comments — people are coming up with some excellent non-satanic reasons for the harm they inflict. They seem to make sense and provide some solid solutions to the mystery.

      Thank you for your blessings. I hope you will never be devoured again, and that none of us will.

  5. prinses

    I think it is because somehow a psychopath does not connect experience to biography in a way people with a heart do. Lack of identity causes survival by imitation and there is no more for a psychopath to experience in life than that. This causes so much frustration and anger, that he or she builds up hate against all people who DO have a connection inside to their hearts, souls and memorize every life-experience as something to remember, learn from and treasure. Imagine you have only one bag and everything you put in there gets lost on your way home because there’s a big hole in it you just can’t fix. Feel pity? Yes, in a way I feel pity for the psychopath. Which doesn’t mean anyone else could fix that hole for him/her. A psychopath blames the whole world for his/her empty being but forgot the reason why since the hole was in the bag. Can’t memorize in the right way. Causes pain to have an impression of being connected to others. Makes sense to you what I say?

    1. Admin

      Yes, it makes sense. In fact I love the words and analogy you chose to explain your theory. But when you imagine a psychopath becoming frustrated and angry because they “don’t have a connection inside to their hearts and souls,” you are imagining they see the world through your eyes, that they want the same things you do, that they see what you have and then feel they are missing something. They don’t. They are very different from us and they do not want the same things, so therefore they do not feel anything is missing nor do they feel angry, frustrated or sad about it. If you ask a psychopath, there is no hole in his bag.

      1. prinses

        Thanks for answering> but then we still don’t know where the sadism comes from. Maybe I can ask you the following question; why does a psychopath depend on the love of others? Because he fears his emptiness isn’t it? Boredom is the stage where normal people imagine. The psycho can’t. He/she searches immediately for people to cling to. There MUST be some vulnerability deep down at that spot, otherwise he wouldn’t get angry.

        1. Admin

          “why does a psychopath depend on the love of others? Because he fears his emptiness isn’t it?” No, it’s because our love enables him to exploit and manipulate us.

          “He/she searches immediately for people to cling to.” He searches for people to VICTIMIZE. Don’t forget, we are dealing with a predator.

          “There MUST be some vulnerability deep down at that spot, otherwise he wouldn’t get angry.” You are attributing your feelings and motivations to him, when in fact they are not like yours at all. The anger is simply from frustration when he doesn’t get his needs met.

        2. prinses

          I sure every psychopath would kill him-/herself without the possibility sucking others dry. He/she is just not able to make a life with an authentic purpose, wich means he sees all the others weaker AND stronger at the same time. He/she is like walking in a mine-field all the time and keeps on seeing his targets as enemies. He/she might be fooling others, but I refuse to give him or her these credits because he or she is his/her own biggest enemy. Yeah, that’s a lot of fear and needs a strong harness to protect the ass. They’re hiding and that’s all they do in life; hiding and sucking. In my eyes they’re very weak people with an illness you better not get close to.

          1. Admin

            “He/she is just not able to make a life with an authentic purpose…” Again, you are attributing YOUR needs and motivations in life to someone who has very different needs and motivations. They do not share our need for “authentic purpose.” That’s your need, not the need of the psychopath. They have their own purpose, which is vastly different from your purpose. Do you see what I’m saying?

            “he sees all the others weaker AND stronger at the same time.” They don’t see us as stronger. They don’t envy our abilities and attributes — they view tham as weaknesses, not strengths. They see these weaknesses as what enable them to victimize us, and in fact they think we DESERVE to be victimized because of these “weaknesses.”

            “In my eyes they’re very weak people with an illness you better not get close to.” You are absolutely right.

          2. prinses

            I think evil in the first place only can grow where someone had a weak/ill personality. If it was at birth or later on I don’t know. I don’t feel pity for a psychopath in a connecting way, I just see the missing core and know there’s nothing to hope, envy or believe with these people that lost their humanity. They became channels of poisoned energy, covered with sugarcandy charms and magnetism. They are mines themselves. Be aware not to step on them

            1. Admin

              I agree with you. Poison covered with sugarcandy charms is a great way to put it. Land mines is also a good analogy.

              “I just see the missing core” Yes, but just know that THEY don’t see it.

        3. Baglady

          Lots of interesting comments and insights.

          The psychopath is addicted to social interaction, not love, because that’s how a psychopath finds targets. Psychopaths don’t understand love except for love of self. Lions are drawn to waterholes because that’s where they find food. Paedophiles are drawn to working in schools and youth groups because that’s where they’ll find victims. Don’t mistake this predatory attraction for some way that the predator is trying to improve his lack of humanity, psychopaths think there is nothing wrong with them, they only have scorn for the real humans.

          You’re not thinking like a predator, and that’s what shows you up to be a decent human being. You have to try and think like they do, difficult and distasteful as that may be, but you have to try, then you’ll be better prepared.

  6. Chatty

    My theory is that the psychopath experiences rewards, fear, & punishment differently, as though hard wired in a different way. Like the animal that instinctively exhibits aggressive, frightening looking poses and noises to scare away a potential threat, and when cornered, attacks to get control of the situation, gaining the upper hand & reducing the threat, that is the psychopath. By being the frightening aggressor in response to some perceived negative stimulation or need, or to a strong basic desire, their primal instinct for survival (an uneasy punishing feeling of being unsafe or vulnerable in some nebulous physical sense) is controlled. They learn that by gaining control through attacking/harming, the tormenting stimuli (probably the only thing they can actually feel) which they interpreted as negative, uncomfortable, unfamiliar, punishing, is extinguished, which is satisfying relief, the psychopath’s definition of a reward….the control & ridding of an uncomfortable primal urge, threat/desire. Could harming become a positively reinforced rewarding habitual pattern, the only reward ever able to be experienced by a psychopath? It is doubtful they ever even consider others enough to think of harm to the target, just a survival attack response to a primitive instinct to remove some deep seeded primal threat that I doubt they can even identify. For all we know, they may not even have the capacity to understand physical pain any more than mental anguish. They must see & know that others experience a deep empathic richness in life of which they are devoid, as well as having basic human needs and desires which must be quenched. These, by their existence, must instinctively threaten the psychopath towards attack, simply to control & remove an uncomfortable, spontaneous impulse basic humanity elicits, requiring release, like a tourettic tic. Why harm an innocent? Whom knows what primal fear lies within our genetic makeup. Like the panicked killing of bugs, some harmless, because of deep seeded primal fears, handed down from the dawn of mankind. The psychopath is compelled to do harm to get relief from a stimuli (the closest thing to any feeling they can imagine), a satisfaction, which ironically positively reinforces doing harm. Doing harm becomes the instinctive attack pattern in reaction to a threat & to achieve the satisfaction, the absence of some sort of psychic discomfort/threat trigger is the positive reinforcement, like the scratching of an itch, for the psychopath. Gary Ridgeway (Green River Killer) told police he lacked the (human quality) thing called “caring.”

