Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sociopaths and depression

From a reader:
I am already sorry that my email has to begin with "my ex-boyfriend is a sociopath..." because I know this is something most women think has happened to them. My ex, however, is what he describes as "caught in the net"; a diagnosed sociopath, treated once in hospital and still in occupational care. Not that it helps, of course.

When we were together, he didn't act in a way that most women would describe their apparently sociopathic exes as acting, in fact he was very loving and caring, and always spoke of the huge amounts of respect he had for me, and how he took me seriously, and this is why he loved me. Before we were together we were friends and I would watch him systematically destroy the emotional lives of his exes, just for fun, just for kicks. My reasons for loving him were the normal ones; mainly, I was attracted to the sociopath in him.

I saw him just the other day, and we had this long conversation, where he told me about how much he feels he is suffering. I am adverse to all people who assume that sociopaths have no feelings whatsoever. Sure, he doesn't feel guilt, which sometimes makes me feel incredibly upset that he could - and has - hurt me spectacularly, and the only remorse he would feel would be the remorse would follow my excommunication of him, not the fact that he had upset me.

He has started to complain of feeling he has built himself a prison of his own behaviours, that his lack of impulse control is what's driving him to his own insanity. He doesn't feel guilty, his problem doesn't lie in his fear that he is hurting people, it is his basic fear that he will be lonely, that he is damaging himself. He has had a few scares that have nearly killed him, a few outbursts that have landed him in the Police Station or the psychiatric unit. He said something to me about his grip on reality; something about the fact that every time he does something "typically psychopathic", he is bored of himself, and he feels another barrier between him and the real world has gone up. I'm not entirely sure what he means by this.

I wouldn't assume that the reason he is saying this stuff to me is to appeal to my empathy, because I currently have nothing he wants. He is always relatively honest with me, in that if he wants something from me, he will ask for it. He respects me, still, so the mind games he plays with me are very minor and are usually just to keep himself on form.

My question is, is this feeling of suffering a common thing? Sociopaths I know only feel very primal emotions, and he has often told me that my downfall in life is that I am far too empathetic and this is slowing me down, that I could be like him if I wanted to but I'm too compassionate and he finds this quite sickening.
Occupational hazard?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Blood lust

In my experience, blood lust is very rare even in the sociopath community (and of course not exclusive to sociopaths). The difficult thing about it is you can never really tell who it will be: you can have some creepy co-worker who turns out to be fine, and another charming one who one day comes to work with a small arsenal. It's hard to tell what is going on there, but here is a reader's description of what it feels like to self-professedly have bloodlust:
Blood cravings or the craving of wanting to hurt someone is weird. I'm holding a fork or a knife or something sharp, and all I want to do is shove it in the throat of the person next to me. I'm curious, but, I know the hell that awaits me if I do it. So I don't. But, I feel the need, the force and thought that pulls me and is pushing me closer to the step where I actually do it. Sometimes, I'm not even angry. I'm fully in control of my emotions and body. But, I keep having images in my head where I step closer and jab and the persons throat. Who, it doesn't matter to me. I've had those images with my friends, people I don't know, even my own mother.

When I'm angry, I have no control. I have lost my temper and destroyed things I shouldn't. I'm more curious than afraid that one day, I'll lose my temper and hurt someone. It could be rather interesting actually. If I end up in a courtroom at least I can plea the "insanity"-plea. Or am I thinking of some other thing?

For me it's more like curiosity. Will the blood pour out of him/her like water? Will it splatter across the room? Will I have to use a lot of force to shove it all the way in? If I pull out the knife, will the blood gash out of her/him like in the movies? Will she scream?

All I know is that IF I do it, unprovoked, I will have one hell of a time explaining it to the police, my family, probably even the media. Who knows? Will my former therapist get an interview in the newspaper? That would actually be fun.

