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The Psychopaths Among Us: Classify and Identify Using these Traits.

 
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04/28/2005 01:42 PM
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The Psychopaths Among Us: Classify and Identify Using these Traits.
ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY, SOCIOPATHY, AND PSYCHOPATHY
"When I´m good, I´m very good. When I´m bad, I´m better." (Mae West)

People who cannot contain their urges to harm (or kill) people repeatedly for no apparent reason are assumed to suffer from some mental illness. However, they may be more cruel than crazy, they may be choosing not to control their urges, they know right from wrong, they know exactly what they´re doing, and they are definitely NOT insane, at least according to the consensus of most scholars (Samenow 2004). In such cases, they usually fall into one of three types that are typically considered aggravating circumstances in addition to their legal guilt -- antisocial personality disorder (APD), sociopath, or psychopath -- none of which are the same as insanity or psychosis. APD is the most common type, afflicting about 4% of the general population. Sociopaths are the second most common type, with the American Psychiatric Association estimating that 3% of all males in our society are sociopaths. Psychopaths are rare, found in perhaps 1% of the population.

Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) is practically synonymous with criminal behavior. It´s so synonymous, in fact, that practically all convicted criminals (65-75%) have it, with criminologists often referring to it as a "wastebasket" category. Antisocials come is all shapes and sizes, but psychologists consider the juvenile version of it to be a juvenile conduct disorder. The main characteristic of it is a complete and utter disregard for the rights of others and the rules of society. They seldom show anxiety and don´t feel guilt. There´s really no effective treatment for them other than locking them up in a secure facility with such rigid rules that they cannot talk their way out. A full list of APD traits would include:

List of Antisocial Personality Disorder Traits

Sense of entitlement; Unremorseful; Apathetic to others; Unconscionable behavior; Blameful of others; Manipulative and conning; Affectively cold; Disparate understanding; Socially irresponsible; Disregardful of obligations; Nonconforming to norms; Irresponsible

whereas the DSM-IV "clinical" features of Antisocial Personality Disorder (with a person having at least three of these characteristics) are:

Clinical Symptoms for an Antisocial Personality Disorder Diagnosis

1. Failure to conform to social norms; 2. Deceitfulness, manipulativeness; 3. Impulsivity, failure to plan ahead; 4. Irritability, aggressiveness; 5. Reckless disregard for the safety of self or others; 6. Consistent irresponsibility; 7. Lack of remorse after having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another person

Sociopathy is chiefly characterized by something wrong with the person´s conscience. They either don´t have one, it´s full of holes like Swiss cheese, or they are somehow able to completely neutralize or negate any sense of conscience or future time perspective. Sociopaths only care about fulfilling their own needs and desires - selfishness and egocentricity to the extreme. Everything and everybody else is mentally twisted around in their minds as objects to be used in fulfilling their own needs and desires. They often believe they are doing something good for society, or at least nothing that bad. The term "sociopath" is frequently used by psychologists and sociologists alike in referring to persons whose unsocialized character is due primarily to parental failures (usually fatherlessness) rather than an inherent feature of temperament. Lykken (1995), for example, clearly distinguishes between the sociopath (who is socialized into becoming a psychopath) and a "true" psychopath (who is born that way). However, this may only describe the "common sociopath", as there are at least four (4) different subtypes -- common, alienated, aggressive, and dyssocial. Commons are characterized mostly by their lack of conscience; the alienated by their inability to love or be loved; aggressives by a consistent sadistic streak; and dyssocials by an ability to abide by gang rules, as long as those rules are the wrong rules. Some common sociopathic traits include:

List of Common Sociopathic Traits

Egocentricity; Callousness; Impulsivity; Conscience defect; Exaggerated sexuality; Excessive boasting; Risk taking; Inability to resist temptation; Antagonistic, deprecating attitude toward the opposite sex; Lack of interest in bonding with a mate

Psychopathy is a concept subject to much debate, but is usually defined as a constellation of affective, interpersonal, and behavioral characteristics including egocentricity; impulsivity; irresponsibility; shallow emotions; lack of empathy, guilt, or remorse; pathological lying; manipulativeness; and the persistent violation of social norms and expectations (Cleckley 1976; Hare 1993). The crimes of psychopaths are usually stone-cold, remorseless killings for no apparent reason. They cold-bloodedly take what they want and do as they please without the slightest sense of guilt or regret. In many ways, they are natural-born intraspecies predators who satisfy their lust for power and control by charm, manipulation, intimidation, and violence. While almost all societies would regard them as criminals (the exception being frontier or warlike societies where they might become heroes, patriots, or leaders), it´s important to distinguish their behavior from criminal behavior. As a common axiom goes in psychology, MOST PSYCHOPATHS ARE ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITIES BUT NOT ALL ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITIES ARE PSYCHOPATHS. This is because APD is defined mainly by behaviors (Factor 2 antisocial behaviors) and doesn´t tap the affective/interpersonal dimensions (Factor 1 core psychopathic features, narcissism) of psychopathy. Further, criminals and APDs tend to "age out" of crime; psychopaths do not, and are at high risk of recidivism. Psychopaths love to intellectualize in treatment with their half-baked understanding of rules. Like the Star Trek character, Spock, their reasoning cannot handle any mix of cognition and emotion. They are calculating predators who, when trapped, will attempt escape, create a nuisance and danger to staff, be a disruptive influence on other patients or inmates, and fake symptoms to get transferred, bouncing back and forth between institutions. The common features of psychopathic traits (the PCL-R items) are:

List of Common Psychopathic Traits

Glib and superficial charm; Grandiose sense of self-worth; Need for stimulation; Pathological lying; Conning and manipulativeness; Lack of remorse or guilt; Shallow affect; Callousness and lack of empathy; Parasitic lifestyle; Poor behavioral controls; Promiscuous sexual behavior; Early behavior problems; Lack of realistic, long-term goals; Impulsivity; Irresponsibility; Failure to accept responsibility for own actions; Many short-term marital relationships; Juvenile delinquency; Revocation of conditional release; Criminal versatility

In addition to these most well-known types, there have been criminologists who have put forward additional constructs. They are only mentioned here because of their relevance to serial criminals, and the interesting similarity in the way they compare to the FBI´s "disorganized - organized" typology.

EPISODIC AGGRESSION AND SOCIOPATHY COMPARED

Disorganized Episodic Aggression:
Organized Sociopathic Hatred:

Ritualistic behavior Superficial charm and "good" intelligence
Attempts to conceal mental instability Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational behavior
Compulsivity Absence of "nervousness" or psychoneurotic manifestations
Periodic search for help unreliability
Severe memory disorders and an inability to tell the truth untruthfulness and insincerity
Suicidal tendencies lack of remorse or shame
History of committing assault inadequately motivated antisocial behavior
Hypersexuality and abnormal sexual behavior poor judgment and failure to learn by experience
Head injuries; injuries suffered at birth pathological egocentricity and incapacity for love
History of chronic drug or alcohol abuse general poverty in major affective reactions
Parents with history of chronic drug or alcohol abuse specific loss of insight
Victim of childhood physical or mental abuse unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations
Result of an unwanted pregnancy fantastic and uninviting behavior with and sometimes without drink
Product of a difficult gestation for mother suicide rarely carried out
Unhappiness in childhood resulted in inability to find happiness sex life impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated
Extraordinary cruelty to animals failure to follow any life plan
Attraction to arson without homicidal interest
Symptoms of neurological impairment
Evidence of genetic disorder
Biochemical symptoms
Feelings of powerlessness and inadequacy

The patterns of episodic aggressive behavior scale is derived from Joel Norris (1990) Serial Killers, London: Arrow Books and also reproduced in Brian Lane & Wilfred Gregg (1992) The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers, NY: Berkeley Books. This particular sociopathic checklist is found in numerous places but extensively featured in both of Samenow´s works in the 1970s on criminal personality (thinking errors).

DETAILED ANALYSIS OF ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY DISORDER

The diagnosis of APD has long been controversial. The criteria for it seem to change with each and every new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-I 1968; DSM-II 1976; DSM-III 1980; DSM-III-R 1987; DSM-IV 1994). The diagnosis was substantially changed with DSM-III when the APA decided to distinguish between child and adult characteristics, and essentially substituted behavioral criteria (like truancy or law violations) for personality criteria (like callousness and selfishness). In the DSM-III-R (R for Revised), the focus was on violence and a list of violent acts (fighting, cruelty to others, cruelty to animals). The current DSM-IV approach essentially says that anything which is not sociopathy, psychopathy or dyssocial personality disorder is antisocial personality disorder, but there is considerable overlap. The diagnostic possibilities are endless; there are at least 3 million possible variations of symptoms on at least 62 different measurable items.

Ongoing research is quite prolific into the factor or principal components analysis of APD characteristics. Most forensic experts believe there are 3-4 factors (groupings of symptoms). One factor involves symptoms that cluster around what might be called a Lack of Planning (promiscuous, irresponsible, impulsive traits and behavior). Another factor clusters around the notion of Disregard for Others. A third factor is clearly related to Adult Criminality. A fourth factor is clearly related to Juvenile Delinquency. Impulsivity appears to be a prototypical (core) feature, but it can take many forms. Definitions of impulsivity are numerous -- a tendency to act without reflection; dysfunctional information processing; a tendency for risk taking; sensation seeking; and an inability to sustain attention. Rating scales are easily available to measure these.

