Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hidden suffering of the Psychopath...

I saw this article and was intrigued. Especially as the Conlcuding paragraph is this:

It is extremely important to recognize hidden suffering, loneliness and lack of self-esteem as risk factors for violent, criminal behavior in psychopaths. Studying the statements of violent criminal psychopaths sheds light on their striking and specific vulnerability and emotional pain. More experimental psychopharmacological, neurofeedback and combined psychotherapeutic research is needed to prevent and treat psychopathic behavior.

The current picture of the psychopath, which is reflected in the leading diagnostic criteria of psychopathy offered by Cleckley (1982) and Hare et al. (1990), is incomplete because emotional suffering and loneliness are ignored. When these aspects are considered, our conception of the psychopath goes beyond the heartless and becomes more human.

It's not an incredibly recent article but it does take a look at psychopathy from a perspective other than witch burning and untreatable. I wonder if clinicians generally ignore research like this on purpose or discount it automatically in favor of perpetuating the stigma.


  1. I think most people prefer only that which demeans and stigmatizes mental illness. It makes them feel better about themselves.

  2. You're absolutely right. It worries me, when someone had these thoughts a decade ago and still the general opinion does not seem to have changed at all. And the approach doesn't seem to have changed at all.

  3. Haven, I don't think its the clinician's who have not seen this or have not changed their minds about Psychopathy or mental illness. Its the general public and the criminal justice system that perpetuates these myths.

    Its true that pain that psychopaths inflict on others is the projecting of their own internal pain much like what BPDs do. Clinicians have know this for years but Psychopaths often get caught by the Criminal Justice system which only believes in Punitiveness so doesn't deal with the psychological causes of such horrible behvaiors.

  4. The loneliness is caused by fears that they will be abandoned
    So they protect themselves by abandoning first this way they don't get hurt

    Even if they do settle down they will never love someone back as only get a kick from the first few weeks of a relationship


Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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