Sunday, October 30, 2011

Psychopaths are Born Not Made

In some children the very failure to bond is a symptom of psychopathy. It is likely that these children lack the capacity to bond readily, and that their lack of attachment is largely the result, not the cause, of psychopathy. [Hare]

"In other words: they are born that way and you can't fix them.

To many people, the idea of a child psychopath is almost unthinkable. But the fact is, true psychopaths are born, not made. Oh, indeed, there is the psychopath that is "made," but they are generally different from the born psychopath in a number of ways.

The fact is, clinical research clearly demonstrates that psychopathy does not spring unannounced into existence in adulthood. The symptoms reveal themselves in early life. It seems to be true that parents of psychopaths KNOW something is dreadfully wrong even before the child starts school. Such children are stubbornly immune to socializing pressures. They are "different" from other children in inexplicable ways. They are more "difficult," or "willful," or aggressive, or hard to "relate to." They are difficult to get close to, cold and distant and self-sufficient."(The Mask of Sanity)

This stands true of my psychopath. His parents knew something was wrong with him while he was growing up. In fact they took him to several doctors trying to figure out what the issue was. They tried removing red dye from his diet. That made no difference. They tried some sort of therapy that required him to do move his arms or body in some way that was supposed cure him.  They thought he might be ADHD and tried putting him on meds for that. Although he flat out refused to take them so they were never able to see if that might have helped. The buttom line, they knew and know something is different and off about him. I suspect that at least the mother knows he's a psychopath. She talks him out of seeking counseling or treatment when he has mentioned to her he thought he needed it. She often makes comments to him regarding his lack of consideration or thoughts for anyone else but himself. He's told me he use to run away from home and didn't know why. He's told me he'd have such angry hostile outbursts growing up that his parents would have to phone the police. All classic signs of a child growing up as a psychopath. I have to say when I think about the disorder in these terms, I can't help but have some sense of sadness for psychopaths. My ex included. The angry outbursts, the running away, the feeling and realizing you are different than everybody else around you. The sense of emptiness that is felt inside that can not be filled in any way accompanied with the longing to have it filled would account for an angry person/child no doubt.

Though the following documentary starts off talking with a criminal psychopath, keep watching and learning because MOST psychopaths are every day men & women you encounter every single day. You may be dating one, married to one, the sibling of one, the child of one, or the coworker of one.

Their impact on families and communities is devastating. Just as each one of us are different, so are psychopaths. There are degrees of behavior. A psychopath ISN'T obvious. You can not immediately spot them. You can work beside them for decades and not be aware they are a psychopath. However, if you became intimately involved with them you would be very aware that at the least something was different, off, not quite right with them. Most likely you're also aware that this person can be cruel, spiteful, mean and cycle between this and kindness. Giving you the impression that you are dealing with a Jekyll & Hyde personality.

Interesting that my ex psycho often told me he would pick fights with his brother just because. He just felt like fighting. So, he'd mess with his brothers head, get him upset, play with his emotions, just because he felt like it. Same manner he dealt with me. Good fun for him at our expense.

**This is an outdated documentary. Some update. Psychopaths are known to be 1 in 25, not 1 - 100.

I don't think my ex is a killer, but he does have many of the same features that OJ Simpson does. Most people don't think there is anything wrong with him. Most people, even those close to  him will only see his superficial charm. However, those who are his lovers, and intimate partners as well as friends and family members of those partners are very well aware of the dangers of this person.

They psychopath in prison that seemed to appreciate John Lennon, Willie Nelson and other seeming signs of emotion and connection. I at time struggled with how could my ex appreciate music, films, or tv programs that pulled at your heart strings. I still don't understand how the psychopath can be interested in these things, yet no feel any connection to another person outside of themselves.

Often my ex would appear extraordinarily confused. He would even say, "I'm confused!" when we would be talking about events, or issues that dealt with emotions and feelings. It always seemed so odd to me how he could so easily be confused by things so obvious. I felt he was faking it to avoid discussing the issue. I now see that he may very well have been truly confused.

My ex frequently told me he felt something was missing in him. He believed his brain didn't work right. He'd mention numerous times a week how his brain was different from other peoples. He seemed perplexed and confused by his own behavior.

I'm not sure I agree that medical treatment is changing the entire person. I would argue that it is making an incomplete person complete. How would it be different than giving someone who is bipolar or schizophrenic medication? It does seem that a "brain chip" is more radical than taking a pill. But, if the chip wakes up the part of the brain that's asleep than I would argue that it is correcting a malfunction and not altering a personality.


  1. "A psychopath ISN'T obvious"

    Unless he/she is dumb. SES have a lot to do with the person. Poor family situation, abuse etc, would lead one to becoming a secondary psychopath, some like to use the label sociopath. Hare also says "subcriminal" psychopath... which is what I am.

    Do you follow any of the other boards ? etc ? You might find good info there. Maybe people with PD's that speak their minds. You may find some truths there. But Ihave to say.. many things I have read on site, including this one, are off base. Esp when said in a factual way. We are all very different people, with very different traits.

  2. Yes I do follow other boards and do read I also read and some others. I understand every person is different and unique. I'm not a psychologist or researcher. I'm only writing from my perspective based on my personal experience and from reading and a bit of research. But, I am not a "expert" on the psychology of psychopaths.

  3. Remember folks - Any one can blog

  4. You bet! Anyone can blog. Anyone can read a blog (assuming the person is able to read.) as well. As can anyone comment on a blog. Anyone can do and say anything they please. We each control our own destiny. I blog to help others who may be suffering in the manner I once was. Anyone can choose to read, or move on. Free choice. Thank you for reading and commenting. I have no problem if you don't like what I have to say and you no longer read. But, if you do and it helps you in some way. I am very very happy I was able to help you in any understand yourself or another, and make decisions for yourself that honor the incredible human being that you are.

  5. thank you for sharing, I too had dated a psychopath and this takes me one step closer to understanding them

  6. I'm glad. I hope you are getting stronger and stronger w/in yourself with each passing day. It takes time. If you need any information or have any questions feel free to msg me anytime. Best of luck to you!

  7. I lived with one. I had no name to put on his abusive behavior. He would spend 18 hours at times telling me what was wrong with me. 12 hr, 8 hr.4 hr. He deprived me of sleep. Made me stay in a closet. Spit on me. Told me I needed to live in a dog house. It was always my fault that he was acting this was. Being with a psychopath is the worst experience I have ever had. I would not wish him on anyone. I became dependent on the abuse. When he was wonderful and attentive my perfect man. Then he destroyed my life. I was a willing precipitant in it.

  8. There is no understanding, but that you must remove this person from your life completely, they can not be helped or changed and the damage they will do to you emotionally will take years to undo, with therapy.