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Originally posted by 3nlightened
reply to post by wildtimes
Well.... i guess i have a story you might be interested in. I am a "psychopath" if that's what you will call it. I was clinically diagnosed when i was 5 or 6, apparently i was fond of killing frogs and ants at a young age. I scored very high on narcissism, but thats all i really remember from my test scores, my parents never really wanted me to see them for fear that knowing the intensity of my gift might trigger in me to elaborate on it.
From what I've gathered over the years, 1-100 people in the US are sociopaths/pyschopaths, which is quite alarming, however most of them don't know it, I mean they probably do, but they havent been tested for it is what I mean. I understand your fears towards my type of people, but honestly without the tests I would have never really known. My parents always kind of shy'd away from me once they found out, I think they interpreted it as me being some serial killer, but its w/e. I grew up in a middle class family, good upbringing, parents still together, never really got in trouble and i got good grades, never really dated, and found out i have ADHD. I never really knew there existed a difference between me and my peers, other than i was hyper and my mind really raced all over the place whereas they could sit in class all day like it was nothing. That was hell for me.
Nothing really seemed out of place to me, in fact while i was young i kinda relished in the fact that i was a lil different, you know like i was meant for something great because i really didnt understand my "disorder", though i dont consider anything to be wrong with me. The biggest point in my life where i realized i was extremely different than everyone else had to come when my grandfather died. We were a very close family, and when i found out i was 17 yrs old. I came home and everyone was crying, i should have joined, but i didnt, to this day i still shrug it off, its death, it happens, no use in crying over spilled milk. A couple weeks later i realized where i should have been sad and cried, i didnt, in fact i cant remember ever crying, ever, over anything.
As i grew older i started to realize major differences between me and "you people". Where your decisions often involve emotional considerations and how things affect others around you, i tend to be more selfish. I consider this more of a blessing than a curse. I see a lot of friends and family who make decisions based on whats the best option for themselves and others around them , whereas I, the "psychopath" really only do what benefits me. My decisions have never harmed anyone, and Ive made sure they didnt, but i really dont see the point in considering other people on decisions that affect my life, call it what you want, but to me that is how you should be living your life, what you want, not what others want you to want or what they think is best for you. To me narcissism can be a good thing if observed properly.
I guess I will cover some general things, I know a lot of people are interested in pyschopaths because they really cant understand what its like to live without emotion. We dont entirely live without emotion, we observe other peoples emotions daily and they are quite easy to pick up on. I know how im supposed to feel in certain situations, and faking it, while it may be a lie, is generally done by myself to make others around me feel better. I still know what its like to love, i cant imagine a life without my parents or siblings. will i cry when they die, no, but that doesnt mean i dont love them and want the best things in life possible for them. Pyschopaths are very protective, i would do anything for my family, anything...
Dating is another story, Ive struggled a lot in relationships, not because im distant, but mostly because my partner was interested in other people . I've been cheated on twice, and it sucks. I dont know why, I hear these horror stories of how pyschopaths ruin lives, but i dont understand how. when i start dating someone its like a #in drug. When im with them i feel whole, i feel wanted, i feel what my psychopathy is supposed to feel like, it feels great, im not gonna lie, being a socio with a partner who cares for you is the biggest #in ego trip high in the world. And to me its something i dont want to let go, I would do anything to please my partner, because i dont want them to leave me because life as a socio is very lonely, there is only you who knows you and it gets hard sometimes. I have never gone crazy on breakups, i just move on, although there are very deep depressive states for our kind if you let yourself go there. And these arent your zoloft cured depressions, they are intense and they can be hard as hell to get out of, suicidal thoughts enter our minds a lot when we are depressed. And by depressed i dont mean o i lost my job # life sucks, i mean i got a B- in english class im seriously considering killing myself because im smarter than everyone else. I know it sounds scary, but if you realize your disorders complications with depression you can quickly pull yourself out of it. its all about pleasing the ego. Avoid depressed psychopaths, they are the ones that kill people, seriously, avoid them at all costs.
Lies. Pyscho/Socio's lie. its easy. Here is the #1 rule that everyone should know in life, regardless of whether or not you are a pyschopath.
People will believe a lie because they want it to be true, or because they are afraid it might be true; people are confident so they will believe a lie is true because they are too stupid to believe themselves to be wrong.
