Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mental health stigma = all the wrong incentives

American President Obama spoke in favor of ending the stigma for mental health disorders in a recent conference addressing the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings:

The president stress[ed] that . . . the majority of the mentally ill are not violent. He said his main goal in hosting the conference is "bringing mental illness out of the shadows" and encouraging those suffering to get help.
"We whisper about mental health issues and avoid asking too many questions," the president said. "The brain is a body part, too. We just know less about it. And there should be no shame in discussing or seeking help for treatable illnesses that affect too many people that we love. We've got to get rid of that embarrassment. We've got to get rid of that stigma."

Glenn Close, who has advocated on behalf of mental issues before:

"The truth is the stigma has hardly budged," Close said during a panel discussion on how to address negative attitudes moderated by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Close referred to studies showing the public doesn't want to have those with mental illness as neighbors, supervising them at work or taking care of their children and believe they are violent.

Basically, the problem with stigmatizing those who come out regarding having a mental disorder and making their lives miserable because of it is that no one will want to get diagnosed with or disclose any sort of mental disorder. Which is the more appealing option?

Let's relate this to sociopaths for a second (although they are allegedly untreatable, as of yet). I have experienced severe and adverse reactions from the publication of the book, which was a little surprising to me, as someone who lives in a society that is governed by the rule of law with constitutional and other legal personal protections against discrimination, with an impeccable record of never having been arrested or accused of a crime, no history of violence, and having managed to integrate well enough to be a contributing member of society in my profession and circle of friends. Apart from a few broken hearts and hurt feelings and an inability to feel true remorse for other small infractions, I haven't done much to deserve being treated this way. But I am currently not being judged based on my record. Rather, I have identified myself as having a particular mental disorder and am now suffering the consequences of the accompanying stigma. Should I be legally protected based on my diagnosis and be judged solely on my actions or not? If not, what are the implications for me or the incentives for anyone else to be upfront about this disorder? And what are the chances of other sociopaths being forthcoming in the future? As a recent commenter put it so aptly:

In some ways it's easier to be a sociopath because you report that you are unencumbered by guilt and are less fearful than most people. You have less need for validation if you do not score high in narcissism. But what may be difficult to understand is that the lack of empathy that protects you from feeling unpleasant things also creates a pretty significant blind spot because it is difficult for you to anticipate the level of rage and fear you generate in the general public. In the abstract, this does not present a problem, and likely even amuses you. 

In reality, however, you have self identified as a monster and have essentially given those who sit at the top of these power structures the permission to dehumanize you. Why is this a problem? Because the "rules" that you feel do not apply to you in terms of maintaining social relationships now cut both ways. You might feel clever because you have escaped the obligations to conform because of guilt. But the other side of "coming out" as a sociopath is that now the rules that neurotypicals must follow in regards to their own behavior do not apply to you. You are stripped of your right to be treated as a human being because you have been reclassified as an "it." 

With the recent advances in brain imaging, it is not unlikely that that state governments will begin legislating the mandatory testing of "at risk" individuals. You can't hide a brain scan, and it will be a mark of Cain that ethically challenged neurotypicals will use to discredit/ruin you should your voice somehow feel like a threat to these invisible power networks. 

I've exposed my bias (I love someone who has sociopathic tendencies) which is why a scenario like this scares me. State identified Sociopaths could become to modern day governments what the Jews were to Hitler. Scapegoats. So if you think that you are a sociopath, please consider this blind spot with an eye to your own safety.

It's sort of funny because out of all of the things I have done in my life, writing the book and being open with my disorder seems like one of the better things, but it's the thing that has caused me the most trouble. My question to people is, what would you rather have had me do? Remained silent? Never have written about this issue? Cured myself of the disorder starting when I was child old enough to make my own decisions? I'm curious what people's proposed solution is for people like me.

Will it take some time, resources, tolerance, and courage to properly integrate people with mental disorders into society? Yes. Will some disorders be harder to integrate and/or more detestable or less obviously beneficial to you personally? Yes. Complain all you want about how bothersome "special" accommodations for the mentally disordered may be, but as I once read, blind people could equally consider street lamps to be a special accommodations for the sighted who can't manage to walk around outside at night without them. And the problem with a tyranny of the majority (apart from ethical, practical, and evolutionary reasons that we might want to encourage instead of discourage human diversity) is that it's very difficult to predict when you might suddenly find yourself defined as a minority.

You can choose to disenfranchise people from society, if you want, but those decisions will have long-lasting and often unpredictable consequences. And the American President doesn't think it's a good idea either.


  1. You really should have seen this coming.

  2. Question,( although you never answer them), Is a personality disorder, i.e. ASPD a disorder or a disease?

    Sociopathy or Psychopathy is a neurological disease, as in that it shows up in catscans. But what about ASPD?

    People do not necessarily LOVE those with personality disorders. (such as NPD or BD.)

  3. Excuse me, borderline PD.

  4. Youre such an amazing writer. I hate that people are giving you a hard time.

  5. "My question to people is, what would you rather have had me do? Remained silent? Never have written about this issue? Cured myself of the disorder starting when I was child old enough to make my own decisions?"