Will I one day give in to the urges? If I do, and I can control it, I will only do it towards those who I see fit to die. Those I hate. Not personally of course, but, to those who I deem evil.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Diagnosis sociopath: DSM/Hare

The scientific push to explain how actions were determined externally is attributable to the large behaviorist movement that occurred in the United States during the mid-20th century. This focus on deviant behavior was criticized by some because all classes of criminals (e.g., thieves, sex offenders) were pushed into the same category (i.e., Sociopathic Personality Disorder). In effect, the focus shifted from the abnormal internal processes of the psychopath to include generic and overly inclusive deviant behaviors of many types of (offending) individuals. Another distinction for this diagnosis was the existence of antisocial and dyssocial sociopaths. The dyssocial sociopath was identified as a professional criminal who could be extremely loyal to his comrades (e.g., members of organized crime).

The dyssocial sociopath distinction was eliminated with the publication of the DSM-II (APA, 1968). Smith (1978) contended that the extreme loyalty to family and friends made this classification represent no other pathology except illegal behaviors. The personality characteristics of the psychopath were not conveyed in the dyssocial sociopath. The antisocial classification that remained still focused on the psychopath’s personality traits. For example, the DSM-II described this type of individual as callous, impulsive, selfish, and unable to learn from experience. However, some critics maintained that the DSM-II did not provide specific diagnostic criteria for the disorder (Hare, 1996).

The issue of explicit diagnostic criteria was solved with the publication of the DSM-III (1980) and the DSM-III-R (1987). Following both manuals, the diagnosis for psychopathy was called Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD); however, it no longer focused on personality traits. The criteria were changed by emphasizing behaviors. The DSM-III Task Force felt that the clinical inferences necessary to determine the personality characteristics of a psychopath lowered the reliability of the diagnosis. Therefore, a diagnostic shift to behavioral characteristics commonly associated with the disorder was considered more reliable for identification purposes than were the personality factors explaining why the behaviors occurred (Hare, 1996). However, the new criteria were so broad they included almost every known criminal offense (Stevens, 1993).

At least one member of the DSM-III Task Force was not convinced that this new diagnosis appropriately represented the psychopathy construct it was designed to identify and measure. Millon (1981) wrote of his dissatisfaction with the Task Force’s diagnosis of ASPD, alleging that “the write-up fails to deal with personality characteristics at all, but rather lists a series of antisocial behaviors that stem from such characteristics”(p. 182). In addition, he explained that too great an emphasis was placed on delinquent and criminal behaviors for the diagnosis. Millon also cited instances where some individuals with similar psychopathic personalities will express these characteristics in socially appropriate ways. In other words, he argued that the ASPD diagnosis was overly inclusive. Following Millon’s (1981) criticisms, not everyone who engages in criminal behavior experiences an absence of anxiety, guilt, or has shallow emotions. Furthermore, some psychopaths do not fit under the ASPD diagnosis, given the heavy emphasis on illicit conduct in adolescence and adulthood. Indeed, consistent with Millon’s observations, some researchers conclude that the newest nomenclature for psychopathy (i.e., ASPD) sacrifices validity for the sake of reliability (Hare, 1998). Hart and Hare (1997) contended that “there is little systematic experimental evidence to support the validity of the DSM criteria” (p. 25).

DSM-IV (1994)
The objections leveled against the DSM determination of ASPD resulted in slight changes in the DSM-IV diagnosis. According to the DSM-IV (APA, 1994), ASPD “has also been referred to as psychopathy, sociopathy, or dyssocial personality disorder” (p. 645). Hare (1998) suggested that although this inclusion makes it easier for forensic psychologists or psychiatrists to discuss psychopathy in their evaluations or court testimony, greater confusion exists regarding the association between ASPD and psychopathy. Indeed, although the DSM-IV diagnosis retains the emphasis on antisocial behavior, many individuals diagnosed may not be psychopathic.

This particular objection prompted Hare (1980) to develop his Psychopathy Checklist (PCL), followed by a more revised version; namely, the PCL-R. Both the PCL and the PCL-R attempt to operationalize the concept of psychopathy based on the primary features of Cleckley’s (1941) original criteria. The PCL-R is a more quantifiable and semistructured interview with good reliability, validity, and norms).