I try to lie as little as possible, sometimes its hard though, i have to admit. 100% i have never lied to harm someone. The only lies i tell are to keep from hurting people and to mess with their heads (comically, only with friends). I hate lying, i despise it, and its probably because I can do it so well if i want. My father used to beat me as a child when he would catch me lying, and everyday i thank him because it kept me from becoming a monster. As a socio we are able to convince ourselves of something being true, scary i know. It is this confidence in our lies that gets people. Here is a tip to catch them. As soon as they begin getting detailed, im talking like 3-4 sentences of details about something, its a lie. We are very smart, we know what goes into a lie, and what will make you believe it. details. you want details. dont fall for them. If you want to catch a sociopath in a lie, argue against it. Ask for proof, if they immediately get angry, lie caught. Most socio/psycho's have violent mood swings and these are brought out when people disagree with their lies.
I hope this wasnt a tldr, i know it really was, but whenever i see pyscho/socio posts it hurts me to hear all the bad things people say because in a way it attacks me, as if i fall into the stereotype. Some of you will say this was just an ego boost, but it isnt, i saw OP wanted stories and i figured i might share mine, at least so people know we should not all be avoided. If you guys have any questions for me feel free to ask, i will give unbiased answers.
Not all of us are bad, i have dreams of bettering society, of giving back to the world, even if im atop the throne deciding whats best for you i joke i joke
Portrait of a sociopath From Craig, M., Catani, M., Deeley, Q., Latham, R., Daly, E., Kanaan, R., Picchioni, M., McGuire, P., Fahy, T., & Murphy, D. (2009). Altered connections on the road to psychopathy Molecular Psychiatry, 14 (10), 946-953 DOI: 10.1038/mp.2009.40 The manipulative con-man. The guy who lies to your face, even when he doesn’t have to. The child who tortures animals. The cold-blooded killer. Psychopaths are characterised by an absence of empathy and poor impulse control, with a total lack of conscience. About 1% of the total population can be defined as psychopaths, according to a detailed psychological profile checklist. They tend to be egocentric, callous, manipulative, deceptive, superficial, irresponsible and parasitic, even predatory. The majority of psychopaths are not violent and many do very well in jobs where their personality traits are advantageous and their social tendencies tolerated. However, some have a predisposition to calculated, “instrumental” violence; violence that is cold-blooded, planned and goal-directed. Psychopaths are vastly over-represented among criminals; it is estimated they make up about 20% of the inmates of most prisons. They commit over half of all violent crimes and are 3-4 times more likely to re-offend. They are almost entirely refractory to rehabilitation. These are not nice people. So how did they get that way? Is it an innate biological condition, a result of social experience, or an interaction between these factors? Longitudinal studies have shown that the personality traits associated with psychopathy are highly stable over time. Early warning signs including “callous-unemotional traits” and antisocial behaviour can be identified in childhood and are highly predictive of future psychopathy. Large-scale twin studies have shown that these traits are highly heritable – identical twins, who share 100% of their genes, are much more similar to each other in this trait than fraternal twins, who share only 50% of their genes. In one study, over 80% of the variation in the callous-unemotional trait across the population was due to genetic differences. In contrast, the effect of a shared family environment was almost nil. Psychopathy seems to be a lifelong trait, or combination of traits, which are heavily influenced by genes and hardly at all by social upbringing. The two defining characteristics of psychopaths, blunted emotional response to negative stimuli, coupled with poor impulse control, can both be measured in psychological and neuroimaging experiments. Several studies have found decreased responsiveness of the amygdala to fearful or other negative stimuli in psychopaths. They do not seem to process heavily loaded emotional words, like “rape”, for example, any differently from how they process neutral words, like “table”. This lack of response to negative stimuli can be measured in other ways, such as the failure to induce a galvanic skin response (heightened skin conduction due to sweating) when faced with an impending electrical shock. Psychopaths have also been found to underactivate limbic (emotional) regions of the brain during aversive learning, correlating with an insensitivity to negative reinforcement. The psychopath really just doesn’t care. In this, psychopaths differ from many people who are prone to sudden, impulsive violence, in that those people tend to have a hypersensitive negative emotional response to what would otherwise be relatively innocuous stimuli. What these two groups have in common is poor impulse control. This faculty relies on the part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, most particularly the orbitofrontal cortex. It is known that lesions to this part of the brain impair planning, prediction of consequences, and inhibition of socially unacceptable behaviour – the cognitive mechanisms of “free won’t”, rather than free will. This brain region is also normally activated by aversive learning, and this activation is also reduced in psychopaths. In addition, both the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala show substantial average reductions in size in psychopaths, suggesting a structural difference in their brains. These findings have now been united by a recent study that directly analysed connectivity between these two regions. Using diffusion tensor imaging (see post of August 31st 2009), Craig