There is a reason that my words are tailored to the antisocial adult and that I limit my communication with those that are younger. Empathy continues to develop in individuals until their late teens, for instance. Most importantly, there is a level of maturity that is required in order to succeed as a successful antisocial individual. Without the utmost in maturity, many who come to the “realization” that they are antisocial or psychopathic quickly snuff themselves out. I prefer not to see my brethren in jail or dead, but ultimately I lose no sleep over those that could not control their desires.
It is not uncommon for the newly realized antisocial to intensify their antisocial behavior. I’ve seen this time and time again with those who contact me and with my own personal experiences. Thinking that the only way to honor themselves or their diagnosis is to “prove it”, they quickly become pariahs in their social circles and some even end up in trouble with the law. I suppose this is no different than a child realizing that her vocal chords produce sound. In wonderment, she utters all sorts of sounds. More personally, I can think of the transgender individual who becomes hypergendered once they come to the realization that they know “who they are.”
I have spent countless hours making sure that my condition is correct; that the professional administration of the PCL-R was correct; that even the “weaker” diagnosis of ASPD is correct. I struggle with the delicate dance required to combine authenticity with restraint. My maturity is well-grounded at this point, however, and this level of introspection and skepticism is healthy in order to maintain my relatively welcome status in society. Others who are more immature do not have this luxury. An anecdote from The Psychopath Whisperer immediately comes to mind.
Chris Gribble was a 19 year-old who had no signs of being antisocial. He exhibited few of the traits associated with ASPD, much less psychopathy. Yet after a professional administering the MMPI (Minnesota Mutliphasic Inventory) declared him a “psychopath”, his perception of himself changed. He got caught up with the wrong crowd and ended up helping commit murder. His perception of himself changed after that ill-advised statement by his mental health professional. He acted out, seeking to honor his “diagnosis”, and paid the price. Not a true antisocial, he nonetheless acted out in accordance to his beliefs. I refer the reader to the book referenced in the previous paragraph for additional information.
In my case, I have spent innumerable hours in therapy, relating nearly my entire life history to the professional – much of it well before the word “psychopath” ever arose. I am still skeptical, in part due to societal pressure to conform, of the diagnosis but I recognize that it also presents the simplest explanation for my behavior and life-long mindset. My days of acting out are winding down and I look forward to a path where I can embrace the cold logic of the condition without jeopardizing my own standing in society.
Many who read this have exacerbated their behavior in light of whatever path led them to a conclusion of ASPD or psychopathy. Of those, I hope many have come back down to earth, but it is not my responsibility nor concern that they do so. Ultimately freedom, as with imprisonment, is a choice. Whether my brethren choose to rot behind the barbed wire of prison perimeters or to hide in plain sight does not matter to me. All I can ask is that my readers constantly evaluate and reevaluate their conclusions. Psychopathy is not a trend or bandwagon to jump onto recklessly.