Factor 1 represents interactional/emotional style and has been described as aggressive narcissism . Items that load on Factor 1 are more indicative of personality traits, including, among others, (1) glibness and superficial charm, (2) grandiose sense of self-worth, (4) pathological lying, (5) conning/manipulative, (6) lack of remorse, (7) shallow affect, (8) callous lack of empathy, and (16) failure to accept responsibility for one’s own actions.

Factor 2 items address behaviors or behavioral styles common to psychopaths, including, among others, (3) proneness to boredom, (9) parasitic lifestyle, (10) poor behavioral controls, (12) early behavioral problems, (13) lack of realistic long-term goals, (14) impulsivity, (15) irresponsibility, (18) juvenile delinquency, (19) revocation of conditional release. Whereas Factor 1 items remain relatively stable over time, Factor 2 items can diminish with age. Additionally, in Hare (1996), only Factor 2 items have any correlation with the DSM-IV’s ASPD diagnosis.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Diagnosis sociopath: mask of sanity

The publication of Cleckley’s text, The Mask of Sanity (1941), marked the beginning of the modern clinical construct of psychopathy, and his characterization has remained relatively stable to the present day. Cleckley based his description of the psychopath on observations of White, middle-class male patients, residing as inpatients of a mental hospital. The conceptualization of the psychopath by Cleckley focused on the patient’s intrapersonal characteristics or “inferred, nonobservable, processes."

Cleckley recognized that many psychopaths never became involved with the criminal justice system. Moreover, many could succeed in business or in other endeavors, particularly in those careers that offered considerable material success. Cleckley observed that the primary psychopathic characteristics of glibness, superficial charm, emotional detachment, and lack of remorse or guilt could be used for successful criminal or noncriminal careers. Psychopaths can pursue what they want without experiencing anxiety attributable to a concern for how their actions might impact others.

In the wake of Cleckley’s findings, the word psychopath became popular among laypersons as well as mental health professionals. Ellard attributes this notoriety to the term’s status as both an explanation for and a cause of depraved and frequent criminal behavior. He cautions, however, that this logic was as inherently circular and suspect during Cleckley’s period as it is today. Illustrating the tautological nature of Cleckley’s psychopath, Ellard questions, “Why has this man done these terrible things? Because he is a psychopath. And how do you know that he is a psychopath? Because he has done these terrible things”.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Diagnosis sociopath: the hate

The appropriate designation for what is today known as psychopathy underwent several changes and iterations. In 1891, Koch used the term psychopathic inferiority to characterize individuals who engaged in abnormal behaviors due to heredity but who were not insane. They were determined to have moral defects, but these defects were not equated with viciousness or wickedness. This new terminology (i.e., psychopathic inferiority) described emotional and moral aberration based on congenital factors and found wide acceptance in Europe and America. However, notwithstanding Koch’s efforts, the meaning of psychopathy in subsequent years once again became something quite pejorative but also something more reflective of the internal world and personality traits of the individual.

Maudsley (1897/1977) was a British psychiatrist who asserted that persons prone to moral imbecility could not be rehabilitated in prisons. Maudsley argued that moral imbecility was caused by cerebral deficits. As such, he believed it was useless to punish those who could not control their actions and wrote the following as evidence of moral imbecility: "When we find young children, long before they can possibly know what vice and crime means, addicted to extreme vice, or committing great crimes, with an instinctive facility, and as if from an inherent proneness to criminal actions . . . and when experience proves that punishment has no reformatory effect upon them—that they cannot reform—it is made evident that moral imbecility is a fact, and that punishment is not the fittest treatment of it."

Krafft-Ebing (1904) was even less sympathetic toward those considered morally depraved[,] assert[ing] that such individuals were “without prospect of success” and commented that “these savages . . . must be kept in asylums for their own[good] and [for] the safety of society.” It was at this historical juncture that psychopathic individuals were regarded as impervious to rehabilitation and that chronic social deviance was equated with pathology.

By 1915, Kraepelin expanded Koch’s psychopathic inferiority terminology to contain categories essentially defined by the most vicious and wicked of disordered offenders. His psychopathic personalities described in detail the “born criminal . . . the excitable, shiftless, impulsive types, the liars, swindlers, antisocial and troublemaking types”. Clearly with these characterizations, Kraepelin moved the focus of psychopathy back to one of moral judgment and social condemnation.

