My Life is not Your Pornography

You know this situation all too well.  You drive down a road only to see traffic coming to a halt up ahead.  You mutter to yourself as everyone else is slowing down to look at some presumed accident, but the second you can see the gore pile on the side of the road, you slow down too.  A perverse smile encompasses your face and you eventually drive past, subconsciously waiting for your next turn with the macabre.

I get email from time to time, or comments on this blog, that admonish me for not examining the ins and outs of psychopathy in a truly voyeuristic fashion.  The posts that I write on the blood and guts of the condition always register more views than those that focus on more intellectually-charged issues.  I hate to break it to you, but I’ve written almost all there is to say about the “sexy” components of the condition.  I do not feel obligated to sit around while you fuck off to my life without giving me the courtesy of a reach around.  My life is not your pornography.

[Read more…]

A Complicated Reality for a Simple Condition

When I mucked up my heart with drug use, the complications dictated that I take heart medicine for the rest of my days.  When my rampant jams due to a then-unnamed mental disorder threatened my life and my freedom, I turned to therapy for the long haul.  My life is complicated.  For that, I am grateful.  If I was a simpler creature without the (slight) impulse control that I possess, my life could be much different – if I were still alive to this point.  I am not a caricature.  I refuse to embrace the caricatures that so many associate with psychopathy and ASPD.  I realize that a non-trivial number are, however, and they are truly lost.  Not I.

[Read more…]

Should Mental Illness be Blamed for Tragedy?

Yesterday, a gunman killed several people in a movie theater in the United States.  Described as mentally ill and potentially racist, the exact reasons why the killing occurred remain unclear at the time of this writing.  However, individuals are already turning to social media to explain their own views.  The more extreme views dismiss the possibility of mental illness, proclaiming racism as the sole motivator and others are proclaiming the opposite.  Can’t an individual be both mentally ill and a domestic terrorist?  Dismissing either is dangerous but is often done in the name of political correctness.  This post will focus on my belief that mental illness should never be an excuse for bad behavior, but neither should it be ignored.

[Read more…]

Is Psychopathy a Mental Illness?

It’s hard to believe that I haven’t covered this topic in over 500 posts up to the point.  It is a question that I receive from time to time and a question that many neurotypicals have staunch opinions on.  Is psychopathy a mental illness, or is it – as some would say – merely a defect in personality or character?  To answer this we must consider the types of mental illness as well as the role neurology plays in personality.  I hope that it is clear to the reader that the answer to this question should be ‘yes.’

[Read more…]

The Beatings Will Continue

The PCL-R (Psychopathy Checklist Revised) is the primary tool used to assess psychopathy.  It covers many facets that it’s junior, the PCL-SV (Psychopathy Checklist Screening Version) does not.  The PCL-R has more elements of “delinquency” including criminality and reflects the more antisocial nature of the true underlying condition.  However, I am not a fan of the PCL-SV.  People who are given the PCL-SV are mathematically more likely to register as psychopathic than people given the PCL-R.  Less components, less criminality, it’s a given that this is true.  So then why do so many jump at the bit to give out the PCL-SV?  Simple.  Correlation does not equal causation, but there’s all the incentive in the world to create more psychopaths when one wants them isolated.

[Read more…]