    1. Admin

      This is a very interesting theory. Thank you for sharing it here. There is something strangely “primal” about all of it.

      “Like the panicked killing of bugs, some harmless, because of deep seated primal fears, handed down from the dawn of mankind.” I am guilty of this on occasion, and when it happens I realize it is irrational and that the repulsion I feel is out of proportion to the threat. It definitely feels like a primal fear.

      “Who knows what primal fear lies within our genetic makeup?” A fascinating question…we are influenced by so many things without even realizing it, and primal fears are probably at the top of the list.

    2. Andrew

      This is an excellent idea and makes SO much sense!

  7. Nearlybel

    Another brilliant blog, and a most interesting and mind blowing question.
    I do think each of us that have been victimised by these predators and have survived, do have some of the answers, it’s realising that and accessing them that’s difficult because all we want to do is forget! We have to ‘remember’ and share, then maybe the power of the people will bring about a solution that no psychologist/ psychiatrist/doctor/scientist could on their own.
    Are these types found the world over? Or is it only in the capitalist, mixed economy where the emphasis on who and what one is about shifts to money and consuming? And what the financial rewards can be, everything bigger and better, that is their only goal and they will do anything necessary to achieve, lying and manipulating as they go.
    We know it’s about ‘winning’ in every aspect of their lives, imagine how exhausting that would be, all your interactions, your one goal would be to ‘win’. With me, my psycho stopped me doing many things, in many different ways:
    Silent tx and sulking.
    Taking the keys of the car.
    Being mean and cruel to the children.
    Always punishing me for my normal human behavior.
    One ‘conversation’ I told him I wasn’t being the interface between himself and the children anymore and stopped, he was unable to have a relationship with them. He couldn’t speak properly to them, he couldn’t even give a normal greeting, cos it was all used in his arsenal of weaponry to acknowledge and reward or ignore and isolate, it was so obvious now.
    I would ask him, does he not think the children can see for themselves what was happening, he said no, he said it was me feeding them stories and poisoning them against him.
    And in court he’d stand up and say he used have a great relationship with his children, and he accused me of parent alienation syndrome, I’d never heard of this before, the judge dismissed him. One year later I see it is what these psychos do to their children, psychologically and emotionally abuse them against their mother. And how the GALs in US family courts are up to their necks in supporting them against the mother, it is pure chaos and that’s what these psychos cause, and the facts and the truth are lost in the fog of this confusion, exactly what the psycho needs to operate.
    I will continue to ponder on the missing bit of the puzzle. It could be they are the link back to Neanderthal, it could be they are the evil when lucifer fell to earth. They have manifested themselves into the Greek myths and legends, our fairy tales, the bible. They have been around an awful long time, but maybe now we will find those pieces of the puzzle.
    Just love what ye do xxx

    1. Admin

      Hi Nearlybel. You say some very interesting things here in your comment.

      “Are these types found the world over? Or is it only in the capitalist, mixed economy…”

      From what I gather, they are found everywhere. Here’s a little tidbit I found the other day: “In a 1976 study anthropologist Jane M. Murphy found that an isolated group of Yupik-speaking Inuits near the Bering Strait had a term (kunlangeta) they used to describe “a man who … repeatedly lies and cheats and steals things and … takes sexual advantage of many women—someone who does not pay attention to reprimands and who is always being brought to the elders for punishment.” When Murphy asked an Inuit what the group would typically do with a kunlangeta, he replied, “Somebody would have pushed him off the ice when nobody else was looking.”

      Parental alienation is an especially abhorrent behavior. I’m glad the judge dismissed him in your case, but too many are fooled and don’t even question such claims. How can they still be unaware? “There is now scholarly consensus that severe alienation is abusive to children (Fidler and Bala, 2010), and it is a largely overlooked form of child abuse (Bernet et al, 2010), as child welfare and divorce practitioners are often unaware of or minimize its extent.” Psychology Today, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/co-parenting-after-divorce/201304/the-impact-parental-alienation-children

      I, too, experienced “the silent treatment.” It is an exceptionally harmful form of abuse. Here’s a great article ~ http://www.powercommunicating.com/
      “The silent treatment is a statement of contempt, relating, “You aren’t worth the energy it would take me to acknowledge your existence, let alone your feelings or needs…The silent treatment is a technique of torture.”

      “…Always punishing me for my normal human behavior.” That’s a great way to sum up what they do! I think I will write a blog post that takes a look at things from this angle.