    I can tell you what I expected. I expected you to publish the book without the personal details necessary to track you down and identify you. I expected you not to appear on national television, disguise or no. I expected you to maintain anonymity and androgyny on this blog. I expected you to keep us guessing, to keep discussions here untainted by identity, a mingling of minds and hearts, a mix of those who have one or the other, or both.

    Your book, then, would be chilling tale of a woman who lives a life without empathy, but who tips the scales of being a good person, probably better than most. People might pick it up and decide for themselves about sociopathy, rather than dismiss it because of a clown in a suit they saw on TV. The slow process of understanding sociopathy as a condition that is not equivalent to evil would have started.

    Instead, you've made yourself a sacrificial goat that the masses are just so happy to place upon the altar and gut. I would say you've made an error in judgment, and your post suggests you are inclined to agree with me.

    However, every mistake, especially the life changing ones, open up new and interesting opportunities. You're all-in now. You've effectively become the devil's advocate, though the devil himself would prefer an angel to vouch for him. I know, it's not fair, it's not right, but now is not the time to lash out. Do what you're good at. Plan, use your cunning and genius to reap rewards from the tainted seed you've sown.

    Also, tell us what has happened. We all know who you are, and I wager most of us can guess what the consequences have been. Stigma in this country is as good as law. You're as likely to get a professional job now as a convicted murderer or rapist. People will refuse to hire you because of the stigma associated with your diagnosed mental disorder. Get advice from your peers on whether you have a chance at taking on BYU. If I had to guess, though, I'd think it's probably difficult to take on a law school and win.

    I'll put myself in your shoes for a moment. If I were diagnosed a sociopath and revealed that information publically, I would probably be fired. None of my co-workers would talk to me. I would never get another job in science, much less get a grant or have a shot at tenure. I would not be able to move down a rung and become a teacher, even at a community college. I would have to completely leave the professional/academic field and work in the service industry. I'm good at my job, too, better than most, but it wouldn't matter. I would be helpless and powerless, through no fault of my own, having committed no crime. I would not have even crossed any lines, only been honest when I should have been mum.

    If I were a person, people would have sympathy for me and my plight, but in being a sociopath I would have divested myself of personhood. I would be beyond pitiful.

    If anybody in the world deserves support, it's you. If you want it, ask for it, and you will have it, at least from me.

    1. Well, maybe she learned something from all this. I would like to think that she has learnt that she is not as smart as she thought she was and that also in many other respects she is not that different from the ones she calls empaths. But in her case, she will probably just think that it was her eagerness for risk that pushed her to do the unreasonable. And she will made up another dumb explanation on why “the Others” are not accepting her “difference”, well, she is already doing that in her post.

      And you, Andy, you are just trying to find an escape route for her as if to run would bring her any farther from her problem...

    2. What have you ever done in life, Jessi, other than run your fat mouth?

    3. Monica, Monica, Monica, I thought we had agreed to ignore us as we both dislike each other. Don't you think that ignoring what irritates you would improve your life? It is a rhetorical question, of course.

    4. Ignoring what irritates you is a wonderful psychological coping strategy for an ostrich, or for any animal content to remain in the role of "prey".

      Examining and then making efforts to transcend the irritant improve your life vastly more than a defense of externalizing blame and a "talk to the hand" type attitude.

      Jessi, whatever your "spath" (as you put it) did to you, I think it's time to move forward.

    5. No, what improves my life is being honest. Any other questions ~

    6. On this I disagree, to examine goes first, but then to ignore, in the sense of disregard, does wonders.

      Actually, to disregard is what I did long ago to move forward from my spath. I don't have any emotional attachment to him. His life still intrigues me though and I consider future intervention in it. I like to see how it develops as much as I like to see how Jamie's story evolves.

    7. I ignore, at times. I speak up at times. I, usually, speak up when I think no one has the courage( or will) to do it. That is when it counts, after all.

    8. No, Monica, I don't think I am going to have a question for you any time soon, neither rhetorical ones.

    9. Good. Bother someone else ~

    10. "Monica, Monica, Monica, I thought we had agreed to ignore us as we both dislike each other. Don't you think that ignoring what irritates you would improve your life?"

      Bad advice, if everybody did that, nobody would talk to you Jessy.

      "Actually, to disregard is what I did long ago to move forward from my spath. I don't have any emotional attachment to him. His life still intrigues me though and I consider future intervention in it. I like to see how it develops as much as I like to see how Jamie's story evolves."

      No emotional attachment maybe, be there's still some hate there, otherwise you wouldn't have to spend all your free time criticizing sociopaths on this blog.

  6. “Should I be legally protected based on my diagnosis and be judged solely on my actions or not?”

    It is not just physical abuse that counts, there is also psychological abuse. Unfortunately, only physical abuse leaves measurable injures, so it’s the only one, by now, that is mostly persecuted. Even though there are some exceptions already, like for instance “rape by deception” in some states. So, when you talk about “few broken hearts and hurt feelings and an inability to feel true remorse for other small infractions” are you talking about deception? People assume yes, and therefore you are judged on that, not on a diagnosis.

    “My question to people is, what would you rather have had me do? Remained silent? Never have written about this issue? Cured myself of the disorder starting when I was child old enough to make my own decisions?”