The incidence of APD is twice as high for inner-city residents than in small towns or rural areas, and five times higher in males than in females. It affects people in all social classes, but if someone with APD is born into a family of wealth and privilege, they will usually manage to eek out a successful business or political career. Poorer people with APD tend to wind up in state prison systems. Since African-Americans are seven times more likely to be represented in state prison systems, it´s tempting to speculate the incidence of APD among African-Americans is high. However, there are most likely other causes of crime among African-Americans (like unemployment and racism). The fact is that most of the current prison population, white or black, shares the APD diagnosis. All it takes is a juvenile record, an adult offense career, aggressivity, impulsivity, a checkered work history, and/or lack of demonstrable repentance. These can be easily found in almost any prison inmate´s dossier.

One of the things closely related to APD is the comorbidity of alcoholism and narcotic addiction. Some of the criteria for a substance abuse disorder are very similar: theft, hazardous behavior, failure to fulfill role functions in home, school, and work. A strong correlation exists between substance abuse and factor 2 (antisocial behaviors) of the psychopathy construct. APDs with a drug addiction have some serious substance abuse problems -- the kind that lead to death by overdose or accident within five years. Are APD and narcotic addiction part of the same disorder, does one lead to the other, or are they are spuriously linked together? From what little research there is, it appears that most of the time, APD precedes narcotic addiction, although some of the time, addiction leads to APD behaviors. People with such comorbid characteristics also usually have undiagnosed other Axis I and Axis II disorders.

DETAILED ANALYSIS OF THE SOCIOPATH

From the wild Irish slums of the 19th Century Eastern seaboard to the riot-torn anomic neighborhoods of Los Angeles, our society has always produced sociopaths who are quite often the products of illegitimacy, broken homes, and a lack of any bonding with male or societal authority. Some 70% of sociopaths come from fatherless homes. Father absence produces many consequences similar to the symptoms of sociopathy -- early, precocious sexuality; antagonistic, deprecating attitude toward the opposite sex; lack of interest in bonding with a durable, stable mate; aggressive acting-out; excessive boasting; and risk-taking behavior. Some 30% of children today are born out-of-wedlock, and another 30% live in divorced homes. These conditions - a problem of unsocialization - produce sociopathy. Furthermore, sociopaths tend to reproduce themselves, that is, they produce more than own their share of illegitimate offspring themselves.

So what is a sociopath? You won´t find criteria in the DSM IV or official psychiatric nomenclature, but the construct refers to the largest subgroup of APDs. Most are males, but an increasing number are female. They have otherwise normal temperaments (as opposed to psychopaths who have abnormal temperaments). Some are aggressive, fearless sensation seekers, and others are Machiavellian manipulators. A Machiavellian is a personality type who is a cross between an antisocial personality and a narcissist, and someone who also has an extremely high sense of entitlement. The one thing that all sociopaths have in common is that they are "too much" to handle for their parents or anyone else. It´s common to refer to them as unsocialized, but the dyssocial sociopath does socialize to the mores and values of a dyssocial outgroup, like a gang. Let´s explore the four (4) subtypes of sociopaths:

COMMON SOCIOPATHS are the largest subtype and have a weak or unelaborated conscience. They are not ashamed by the same things as you or I would be ashamed of. They are like feral children grown up, taking pleasures and gratifying impulses at every opportunity or temptation. They especially enjoy and take pride in bending or breaking the rules. As teenagers, they are often runaways. As adults, they are often geographically mobile, living in shelters, or taking advantage of welfare systems. They are experienced shoplifters. They have quite active sex lives. They are usually of average intelligence, but don´t do well in school and never seem to break out of low-paying dead-end jobs. Nevertheless, they seem genuinely happy with their lives, unburdened by any sense of negative self-worth or the fact that they have not been a functional, contributing member of society.

ALIENATED SOCIOPATHS have never developed the ability to love, empathize, or affiliate in real life with another person. They will show more emotion toward their pet or a personal artifact than toward a person. Or, they may hate animals and live out their emotional life by watching TV (identification with soap opera characters is a common pattern). Dating and marriage relationships will be very barren and empty. They won´t get along with the neighbors. They live in a shell. They have a cold, callous attitude toward human suffering or any social problem in the society they live in. They just don´t care because it´s outside their range of empathy. Most will believe they are justified in this because they feel they were cheated in some way themselves by society, and a few will be more than happy to rant and rave about it to anyone who listens. They are chronic complainers, and underneath it all, they would like to see nothing better than all of society destroyed.

AGGRESSIVE SOCIOPATHS derive strong, yet nonperverse gratification from harming others. They like to hurt, frighten, tyrannize, bully, and manipulate. They do it for a sense of power and control, and will often only drop subtle hints about what they are up to. They polish their aggressive, domineering manner in such a way to disguise any intimidation others might feel. They seek out positions of power, such as parent, teacher, bureaucrat, supervisor, or police officer. Their style is one of passive aggression as they systematically go about sabotaging the ideas of others to get their ideas in place. In their spare time, they like to hunt or occasionally do sadistic things like find stray dogs and cut them up. They are usually effective at getting their way, and are especially vindictive if resisted or crossed. They don´t follow the social norm of reciprocity like others do.

