Psychopaths and Shallow Affect – Some Emotion, Not None

A shallow or blunted affect does not imply the complete absence of emotions.  This part of the psychopathic condition merely implies that the emotions felt by the psychopath are weaker and of shorter duration than that of the neurotypical.  It does not follow that the psychopath does not feel anything at all.

Separating organic emotions caused by abnormal neurochemistry from spontaneous emotions experienced as the result of living life is key to understanding this.  A psychopath can experience unipolar or bipolar depression as a result of organic issues within the brain.  However, a psychopath can also feel depression or sadness, although on a much weaker level, due to a plan going awry or a favorite plaything being lost.  Just because the emotion is weak does not mean that it does not deserve a name; it is still potentially present for the psychopath.

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Flirting with Disaster – Psychopaths and Addiction

It started with one sip.  I hadn’t had alcohol in many months and I was determined to just have a drink to take off the edge.  One sip turned into a shot, and a shot turned into an eventual blackout.  What started as one drink turned into a frenzied drinking endeavor to satisfy my need for stimulation, for anything – including intoxication – to take the numbing boredom away.  What I did while I was in a state of brownout and blackout, I do not know.  Eventually this routine will catch up with me and I don’t know how to quit, for I search for anything to take the numbness away.

Addiction can be especially problematic for the psychopath.  Given that we do not adhere to most social or business contracts, the consequences of addiction seem negligible to the psychopath.  What problem is there is missing work when the job isn’t taken seriously?  What is a DUI worth if the psychopath does not care about punishment to begin with?  What is the threat against his life if he feels invulnerable?  These points raise great challenges in the fight for the antisocial against addiction, assuming he wants to combat the addiction at all.

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Necrosis – Psychopathic Parasitism Revisited

The neurotypical must cut out the dead flesh if they want to escape the parasitism of the psychopath.  The psychopath does not care whom he leeches from.  As long as their is benefit to be had for little in return, the psychopath will continue to suck their host dry.

This parasitism is usually nothing personal.  It is not as if the psychopath is seeking retribution or revenge for sins that the target has committed.  Simply put, the psychopath seeks to get everything for nothing.  Whether it is the target’s pursestrings or their companionship, the psychopath is merely playing the part of a flesh eating disease: devouring everything in its path while giving nothing in return.  The mosquito does not care who it bleeds dry so long as it remains full; the same can be said about the psychopath.

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Scarecrow – The Destructive Psychopath

The psychopath that acts out solely for the sake of acting out soon loses it all.  There is a reason that 77% of psychopaths are incarcerated.  This is because the vast majority of psychopaths do not know how to learn to be selective with their choices to be antisocial.  So many run wild with their destruction because they think it to be fun or constructive.  The truth is that such rampant antisocial behavior only leads to a pariah status and unpleasant consequences.  It is better to be a shadowed figure feared for his ability to sneak than a scarecrow placed in plain view of all.

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Psychopaths and Appreciation

I am not certain that the psychopath can feel appreciation.  I’m certain this is related to our shallow affect, but it is nonetheless another example of how the psychopath is insulated from the emotional bonds that neurotypicals make with each other.  Whether it is having a feeling state for gifts or services received, such emotions of gratitude or appreciation are rarely, if ever, felt.

I went to a family Christmas dinner earlier today.  As with last year, I ended up sleeping through dinner only to wake up to presents under the tree for myself.  Therein was a non-trivial amount of money and other goods and it was clear that there was some sacrifice by those who gave me the presents.  I quickly put the money in my wallet and left without acknowledging the gifts.  Yes, that reaction was fairly callous – entirely for other reasons related to a general disdain for family -, but I didn’t feel appreciation anyway.  As another example, my therapist will go out of her way in order to make sure that I’m okay during times of severe bipolar depression, and I intellectually realize that she is doing such but emotionally I am not grateful for such.  I can fake appreciation, like many other emotions, but ultimately there is no emotional bond between me and the one who did good things for me.