    If you want support society, then stop deceiving and have the willingness to not deceive anymore. So, be harmless to society, and then openly talk about your mental issues and your feelings or the lack of them. It is not about being a minority, society supports individuals who are victims even though they might be a minority, but society can’t support individuals who are damaging society consciously. It would be like nurturing an enemy at home. You are not rejected for being a minority you are rejected only far as you prove to be abusive towards others.

    To watch those who are a danger to society is positive. Stigmatization is considered negative just because it targets the wrong individuals. The President is against stigmatization but definitely supports fraud and abuse prosecution.

    1. i not reading too much this while comment section so pardon if this has been said:

      you talk about deceit as if it is always something a person is aware of. I understand that sociopaths are clever and do deceive purposely.

      I am trying to be telling the truth about myself to someone who want to get to know me very well. I dont know how to do this effectively because i do deceive myself. Idk how it happens, but one day there is me feeling one way,.the next something else. I do not even identify as a sociopath, though i have been reading here for a long time.. I have other problems

      But i do self deceive, and sometimes on purpose to the point i cannot tell the difference.

      BEcause i want what i want. I want what i want so badly i deceive others. YOu think i should go about my life not going for what i want ? This is not my choice. If I could know how i feel i wouldn't lie to myself or to anyone.

    2. Jessy, most deceptions aren't illegal, so if she's judged on her actions she doesn't risk anything.

  7. You've made yourself into a lightning rod. It's going to be a challenging period for you. But I think that this is the middle of your story. My hope is that your articulate and thoughtful nature combined with a clean record will ultimately be your salvation.
    Dr Phil's reaction to you perfectly captures the general public impression of being a sociopath. It's like being labeled a leper in bible times.- you are cast out and shunned. At this point you may wish you had never written the book.

    I'm glad you wrote the book, however. You have helped me understand the mental processes that go into cruel actions. You have certainly provided a service to many, even as you personally bear the brunt of public ostracism.

    I think the key is to not be shamed or silenced. Talk louder. Write about what happened to you and post it wherever you can. Get in touch with the ACLU. Get in touch with neuroscientists who can support your case. The fact that Obama is seeking to erase stigma from mental health diagnoses is fortuitous timing. Neuroscience advances have given us objective ways to measure brain function so all individuals with sociopathic looking brains should watch their backs. As the price point for this sort of imaging drops, employers may use it as a screening device. Public schools may mandate it for identified bullies. The hunters could well find themselves in the awkward position of being hunted.

    As someone with a law background you are well positioned to articulate a legal defense to threats like this. Will it save you? I don't know. I hope so, but I am a bit more cynical than you are about the power of mob psychology and its capacity to strip out groups of their basic human rights whether or not there are anti discrimination laws on the books.

    For this reason I think the best move you have is to move forward, full steam ahead, and to let your story act as a catalyst for widespread public debate. The very real benefit of this is that the lowest common denominator of public thought that is currently based on sensationalistic crime docudramas can be raised a notch. In your book you talk about sociopathic children. You may fight battles that will lead to more sophisticated diagnosis and treatment of minors who suffer from conduct disorder, ect. In doing so, you are a great credit to society.

    What you have done is very good, make no mistake about it. But never forget- Jesus was crucified because the Pharisees (religious leaders) and Roman government found his presence to be destabilizing to their interests. While drawing strong parallels between you and Jesus is a stretch you share two important qualities. #1- you have ripped the cover off a human rights issue that is threatening to power structures (both social and governmental). #2- You have a bulls eye on your back.

    Should you be silenced by fear? No because your freedom to live the life you want has been forever compromised by your outing yourself as a sociopath. Unless you plan to undertake a much better disguise than the sort you wore on Dr Phil, you will be followed by this mark of Cain. The only way out of this situation is through not being silenced, and lending your best efforts to raise the level of public thinking on this issue.

    1. Jesus! Now Jamie is like Jesus! Hahaha. Jamie is not shunned for being a white woman, a Mormon, a threat to power structures, for being destabilizing, liking wigs... Jamie is shunned because, unlike Jesus, she abuses others. Point.

      As far as she goes on exploiding others, the mark of Cain will beautifully suit her.

    2. no, she is being shunned for telling the truth.

      and frankly, Jessi, you are part of the reason that makes it so difficult for individuals with this personality structure to become more honest.

      One tip: when you want to look smarter than a lawyer, avoid logical fallacies and (most importantly) learn to spell.

    3. Go Mach @@@@@

    4. She is being shunned fot what the content of the truth is, not for telling the truth. You know that.

      I am being honest.

      I don't want to look smarter than anybody and I apologize for my poor spelling, English it's not my mother tongue.

    5. ME is being shunned for telling the truth about her experience with reality as a high functioning clinically diagnosed sociopath.

      Her book as an individual with an infectious disease opening herself up for examination. It is a good book on more than a tell all level. ME has done a service to those seeking to understand personality disorders in a way that might aid those who work with the 1-4% of children whose brains are wired like this effectively address antisocial behavior patterns when they stand a much better chance of being corrected.