DYSSOCIAL SOCIOPATHS identify and hold an allegiance with a dyssocial, outcast, or predatory subculture. Any subculture will do, as long as it runs counter to established authority. They are capable of intense loyalty, and even a feeling of guilt and shame, within such limited circles. They seem to continually fall upon bad luck and bad companions, however. While they will constantly complain that none of this is their fault, behind it all is a kind of self-defeating mechanism in the poor choices they made themselves.

DETAILED ANALYSIS OF THE PSYCHOPATH

Psychopaths cannot be understood in terms of antisocial rearing or development. They are simply morally depraved individuals who represent the "monsters" in our society. They are unstoppable and untreatable predators whose violence is planned, purposeful and emotionless. The violence continues until it reaches a plateau at age 50 or so, then tapers off. Their emotionlessness reflects a detached, fearless, and possibly dissociated state, revealing a lower autonomic nervous system and lack of anxiety. It´s difficult to say what motivates them - control and dominance possibly - since their life history will usually show no bonds with others nor much rhyme to their reason (other than the planning of violence). They tend to operate with a grandiose demeanor, an attitude of entitlement, an insatiable appetite, and a tendency toward sadism. Fearlessness is probably the prototypical (core) characteristic (the low-fear hypothesis). It´s helpful to think of them as high-speed vehicles with ineffective brakes. Certain organic (brain) disorders and hormonal imbalances mimic the state of mind of a psychopath.

There are four (4) different subtypes of psychopaths. The oldest distinction was made by Cleckley back in 1941 between primary and secondary. However, we´ll explore the other two subtypes first:

DISTEMPERED PSYCHOPATHS are the kind that seem to fly into a rage or frenzy more easily and more often than other subtypes. Their frenzy will resemble an epileptic fit. They are also usually men with incredibly strong sex drives, capable of astonishing feats of sexual energy, and seemingly obsessed by sexual urges during a large part of their waking lives. Powerful cravings also seem to characterize them, as in drug addiction, kleptomania, pedophilia, any illicit or illegal indulgence. They like the endorphin "high" or "rush" off of excitement and risk-taking. The serial-rapist-murderer known as the Boston Strangler was such a psychopath.

CHARISMATIC PSYCHOPATHS are charming, attractive liars. They are usually gifted at some talent or another, and they use it to their advantage in manipulating others. They are usually fast-talkers, and possess an almost demonic ability to persuade others out of everything they own, even their lives. Leaders of religious sects or cults, for example, might be psychopaths if they lead their followers to their deaths. This subtype often comes to believe in their own fictions. They are irresistible.

PRIMARY PSYCHOPATHS do not respond to punishment, apprehension, stress, or disapproval. They seem to be able to inhibit their antisocial impulses most of the time, not because of conscience, but because it suits their purpose at the time. Words do not seem to have the same meaning for them as they do for us. In fact, it´s unclear if they even grasp the meaning of their own words, a condition that Cleckley called "semantic aphasia." They don´t follow any life plan, and it seems as if they are incapable of experiencing any genuine emotion.

SECONDARY PSYCHOPATHS are risk-takers, but are also more likely to be stress-reactive, worriers, and guilt-prone. They expose themselves to more stress than the average person, but they are as vulnerable to stress as the average person. They are daring, adventurous, unconventional people who began playing by their own rules early in life. They are strongly driven by a desire to escape or avoid pain, but are unable to resist temptation. As their anxiety increases toward some forbidden object, so does their attraction to it. They live their lives by the lure of temptation.

Hare´s PCL-R 20-item checklist is based on Cleckley´s 16-item checklist, and the following is a discussion of the concepts in the PCL-R:

1. GLIB and SUPERFICIAL CHARM -- the tendency to be smooth, engaging, charming, slick, and verbally facile. Psychopathic charm is not in the least shy, self-conscious, or afraid to say anything. A psychopath never gets tongue-tied. They have freed themselves from the social conventions about taking turns in talking, for example.

2. GRANDIOSE SELF-WORTH -- a grossly inflated view of one´s abilities and self-worth, self-assured, opinionated, cocky, a braggart. Psychopaths are arrogant people who believe they are superior human beings.

3. NEED FOR STIMULATION or PRONENESS TO BOREDOM -- an excessive need for novel, thrilling, and exciting stimulation; taking chances and doing things that are risky. Psychopaths often have a low self-discipline in carrying tasks through to completion because they get bored easily. They fail to work at the same job for any length of time, for example, or to finish tasks that they consider dull or routine.