      “It could be they are the link back to Neanderthal” This sparked my curiosity, and I just found a blog by Dr. Del Wolf Thiessen, a Professor Emeritus of Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Texas in Austin. He has a theory that neanderthals were “psychopathic to the core,” and says “Here is my hypothesis. This early human Neandertal shared several traits that we see in psychopathic modern humans: it was agile, mesomorphic, aggressive, risk taking… The mesomorphic body form suggests higher levels of blood testosterone, and possibly higher levels of dopamine, greater sensation seeking, high risk taking, and lower levels of monogamous bonding. In other words, Neandertal may have been the early human representation of the psychopathic personality.” http://darksideofthebrain.com/?p=1106

      “They have manifested themselves into the Greek myths and legends, our fairy tales, the bible.” They have, but then why is almost everyone still in the dark about them??? Even with all the articles out now about psychopathic politicians, bosses, school shooters, etc, and psychopaths on wall street…There is some sort of disconnect. Perhaps it is psychopathic manipulation on a global scale.

      xx

      1. LadyVigilant

        I think you nailed it, “Perhaps it is psychopathic manipulation on a global scale.” It surely must be the case. I’ve often wondered why this vital, life saving information isn’t taught in school? Has it ever been taught to the young? Perhaps fairytales were an attempt to protect the innocent from evil predators. When my children were young before I knew any red flags of psychopathy the cartoon characters they watched disturbed me. The evil characters were always so blatantly obvious with the evil laugh. Those cartoons must teach little ones that anyone evil looks and behaves that way and would be easily recognised. We all now know it is the opposite. They are very cunning in disquising their wicked intentions.
        Just love your blog and the little red riding hood motif and illustrations.

        1. Admin

          Psychopathic manipulation on a large scale seems to be the only way to explain some things. For example, the financial collapse several years ago caused by flagrant dishonesty and greed on wall street…and the attempt to fix it by giving billions of dollars to the very same ones who caused it in the first place…and the general apathy about the whole thing, as if almost everyone had been anesthetized.

          It’s true that we’re taught to watch out for those who “look” like evil villains and to believe they would be easily recognized. I will have to change my red riding hood motif now, so I don’t perpetuate this belief ;-)

          1. LadyVigilant

            Please don’t change your Little Red Riding Hood
            motif! The big bad wolf used so many psychopathic lures on her, and even disguised himself as her granny. The wolf is not at all like the super obvious cartoon evil doers. Loved your book too.
            Gratefully,
            LV

            1. Admin

              I’ll leave things just as they are. It just wouldn’t be the same without Lil’ Red.

              So happy to hear you liked the book, thank you!

    2. Andrew

      I was reading recently that it was the homi sapiens that has the psychopathy and why homo sapiens survived whereas the Neanderthal did not.

      1. Adelyn Birch

        Good point!

  8. Tammy

    From my experience, I believe they do feel emotions that are opposite from a healthy norm. I was in the stage of what you refer to as triangulation, when they bring another target into the picture. I voiced my opposition and instead of talking it out with me, he proceeded to punch me in the side of the head, repeatedly and to tell me how pathetic I was. I noticed the more I pleaded with him to stop hitting me the more I was hit. At one point I looked up at him and with a calm, low voice I said, “Please stop hitting me, I love you.” At this point a smile erupted on his face as he pulled back to hit me even harder. This haunts me because I seen the joy minus any empathy that he was having while hurting me.

    1. Admin

      Yes, they definitely enjoy what they do, whether the abuse is emotional or physical. It’s sickening to realize the joy they got from harming us, as if it were some form or entertainment. I think they take special delight in triangulation, as they take their very obvious actions and try to turn them around to become our pathetic insecurities. I’m sorry you experienced this. All the best to you.

  9. efemeris

    You have that question “Why” are they like that, the same question many people have. Unfortunatelly, not even Hare or other researchers can answer that. I don’t think that they never asked themselves the very same question but they have mentioned that they don’t know what exactly causes psychopathy, why are some psychopaths more violent than others and so on. It is actually a logical fallacy and confirmation bias to think that psychopaths who were growing up in violent enviroments and have been sexually abused by their parents are more violent than psychopaths who are growing up in loving families. Ted Bundy is one of the famous psychopaths who was growing up in a loving family but turned out to be the most notorious serial killer. If you read about Mohandas Gandhi and his private life, let me know what you think about his eldest son Harilal. Gandhi once stated Harilal’s problems were more difficult for him to deal with than the struggle for Indian independence. He once wrote to his son as follows: “You should know that your problem has become much more difficult for me even, even more than our national freedom. Manu is telling me a number of dangerous things about you. She says that you had raped her even before she was eight years and she was so badly hurt that medical treatment also had to be taken.” I don’t think that Harilal’s only problem was alcohol addiction. I also don’t want to state that he was a psychopath. What I want to say is that also nopsychopathic persons who grew up in loving families can chose the wrong path. So do psychopaths as well. I have also asked myself where do such thoughts and desires to kill and torture came from. It is still beyond my imagination. Perhaps one day we will find the answer to this question.

    1. Admin

      Psychopathy is a spectrum, so maybe in less severe cases environment does have an influence, but Bundy was a very severe case. I didn’t know about Gandhi’s son — very interesting.

      “I have also asked myself where do such thoughts and desires to kill and torture came from. It is still beyond my imagination. Perhaps one day we will find the answer to this question.”

      I hope there will be an answer, too. At the very least, it would be interesting to know. But at the most, it could be significant and could possibly contribute to an effective treatment.

      Thank you for your comment.

      1. Baglady

        Gandhi is not the perfect person that everyone is made to think he was. Even a broken clock tells the right time twice a day. Gandhi was a tyrant and a racist when he was in South Africa but you won’t hear much of this in the mainstream propaganda machine. He was also a tyrant as far as his wife was concerned, he forbad her to use antibiotics when she was ill but he used them himself. The world of politics is a great deal more convoluted than most people imagine, and Gandhi was a perfect tool at the time. As with most of our created saints and demons the reality is a lot more complex. Appearances are deceptive and it’s how most of us are deceived. As Thomas Sheridan commented, we are living in a psychopathic control grid. Our microcosm of personal hurts by psychopaths is mirrored in the macrocosm of psychopathy that is ruling this planet. That is why we need to learn about psychopathy and protect ourselves, but the powers that be don’t want you to learn too much about their sickness. That is also why you have apologists like Prof Kevin Dutton trying to get psychopathy accepted as some kind of evolutionary progress for humanity. Those of us who still have integrity should be prepared to battle against these ideas. It’s a huge battle but those of us who have survived and learnt so much from our very painful experiences are more than equal to the task.