      It's fine that English isn't your mother tongue, but logical fallacies transcend language. You say you are not trying to look smarter than anyone yet you continually try to shame ME and those who seek to understand or identify her. If that's not trying to look smarter I am not sure what your motivation is. To advance "truth"? your words- "I am being honest." Yes- you are. But your "truth" and "being honest" can only reflect your perspective. It's valid in that it's a point of view, but to make the leap of assuming that just because you perceive something that it is automatically true and immune to further discussion is the height of arrogance.

      ME was also being "honest" about her experience. You are trying to prove that what you experience to be "truth" is more valuable than hers. Other than through argument where you try to persuade her/others to your way of thinking, I am not sure what your point in commenting is. In pointing out you need to clean up your spelling and argument strategies, I'm not dismissing your point of view. ME has a compelling voice. So far yours suffers from its presentation. If you can work on those two things I think you will enjoy more respect from fellow commenters.

      Ideologically, I am probably closer to you on this topic, but I find your methods to resemble that of a junior high mean girl. This is a fixable problem. Your voice matters as a counterpoint to ME's- don't let it be disqualified by looking incompetent.

    6. @ Jessi-
      "Her book as an individual with an infectious disease opening herself up for examination."-
      guess I should reread my own post before I get too self righteous, huh? Please don't think I assume you are unintelligent or don't have a valid perspective. It's just that sloppiness and resorting to ad hominem attacks are not the way to persuade this group.

      The first line of my second paragraph should read "Her book is valuable in the same way an individual with an infectious disease opening herself up for examination is. Not because sociopathy is infectious, but because it is a disorder that if left unchecked has serious consequences for those who come in contact with the disordered individual."

    7. I don’t see the logical fallacy. We are all giving our opinion. And as I said I disagree with your “no, she is being shunned for telling the truth”. Because I think she is being rejected for abusing people. The “I’m being honest” was in respect of making this affirmation. No persuasion intended, it’s not my style.

      I am sure that writing better will help me explain myself better, but I have my limitations. Do you write well in the foreign languages you speak? I write poorly in all of them; nothing to be proud of but it’s a fact. The rest it’s not important for me.

      I speak for myself and have no interest at all at being the counterpoint of anybody! Hahaha. But, since you say you are closer to me on this topic, you can take the role of the antagonist, you definitely have required English writing skills ;)

      This posts reflects the way you usually express your Machiavellian side?

    8. Mach,

      "Her book as an individual with an infectious disease opening herself up for examination."

      As far as I understand it is fine with me. I’m not the duty English teacher here. But I do enjoy reading your well written posts.

      About the argumentum ad hominem, I don’t see the reason of your remark since this is actually a blog of a presumed sociopath who mostly talks about herself, so she places herself as an element of the discussion.

    9. Ad hominem attacks are on people. But sometimes people we don't like correctly grasp things we don't fully understand (ME is an example of this for me) and their perspective shifts our own worldview into the realm of constructive action. So dismissing everything ME says just because she likes to ruin people would be a tragedy.

      ME is honest about her dark side. But we all have dark sides. Without input from people who see things differently than we do we are far more likely to become endlessly trapped victims, or become monsters ourselves.

      In writing this book, ME has opened herself up to input. Shaming her and those who identify her makes it unlikely that whatever insight you might have for her or this online community will likely be lost because you can't let go of the global attack on her entire being. (BTW this is really common- many people tend to "split" people black and white in an effort to achieve moral clarity.) The problem is, this comes off as unsophisticated preaching and you get written off as unreasonable, because nobody has the benefit of knowing Jessi the whole person- we just see words attacking ME and Monica.

      Not sure what you mean by Machiavellian side- my chosen moniker is to reflect I identify more as an empath, but that Machiavelli's insight into human nature tempers my idealism.

    10. Excellent post, Mach. This is how I feel about ME's book.

    11. I don’t dismiss everything ME says, I just disagree many times with her.

      I welcome ME for being honest, but, again I don’t like her conduct and I like to be able to express both.

      The “But we all have dark sides” is for example is a logic fallacy for me, if you refer to the sinister, evil side.

      About Monica, are you actually new in here?

      I thought about the Machiavellian side because of you pointed as objectives: persuasion, to enjoy more respect from fellow commenters,... they sound quirky to me.

    12. No agenda there beyond basic manners. If you are pleasant then people listen to you more. I can't speak for everyone, but the back and forth of a good debate is very stimulating. I like to feel I understand something new after an exchange of ideas but I tend to avoid reading the longer comments of posters who seem to see the world in black and white, no matter what their moral views are.

    13. No, I am not actually new~

    14. @Jessi
      I'm curious as to why you believe "we all have dark sides" to be a logical fallacy. We all have desires or impulses that society would view as immoral or evil, its part of the makeup of the human psyche. Even all of the empaths i know have desires or thoughts like this.
      I feel that both you and Jessi have a point in why M.E. is being persecuted. It is in part due to the social stigmatization of sociopathy and in part due to your average empaths inability to get behind M.E.s eyes. Many empaths simply cant understand much of what M.E. talks about in regard to to enjoying "ruining people" and people fear what they cannot understand and lash out. "Ruinging people" is also not a socially acceptable pastime, increasing negative reactions.

    15. I bet she made enough money on the book, and has enough from before, that she would not care much. However, it looks to me that she is showing emotions in some of the blogs here.