4. PATHOLOGICAL LYING -- can be moderate or high; in moderate form, they will be shrewd, crafty, cunning, sly, and clever; in extreme form, they will be deceptive, deceitful, underhanded, unscrupulous, manipulative, and dishonest.

5. CONNING AND MANIPULATIVENESS- the use of deceit and deception to cheat, con, or defraud others for personal gain; distinguished from Item #4 in the degree to which exploitation and callous ruthlessness is present, as reflected in a lack of concern for the feelings and suffering of one´s victims.

6. LACK OF REMORSE OR GUILT -- a lack of feelings or concern for the losses, pain, and suffering of victims; a tendency to be unconcerned, dispassionate, coldhearted, and unempathic. This item is usually demonstrated by a disdain for one´s victims.

7. SHALLOW AFFECT -- emotional poverty or a limited range or depth of feelings; interpersonal coldness in spite of signs of open gregariousness.

8. CALLOUSNESS and LACK OF EMPATHY -- a lack of feelings toward people in general; cold, contemptuous, inconsiderate, and tactless.

9. PARASITIC LIFESTYLE -- an intentional, manipulative, selfish, and exploitative financial dependence on others as reflected in a lack of motivation, low self-discipline, and inability to begin or complete responsibilities.

10. POOR BEHAVIORAL CONTROLS -- expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper; acting hastily.

11. PROMISCUOUS SEXUAL BEHAVIOR -- a variety of brief, superficial relations, numerous affairs, and an indiscriminate selection of sexual partners; the maintenance of several relationships at the same time; a history of attempts to sexually coerce others into sexual activity or taking great pride at discussing sexual exploits or conquests.

12. EARLY BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS -- a variety of behaviors prior to age 13, including lying, theft, cheating, vandalism, bullying, sexual activity, fire-setting, glue-sniffing, alcohol use, and running away from home.

13. LACK OF REALISTIC, LONG-TERM GOALS -- an inability or persistent failure to develop and execute long-term plans and goals; a nomadic existence, aimless, lacking direction in life.

14. IMPULSIVITY -- the occurrence of behaviors that are unpremeditated and lack reflection or planning; inability to resist temptation, frustrations, and urges; a lack of deliberation without considering the consequences; foolhardy, rash, unpredictable, erratic, and reckless.

15. IRRESPONSIBILITY -- repeated failure to fulfill or honor obligations and commitments; such as not paying bills, defaulting on loans, performing sloppy work, being absent or late to work, failing to honor contractual agreements.

16. FAILURE TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR OWN ACTIONS -- a failure to accept responsibility for one´s actions reflected in low conscientiousness, an absence of dutifulness, antagonistic manipulation, denial of responsibility, and an effort to manipulate others through this denial.

17. MANY SHORT-TERM MARITAL RELATIONSHIPS -- a lack of commitment to a long-term relationship reflected in inconsistent, undependable, and unreliable commitments in life, including marital.

18. JUVENILE DELINQUENCY -- behavior problems between the ages of 13-18; mostly behaviors that are crimes or clearly involve aspects of antagonism, exploitation, aggression, manipulation, or a callous, ruthless tough-mindedness.

19. REVOCATION OF CONDITION RELEASE -- a revocation of probation or other conditional release due to technical violations, such as carelessness, low deliberation, or failing to appear.

20. CRIMINAL VERSATILITY -- a diversity of types of criminal offenses, regardless if the person has been arrested or convicted for them; taking great pride at getting away with crimes.
Yoda
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Re: The Psychopaths Among Us: Classify and Identify Using these Traits.
OK, I pretty much have all of these traits to some degree, your point???
anonymous27
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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then you must be a Psyyodath...blair
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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It is called "Human Condition"
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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"... demonic liars"

"... they believe their own fictions"

Describes Tony Blair.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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They can imitate feelings, but the only real feelings they seem to have - the thing that drives them and causes them to act out different dramas for effect - are a sort of adrenaline based "fear" of loss of what they want. That is to say, they "feel" need/want as love, and not having their needs/wants met is described as "not being loved" by them.

What is more, this "need/want" perspective posits that only the "hunger" of the psychopath is valid, and anything and everything "out there," outside of the psychopath, is not real except insofar as it has the capability of being assimilated to the psychopath as a sort of "food." Can it be used or can it provide something is the only issue about which the psychopath seems to be concerned. All else - all activity - is subsumed to this drive.

In short, the psychopath - and the narcissist - is a predator. And if we think about the interactions of predators with their prey in the animal kingdom, we can come to some idea of the "mask of sanity" of the psychopath. Just as an animal predator will adopt all kinds of stealthy functions in order to stalk their prey, cut them out of the herd, get close to them and reduce their resistance, so does the psychopath construct all kinds of elaborate camoflage composed of words and appearances - lies and manipulations - in order to "assimilate" their prey.