and colleagues found that a measure of the integrity of the axonal tract connecting these two regions, called the uncinate fasciculus, was significantly reduced in psychopaths. Importantly, connectivity of these regions to other parts of the brain was normal. These data thus suggest a specific disruption of the network connecting orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala in psychopaths, the degree of which correlated strongly with the subjects’ scores on the psychopathy checklist. All of these findings are pointing to a picture of psychopathy as an innate, genetically driven difference in connectivity between parts of the brain that normally drive empathy, conscience and impulse control. Not a fault necessarily, and not something that could be classified as a disease or that is always a disadvantage. At a certain frequency in the population, the traits of psychopathy may be highly advantageous to the individual. This conclusion has serious ethical and legal implications. Could a psychopath mount a legal defense by saying “my brain made me do it”? Or my “genes made me do it”? Is this any different from saying my rotten childhood made me do it? Psychopaths know right from wrong – they just don’t care. That is what society calls “bad”, not “mad”. But if they are constitutionally incapable of caring, can they really be blamed for it? On the other hand, if violent psychopaths are a continuing danger to society and completely refractory to rehabilitation, what is to be done with them? Perhaps, as has been proposed in the UK, people with the extreme psychopathic personality profile (or maybe in the near future even a specific genetic profile?) should be monitored or segregated even before they commit a crime. While it is crucial that these debates are informed by good science, these issues have no clear-cut answers. They will be resolved on a pragmatic basis, weighing the behaviour that society is willing to tolerate versus the rights of the individual, whatever their brains look like, to define their own moral standards.
Originally posted by wildtimes
Hi team! Okay, this topic is my pet....
A bit of intro perhaps is in order. I am a retired Mental Health professional -- specifically a clinical therapist, with credentials. I am ALSO a survivor of a sociopath/psychopath who nearly ruined my life.
How does this happen?
Currently, here in the US, a trial is underway that brings to light the many faces of psychopathology. This is an excerpt from this website: aftermath-surviving-psychopathy.org...
What is psychopathy?
Psychopathy is a personality disorder signified by a pattern of lying, exploitiveness, heedlessness, arrogance, sexual promiscuity, low self-control, and lack of empathy and remorse. Those who are affected may appear normal thus increasing their ability to effectively prey on others.
EDIT: to change the thread title for clarity!
People severely affected with psychopathy have a false belief in their own superiority, a sense of entitlement and a complete disregard for social norms. They therefore leave a long trail of victims and survivors over the course of living their lives. Their victims include strangers, friends, lovers, co-workers and family members.
Unable to love, feel remorse or show any trace of guilt, they survive by charming, conning and manipulating others. Because they are impulsive and do things that hurt other people, psychopathic individuals are also called "antisocial" by mental health professionals.
What causes psychopathy?
Genes play a significant role in the cause of psychopathy. However socialization and other environmental factors interact with genetics, so genes are probably not the only determinant.
Psychopathy is very costly to society. The disorder is responsible for much human suffering. The disordered person, his/her family and nearly everyone he/she contacts is affected.
My question for team ATS revolves around that tenent. Sociopathology, in my opinion, is pandemic in this world today. At every level of society....from global banking to corporations to neighborhoods to alleyways, we are surrounded by sociopaths.
I myself, a trained pro, have been victimized. That is to say bamboozled -- sucked in by the charm, attention, and utter manipulation of a person who was utterly unable to have a healthy relationship. Yet, I believed!
I would love to discuss how psychopathology/sociopathology has affected any of your lives. Consider it a casual clinical study, if you like.
I will tell my story, if asked. Does anyone else here have a story, or theory, or stance on the issue of psychopaths in our society, and their blatant and heartless treatment of anyone they find to exploit?
Could be no one here wants to address it. Sociopaths are EXPERTS at getting people to go along with their intended agendae without even knowing it....that is: unwilling conspirators.
The trial (which had become a media feeding frenzy) to which I refer holds under the spotlight a family in which some members are publicly being exposed as having sociopathic/pyschopathic behaviors. I am happy to discuss the trial in detail as well....
If anyone is interested.
Please keep in mind, I am approaching this from a psychological/sociological point of view. The referenced court case is an excellent "case study" in the dysfunctional behavior of individuals, and leads not only to the causes of sociopathic/psychopathic behaviors, but also family systems (i.e., the theory that people are an amalgam of their upbringing, parental skill level, and familial history of counterproductive coping mechanisms).
Any thoughts?? If anyone has read the books by profilers of serial killers or their ilk, and studied the profiling field itself, you might have been exposed to the concept of how HARD it is to NOT become a victim to these very skilled con-artists.
All the best!
edit on 29-6-2011 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)
Also most people(normals) are just adaptive, meaning they themselves could become sociopaths/psychopaths in certain social situations without even realizing it.
