I finished Kent Kiehl’s The Psychopath Whisperer last night and am nearly finished with James Fallon’s The Psychopath Inside as I write this. Their views on psychopaths and their “complexity” differ greater than night and day. As I read Kiehl’s book, I felt an existential crisis trying to reconcile my own complexity with the simplicity of the criminal psychopaths that he studied. His psychopaths did not show comorbidity with any other disorders (so we are led to believe) and were cookie cutter copies of one another. I, meanwhile, am Bipolar and Borderline in addition to psychopathic. Did the PCL-R get my diagnosis wrong? Was I really not psychopathic? Given his focus on criminal psychopaths and the way that the information was presented, it certainly seemed possible. Was all of my work this past year for nothing?
I brought my concerns to my therapist last night. We noted that there is still little research on the 23% of adult psychopaths that are not incarcerated. Also we noted that the focus of Kiehl’s book was with psychopathy and the studies presented had little interest in comorbid disorders anyway. There is simply too many unknowns. The PCL-R had assessed me as psychopathic and ASPD (and Borderline for that matter) did not explain as much complexity as psychopathy certainly did. There needed to be more research.