        1. Admin

          Have you seen Kevin Dutton’s most recently published book? “The Good Psychopath’s Guide To Success: How to use your inner psychopath to get the most out of life.” Here’s part of the description: “Being a psychopath is bad, right? Actually no. A surprising number of us are good psychopaths – people who can control qualities such as fear, indecision and conscience to shine in a variety of situations. Are you one of them?”

          Did I read this wrong, or did he actually say having less “conscience” is a good thing in many situations? I’d say too little conscience is the main reason for the “macrocosm of psychopathy that is ruling this planet.” Luckily, nothing Dutton writes will ever make anyone psychopathic. I can understand wanting to be less fearful or indecisive, but what does that have to do with psychopathy? In other words, wanting to be less fearful doesn’t need to be equated with psychopathy, nor do I think a psychopath could help a non-psychopath become less fearful.

          “As with most of our created saints and demons the reality is a lot more complex. Appearances are deceptive and it’s how most of us are deceived.” And with public figures, their image is so skillfully and purposely developed and perpetuated, because they know the way the human mind works and they know how to take advantage of it. It’s the same old mask, on a larger scale.

          1. Admin

            I’ve stuck to discussing psychopathy in personal relationships on this site, but its infiltration into our lives and our world is mind-boggling.

          2. Baglady

            When I realised that I had been up close and personal with a dangerous psychopath, I went through, and am still going through the fallout. But one reaction I experienced immediately was unforeseen and quite illogical – I found myself being jealous of the psychopath, his ability to do anything he wants without a flicker of conscience or anxiety!! That was dispelled almost as quickly as it arose, but it made an impression on me. I’m an incurable neurotic, but even thinking that I was jealous of the psychopath’s grip on life made me afraid that I would develop into a psychopath myself. I think this may be a common feeling amongst survivors, but merely worrying about it shows that you are not a psychopath. After a psychopath has left your life you have lost your innocence, you know how you were targeted and manipulated but that knowledge does not turn you into an unfeeling robot like the psycho. It just means you’re older and wiser. Kevin Dutton is part of a movement, imho, that is trying to get psychopathy accepted as a lifestyle choice. Just as Machiavelli, Plato etc who advised the ruling elite of their day on how to retain their power, the ruling elite today are trying to minimise the waking up that’s going on amongst the herd, that they’ve been found out and we know what they’ve been doing. Seeing Kevin Dutton (so-called academic) and that other minion Jon Ronson (self-described journalist and entertainer) scurry around trying to make us all psychopaths is quite funny and it shows how scared the institutional psychopaths are feeling right now. There was some research about psychopathy in high places that was done in the 1970’s that then disappeared down the memory hole, this current mediatisation of psychopathy is a different tactic designed to throw people off the scent and hide it in plain sight. How can we complain about psychopaths if we are all psychopaths? It’s a bit like saying all men are rapists – they have the means and the desire so it must be true!!! Leaving out the crucial bit about intention means the argument against psychopathy is immediately deflated. Rape is not about sex, it’s about power. Psychopathy is not about achievement, it’s about power and control.

            1. Admin

              I had the same reaction, Baglady. I envied his easy, subtle air of confidence, his lack of anxiety, and lack of stress. He even told me that he’d never felt stressed. No need for Arid Xtra Dry! He said he’d never been depressed — he couldn’t even imagine it or understand it. But of course envying these things will never make them happen.

              The scary thing is that plenty of people become “secondary psychopaths” (sociopaths) — think of gang members or people following certain political leaders — but that’s a whole different story.

              Neurotics make the perfect “partners” for psychopaths. We bring enough of everything to the relationship to make up for their lack of it (for a while, anyway) — enough love, enough worry about why things are going wrong, and enough self-blame to take responsibility for it.

              I’m not sure if Dutton and Ronson are part of the movement to make psychopathy an acceptable lifestyle choice. I think they’re just capitalizing on the desires of ‘neurotics’ (this means normal to me) to be less fearful, depressed and anxiety ridden, and instead of writing another run-of-the-mill self-help book, they got the bright idea that since psychopaths don’t experience these things, they can use that angle and propose that psychopaths can teach us how to be bolder and more confident and decisive. But if they never felt those things to begin with, how can they teach anyone to overcome them? They can’t, in my opinion, but it still makes for plenty of book sales. Especially when combined with our fascination with all things psychopathic.

              Psychopathy is definitely hiding in plain site. Even though people are becoming more aware, it seems we are far from taking any kind of action. It doesn’t help that psychopathy isn’t even considered a stand-alone diagnosis in the DSM, the bible of psychiatry. From what I understand, it’s considered a subtype of antisocial personality disorder, something like “APD with psychopathic traits.” You have to wonder who exactly made that decision……and why……?

        2. Anon

          Here’s some quotes by Thomas Sheridan:

          A genuine psychopath will have the most bizarre music collection.

          and (apparently)

          a genuine psychopath will have a ring finger longer than an index finger.

          There’s some pretty foul-mouthed rants quoted as having come from Sheridan – search for ‘From internet troll to psychpathy expert: the con-artistry of Thomas Sheridan’

  10. Baglady

    I feel there is plenty here to make another book!!

    “The scary thing is that plenty of people become “secondary psychopaths” (sociopaths) — think of gang members or people following certain political leaders ” – Sheridan calls them proto-psychopaths, they don’t have terminal psychopathy but they’ve adapted to the psychopathic strategy for survival. There is some hope for these people, but it would take a life changing event in my opinion, something like losing your job and your house! The rest of us who are the targets of psychopathy know that something is wrong and we are neurotic enough to try to find the cause!