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Psychopaths and Humor

It was over a year ago.  I was driving down an interstate through a major city and a car to my left lost control.  They sped across all four lanes, perpendicular to the road, and crashed into a concrete embankment on the other side.  My reaction at the time was not that of fear of getting hit or relief that I was not hit, but rather a cackling laughter.  Even now I chuckle at the dance played out between order and chaos on that day.

The psychopath tends to find humor in the darkest reaches of the human condition.  Whereas many neurotypicals find humor in those aspects of life that are routinely considered healthy and pleasant, the psychopath finds her laughs in the macabre disorder that often resides along the more savory portions of the human existence.  This is not to say that the psychopath cannot laugh at those things that the neurotypical finds humorous, but we also openly include the darkness of life in what we find funny.

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Why Psychopaths Are Feared

Tell people that you’ve had a few run ins with the law and that you were a little devil as a child and they nod.  Tell them that you are a psychopath and they run.  While people are afraid of mental abnormalities and / or mental illness to begin with, it seems that there is heightened fear toward those with Antisocial Personality Disorder and/or psychopathy.  As always, I am not one to say that such a fear is necessarily unjustified.  The psychopath, in particular, does not get assessed regarding the condition without significant evidence of antisocial thought and deed.  However, I do believe there are two main reasons that the psychopath is singled out with such fear by the neurotypical.  The lack of empathy we possess and the associations with violent criminals define the reactions that neurotypicals have to our existence.

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When a Psychopath Ends Relationships

I’ve noticed that many psychopaths are very quick to ditch deadwood.  The psychopath does not humor that which ceases to provide value or is otherwise frustrating.  This is especially apparent with acquaintanceships.  The Borderline individual may shift from idealization and devaluation and back, but the psychopath only devalues in this context.  Whereas the Borderline will seek to repair relationships that they’ve written off as dead, my experience with the psychopath suggests that once the friend or acquaintance has been devalued, there is no turning back.  The relationship is dead and gone.

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Psychopaths and Regret

I don’t understand the point of regret.  I suppose this is tied indirectly to the psychopath’s inability to feel guilt or remorse.  Ultimately, as a psychopath, the only person that matters is myself and I just can’t be bothered to get worked up over actions, due to shallow affect, that have occurred in the past.  If I feel any semblance of regret, it must be the result of something that directly inconveniences me.  These feelings are few and far between and can be mostly summed up as “it would have been nice had I not done that but oh well.”

Let’s use my excessive spending as an example.  I’ve accumulated over 30,000 dollars in debt on items that I cannot remember.  I look around in my living quarters and a see a few thousand dollars of toys, but ultimately I cannot figure out where most of the money has gone.  The neurotypical may beat themselves up, wishing that they had never brought such hardship upon themselves.  However, I merely shrug.  Yes, it is an inconvenience to be saddled with such debt, but ultimately I am still alive and able to do nearly anything I want.  The realization that I spend half of my paychecks combatting this debt does not register with me.  I simply see it as something to be eventually squashed, like a fly in the room.  I have no regret for such frivolous spending.

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Psychopath / Neurotypical Relationships … Aardvark and Ant

It is hard to imagine that the psychopath and a neurotypical could have a rewarding friendship.  The anteater and the ant tend to be mortal enemies, after all.  However, it need not be impossible nor lacking mutual benefit.  As long as boundaries are maintained as well as expectations set, the two can have a complementary and symbiotic acquaintanceship that can be rewarding for both parties.

Earlier this evening, I met with a decent acquaintance of mine.  She is neurotypical and very empathic in nature.  We hadn’t seen each other in a few weeks and we decided to have dinner in order to catch up.  We swapped stories about the lives we’ve lived these past few weeks and we had a quite satisfying meal.  Afterwards, I gave her a nice holiday present and we went on our separate ways.  And, we are content with this manner of interacting: somewhat superficially and meeting not all that often, but making those times that we do meet or otherwise communicate mutually worthwhile to one another.  So, what is in it for me and what is in it for her?

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