Spiritual Void … Psychopaths and Identity (Part 2)

A tumblr follower asked me the following question regarding identity:

I’m a little lost on something, people with aspd claim to have a weak sense of identity. But many seem perfectly capable of using adjectives to describe their genuine personality. Could you explain this a bit?

I recently posed a similar question to the forum in this thread.  Specifically I asked if any of the forum residents had a strong identity and how they would define identity to begin with.  Most of us agreed that identity, in reality, is not that far removed from an enumerated list of descriptives of a person.  For example, the fact that I lack empathy, am callous, intelligent, less criminal, etc. is some form of identity according to such a definition.  However that list does not connect with me on any level beyond simple regurgitation of facts.  There has to be something that I am missing.

A neurotypical member of the forums helped shed some insight into this “identity crisis” that the psychopath in particular may face:

Hm… Ideally? I think identity is composed of everything a person is normally composed of. Personalities, ideals, goals, likes, dislikes, world views, and so on. The main thing is that these don’t necessarily define identity.

There’s the literal definition of course. Who you are – your name, age, basic stats and details. Stuff that goes on an ID card. But the identity crisis thing, it doesn’t care about that stuff. It cares more about “what am I doing with my life and does it matter?” The crisis is solved when you can say “I am doing this with my life and it does matter because I have the confidence to believe it.”

So there is something beyond a mere recitation of facts when it comes to identity, and I believe this is where the psychopath stumbles.  We wear so many masks that our sense of true self can become diluted.  How can we know what we are “doing with our lives” and “whether it matters” if we are putting on a different mask each and every day?  Beyond that, our ennui is so strong that I don’t think we can ever truly believe that our lives matter in anything more than a primitive sense of seeing objects to consume and doing so.  We are simple creatures at heart; we have evolved to take a niche that society has provided: the niche of the parasite.  So, in this sense, we have no identities.

We can list facts until we expire, but in terms of applying those facts to a larger and nearly “spiritual” cause, I believe we have no hope.  We can list what goes on our “ID card” but we cannot list what goes into our “souls”.  That is ultimately what we are missing and what we mean when we complain of our lack of identity.  The psychopath simply has no feeling state towards, and no purpose for, that list of facts.

Psychopaths and Guilt
ASPD, Psychopathy, and Diagnosis

Comments

  1. M says

    «We can list facts until we expire, but in terms of applying those facts to a larger and nearly “spiritual” cause, I believe we have no hope.» – I can relate to that, although I’m not a psychopath (I don’t think I would score over 30 in the PCL-R).

  2. M says

    «We are simple creatures at heart; we have evolved to take a niche that society has provided: the niche of the parasite.» – Here is the difference. I can’t see myself like this (not saying that I never take without giving anything back).

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