    “I’m not sure if Dutton and Ronson are part of the movement to make psychopathy an acceptable lifestyle choice. I think they’re just capitalizing on the desires of ‘neurotics’ (this means normal to me) to be less fearful, depressed and anxiety ridden, and instead of writing another run-of-the-mill self-help book,” – if only I could believe that these characters are about helping people! To my mind these are self-serving proto-psychopaths. If you read what Prof Robert Hare has to say about these people you may have a change of mind. Bear in mind also that anything, I mean anything, that is published through mainstream press has to go through a heavy process of authorisation and approval – that’s a given. You have to be judged to be a non-threat to the status quo, and whether your message is going to be accessible to a small or a large audience, and whether your message is ultimately useful to the overall objective. You or I cannot publish just anything, especially if it goes against the “consensus”. Academia is very self-censorial, funding for research etc. Robert Hare is a worldwide expert but even he, unwittingly, may be a pawn in the game, his academic qualifications would lend weight to certain views that are then twisted to suit an agenda. Yes, I am paranoid!! But I try to see things from the point of view of an established power base who have no intention of giving up power.

    “they got the bright idea that since psychopaths don’t experience these things, they can use that angle and propose that psychopaths can teach us how to be bolder and more confident and decisive. But if they never felt those things to begin with, how can they teach anyone to overcome them? ” – Absolutely right and on the button, but I don’t remember that this unfortunate piece of evidence ever being exposed in the apologists’ prose. This is crucial to understanding part of the allure of psychopaths and how they progress through life.

    “Even though people are becoming more aware, it seems we are far from taking any kind of action. It doesn’t help that psychopathy isn’t even considered a stand-alone diagnosis in the DSM, the bible of psychiatry.” – You and the contributors to this blog have a lot of useful points to discuss, it’s a pity that for the time being this isn’t more widely discussed. The DSM is a political and social tool so it is no surprise that psychopathy is downgraded or ignored. On the other hand oppositional defiance disorder is considered to be a mental disorder, so merely questioning the status quo is an indication of madness – who benefits the most from this diagnosis? Psychiatry has been used for centuries to silence political opponents, give licence to certain social measures, and “resolve” certain family conflicts. The abuse of psychiatry through the ages is worthy of a book on its own!! Gaslighting is a psychopathic tool, making someone feel that they are unstable is a tool for psychopaths everywhere but especially for those in positions of power. The people are treated like unruly children or objects, not hard-working and long-suffering men and women with wisdom and feelings.

    How can we take action, what form does that action take, who will listen and how can we take it to wider audience. Answers please on the back of a cigarette packet . . . I’m open to suggestions!!

    1. Admin

      “if only I could believe that these characters are about helping people!” I didn’t mean to imply I thought they were trying to help people — what I meant was they were just trying to make money.

      “I don’t remember that this unfortunate piece of evidence ever being exposed in the apologists’ prose.” Me either, and since most people who read the book will not really understand how a psychopath’s mind works, they won’t see that.

      “Gaslighting is a psychopathic tool, making someone feel that they are unstable is a tool for psychopaths everywhere but especially for those in positions of power. The people are treated like unruly children or objects, not hard-working and long-suffering men and women with wisdom and feelings.” When we understand the manipulations we experienced on a personal level, we recognize how those same tactics apply on a much broader scale. And then it becomes impossible to ignore. “How can we take action, what form does that action take, who will listen and how can we take it to wider audience?” Good questions. I wish I had some answers. As you said, the established power base has no intention of giving up power, so whatever the solution, it would not be easy.

      I love Sheridan’s writing. I read his book “Defeated Demons: Freedom from Consciousness Parasites in Psychopathic Society.” He’s the only author who can portray psychopathy on an epic scale as a battle of good and evil, and make it work for me. Unfortunately, many people write him off as a kook or try to discredit him.

      “I feel there is plenty here to make another book!!” I agree. I hope you’ll get started on it soon! :-)

      1. Baglady

        I feel I have plenty of material for a book, so that thought is always in the background, and I’d be interested in the movie rights!! I had a blog called Encounters of the Psychopathic Kind, but I felt I was beginning to heal and as I no longer wanted to see myself as a victim I deleted it. I’ve read both of Sheridan’s books on psychopaths and I read his blog from time to time, he’s made some good videos too on utube.

        I have plenty of other interests but when I stumbled on your blog it awakened that particular part of my life, you cannot deny that knowing a psychopath is an extreme wake-up call. Most people are weighed down with life concerns, earning a living and surviving so it would be difficult to reach those people. The only people who would be responsive are those who recognise their lives have been hijacked by a psychopath and are trying to reclaim their lives.

        We who are not psychopaths don’t seek authority or power over others so it is an unequal game, those who have power generally abuse it and usually gain the upper hand. For us it’s a personal voyage, we can share experiences and ideas for recovery but we can’t prevent others from making the same mistakes however frustrating that is. Trying to warn people that they may be interacting with a psychopath is self-defeating, and the truth is often hard to believe. I knew nothing about psychopathy until I started to look into domestic violence and maternal alienation which had happened to me years earlier. Maternal alienation is a favourite tool of the abusive husband but very little research has been done into it except in Australia!!

        When the student is ready, the master will appear.

        1. Admin

          Hi Baglady. Too bad you deleted your blog! I would have loved to read it. There was a point when I was ready to move on and I didn’t want to think about any of this anymore, so I wrote a ‘goodbye’ post and planned to let the blog disappear into cyberspace. But it just kept calling to me, and I came back after a couple of months. It’s become a part of my life.

          “you cannot deny that knowing a psychopath is an extreme wake-up call.” It certainly was a wake-up call! More like a wake-up explosion that blew up my life and everything I was familiar with. I agree, the only people who would be responsive are those of us who have experienced a psychopath in our lives. Anyone who hasn’t simply can’t understand it, not even a little bit. I feel like I took a ‘personal voyage’ to a parallel universe, like I fell through a portal to another reality…one that is truly impossible for others to grasp if they haven’t been there. It just feels like that much of a disconnect.

          No, we can never prevent anyone from making the same mistake. I’ve said many times that nothing on this blog will prevent a first-time victimization. Everyone is just as vulnerable as we were, and they would fall for it just like we did. I tried so hard to convey to my friends what happened, but it was impossible. Even with the website and book; some thought it was some kind of delusion, and others thought I was a fool to have fallen for it (‘it’ being just some jerky guy who lied to me) and that it would never happen to them. Having experienced it, I didn’t understand why it was so bizarre as to be totally unbelievable; but just as it was nowhere in my frame of reference or my expectations as even a remote possibility before it happened, it was nowhere in theirs, and my story wasn’t nearly enough to put it there.

