However, a reader recently commented about an article that I thought was unusually accurate, particularly from the medical community (no surprise that the author seems to be Dutch -- sounds like he is speaking a little too much from personal experience): "The Hidden Suffering of the Psychopath." Speaking like only someone who is intimately acquainted with the subject matter could:
Psychopaths can suffer emotional pain for a variety of reasons. Like anyone else, psychopaths have a deep wish to be loved and cared for. This desire remains frequently unfulfilled, however, as it is obviously not easy for another person to get close to someone with such repellent personality characteristics. Psychopaths are at least periodically aware of the effects of their behavior on others and can be genuinely saddened by their inability to control it. The lives of most psychopaths are devoid of a stable social network or warm, close bonds.I know this will be unpopular with some of my "lifestyler" sociopath readers, but hey, it's at least 60% accurate. Even with these so-called "sorrows" of a sociopath, though, I wouldn't necessarily trade my life for an empath's. Rather this post is more a message to all you crazy kids out there: sociopathy isn't always everything it's cracked up to be. Stay empathetic and stay in school.
The life histories of psychopaths are often characterized by a chaotic family life, lack of parental attention and guidance, parental substance abuse and antisocial behavior, poor relationships, divorce, and adverse neighborhoods (Martens, 2000). They may feel that they are prisoners of their own etiological determination and believe that they had, in comparison with normal people, fewer opportunities or advantages in life.
Despite their outward arrogance, inside psychopaths feel inferior to others and know they are stigmatized by their own behavior. Although some psychopaths are superficially adapted to their environment and are even popular, they feel they must carefully hide their true nature because it will not be accepted by others. This leaves psychopaths with a difficult choice: adapt and participate in an empty, unreal life, or do not adapt and live a lonely life isolated from the social community. They see the love and friendship others share and feel dejected knowing they will never take part in it.
Psychopaths are known for needing excessive stimulation, but most foolhardy adventures only end in disillusionment due to conflicts with others and unrealistic expectations. Furthermore, many psychopaths are disheartened by their inability to control their sensation-seeking and are repeatedly confronted with their weaknesses. Although they may attempt to change, low fear response and associated inability to learn from experiences lead to repeated negative, frustrating and depressing confrontations, including trouble with the justice system.
As psychopaths age they are not able to continue their energy-consuming lifestyle and become burned-out and depressed, while they look back on their restless life full of interpersonal discontentment. Their health deteriorates as the effects of their recklessness accumulate.