By carefully observing their behavior and interactions with others, one might be able to notice "irregular" or "unusual" or "inappropriate" ways of relating to others and to circumstances.
What I'd like to know is...
How do you define a psychopath without the person having gone through some kind of examination to be proved or disproved as one?
Well, by professional guildelines, you can only "get" someone into an assessment against their will if they are believed to be imminently dangerous to themselves or others
How would you get a person you suspect of being one or if you think you might have the traits into a medical practitioner's office without sounding too silly asking for an assessment?
I only ask because I thought as others did that I showed signs of bipolar disorder but at the time the doctor I saw believed I just had depression and the person examining me at the clinic claimed that it was just anger issues (which I disregarded as I've never had an angry episode in m entire life which family members can back up).
Heavens, YES, it would be damaging. Giving the diagnosis of psychopathology is the LAST thing a clinician will decide!!
Would accusing someone of being a psychopath therefore be damaging unless they've undergone testing
and how do you get someone to take tests in that case before calling them such?
Documentary portrays criminally insane -- through their own eyes
"The impression of the public is that this is a 'get out of jail free' card ... that criminals can use if they just act a little bit dodgy," said George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. But the fact is, the insanity defense is considered a long shot in the U.S. justice system. It is attempted in less than 1% of felony cases and is successful only a tiny fraction of the time. Part of the reason, says Turley, is Hinckley.
"The great irony is that this was in some ways the poster boy for the insanity defense. He was insane," Turley said. "But people wanted revenge. They wanted him held accountable. They were angry. And they couldn't take out that anger on John Hinckley. So instead they took it out on the criminal code."
After Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity, Congress tightened the federal rules for insanity defenses. Thirty states did the same.
"You have to be virtually chewing the carpet in the courtroom to qualify for the insanity defense," Turley said.
...For the criminally insane, getting out of a mental institution is just as difficult.
"My lawyer said, 'You'll be here for 90 days' observation.' And that 90 days turned into 23 years," said Calvin Neal, one of the patients featured in the documentary.
All of the patients in the Saint Elizabeths film believe someday they will be released.
"I'm sure that I can get my life together. I can go out and be responsible. And be a citizen once again in this community. I know I can do this," said Ronald Embry, another patient in the movie.
Many of them have said that for years. At best, this may be the road ahead for Jared Lee Loughner. The road is far from free.
JohnOneillsMemory 13. Bingo. Controlling fear in unhealthy ways is the root. See these studies. Understanding the human brain is the key to our problems and who is part of them and who is helping to solve them. Unfortunately, Americans have been subjected to scientifically applied propaganda for over three generations by an alliance of corporate-dominated government agencies and corporate-dominated media outlets, especially TV.
This isn't just leftist rhetoric. It is real science developed by behavioral scientists, neurologists, sociologists, linguists, and historians.
And the diagnosis for conservative Americans is an ‘Authoritarian Personality’ which is a precursor to a socially destructive behavior called FASCISM.
After WWII, psychologists turned their studies to figuring out what personality traits led to large populations accepting the inhumane fascism of Franco, Mussolini, and Hitler. What they discovered was something they termed 'The Authoritarian Personality' which, in a nutshell, is fearful and prone to seeking security through pack identity (virulent nationalism), attacking other identity groups (like Jews, blacks, gypsys, gays, Muslims, etc.), and revering cruel dictators (the strong father as Fuhrer). All that ugly behavior because of intentionally exaggerated fear inflaming their amygdala, that primal lizard part of the brain that is vigilant against possible threats and responds quickly without using the rational left-brain thought process that people like the...say...'liberal elitists'...might use to think for themselves instead of blindly accepting the things they are told by authority figures and the media.
Originally posted by wildtimes:
"Now I know my own frailties. And I have a healthy relationship with someone who is reciprocally caring and respectful and validating of who I am, warts and all. Which is just what I wanted all along."
Originally posted by wildtimes:
"I wasn't talking about "disposing of" our arms (we have more in this household than I can keep track of, my husband being ex-military and reared as a hunt-for-meat and trap-shoot marksman type sorta guy)."
Originally posted by wildtimes:
"And once we realize the person is delusional or self-absorbed or false, what do we do? We have known for decades that Qaddafi, for example, is crazy. Why was he afterward allowed to retain his position of power? Why was he not ousted as soon as it was evident he was incompetent to care for his countrymen? (I don't have the answers, folks. It's a rhetorical question to invite debate)."
Originally posted by wildtimes:
"Why does it take extreme harm before those being abused get wise, or those who see it as observers step up? Whether in a household or on a global level, the question is the same."