          I’m not sure I understand why it’s impossible to comprehend or believe — I’d like to think if it happened to a friend instead of me, I’d have had an open mind. It seems there’s something about it that keeps it inaccessible to people who haven’t been there. It felt as if people would have been more open to accepting I’d been abducted by aliens or that I dated the Bogeyman.

          Is it just me, or have others experienced this sort of fundamental disconnect in their attempts to get others to understand? Maybe this is an idea for a new blog post…

          1. Baglady

            “Is it just me, or have others experienced this sort of fundamental disconnect in their attempts to get others to understand? Maybe this is an idea for a new blog post…” – definitely!!

            My parents are the only people who have validated my experience from the beginning. They saw another side and were able to relate what they experienced to what I went through. Others who were on the periphery and did not witness the abuse first hand were incredulous at any attempt by me to explain what had gone on.

            The “mask of sanity” fools most people, they are more likely to believe someone who shows no emotion to someone who is a nervous and agitated wreck!!!! If people would question why someone doesn’t show any emotion rather than disparage someone who is clearly upset we might have a chance in beating this thing. This may be a cultural thing, the stiff upper lip, the idea that we have to give the impression that everything is ok, boys don’t cry etc, etc. Emotions are considered unimportant, even obstructive, whereas the left-brain domination of education prizes the cool demeanour of the analytical robot. The psychopath can’t access the emotional and moral parts of the brain, there’s a disconnect and the result is an imbalance and one-sided focus. There must be a reason why there are two halves of the brain. I believe we have the task of integrating the two so that we become whole and rounded. I think it is Mark Passio who describes this right-brain vs left-brain problem quite eloquently in the wider aspects.

            I tried explaining my latest encounter with a psychopath to my neighbour who knew him, but only saw his “good” side. She’s university educated, well-travelled but she didn’t want to know and certainly wouldn’t accept anything I had to say. I found her response disrespectful to me at the very least as she would not even try to understand, I was completely dissed without any right of appeal!! As you say, I hope I would be more open to someone else’s suffering even if I had not experienced the same thing. In a way we have probably demonstrated this already because we believed all the psychopath’s hard luck stories!

            I have given up on people in general, I am unable to immerse myself in meaningless small talk because I have a deeper appreciation of what it means to be alive. On several occasions my physical life was in danger. I feel I understand more what a war veteran experiences, he’s seen so much horror and others who weren’t there don’t understand what he’s seen so he isolates himself and feels there’s no connection. I say nothing to people now because even I have a problem in understanding the horror movie that has been most of my life.

            Sorry to rant on!! I look forward to your next posting, and I’m working through your side bar!

            1. Admin

              “I found her response disrespectful to me at the very least as she would not even try to understand…I was completely dissed without any right of appeal!”

              That is EXACTLY what perplexed me most — the majority of those who I told about what happened did not even TRY to understand. These were people I considered friends. I even gave them my book, and only ONE person read it (and he didn’t get it at all, but at least he tried!). It turned out to be the the impetus to end relationships that I should have ended a long time ago. One gal even ripped up the book, threw it in the trash, took a photo, and sent it to me.

              My mother was the ONLY one who understood, BTW.

              “I feel I understand more what a war veteran experiences, he’s seen so much horror and others who weren’t there don’t understand…so he isolates himself and feels there’s no connection.” This is spot-on. And things that would have upset me in the past seem trivial now! They might cause an inconvenience, but I don’t find myself emotionally upset by them. Recently, I was driving and someone backed into my car and caused 5K in damage, and not only didn’t it upset me when it happened, but even dealing with insurance companies, body shops, and rental cars never ruffled a feather. A few weeks ago, I fell and broke my arm on my way up to a store. I got up, purchased the item I went there for, and then went for help. Yet at the same time, I feel a greater capacity to feel joy, peace and optimism, and I am still the same deeply empathic person I always was.
              My experiences with dating are *completely* different, though! Now that will be an interesting blog post one day :-)

              That sidebar should keep you busy at least until I get the next post published.

            2. Andrew

              It’s not right side of left side that makes a psychopath but the front – frontal lobes not functioning – and an underdeveloped amygdala – among other things. Read James Fallon’s book – The Psychopath Within – to learn about the differences in a psychopathic brain.

    2. camabelu

      Baglady – included in your remark is “Yes, I am paranoid!!”
      I agree completely with your sentiments around the issue you reference when you make this statement. I also fully respect Admin’s decision to focus on the personal side of psychopathy so I will very briefly respond to your remarks about this disorder(?) and the system because, although it is a subject unto itself, it’s a critical one.
      I started my journey down the conspiracy rabbit hole about three years ago and, as a result of the knowledge I’ve gleaned, I no longer hesitate to say “I know there is a very organized agenda that has been on the global table for at least a century and likely much longer. ” And I believe the connection between that agenda and psychopathy is bigger than simply the truth that it is psychopaths currently running the show. Like you, I am not at all convinced that Dutton and Ronson are pawns, unknowingly or otherwise. I never let myself forget the old saying that “it’s not paranoia if they really are after you.” And it’s good to know I don’t stand alone holding this as a possibility!

      1. Admin

        “I know there is a very organized agenda that has been on the global table for at least a century and likely much longer. ”

        Very intriguing. Please feel free to elaborate, if you’d like. Thank you for your comment.

        1. camabelu

          Thank you very much for your generosity in allowing space for a subject that, while definitely related, is much broader in its scope and not really on-topic as a result. Although it also must be said that, without the existence of psychopaths, it seems to me the state our world is in would be impossible to otherwise conceive.
          I thought long and hard about how to respond to your permission allowing me to elaborate and I finally decided the most effective thing I can do, short of taking up untold amounts space in trying to explain, is leave this link to a short Youtube video that sums things up in a broad way but with enough information given so anyone so inclined has a good sense of how to begin the journey down the rabbit hole I mentioned.

          http://youtu.be/ZtmZ_qCV5Kg

          I’d also be happy to provide more links for anyone who’d like them.