      Besides, I do not agree that the empath/sociopath dilemma is truely that black and white.

      I am an empath, and I have been jailed 4 times. I beat a police officer for the hell of it. I was at the brink of cutting up one of my exes hopeful courters, he got away cheap. I liked playing war with trapped ants as a kid, drowning them, dismembering them. If I told that to a psychologist he would check that out as animal torture. Still we all kill insects all the time and consider them to have no soul. I spent almost every weekend for two years either in drunken fistfights or meeting new girls. I respect only the core of the law, and only the core of morals.

      Despite this I am today a fully functional individual, and I cosider myself alot better then most idiots out there that think of right and wrong more or less like a kindergarden child.

      What are morals? A shining night burning witches and blasfemists in the name of God? People were ones convinced that was a good thing. Enslaving Irish and Scottish women to populate medieval Iceland with them? I bet that did not happen voluntarily. 90% of male y chromosomes in Iceland are Norwegian today, 80% of Icelandic female X-chromosome markers (note markers) are Irish and Scottish. There is more evidence then just this. They all seemes to think this was OK. What about the american and english culture of pistol duels, gang wars and slavery? I can't see the empathy there, or the kindness. The list goes on and on, it is endless.

      We are all hypocrites. At least the book author is honest.

    16. "I beat a police officer for the hell of it. I was at the brink of cutting up one of my exes hopeful courters, he got away cheap."

      Sounds like you're just stupid.

    17. I imagine the reaction is similar to the one a paedophile would get if he wrote a book about what fun he had ruining kids.

    18. Mach, besides your role as a mother, have you taught children professionally?


    19. no. In college the people I hung out with were incredibly disdainful of those whose sought degrees that would enable them to teach primary school students. So was my father, who was my hero. He was an investigative journalist who loved raising hell. My fiance' (now ex husband) and his crew called women who taught "Ed (as in education) bunnies". I sheepishly understand now that I was so hooked on their approval that I ignored my love for kids and never considered that option.
      Today, after 16 years of "field work" (haha- parenting) I understand now that taking care of children is rarely mindless. Each of my kids is an individual who needs and deserves an upbringing suited to their wiring. I honestly can not imagine how the "ed bunnies" I was so smug about years ago pulled it off. Children are exhausting and annoying- not just cute little automatons who like to read Dick and Jane books. So much is at stake- you can't drop the ball. A hateful teacher can mess with a kid in a very bad way. An irritable and disengaged teacher can wreak unintentional havoc on children who have the sorts of brains that ME likely had.
      Instead of becoming a teacher I became a writer, and a mother. My hat is off to the good teachers (not the phone it on ones)- they are amazing people.

    20. I am more like the crew of your exhusband. The motivators you were giving me to express myself diferently remind me the ones a teacher would give to children that's why I thought you were doing that professionally. I don't think the job of the educator is very important beyond teaching book knowledge at children age but that's a discussion out of scope.


    21. "AnonymousJune 5, 2013 at 2:27 PM
      "I beat a police officer for the hell of it. I was at the brink of cutting up one of my exes hopeful courters, he got away cheap."

      "Sounds like you're just stupid. "

      How would you judge intelligence? The ability to follow norms? Stupid people do things you do not respect, and smart people do things you do respect? Why do they not use this "logic" in IQ evaluations? What if I was a cannibal, would that be OK if I was in a pack with other cannibals but not OK if I were a alone?

      According to Mensa I have a verified IQ of 120.

      Today I work partly as a programmer.

      Your definition of stupidity is obviuosly emotional, and not rational. This turns the tables and asks the question weither you are able to use your own wits.

    22. What would you hope to achieve by beating a police officer for the hell of it? You don't know him. Does he represent some kind of authority figure to you? Would the fact that you'd given him a bloody nose somehow make him seem less of an authority figure?

      Stupid because you did it 'for the hell of it'. Sure you have an IQ of 120, even Mensa get it wrong sometimes!

    23. "AnonymousJune 6, 2013 at 3:07 AM"
      Perhaps they do get it wrong some times. The test is standardized and the score depends highly on how well you do compared to others who take the test. That is part of the measuring method in all IQ tests, you should read up on it if you want to know more, or know more details. 45 figure reasoning questions in 20 minutes. Think fast. Too bad I scored my WAIS test pretty good too. I also have had the privilege to speak several languages fluently, how isthat possible being as dense as I am?

      If IQ tests are accurate or not, I have to vote to your favor some bit. The answer is not black or white here either. Personally I believe that they show a high posibility of where you are placed in the specter, but there are many factors that can clutter up the result. But I believe that cluttering up and getting a lower score then you deserve is easier then the opposite.

      Why do you assume I was trying to achieve anything by beating the officer, or that I would at all reason by your standards? Why do you assume that the grounds you judge by are unambiguous or that you know all the variables of that time? If my stupidity drives me to beating police officers, why don't I show similar behaviour from that on or before that time? Obviously, you do not have the whole picture and it would be impossible for you to have the whole picture since we are strangers writing text to eachother.

      I think that to explain human behaviour in all its varieties, you would need alot of information about human behaviour in general and alot of information about the human you are trying to understand, or judge. Surely, when you are all smarter then dump people like me, you should know that?

