Psychopathic Personality: The Absence of Conscience
Elie Wiesel, the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Nazi hunter, said “to defeat them, first we must understand them.” For most of us the idea of a psychopath conjures up images from movies like “Silence of The Lambs” and characters with names like “Hannibal Lector.” However, characters such as Hannibal is a fantasy, he is the creation of the author. Serial killers, however, and individuals involved in ritual torture are scarce, but psychopathic behavior is more common than one may think.
Historical Background The psychopathic symptoms itself has been around for centuries wearing labels like “madness without delirium” and “moral insanity” until the late 1800s when “psychopath” was coined by a German clinician. However, the term, and its synonym sociopath, had always been used as a general-brush, catch-all approach directed to criminals who seemed violent and unstable. For example, in the 1970s, almost 80% of convicted felons in the United States were diagnosed as sociopaths. In 1980, Dr. Robert Hare from the University of British Columbia, produced a diagnostic tool called the Psychopathy Checklist; and five years later was revised became known as the PCL-R. Commonly called “the Hare,” the PCL-R measures psychopathy on a forty-point extent. With a reliable diagnostic tool and for the first time in history every clinician who diagnosis “psychopath” was saying the same thing.
According to some researchers, approximately one percent of the population are born psychopaths. consequently, The United States may be the home of nearly three million psychopaths, and more than sixty-three million psychopaths worldwide. What is so discouraging, paychopaths cannot be rehabilitated. Professionals who work with population is on record stating that; once a psychopath, always a psychopath.
Psychopath; without heart, conscience, or remorse Psychopaths think nothing of lying, cheating and stealing. We are aware of the extreme situations, psychopaths who commits serious crimes such as; serial rapists and serial killers. However, we are less educated about psychopaths in the political arena, businessmen who commit whitecollar crimes, or the psychopath who defraud trusting men and women of their life-saving. If you believe you can identify a psychopath, please think again. Psychopaths often assimilate easily into society. They are easy-going, entertaining, and often the life of the party. They appear to be intelligent, charming, well-modificated and likable. For the psychopath this is a role … an illusion designed to convince you to give them what they want. One woman explained her encounter with a psychopath in this manner. “I thought I was marrying a successful businessman. It turned out I was his business. He took all my money and left me seriously in debt.” Psychopaths are experts at the art of manipulation. In which case, you must think twice before you give away your love, money, or your life.
meaningful Symptoms of Psychopathy What follows is a general summary of the meaningful traits and behaviors of a psychopath. However, you should not use these symptoms to diagnose yourself or others.
Emotion and Interpersonal, the psychopath is; glib and shallow, egocentric and grandiose, without of remorse or guilt, and empathy. The true psychopath is deceitful and manipulative with very shallow emotions. Social Deviance, the psychopath is capricious with poor behavior controls, he needs excitement, but without sense of responsibility. The psychopath behavior problems began early in life and as an adult participates in various antisocial behaviors. Psychopaths views the rules and expectations of society as inconvenient and unreasonable impediments their needs, goals, and behavioral expression. Psychopaths make their own rules, as children and as adults.
Here I feel the need to caution you that individuals who are not psychopaths may characterize some of these symptoms. Many individuals are capricious, or glib, cold and unfeeling, but this does not average that they are psychopaths. Clinically, psychopathy is a syndrome with a cluster of related symptoms.
Finally, If you believe that you are involved with a psychopath on any level; Cut your lossess. The personality of psychopaths is “carved in stone.” Too often, victims of psychopaths end up feeling confused and hopeless, and convinced themselves that they are the blame for the problem. The more you comply with the demands of the psychopath the more you will be taken advantage of by the psychopath’s insatiable appetite for strength and comtrol.
Read More About It If you are interested in learning more about the Psychopathic Personality I recommend that you read Without Conscience: The Disturding World of the Psychopaths Among Us, by Robert Hare, Ph.D., (Simon & Schuster, 1993).