Interestingly, as Millon et al. (1998, p. 19) note, his categories of psychopathic personalities more closely represent our conceptualization of psychopathy and ASPD today. He described these disordered individuals as "the enemies of society . . . characterized by a blunting of the moral elements. They are often destructive and threatening . . . there is a lack of deep emotional reaction; and of sympathy and affection they have little. They are apt to have been troublesome in school, given to truancy and running away. Early thievery is common among them and they commit crimes of various kinds."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Diagnosis sociopath: origins

As previously stated, the psychopathy construct has a long history with changing personality patterns and clinical characteristics, dating back through the past two centuries.

Phillipe Pinel is generally credited with recognizing psychopathy as a specific mental disorder. Pinel advocated for appropriate, moral treatment rather than cruel interventions (e.g., bloodletting, cold baths) as the preferred method of intervention for the psychiatrically ill (Pinel, 1801/1962). Pinel’s contributions occurred in France shortly after the French Revolution. Prior to this time, France was ruled by a strict class structure and sanity was judged by the Old Testament of the Bible. In 1801, Pinel observed that some of his patients engaged in impulsive acts, had episodes of extreme violence, and caused self-harm. He noted that these individuals were able to comprehend the irrationality of what they were doing. There was no evidence of what is now considered psychosis, and their reasoning abilities did not appear to be impaired. He described these men as suffering from manie sans délire (insanity without delirium). As Pinel explained, “I was not a little surprised to find many maniacs who at no period gave evidence of any lesion of understanding, but who were under the dominion of instinctive and abstract fury, as if the faculties of affect alone had sustained injury” (p. 9). His observations were very controversial during this era, especially because a low intellect and symptoms of psychosis were the typical criteria for identifying mental illness (Stevens, 1993).

In the early 1800s, Benjamin Rush, an American psychiatrist, also documented confusing cases that were described by clarity of thought along with moral depravity in behavior. However, Rush (1812) went beyond Pinel’s more affectively based description and maintained that moral derangement was either a birth defect or was caused by disease. Rush believed this condition was primarily congenital. As he stated, “There is probably an original defective organization in those parts of the body which are preoccupied by the moral faculties of the mind”. In addition, Rush held that “it is the business of medicine to aid both religion and law, in preventing and curing their moral alienation of the mind”. The American psychiatrist maintained that the lack of morality was primarily hereditary, yet unstable environments were largely responsible for fostering its growth. Rush further claimed that offenders with mental defects were best treated in medical rather than custodial institutions. Benjamin Rush is recognized as one of the first to begin what has since become a long-standing practice of social condemnation toward individuals labeled psychopathic.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Diagnosis sociopath: overview

This week I want to talk about the origin of and continuing confusion over sociopathy as a psychiatric diagnosis. Unless otherwise indicated, the material/information is taken (edited for length) from "The Confusion Over Psychopathy (I): Historical Considerations," a paper by Bruce A. Arrigo and Stacey Shipley, printed in International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 45(3), 2001 325-344.
Notwithstanding its extensive heritage, psychopathy has been plagued by changing and uncertain diagnostic nomenclature. For example, a great deal of confusion currently exists regarding the relationship between Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD), as identified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.) (DSM–IV), and the modern construct of psychopathy as explained by Cleckley (1941) and further refined and empirically validated by Hare (1985, 1991). Although contemporary research supporting the diagnosis of psychopathy is at its strongest, mental health professionals remain perplexed when diagnosing, treating, or making recommendations to the court system about these individuals.

In general, we note that the psychopathic label (i.e., explanation) has changed from the morally neutral view of Pinel (1801/1962) to the more truculent and disparaging characterization described by Kraepelin (1915). In addition, the designation itself has evolved from the unpopular term insanity, to the controversial expression moral, to the present moniker psychopathic. The elusiveness of the psychopathic construct and its meaning is further confounded by the theoretical basis out of which social scientists approach and investigate this mental disorder. Indeed, some researchers invoke descriptors for psychopathy, implying that the individual experiences morality problems that are solely personality based, exclusively congenitally or biologically derived (Ellard, 1988; Schneider, 1958; Smith, 1978), or principally behaviorally grounded (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Moreover, notwithstanding these interpretations, Hare’s (1996) empirical and qualitative findings consistently demonstrate that the psychopath has distinctive affective, interpersonal, and behavioral attributes.

