Control … Psychopaths and Therapy (Part 2)

Psychopaths have difficulty with controlling impulses.  Whether they are financial impulses, wanderlust, or violent in nature, these impulses can destroy the most stalwart individual.  The realm of impulsivity is the most self-destructive aspect of the psychopathic condition and it is extremely difficult to rein in these destructive tendencies on one’s own when the individual seemingly knows no other way.  To endure destruction due to one’s devastating actions with no hope of change on one’s own is to be flayed alive slowly.  This post is a continuation of the previous post on therapy.

Part of the problem is that psychopaths may not know that there actions are abnormally impulsive.  The other part is that once such knowledge becomes apparent, the psychopath may not know how to control their impulses into directed thinking.  I did not know that I was “dangerously” impulsive.  I knew that I was a drifter and a financial mess, but did not see the underlying theme.  Once I saw that my ways did not serve me, I realized that I had no idea how to change my mindset.  Or, at least change the outcome of my thoughts.  Therapy is an excellent way to learn about these shortcomings and to come up with action plans for change.

The first step was to realize that I had a problem.  Given the blindness to the lives of others that many psychopaths have, the only frame of reference becomes one’s own experiences.  I knew that I generally pissed money away and that I would engage in risky endeavors on a whim, but I did not realize that, first, such actions were atypical, and, two, that such actions were deleterious to my well-being.  It took one with the knowledge of many to point out why I needed to change my ways.

Once I realized that I needed to be more cognizant of my actions, I came to accept that I had no way of knowing how to implement change.  This was the only way of living that I knew.  My mind was always to be in overdrive and shiny endeavors would never lose their golden sparkle.  I still struggle with controlling my impulses, but I learn more and more each session as to how to put the brakes on so that my thoughts remain thoughts and my actions are more calculated and less prone to ending in disaster.  I should note that the same reasoning applies for learning how to separate antisocial thoughts from actions.  A trained mental health professional can help instill tools for control in all facets of the psychopath’s life.

That said, there are always going to be hurdles to jump through and caution to show when entering therapy.  Therapy is not right for everyone, including the majority of psychopaths.  In addition, reporting laws may make the endeavor impossible.  These considerations will be addressed in the next post.

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