This leads us to an important quesion: what does the psychopath REALLY get from their victims?

It´s easy to see what they are after when they lie and manipulate for money or material goods or power. But in many instances, such as love relationships or faked friendships, it is not so easy to see what the psychopath is after. Without wandering too far afield into spiritual speculations - a problem Cleckley also faced - we can only say that it seems to be that the psychopath ENJOYS making others suffer.

One thing we do know is this: many people who experience interactions with psychopaths and narcissists report feeling "drained" and confused and often subsequently experience deteriorating health. Does this mean that part of the dynamic, part of the explanation for why psychopaths will pursue "love relationships" and "friendships" that ostensibly can result in no observable material gain, is because there is an actual energy consumption?

We do not know the answer to this question. We observe, we theorize, we speculate and hypothesize. But in the end, only the individual victim can determine what they have lost in the dynamic - and it is often far more than material goods. In a certain sense, it seems that psychopaths are "soul stealers."
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Psychopathy is actually caused by giving up the soul or selling it.
No soul, no feel, no remorse.
Yoda
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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A label, nothing more to me...
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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who the fack cares, if they´re trying to kill you kill them first, if they kill someone, kill them back. If they mind there own damned business like you should be doing leave ´em the fack alone. I think that describes most the people in the world, if we start arresting certain mindsets this world is extra facked. Anti-social and proud... fack off.
Geneticus
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Requirements for posting at GLP...

GLIB and SUPERFICIAL CHARM -- cool2

GRANDIOSE SELF-WORTH -- Shutup loser, You are nothing

NEED FOR STIMULATION or PRONENESS TO BOREDOM -- Everyone on GLP

PATHOLOGICAL LYING -- There´s something wrong with the moon.

CONNING AND MANIPULATIVENESS -- A given

LACK OF REMORSE OR GUILT -- Trinity

SHALLOW AFFECT -- worshipZAKK

CALLOUSNESS and LACK OF EMPATHY -- Buzz Off

PARASITIC LIFESTYLE -- awhore

POOR BEHAVIORAL CONTROLS -- worshipZAKK

PROMISCUOUS SEXUAL BEHAVIOR -- Panic sex

EARLY BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS -- worshipZAKK

LACK OF REALISTIC, LONG-TERM GOALS -- Meteors made me run up my credit cards.

IMPULSIVITY -- How dare- Hey a butterfly...

IRRESPONSIBILITY -- I don´t have to deal with this.

FAILURE TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR OWN ACTIONS -- Why should I when it´s your fault?

MANY SHORT-TERM MARITAL RELATIONSHIPS -- you whore

JUVENILE DELINQUENCY -- you little shit

REVOCATION OF CONDITION RELEASE -- Get it right loser

CRIMINAL VERSATILITY -- Wow you are good
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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"A label, nothing more to me..."

Ya think?
The Psychopaths are Among Us ..........
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Yeah Psychopaths have NO feel.
So they must perfect the way to act as if they had feel but a feeling person is able to smell the hoax.
Psychopaths also must then try to irritate their feeling partners for the purpose of hiding their lack of soul and of true emotions, which at first sight may fascinate their partners.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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"I´m the most cold-blooded sonofabitch you´ll ever meet," said Ted Bundy. "I just liked to kill, I wanted to kill." The hallmark of the psychopath is the inability to recognize others as worthy of compassion. Victims are dehumanized, flattened into worthless objects in the murderer´s mind. John Gacy, never showing an ounce of remorse, called his victims "worthless little queers and punks," while the "Yorkshire Ripper" Peter Sutcliffe brashly declared that he was "cleaning up the streets" of the human trash.

In the 19th century, psychopathology was considered to be "moral insanity". Today it is commonly known as "antisocial personality disorder" or "sociopathology." Current experts believe that sociopaths are an unfortunate fusion of interpersonal, biological and sociocultural disasters.

Psychopaths/sociopaths are diagnosed by their purposeless and irrational antisocial behavior, lack of conscience, and emotional vacuity. They are thrill seekers, literally fearless. Punishment rarely works, because they are impulsive by nature and fearless of the consequences. Incapable of having meaningful relationships, they view others as fodder for manipulation and exploitation. According to one psychological surveying tool (DSM IIIR) between 3 - 5% of men are sociopaths; less than 1% of female population are sociopaths.

Psychopaths often make successful businessmen or world leaders. Not all psychopaths are motivated to kill. But when it is easy to devalue others, and you have had a lifetime of perceived injustices and rejection, murder might seem like a natural choice.

The following are environmental factors, psychiatrists say, which create a sociopath:

• Studies show that 60% of psychopathic individuals had lost a parent;

• Child is deprived of love or nurturing; parents are detached or absent;

• Inconsistent discipline: if father is stern and mother is soft, child learns to hate authority and manipulate mother;

• Hypocritical parents who privately belittle the child while publicly presenting the image of a "happy family".