Psychopathic individuals historically and at present are almost uniformly considered difficult, if not impossible, to treat. We submit that the diagnostic confusion surrounding psychopathy (i.e., the label and its meaning) and the adverse consequences persons in the mental health and criminal justice systems (potentially) experience in the wake of such a determination, warrant closer scrutiny. Although clearly not exhaustive, this overview will provide an important backdrop, making it possible to assess provisionally how psychopathy evolved into a mental disorder and a pejorative label.

In particular, we will consider the logic of linking psychopathy, as applied to forensic clients, with the behavioral diagnosis of ASPD. This notwithstanding, the progression of thought contained within each of the components or categories demonstrates the course of psychopathy’s development and demonstrates how each has ostensibly functioned along a continuum (e.g., social condemnation as morally neutral to morally reprehensible, the disorder’s description based on personality to behavioral traits, and the locus of treatment from asylums to prisons).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Can a child be a sociopath?

A mother sends her adopted son back to Russia with the note: "I am sorry to say that for the safety of my family, friends, and myself. I no longer wish to parent this child. As he is a Russian national, I am returning him to your guardianship. . . . He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues."

There are a few fun things about this piece of news. First, like Octomom, this is a subject on which everyone seems to have an opinion, from those that think that this is part of a plot by Russia to export its sociopaths to the U.S., to those that think that all you need is love to make him turn good. Second, the kid's life is probably ruined now that he is outted for eternity as a psychopath, but it is a good cautionary tale for other misbehaving child sociopaths, particularly those with foreign citizenship. Third, this video:

Friday, April 9, 2010

Portait of a sociopath -- Paul Harvey style

An anonymous reader writes:
Lisa Druck was born the daughter of a rich insurance lawyer. When she was a teenager, her father bought her a $150,000 show horse named Henry the Hawk. Lisa and Henry won a number equestrian jumping prizes together, but when a recession came along, Lisa's rich father was temporarily short on cash and decided to sell Henry.

Because of the recession, the best offer for Henry was $125,000, even though the horse had been purchased and insured for $150,000. Lisa's father decided that the best way to get the extra $25,000 would be to arrange an accident for the horse. So he hired and trained a man to electrocute Henry. The man Lisa's father hired went on to become a serial killer of horses, and years later an informant for the FBI in the ‘horse murders‘ insurance scandal.

Lisa stopped riding horses entirely after Henry was killed. She left home at 18 and went to school in New York City, but dropped out after two years. Lisa dated brat pack novelist Jay McInerney who wrote a Roman à clef called "Story of my Life" about `Alison Poole` "an ostensibly jaded, cocaine-addled, sexually voracious 20-year old", who moved to New York City after her father killed her horse for insurance money. It would be years before anyone tried to figure out who `Alison Poole` was, because the horse murders scandal hadn't broken yet.

Alison Poole appeared in some of Jay McInerney's other novels. She also appeared in novels by Jay's friend, Bret Easton Ellis. She's in the novel "American Psycho", and even makes it into the film adaptation where someone mentions seeing Patrick Bateman and Alison Poole together at the Kentucky Derby.

The real Alison Poole, Lisa Druck married a high power lawyer in 1991, changed her name in 1994, and divorced in 2000. What's she up to these days? You may know her as Rielle Hunter, mistress of Jonathan Edwards the insurance lawyer turned presidential candidate who's been in the news for getting her pregnant while his wife had cancer, and then paying off a top staffer help cover it up.

And now you know, the rest of the story.