      Your impression of something directs you one way, but assuming is not knowing. Your emotions regarding my actions do not define all aspects of every fact involved. Your emotions are only your personal response, a system that is grown in your human nature. It is not the definition of truth.

      One always has to be open for the fact that one can misjudge, and always consider this posibility. There is always a chance for either being right or wrong, and if you do not consider both options you are not really considering anything at all.

      What makes this even more interesting is the fact that I have close family members who are police officers. Ain't that funny irony? Who is the worst kid in town, but the priests son? No one.

      I would love to share more thoughts with you. The bottom line of my message is; nothing is as simple as black and white. M.E. might be a sociopath, but obviously she is more the that. That goes for most of us, and most of us are not just either smart or dumb, empathic or not empathic, good or evil. That is, no offence, a immature way of seeing the world.

      I would to amuse myself with a fictive question that I don't know the answer of. Did Hitler love his children? If you assume no, then why not? Surely a monster is more then just a monster. He could have been a terrible father, but it surely would amuse me if he was a loving one.

    24. By the way, have to add. Being stupid, and doing something stupid is not the same thing. Being intelligent sets the ground for evolving the ability for doing the right things, if you choose so. But there is no physical law that stops you from doing whatever you want, if you truly want it.

    25. @ Anonymous 5:12 AM

      You are over analyzing in my opinion. Sometimes, as the saying goes, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's a duck.

      It is reasonable to deduce that someone who is prepared to face time in jail for beating up a cop for the hell of it is dumb as a bag of hammers.

    26. @ Snoopy June 6, 2013 at 10:57 AM

      Being stupid and doing stupid things goes hand in hand. However defining stupid as things you think are awfully disturbing, has nothing to do with mental abilities. Avoiding analyzing whatever you judge is not a sign of intelligence, and is not an argument for your case.

      You assume that people who are dumb are more likely to beat up cops or break the law? So if a person is categorized as retarded, he is more likely to become a criminal, do drugs or other bad things? I have never seen that actually happen. They just end up with jobs that demand less cognitive abilities.

      Read about Francis Crowley.

      He shot and killed a cop just for the hell of it.

      Anyways, I must say I must have managed pretty well in my life with my total dumbness. I guess those dumber then me must be drewling or something. Actually, sometimes I would wish to be dumber. Alot dumber. I guess if I were dumber I would not realize other peoples failing logic, and get annoyed with most peoples lacking ability to think past theyr first impressions, lacking ability to analyze and lacking ability to think for themselfes. They simply think by norms, much like yourself.

      Actually, I have to confess something. I miss the violence. I miss being cold and careless. I miss not giving a fuck and doing whatever I want. I find it demanding sometimes to hold back my nature. Sometimes, when I really feel the urge to physically destroy, I worry that I will deeply regret not killing my opponents, or at least try to, when laying on my deathbed waiting for my last breath.

      There was a time I had a barrier within that stopped me from doing these things, I guess the wish for these things eroded these barriers away.

      There is no better feeling than being over the law, to physically and visibly outmanouver your oponent, to crush him, to see him cry. I love it, I feel rushing pleasure. I feel life flowing in my veins. Beating that cop was my ultimate freedom.

      Sadly, I can't live in society if I continue the same way. So I have no option but to be lawful. Better yet, people who do not know I have done these things and many more, actually think I am a good guy. A smart one too. They see only that side of me.

      And for the comparison of a sociopath, I do not regard my self one. I don't spend time manipulating too much, perhaps because I am so dumb? Or maybe I have thought it is mostly for girls. Too bad it is my only option left, I guess I need to learn it better.

    27. "Sometimes, as the saying goes, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's a duck."

      When I think about it, I guess I must be better at manipulating then I thought, since people around me never see anything else then I want them to see. At least for a few years at a time.

      They've relly had trouble seeing the duck-part of me. Mostly all we perceive is only in our minds. Who I am to any reader out there is the same thing.

      Genghis Khan Quote:
      "The greatest joy a man can know is to conquer his enemies and drive them before him. To ride their horses and take away their possessions. To see the faces of those who were dear to them bedewed with tears, and to clasp their wives and daughters in his arms"

      That police officer was one of the greatest joys in my life. He was not fit for more then a desk job, and the amusing part is that he was not even supposed to be there that evening. He simpy got unlucky taking that extra shift.

    28. "Avoiding analyzing whatever you judge is not a sign of intelligence, and is not an argument for your case."

      Nowhere did I advocate 'avoiding analyzing'. I said that you are over analyzing. There's a difference.

      "There is no better feeling than being over the law, to physically and visibly outmanouver your oponent, to crush him, to see him cry. I love it, I feel rushing pleasure. I feel life flowing in my veins. Beating that cop was my ultimate freedom."

      Have you ever been badly beaten? Have you ever had your head kicked in and your teeth smashed? How did it feel? That's how that cop felt. He went home to his two-year-old son and couldn't hug him because you - stupid, depraved thug that you are - had broken his ribs. Could you not fuel your urges constructively, learn to break in a horse or something? If that was your ultimate freedom, you deserve only sympathy. What a small life you have led.

