Severe Character Disorders

Severe Character Disorders

Severe character disorders are thankfully fairly uncommon. But they’re inherently a cause for grave concern. Therefore, it’s well worth knowing about them. The most severe form of character dysfunction is psychopathy. (Some use the term sociopathy.) And today’s article will explore this phenomenon.

For more on this topic see:

Understanding Psychopathy

A pioneering researcher (Herve Cleckley) noticed something very unusual about certain antisocial personalities. (Antisocial Personalities are persons who repeatedly engage in antisocial, often criminal, acts.) Some of their behavior seemed pretty irrational. For instance, the way they lied. Not just ordinary, instrumental (i.e. for a rational purpose) lying. But rather, persistent and senseless (i.e. pathological) lying. They seemed to lie for the pure sake of lying. Moreover, they lied even when the truth would probably serve them better.

This kind of lying made Cleckley scratch his head. Who would lie for no good reason? It made him doubt the sanity of such folks. In fact, he believed such folks wore a “mask of sanity.” They came across as normal, rational. However, they behaved in irrational ways, and shockingly, with no apparent conscience. He viewed their seemingly senseless, callous, and remorseless, use and abuse of others as a type of “moral insanity.”

Actually, psychopaths (literally, “diseased minds”) are not insane. They’re troublingly deviously predatory, for sure. However, they’re not psychotic. They exhibit the penultimate character disturbance. Still, their character dysfunction does have some neurobiological roots. For it seems that psychopaths can’t feel like he rest of us feel. They grossly lack empathy. And some have absolutely no capacity for it. Their brains don’t work like most of our brains do. Accordingly, they lack the very things we most equate with being human: the capacity and willingness to care. They’re nature’s only known intra-species predators. And they exploit and victimize with no compunction or remorse.

See also:

What to Do?

Presently, there’s no treatment for severe character disorders. This is especially true when it comes to psychopaths. Moreover, there’s evidence that trying to teach empathy to those who grossly lack the capacity for it only makes them potentially more dangerous predators. But as I’ve been writing about, fortunately most disturbed characters don’t fall into this category.

Psychopaths have the most malignant and intractible form of narcissism. (See: Malignant Narcissism Goes Beyond Haughtiness.) However, that doesn’t mean that all narcissists are psychopaths. And not all people with narcissistic traits have a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Because severe character disorders currently can’t be treated, our only hope is to manage them as efficiently and effectively as possible. However, that’s proven to be a most daunting challenge. How do you curtail or contain someone who is shamelessly bent on victimizing?

In the coming weeks, I’ll be talking about how to recognize someone on the psychopathy spectrum. And I’ll be talking about why some folks have trouble forming a healthy conscience.


5 thoughts on “Severe Character Disorders

  1. They are not as rare as some suggest. Some estimate 1 to 4 percent of the population are psychopaths. Another estimates 15 percent. My experience says the 15 percent estimate is probably correct. I’d almost say it sounds a little conservative.

    These demons need to be rounded up and disposed of. They live to victimize. Violation is their entertainment. Sadism and cruelty is their lifeblood. And there is no remorse, nor any fear or anxiety. They are exceptional liars. No hesitation in harming others. Only interest.

    Pure evil. People should be afraid of these demons and they blend very, very well. They are nothing if not calculating.

  2. My dad was a very disturbed character and NO COMPUNCTION WHATSOEVER to hurt, humiliate, demean, or rob others of their dignity. He was definitely NOT a hard worker unless it was to use or abuse others. He spawned 8 children, 7 of whom are character disordered, lack empathy, and use and abuse others. They have little to no affection for their now grown children. You’re 18, you’re on your own!!! That was his motto and that is theirs! It’s sad and disgusting.
    I am finding peace, joy and God’s rest in limited to no contact with almost all. If that means I have become ASOCIAL with them, so be it! At the end of the day, I trust God more than myself and am at rest with Him!!!

    1. Your words are so true, Priscilla! You said, “NO COMPUNCTION WHATSOEVER to hurt, humiliate, demean, or rob others of their dignity. He was definitely NOT a hard worker unless it was to use or abuse others.”

      This is how they are. It’s exciting to psychopaths to hurt, humiliate, demean, and rob others of their dignity –as well as their will to live and their psyche– and they’ll apply all of themselves and work very hard to accomplish such. It’s their bread and butter. Vampires. Draining others of their life and will to live.

      One of the psychopaths who destroyed me has a father and grandfather just like him. Of course, this was not known to me until way too late and after the fact. Predators breed predators. It’s the family secret and the family’s fun. It’s not sickness or pathology, but rather evil and wickedness. Spawned from the devil and will be mini-devils until they die.

    2. Must have been very difficult as I’m sure you were viewed as the black sheep and trouble maker. Peace in God and forgiveness will help you heal.

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