Paul Harvey

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Defining conscience

I've been thinking recently about the definition and imagery behind the concept "conscience." Martha Stout in The Sociopath Next Door defines conscience as necessarily having an emotional component:
Psychologically speaking, conscience is a sense of obligation ultimately based in an emotional attachment to another living creature (often but not always a human being), or to a group of human beings, or even in some cases to humanity as a whole. Conscience does not exist without an emotional bond to someone or something, and in this way conscience is closely allied with the spectrum of emotions we call "love." This alliance is what gives true conscience its resilience and its astonishing authority over those who have it, and probably also its confusing and frustrating quality.
I don't know if I agree with that definition, but maybe my opinion doesn't count for much. I do find it interesting that there are basically two types of imagery used to portray conscience: (1) the devil and the angel on the shoulder and (2) a separate entity telling you to do the right thing, e.g. Jiminy Cricket. The origin of the devil and angel is obvious -- Judeo Christian beliefs include the concept of the "holy spirit" and guardian angels, and even God telling you what to do, and there is also a fallen angel, the devil, tempting you to do wrong things. The origin of Jiminy is less clear, but I would imagine that most non religious people would associate their conscience with this type instead of the angel/devil. When I asked my friend which he thought was most accurate, he said:
Friend: Jiminy Cricket

M.E.: Yeah, interesting. So it is a separate person? eparate little part of you?

Friend: I don't know, you can "tap into" your conscience, or suspend it, push it aside...

M.E.: So sort of separate, right?

Friend: I guess so, right?

M.E.: Hard to know. I guess it has to feel separate from us, otherwise we wouldn't come up with a separate name for him.

Friend: I feel like it doesn't feel separate most of the time until you feel fractured about it, when something disturbs it.

M.E.: Like a bone or your kidney?

Friend: Yeah, exactly.
Is a conscience like other organs in our body? We never notice it until we hurt it? And if so, is it more like the heart? The lungs? Or the appendix? The gall bladder? Is it something else? If we're defining sociopaths based partially on a lack of conscience (e.g. Robert Hare's book, Without Conscience), what is it that other people have that sociopaths lack?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Survival of the fittest

A sociopath talks about teaching children empathy and growing up.
I went to catholic grade school. I remember being "taught" do unto others as you would have done unto you. I remember thinking I get it but what's that mean? When I was maybe 23, 24? I remember hearing the word empathy, or empathetic fools or something like that in a nirvana song and saying to myself hmmm, what's that mean? I looked it up. After further research I came along a short story on how to teach preschoolers empathy and so I began doing so with my daughter. But I also remember thinking damnit! Why didn't anyone teach me this when I was in grade school, could I have been different? It was nice to learn what the golden rule real REALLY means, to this day I can't say I believe or practice it (lol) I treat people close to me very good, I treat people I may need something from with my chraming gift giving self, I treat people I could careless about like just that, and the people close to me can see the quick switch flip, they say oh I see "you" coming oh no... They say the transition in persona's takes 2 mild agitations and I switch. Let's say like the incredible hulk, only cooler, and more able to communicate clearly. Because I then become brutally honest, far from charming, and very demanding. Its almost a shame. Its a decent skill, it should be valued.

[On the application of the law of the jungle or everyone is equal] I can't say I enjoyed here's your turn now... I became resentful of those terms almost like people should earn their places. When I was in gym class I was often picked by the teacher to be a captain then being able to choose my teammates, the teachers picked me because they saw me as a good sport who always picked the lousy players first so they didn't feel left out. And I would pick the crappiest volley players first, the shy awkward unpopular kids, but not to make them "feel" good... I did it for several reasons... 1st reason: dorky kids, bad at sports probably smart, I could probably use an ally in my AP chem class or in case I found myself in a situation where having these ppl like me may be good (ace in my back pocket) cheating on a test copying homework etc... 2nd reason: the teachers LOVED the idea that I gave the overlooked kids a centerstage feeling even if just for 5 minutes during gym class. So I liked that it made me look good to the teachers, who then viewed me as mature and reasonable, SO if I needed to be a few minutes late I wouldn't get written up or they'd let me slide on dress code etc... 3rd reason: this is probably my favorite, most pleasurable at least to me... To see the frustration on the other teams girls faces. They'd arm their team with the best players high fiving each other and playing so serious and they'd get so frustrated with how poorly our team was as an opponent. They'd actually get angry. And I'd say aw good job you'll get the serve over the net this time cmon try again, while those girls opposite us groaned and sighed because they wanted to play and win... I loved the angry looks on their faces, screw them, who cares about high school gym... I'll tell u who did, my awkward unpopular teammates because for 5 mins they were special, who made them feel special? Me.