Genetics

Tests are showing that the nervous system of the psychopath is markedly different -- they feel less fear and anxiety than normal people. One carefully conducted experiment revealed that "low arousal levels" not only causes impulsiveness and thrill-seeking, but also showed how dense sociopaths are when it comes to changing their behavior. A group of sociopaths and a group of healthy individuals were given a task, which was to learn what lever (out of four) turned on a green light. One lever gave the subject an electric shock. Both groups made the same number of errors, but the healthy group quickly learned to avoid the punishing electric shock, while sociopaths took much longer to do so.

This need for higher levels of stimulation makes the psychopath seek dangerous situations. When Gacy heard an ambulance, he would follow to see what sort of exciting catastrophe was in the making. Part of the reason for many serial killers seeking to become cops is probably due to the intensity of the job.

Genetics and physiological factors also contribute to the building of a psychopath. One study in Copenhagen focused on a group of sociopaths who had been adopted as infants. The biological relatives of sociopaths were 4 - 5 times more likely to be sociopathic than the average person. Yet genetics don´t tell the whole story; it only shows a predisposition to antisocial behavior. Environment can make or break the psychopathic personality.

When a psychopath does inherit genetically-based, developmental disabilities, its is usually a stunted development of the higher functions of the brain. 30 - 38% of psychopaths show abnormal brain wave patterns, or EEGs. Infants and children typically have slower brain wave activity, but it increases as they grow up. Not with psychopaths. Eventually, the brain might mature as the psychopath ages. This may be why most serial killers are under 50. The abnormal brain wave activity comes from the temporal lobes and the limbic system of the brain, the areas that control memory and emotions. When development of this part of the brain is genetically impaired, and the parents of the child are abusive, irresponsible or manipulative, the stage is set for disaster.

Can psychopaths be successfully treated? According to the psychiatrists, "No." Shock treatment doesn´t work; drugs have not proven successful in treatment; and psychotherapy, which involves trust and a relationship with the therapist, is out of the question, because psychopaths are incapable of opening up to others. They don´t want to change.

Most psychopaths end up in prison, instead of psychiatric hospitals.


The Triad

Animal Cruelty

These secret compulsions are seen as the seeds to greater mayhem. "Violent acts are reinforced, since the murderers either are able to express rage without experiencing negative consequences or are impervious to any prohibitions against these actions. Second, impulsive and erratic behavior discourages friendships," increasing isolation." "Furthermore, there is no challenge to the offenders´ beliefs that they are entitled to act the way they do." (Ressler, et al, Sexual Homicide) "All learning, according to Ressler, has a "feedback system." Torturing animals and setting fires will eventually escalate to crimes against fellow human beings, if the pattern is not somehow broken.

Torturing animals is a disturbing red flag. Animals are often seen as "practice" for killing humans. Ed Kemper buried the family cat alive, dug it up, and cut off its head. Dahmer was notorious for his animal cruelty, cutting off dogs heads and placing them on a stick behind his house. Yet not all serial killers take their aggressions out on pets. Dennis Nilsen loved animals, particularly his dog Bleep, whom he couldn´t bear to face after being arrested for fear that it would traumatize the dog. Rapist torturer and murderer of eight, Christopher Wilder, had made donations to Save The Whales and the Seal Rescue Fund.

Pyromania

Peter Kurten loved to watch houses burn, and Berkowitz, when he tired of torturing his mother´s parakeet, became a prolific pyromaniac, keeping record of his 1,411 fires. "Oh, what ecstasy," said Joseph Kallinger to his biographer Flora Schreiber, "setting fires brings to my body! What power I feel at the thought of fire! . . . Oh, what pleasure, what heavenly pleasure!" Pyromania is often a sexually stimulating activity for these killers. The dramatic destruction of property feeds the same perverse need to destroy another human. Because serial killers don´t see other humans as more than objects, the leap between setting fires and killing people is easy to make.

Bed Wetting

Bed wetting is the most intimate of these "triad" symptoms, and is less likely to be willfully divulged. By some estimates, 60% of multiple murderers wet their beds past adolescence. Kenneth Bianchi apparently spent many a night marinating in urine-soaked sheets.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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"Most psychopaths end up in prison, instead of psychiatric hospitals."

Yeah, Joe Average maybe but not Bush&Co.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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You´ve just described the all of BushCo OP.
Yoda
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Yoda believes everyone is psychopathic to some degree, just the nature of life on earth...

Study nature and you will see this to be true...

Humans for that matter...