    29. This comment has been removed by the author.

    30. @ SnoopyJune 6, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      You are very right about what you are writing. In my opinion, we are all assholes. A difference among us all is whether we dare to see our own shit or not. One thing true for us all is our lacking abillity to take critisism and adjust by it. We always point fingers at the other person. Criminals and ordinary people alike. Even Al Capone believed he was a public benefactor. "This is what I get for killing people, no this is what I get for protecting myself." I think that was a quote by Francis Crowley before he was electrecuted. Imagine that.

      If that cop was a really decent human being, then I will see his suffer as a shame. But I really an unable to even slightest view him that way. He's just another asshole. I propably would have treated a horse better then him.

    31. From a cursory glance I am led to believe that you are a "low functioning" sociopath. The kind of socio that spends less time manipulating and more time smashing stuff. The type that most people think of when they shudder with fear at the word sociopath. Not that there's anything wrong with being a "low functioning" socio, besides potential jailtime. I simply view "low functioning" actions as foolish due to long term consequences.

    32. @ sevvack khanJune 6, 2013 at 10:47 PM
      I take no shame in the determination "low functioning" in this regard. I recognize my foolish acts as they were, in the context of benefit when that is taken into account. I just do not agree that the motivation for doing these actions, or the reason for doing them is as simple as portrayed. My inner workings do not follow a norm, thus it might easily be wrong to judge by them.

      To pat my self on the back, I have to mention that my worst acts were in my younger days. That incident with the police officer was more then ten years ago. Since then I have climbed, evolved.

      It might be obvious what I look like, and I do agree that my empathy is halted in many occasions, but I still would want to state for the record that I am able to feel empathy. There are parts of me that hinker under the right circumstances. Despite this all I have trouble viewing myself as very much different from anyone. I believe that you or anyone out there is capable of anything.

      Empaths do not always feel empathy.
      When the soldiers return home from war, all theyr emotional trouble built up in war comes to haunt them. I have never read a report or analysis about this matter and thus this might not be what it seems to me, but it comes a cross to me as suspicious that these soldiers flow over with empathy first after they come home. I would suspect many of them surely did not have any trouble doing whatever needed to survive and follow orders while in the midst of war.

    33. "War is better then sex":'war-is-better-than-sex'/?action=printpage

      Found the norwegian article too:

      Apparently they like 'red mist,' a confirmation of a deadly enemy hit. I read some where that red mist was the description of a snipers gunshot wound to its targets head. He will see in hi sight a red mist, blood splattering around the target.

      These guys would have been seen as honorable, if they just shut theyr mouth about how they love killing people. I think they even wrote a book about it.

  8. Mach
    You are a true intellectual and a wonderfully warm person, too. Kudos to you, Friend xx

    1. Agreed, Mach is awesome. I can't say it enough. But I can try ;)

    2. Yep, it is rare that most everyone likes someone on here. The last person was Mindless Pleasures Rich reached that too, but he was harassed, badly, at the beginning but handled it with such grace that everyone loved him. This is my take on it, anyway.

  9. Marcus Aurelius would congratulate you for having done the moral thing (writing the book) and advise you to ignore the reactions of others, which are completely out of your control, “I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.”

    Has Dr. James Fallon been stigmatized? He outed himself and didn't seem to take a hit, perhaps because he's charming and so obese it seems like he'd never be a menace to society. Such guys can probably get away with outing themselves - e.g. Louis CK regularly outs himself as callous, but he's charming, funny, fat and non-threatening.

  10. once again, very well written. thanks, M.E., for giving those of us 'in the closet' something to think about.

  11. I dont think people saying ME made a mistake know what they are talking about. Since AB (after book)

    1. ME's life has gotten way more exciting.

    2. She gets to openly be a sociopath all the time.

    Id she were truly happy with her life BB (before book), she wouldve never changed it.

  12. I love this blog but I cannot fanthom why M.E. would expose herself the way she did. Had she kept quiet, continue to politrick her way up the legal avenue she began, she would have been able to rank up in a secret society, provide fodder to conspiracy theorists from her dealings in back rooms and become rich beyond her wildest dreams. Perhaps she isn't as self serving as a true sociopath is?

    1. i stopped reading at "secret society".

  13. Being in the closet means you can continue to use, abuse, manipulate and profit from the stupid empath masses. Choose apathy and disdain for us padawan: until we revolt and rise against you. Sociopaths benefit society because they control it. They always have and always will. Crazy revolutionaries and new thinkers need them to rage against. And they need us to oppress. No human story is complete without a sociopathic antagonist!

  14. I begun to delight when you stopped. You are persuaded that such a label of sociopathy exist produced by the pseudo science of psychology. Agreeing with that label and the interest it inspires within you brought you here. Note I didn't purport a label to any one so called secret society. If dumb empaths can imagine such things don't you think smart and resourceful "people" can execute them? Who better to helm such fanciful agendas as pyschopaths and sociopaths?

  15. You be born again MEJune 5, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Asking for advice?

    I'd say become a born again Christian rising from a sinful sociopath Mormon. People will love you for that story. Also, stop acting confident and say after all the reactions you've been humbled. People like you would become the next President if you can pull this one off. Study some of the older Presidents' lives, yours would sound like theirs if you listened to my advice.

    Having said that, I'd never vote for you or anyone who plasy the born-again game.