          I want to thank you for the work you do and the gift you provide. In an environment that can cause anyone entangled in it to question his or her own sanity, you provide a safe haven as well as the reassurance that it isn’t all in our minds – we really are or were being abused.

  11. camabelu

    I just clicked on the link I provided to check it and discovered that, for some reason, clicking on it provides a message saying “video not available”. It is, but anyone interested will have to manually type in the address. Strange but true :)

    1. Admin

      I tried entering the URL manually, but still can’t find the video. What’s the title? That might be an easier way to find it.

      1. camabelu

        Funny, isn’t it, how the simplest solution to a problem often eludes us? Of course the title is the easiest way to find it! Note to self: ‘don’t forget this little nugget of truth.’

        It’s called – The “War On Terror” Is A Fraud – It Is Not Meant To Be Won, It Is Meant To Be Continuous

          1. Admin

            Chilling. Truly chilling. Hard to fathom, and yet it certainly seems like the truth.

            Camebelu, you should start a blog and call it “Psychopaths & War.”

            Thank you for your very kind words. I’m glad to hear you feel the blog is a safe haven

  12. Matt

    I too, have thought about this. They don’t seem to derive satisfaction from destroying inanimate objects, just living ones. This leads me to think that there might be something pheremonal going on. I think they might have an advanced sensory ability to detect pheremones that we produce in states of fear, despair, etc. They seem to really enjoy the close up experience of psychologically or even physically torturing/crushing living things. Of course they can develop a sense of power and control by destroying an object, but it’s not the same. My experiences have been the close up ones, so that might be why I feel this way. I’ve made it my life’s mission to understand this problem.

    1. Admin

      That’s quite a mission, and I wish you the best of luck with it. Let us know if you figure out any groundbreaking new things!

  13. blocked by admin

  14. Andrew

    I’ve been thinking about our last comments – how when I decided that we can’t pin psychopathic genes on the Neanderthal (mainly because the amount of DNA that we carry from the Neanderthal is so miniscule) you said “back to the drawing board” but it seemed that maybe you missed what I DID conclude – that psychopathic genes evolve from violence (Neanderthal not withstanding). Evolution is all about adapting, and violence changes the brain. Over a few generations this must change the genes. Genes can evolve more quickly than I originally thought, which makes sense because this happens to enable an individual to adapt to his/her environment. When you said that you were more like a bonobo than a gorilla, I wasn’t sure you understood. Gorillas eat a lot of food and the chimps (common) that were on the side of the crocodile infested rivers with the gorillas had a shortage of food, therefore they had to fight amongst themselves to get enough food. This essentially created a violent society. The common chimps are quite aggressive, antagonistic, and anti-social compared to the peaceful, playful, pro-social bonobo on the other side of the crocodile infested rivers where there are no gorillas eating up the food supply. The common chimp, I’ve gone on to read, actually has psychopathic characteristics (i.e. they are deceitful). I suspected this and googled “chimpanzee psychopath” together and found an article that confirmed my suspicions. The brains of common chimps are similar to human psychopaths when looked at on an MRI. When individuals grow up in violence, their brains become hard-wired to adapt. In a few generations this becomes genes that get the brain prepared to more easily hard-wire in a way that will allow the individual to survive in a violent, aggressive society. Where individuals have to compete in order to survive, it benefits them to put themselves over everyone else, to be anti-social instead of pro-social, to feel rewarded for harming others instead of helping them. These genes then get dispersed into society at large and can pop-up unexpectedly sometimes just like any other gene. You know how you say that they know what they’re doing? Yes, they do know but they’re hard-wired to do it anyway and they’re hard-wired not to care.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Andrew, your comment ended up in the trash folder for some reason. Sorry about that! Luckily I found it.

      Violence does change the brain. And that changes the genes. Chimps are very violent! They’re more dangerous than gorillas, which I learned recently (after that child entered the gorilla exhibit at a zoo). It surprised me. After learning that and reading your comment, I will change my statement to “I am more like a bonobo than a common chimpanzee.”

      This theory is a good one! I can see how evolving in a violent, aggressive society would lead to anti-social, self-serving behavior, not only in chimps but in humans.

      The common wisdom is that psychopaths “know right from wrong, but they just don’t care.” The correct statement is, “They know right from wrong, but they just can’t care.” They aren’t wired to care; they’re wired for personal gain, no matter what the cost to anyone else. And then they try to have relationships with us! It wouldn’t work with common chimps and bonobos, and it certainly doesn’t work with us.

      1. Adelyn Birch

        I forget to say that your theory may very well be the piece of the puzzle I was looking for! Thank you!

  15. Andrew

    P.S. The boxes to check to be notified of follow-up comments and new posts are cut off (whichever way I turn my phone) but I would like to be notified.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      PS? Is there a first part to your comment, Andrew? I didn’t receive it! If there was, please send it again. I got it; see the comment above.

      Sorry about the comment form. I’m in the midst of re-designing this entire website, and in about a week this site should be all-new and working perfectly!

