The Poverty of Experience … Psychopaths and Perception

I really liked this recent comment from a reader:

You as a psychopath have to learn the emotions, that too cognitively. But you cannot generate or experience the feeling of the other person. That is the fullness of life. To experience, to feel – the rain, the clouds, the memories of childhood, your dog’s hug. They are feelings that were stored as memories to be retrieved as a memory of feelings. Not as memory of meaningless data. That is the foundation of the frustation of being a psychopath. That in spite of all the wealth you accumulated, your life means nothing much to yourself, let alone to others. But if a psychopath tries to lead a truthful life, he may start to feel, to experience a sense of meaning. Unfortunately for himself, a psychopath will persist in leading a life of deceit, continuing a meaningless existence, valuing things considered worthless and repulsive by normal people – an ability for trickery.

I am just trying to explain why we classify it as pathology. Not as a condemnation of psychopaths. one cannot condemn the diseased. What is needed is to elevate the psyche from its poverty of experience.

Is the commenter correct?  Are we truly missing out on the richness of life?  Does the “data” we see rather than human beings lead to our antisocial ways?  Is our experience truly impoverished?

Bloodsucker ... The Parasitic Psychopath
Shallow Affect - Psychopathic Emotion


  1. Anonymous says

    Short answer is of course yes, it is impoverished. Isn’t that why they are doomed to never ending boredom?

    • Anathema says

      All have deficits and surplus and all yearn for something in this life that they cannot have. Yes, nothing may satisfy to the psychopath, but is that in and of itself impoverishment? Would we say that the color-blind lives an impoverished life because they cannot perceive certain colors? I don’t necessarily disagree with your statement, but I think that there must be more behind the curtain.

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