  16. Hey you be born again me! Don't take my weird card away. I got this. Besides sociopaths only dig religion as far as they can use their followers. Which is quite easy. And empaths digging religion: oh my you really have to make it that easy for them? If you religious types don't go away ill be inclined to start a cult and use you before they can! Lol

    1. What about narcissists and religion?

    2. A narcissist would probably be most inclined to use their followers to affirm their sense of superiority and feed their belief in their own, superior, value.

    3. You be born again MEJune 5, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Steve Brown, r u calling me religious? You lack something.

  17. As a so called empath I like to ruin most people. I do this behind the judgement, dehumanization I put on them. I'm a happily nasty bastard sometimes, an annoying altruistic chap other times and an enert zombie at other times. I change worldviews almost daily only clinging to a few core convictions as I go along. I love myself as deep as I resent myself. Perhaps I'm just a manic depressive bit the Navy kicked me out because I has an "unclassified personality disorder". That diagnosis has joyously haunted my ego since. Thank Navy. You gave me an authoritarian label of " what the fuck is wrong with that guy?" That's rad.

    1. Changing worldviews like that is a sign of a weak sense of self. Are you positive you're an empath?

    2. Ha! Leave it to s. khan to tell it like it is!

  18. I earnestly and with much vain reread my postings: without a doubt I would be diagnosed a birage of disorders. In my youth I sought help from shrinks only to be disappointed how I could manipulate them into priscribing me drugs to experiment with or having them validate my ego in wonderous ways. Btw that same ego on a daily basis trandsends all my former accomplishments and laurels and quickens to a deafening cry that I should die! Lol. Irony. A hipster spirit. There is nothing too sacred for me to appropriate. My art of appropriation is sacred. Yay!

  19. My eastern studies would sign that my weak sense of self is a good thing. A releasing of ego. Yet I wake up as myself so brutally. Self awareness and ego. What's the difference? How do we discern that difference? If there isn't any why bother? That we are so self aware to ponder these things what does that mean? A myriad of questions with answers only in the moment? Science will change tomorrow. Our understanding of a God changes tomorrow. Why did google capitalize god for me? That isn't right

    1. Are you high? Come back with one question when you can see straight.

  20. One question; I'm back. Now what? Can you converse as hard as you dismiss?

  21. If I were high I wouldn't be where devils come to metacognatie. I'd be somewhere I could up my ego and get my dick wet. Lets be honest. This blog is more important than you! Can you dig it? If you can't keep your 1st grade narssistic traits have stagnated.

  22. I didn't know there was a term for me, I always wondered how can I do the things I do and not think about their feelings in the long run. How can I fix my marriage without telling my wife my "secret identity" without making her feel like I'm never gonna be able to love the way she does even though I wish I could live like the notebook movie??? Can I fix myself????? HELP ME PLEASE

    1. Keep the mask on. I did it just fine for 8 years, you can do it too. Die with it on, if that's what you need to be happy. I feel you, I want the same things even though I feel like I'm acting the part of a loving, responsible person rather than actually living that life.

    2. The other day I confided in my husband that I struggle with feeling empathy towards people other than my daughter. The look on his face made me quickly change my statement to "I wasn't blessed with patience". If I reveal myself entirely, it would break his heart. And I might lose him. Our children would be put through more heartbreak as well. That would be terrible for them. I choose to cover up those truths in order to have a loving family life. Its hard but the alternative seems much more lonely.

    3. If you take the mask off, something that is pretend will end, or it will be replaced by something living. No risk, no reward.

      As someone who left a a marriage that had become pretend, there has yet to be a day when I have not been glad to tell the whole truth.

      The only way to experience real love is to be the real you. If they leave the real you because they loved the fake you, then it's their loss.

      The sentence that made me understand why I could be pretend anymore:
      Kindness without honesty is cowardice in disguise. You don't have to give yourself the label sociopath but you do need to stop performing. It's not fair to either of you.

    4. These are the moments when I reconciliate with you, Mach.

    5. Keep the mask on. At best by revealing yourself you will create an estrangement between the two of you because your wife will never be able to properly understand you. At worst you will destroy your marriage.

    6. Khan-

      I'd rather be with a truthful sociopath than a lying empath. The issue is whether the person is a good bet for a long term commitment because they are willing to be predictable/accountable in the service of long term goals.
      The real question is- could a sociopath accept an empath as a long term partner?
      Theoretically it could work if was a mutually beneficial arrangement.
      Living with someone that you have to wear a mask with in your private space sounds like hell on earth to me. Divorce would be preferable.

  23. Andy - are you married / kids?
    would be interested to discuss with you why / why not. may not have time today but let me know and i'll be back when i do.

  24. I was half expecting to see a letter to M.E. from Obama regarding the book. Well, considering all the other testimonials that have been rushing in. Just sayin'.

  25. You really need to get off your "rights/legalilty" kick. Rights are social constructs, nothing more (what, did they teach natural law at UChi?). Rights are made up and selectively enforced. ADA, etc., nothing but politics applied politically.

    Free your mind Mormon girl:

    Pierre Schlag, Rights in the Postmodern Condition, in Sarat & Kearns, Legal Rights: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives (University of Michigan Press, 1996)

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.


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