The means for "teaching"(because really its society saying this is how you SHOULD behave feel etc) empathy in brief goes as follows... Two small children around your age(in order to teach the lesson its tailored to the pupils age) are riding bikes in the street in front of their home. The first child loses control and goes in the path of a car that slams on the breaks in a panic. Tires screech! The small child lays in the street, his bike wheel bent, the pedal broken off. When the second child runs up to his friend after the dust clears he sees his friend scraped from the road, blood coming from his scratches NOW u child imagine yourself laying on the road and feel the pain of the scratches and scrapes, and feel the throbbing headache and the burning blood coming from your cuts... Imagine how upset you would be if that was you laying in the street, feeling all that pain and having a ruined bike...suffering. NOW that's how u know how someone feels in a situation... So the question you have to ask yourself is "HOW" would you like your friends to react to your injuries, and your family to aid you with repairing your bike, and the ppl to help you off the street. That's how to understand how to do unto others as you would unto you... In a sense empathy, imagine yourself in that situation and how would you feel and want people to react to you, that's how you know how to behave... Or some nice crap like that... It makes sense if you take it back to childhood we can all remember and imagine pain, so its easy to relate to the hurt child... for me its just react as society wants me to, or how I want to? A personal dilemma... Truly, depends on the kid! If its a kid I like guess I'd give him a hand, however if its say my friends daughter who is 11 and just fowl mouthed and disrespectful to her mother would I help her no, I'd probably look at the car to see if she damaged the car... That's about it... Funny thing is I'm ok with not having any feelings if I were to witness something like that... I'd probably see it more as a traffic issue than much else, and Really who cares?

Incredible hulk, perhaps we(socios) all have him inside of us...I'm fine with mine.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hungry like a wolf?

A sociopath reader questions why sociopaths are seen as wolves:
Don't get me wrong, wolves are cool. If I could be any animal, it would be a predator. If I had to choose, my decision would be between an Alaskan Wolf and a Harpy Eagle. However, people actually looking at a sociopath as some type of predator disgusts me to the point of wanting to hurt the fucking idiots who label anyone as such. Now, I have no doubt that there are some people who actually are predators in some way. Some people may actually fit the bill. However, labeling a group of people as so is just ridiculous. When I meet someone, I don't look for their weaknesses and attack them for it. Knowing someone over a period of time, it is only natural that you discover their weaknesses and strengths, everyone does. Sociopaths and psychopaths may use this to their advantage, but does that make them a predator?

These "empaths" as they are called on your website are nothing but pieces of shit. I constantly read about them trying to "observe and understand" or "beat sociopaths at their own game". When I read about an "empath" creating some story of "beating a sociopath at his own game" I just want to punch my computer screen. Nearly every comment area on your website has some bullshit "empath" recalling some bullshit story about how they are super duper fucking awesome for being stupid fucking hypocrites. The fact that they call themselves empaths and then go and "play the sociopath game" is more twisted then anything a sociopath can ever do.

"I started giving the sociopath that works with me exactly the same treatment he gave me and other unsuspecting women, including exposing him to colleagues. He is running around complaining that he is so hurt and disappointed yet he had no problem doing this to me! what is with that? it seems to me that they are good at dishing it out but they can handle it themselves?"


You've gone and attracted every fucked up person with self-esteem issues, thrown them into a tank full of wanna-be sociopaths, and have passed popcorn out to those smart enough to just sit in the stands and watch. Thanks for the popcorn, but the show is starting to piss me off.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Good idea?

From an article about using brain scans to detect sociopaths:
But what could be even more interesting is what the future holds. If we can detect such abnormalities in childhood or adolescence, perhaps we could prevent the individual from actually “turning into” a psychopath through a specific treatment program. Instead of locking people up after the fact, we could turn a societal eye toward prevention and help people long before they become a burden on the criminal justice system.
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