  16. There is a lot of confusion between Psychopathy and Malignant Narcissism. MN’s are in a permanent state of rage and are paranoid, emotionally unstable and dangerous. A lot of people wrongly considered Psychopaths (Hitler/ Ted Bundy for example) are in reality Malignant Narcissists. Psychopaths are almost always logical – we don’t hurt people because there is no logical reason/ benefit to doing so 99.99% of the time. However, if we are threatened physically or an NT is doing something bad to us like stealing, we can turn extreme (rage) where anything is possible, and the only brakes are the threat of legal sanctions. The feeling at that time is as though our entire species survival (Neanderthal) depends on taking/ threatening extreme action. In that mode we are fearless, and happy to face death – we could jump over a cliff and take someone with us (metaphorically speaking). But we won’t be dominated/ threatened or abused by human/s (even in childhood-unlike sociopaths). The mind set at this time is not a good place to be but is necessary periodically to regain/ remain in control. If NT’s ever see this behavior (psychopathic rage), which may only last a few moments, they will feel fear and likely never wish to cross paths again. We can also go into this hyper mode in an emergency, a psychopath is more likely to come to the aid of a total stranger than a normal person. Hence why “hero populations are so represented by psychopaths. In this hyper mode our speed and skill levels increase to another level – its as though the skilled Neanderthal hunter buried deep in our minds has activated. But this is not a great place to be, so once the threat has passed we flip back to normal functioning as though nothing has just happened – though the time for this to occur may depend on the severity of the triggering event.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      I never gave much thought to the term “malignant narcissist” because I seldom came across it, and when I did it didn’t seem to have a definition that made sense to me. Sam Vaknin uses it, but I don’t read much of what he writes because I find him to be such a turn-off. Perhaps he’s one, that’s why. Many of the people commonly considered psychopaths–Hitler, and some of the serial killers–just don’t seem to fit the description of psychopathy, at least not very well. Psychopathic, yes, but not psychopaths. Take Jeffrey Dahmer, for example; he was a lot of things, but a psychopath wasn’t one of them. I’ve seen posthumous diagnoses of schizoid personality and Aspergers, and those seem a lot more accurate to me. I’m not sure about Ted Bundy, though. He does seem to be a psychopath to me, and yet something doesn’t feel quite right. He was too open with his arrogance and disdain. Maybe malignant narcissism is correct.

      So are you saying you do believe there is a link between psychopaths and Neanderthals? Would you explain why? I’d given up on that idea.

      Even an NT will hurt someone if physically threatened. Self-defense is one of the most basic of human rights. If a person is at risk of death or grave bodily harm, it’s legal to use force to stop them, even deadly force, so I don’t see anything psychopathic about that. As far as going into a rage and hurting someone for stealing, that’s a different story. I would be angry if someone stole from me, but not enraged. Where I live, people cannot use deadly force to stop someone from stealing; for example if you find someone walking out of your house with your TV, you can’t shoot them for it. It surprised me to find out how many people thought it should be legal. It seems extreme to me.

      Interesting what you say about a psychopath being more likely to come to the aid of a stranger. Are you familiar with “extreme altruists” or X-altruists? They’re considered similar to psychopaths in some ways but at the same time they’re considered to be the opposite of them. They, too, are more likely to aid a stranger.You can read about it in,“Addicted To Being Good? The Psychopathology Of Heroism.” What is it that motivates a psychopath to aid people in dire situations?

      The psychopath I was involved with never got angry… except once. It lasted all of 20 seconds and I never wanted to see him angry again. Luckily, I never had to. When someone gets angry all the time, it sort of loses its effect. When they’re generally laid back and easy going, you don’t soon forget it.

      1. Ross Rozenburg (YT) covers malignant narcissism and states that’s what those serial killers and leaders like Hitler really were. Worth checking out “People of the Lie” by Scott M. Peck. I believe that the Psychology profession is deliberately led in certain directions, and part of that has been to avoid the subject of MN’s. It moves the focus too close to home for a certain group of people…

        As Rozenburg points out Psychopaths don’t need attention and don’t usually want or need relationships. We only use attention sometimes as a tool, as a means to achieving an end easily, rather than an end in itself. This is unlike Narcs who’s whole existence is built around Narcissistic supply (attention/ accolades/ having their day in court – for example).

        We can come to the aid of a stranger because we are the Dominant Force. If for example, a person fell into a tiger cage we could go to their rescue because the tiger is not more dominant than we are. In nature if we were hunting dangerous animals with other tribe members, we would have needed to have the attribute to go the whole 9 yards, not to back out because we were personally being put in danger at some point.

        When I say rage, if we were attacked for example, its extreme we could be thinking of putting the attacker on the dinner plate if you get my drift. Of course I am not going to do that, but the thought can be there.

        There are so many pointers that say “Neanderthal” that it would be hard to list them here. A lot of it is sub-conscious and wrapped up within our character. Its not one thing, but the sum of all the little parts.

        1. Adelyn Birch

          I’ve had that book on my list for the longest time.

          There is definitely something strange going on with the psychology profession! They took psychopathy and lumped it in with anti-social personality disorder in the DSM. ASPD describes sociopathy, not psychopathy (generally speaking). They made the change because diagnosing is based on an individual’s behavior, rather than how they think. Behavior is observable; thinking is not. If someone’s behavior isn’t considered abnormal, then there isn’t a reason to diagnose them with anything, nor is it possible. The thing is, there is plenty of behavior that is detrimental to others that goes unseen by psychology professionals, but that is apparent within relationships. But they have to see it, and if they don’t then it doesn’t exist.
          Much of it may not be considered criminal, but it causes a great deal of damage anyway.

          True, psychopaths don’t need attention. “They do not need attention or acceptance, except as a means to an end.” (Narcissist or Psychopath?) If the one I knew could have blended into the woodwork, he would have. Unless he wanted someone in particular to notice him, and then he’d go about it in a way that didn’t attract attention from anyone else.

          While you may not need relationships or even want them, you still have them. They do have many different types of benefits.

          Even if a tiger isn’t more dominant, it is still capable of killing you. It seems to me that a lack of fear is involved, along with your belief about your superiority. There are non-psychopathic people who save others while putting themselves at risk, even though they don’t view themselves as some sort of dominant force. In that moment, what they’re dominant over is their own fear. If someone is saving my life, I’m certainly not going to care what their motivation is. It doesn’t matter.

          Some would say Neanderthals didn’t go extinct, because everyone alive today whose ancestry is from outside of Africa (where Neanderthals never lived) carries a little bit of Neanderthal DNA in their genes.” While everyone has some of those genes, the specific genes they end up with varies, so maybe certain ones result in what is considered psychopathy. Maybe it’s an ingenious evolutionary survival tactic; what better way to survive than to stay hidden, in plain sight? That’s something psychopaths do very well.

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