Thank you, Yoda.
ShadowDancer
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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bump

Yes, if bushco gets their way everyone will be medicated. They will push it through with the children first-then they will go after adults...it is coming in this reality.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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You´re right, SD, and sooner than anyone thinks.
cossack47
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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I was a psychiatric nurse for thirty years and in that time it has been made quite plain to me that an overwhelming vested interest in" mental disorder" by career professionals of one kind and another has elevated evil into a state of "illness" and "need": As all crime is lawyer driven, "psychopathy"," sociopathy" "personality disorder etc, are classifications by and on behalf of career professionals who wish to hive off aspects of human behaviour and make them amenable to a bogus "expertise" or "cure" that can only be legally provided by THEM.
This is Bourgeois Mystification.If a murderer or rapist is mad as well as bad, then surely that is all the more reason for him to disappear. Instead of course in the long term interests of self serving, parasitic, career structures he will be feted by the media,be written up by "clinicians" and maybe even be commemorated by Hollywood.
When things were rather fraught on the acute admission ward we often came out with the adage:" neurotics build castles in the air, psychotics live in them, and psychiatrists draw the rent!"
Rex
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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hiding
ACLU
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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We can rehabilitate and return these people to society...as long as it is´nt near us!!!

poopbonghitcheer
cossack47
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Once any society starts to lay aside public money for the employment of psychologists, probation officers,criminologists etc. it is tantamount to introducing a colony of death watch beetles into the rafters.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Histrionic Diagnostic Criteria

A pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

is uncomfortable in situations in which he or she is not the center of attention

interaction with others is often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior

displays rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions

consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self

has a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail
shows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotion

is suggestible, i.e., easily influenced by others or circumstances

considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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It is worse to have one as a parent, and they often present as totally normal people, but behind the scenes they are the most barbaric and sadistic people imaginable.

You don´t know what mood they are going to be in from one moment to another and every walk home from school was filled with fear and trepidation.

They do all their torturing stone-cold-sober, and will continue to do so until someone lashes back - then they jump right back in their shell and are rather cautious after that.

Other people just don´t exist in their own right, everyone is a bit player to this monster.

Red hot irons put on children´s legs in a fit of pique, evil mind games, extreme physical violence - all run of the day material.

This person was protected by all their family, no court cases, no seizures by the police, no one even talked about it.

Oh sure the teachers would ask about things that they had noticed like bruises, burns and ligature marks but those were the days before compulsory notification to authorities.

What is worse is the total lack of accountability by the mad one. "Oh sure I lashed out, but hey, I love you - now do that think I want"

Every adult in the extended family knew something wasn´t right, but they protected the perpetrator, no one stood up for the children, who were told ´you must not speak out´, must not cause trouble, etc etc.

It was only when my father died and my sister and I realized that we would have to deal with our monster mother, we went to a phycologist to get ´coping techniques´ - he sat there with his mouth agape at what we told him.

We were ´what is wrong with us that we always prevoke this behaviour?´ what can we do or say to stay on the right side of this person? (because we still haven´t got it after 30 odd years!).

He said that she had several personality disorders from histronic, antisocial, borderline etc. That was the first time someone actually said to us that the problem wasn´t with us (for being so difficult, naughty, awful, evil children).

Maybe you guys were loved by your parents, maybe you can remember looking into your mothers eyes and seeing all sorts of warm things - even today when I look into her eyes - I see naked hatred, resident evil --- and to think I thought that was normal.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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You would be amazed at the large numbers of these people who are teachers and cops!

Worst one I ever came across was from my childhood neighborhood. Guy, first became a teacher, male Phys. ed., then into local police dept., and these types are more damaging than anything you ever will come across in the so-called criminal class.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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AC 15815, I can feel with you.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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111342 - you too?
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Yes principally, although she always stopped before really injuring me physically.

She changed when she got older but basically she was a psychopath before with all that punishing behaviour.

I finally came over it after walking through my repressed emotions step by step.

I will pray for you 15815.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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It´s no fun at all, I appreciate your prayers.

From what you have said it seems that you are on top of things, good work.grouphug
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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AGGRESSIVE SOCIOPATHS derive strong, yet nonperverse gratification from harming others. They like to hurt, frighten, tyrannize, bully, and manipulate. They do it for a sense of power and control, and will often only drop subtle hints about what they are up to. They polish their aggressive, domineering manner in such a way to disguise any intimidation others might feel. They seek out positions of power, such as parent, teacher, bureaucrat, supervisor, or police officer. Their style is one of passive aggression as they systematically go about sabotaging the ideas of others to get their ideas in place. In their spare time, they like to hunt or occasionally do sadistic things like find stray dogs and cut them up. They are usually effective at getting their way, and are especially vindictive if resisted or crossed. They don´t follow the social norm of reciprocity like others do.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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15815 are you female?
There is a certain procedure to feel the emotions but not acting them out, much similar to meditation.
It helped me a lot.

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