What Psychopaths Can do that Everyone Else Can’t

Psychopathic (alt: sociopathic) personalities are capable of the most senseless, remorseless, use and abuse of others.   But what is it about them that makes such seemingly heartless behavior possible?  In a follow up to last week’s primer on the topic of psychopathy (see: What is a Psychopath?), we’ll take a serious stab at answering  this most perplexing question.  In the process, you’re likely to learn some highly disturbing things about what makes psychopaths the dangerous persons they are.

At the core of the psychopath’s ability to wantonly injure others without remorse is their impaired capacity for empathy.  In some cases, because of the unique way their brains are “wired,” they simply lack any ability to feel emotionally connected to other human beings in the manner in which most of us can.   There are cases where psychopaths actually appear to have the capacity to feel, and to have a  seemingly normal capacity for affection for others.  But in these rare cases, they also appear to have an ability most of us don’t:  the capacity to “compartmentalize” (i.e., wall-off or completely disconnect) at will any emotional connection to their actions, which enables them to engage in the most heinous acts without pangs of guilt, regret, or remorse.   Most of us can’t simply turn off our human sensitivities.  While we might utilize certain “defense mechanism” to assuage a certain amount of guilt when we commit a minor transgression, we can’t simply divorce ourselves of all emotion and caring.  But some psychopaths can.  So, psychopaths essentially come in two varieties:  those who have no empathy, care, or conscience in the first place, or those who can simply turn off as easy as a light switch any emotion that might hold them back from doing an unspeakable thing.

Like many of you, I was quite interested in Casey Anthony trial and its outcome.  After all, a sweet and innocent life was not only ended far too early, but also discarded in a bag much like a piece of garbage.   This tragedy is revolting in so many ways for anyone with normal human sensitivity.   But I was not among those who wanted to string up the jury for acquitting the child’s accused murderer.  In fact, these conscientious and noble folks did just as they’re supposed to do:  weigh the evidence, not allow themselves to be swayed by the horrible nature of the circumstances surrounding the crime, make the state prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of precisely what they assert, and acquit if the state doesn’t meet their burden.   And the purpose of this article is not to find fault with our admittedly imperfect justice system or to criticize the wisdom of the prosecution’s handling of the case.   Rather, the purpose of this article is to possibly shed some light on the elephant in the room that nobody’s really been talking much about:  why so many people are outraged at the end result of the tragedy and trial.

Outrage is the rightful and distinctly human response when it is learned that the mother of a child she knows is dead is out getting tattooed, partying, and living “la bella vita” like nothing ever happened.  Any normal, rational person wants to know how someone – anyone – can do that.  And although we were given various explanations:  “She never looked for the child or acted worried because she already knew the child was dead” or “As a result of years of sexual abuse, she learned to lie,” nothing really explains the emotion that would be congruent in any normal mother with any normal sense of bonding to a child being so absent as it apparently was in this case.   And even the explanations offered by some of the armchair theorizing professionals (e.g., “She was in deep denial, a typical defense of someone with serious psychological wounding in her past”) prove without much foundation once you look a little closer at the facts.   The poor jury in this horrendous case never got any sensible explanation (with the possible exception of some of the weak yet remotely plausible few offered by the defense about the atypical reactions some people can have to trauma) for what is still so incomprehensible.   Worse yet, they would have found it hard, if not impossible to buy the harshest but most plausible explanation when all the facts are considered: There are persons on this planet that are very, very different from most human beings.  Although they often have high awareness about the human condition and can “mimic” normal emotions and behavior, they are devoid of the kinds of feelings and kind of conscience with which most of us are familiar.  The either have no emotional connection to the rest of us, or they have an uncanny ability to switch off any human-like concern when they want to do something obnoxiously self-serving that might easily inflict huge damage on someone else.  Sometimes they can be so malignantly narcissistic that they truly see themselves as superior to us hapless chaps who have scruples, and at other times they can be almost insanely predatory in their victimization of those whom because they view as inferior, they also perceive as rightful prey.  Even more insidiously, they can even have feelings for their own flesh and blood but still be able to completely detach themselves from those feelings when they’ve decided that that innocent life they once nourished has become too much of a burden.   But accepting such a notion can shake almost anyone to their foundation.  It’s so hard to believe, we’re tempted to believe almost anything else.

In recent years, some popular books such a Without Conscience and The Sociopath Next Door have raised public awareness about psychopathy.   But well before then, In Sheep’s Clothing made the point – emphasized later in Character Disturbance – that a continuum exists of the most seriously disturbed characters among us and that none of the traditional assumptions about what make these folks the way they are holds much merit anymore.   In addition, in Character Disturbance, I argue that even more insidious than the lack of conscience and empathy that characterizes most psychopaths, is the ability of some to compartmentalize emotion.  It’s how some of these deeply disturbed characters are able to seem so normal when they first hook up with folks in relationships.  They look like they can feel, hurt, and empathize just like anyone else.  What a shock it is (sometimes a deadly one) when it becomes apparent how easily they can switch off any caring and how capable they are of unspeakable deeds.

In the film based on the famous book by Truman Capote, there is a scene in which one of the intruders into a family’s home recognizes that one of his elderly, frail, intended victims is cold and shivering.  He kindly escorts the woman to her favorite rocking chair, puts a shawl around her shoulders, and then blows her away “In Cold Blood.”  I guess you could say that in some way he felt for the woman.  But he felt nothing at all when he needed to be as cold as steel.  If you don’t get anything else about these heartless predators, please understand this point.  It literally could save your life.

66 thoughts on “What Psychopaths Can do that Everyone Else Can’t

  1. I’m actually surprised that you made this assessment. When my mom died, I was out partying and living the good life and such. After a couple months, it suddenly hit me out of nowhere and it wasn’t until then that I broke down. From what I’ve read, this is a normal reaction to the death of a loved one, the first stage of grief being denial.

    So I couldn’t understand why everyone was criticizing Anthony for what appears to be a standard reaction to the death of a loved one. Maybe it wasn’t just denial and she really was without empathy. But I can’t understand why one would just assume that when her behaviour reflects such a normal, well-known defense mechanism.

    1. Thanks for your comment, which raises good points about the power (and benefits!) of denial as an unconscious protective mechanism against great pain. And I have discussed it at length in both of my books (as well as one in press). Actually, I make no firm assessment in this post about the case referenced, although once you study all the facts (which many haven’t) the notion that the kind of psychological response of the kind you’re talking about here was the operational factor in this case becomes next to impossible. My main point about the article, however, is how much less painful it is to believe that something like you proposed must be at work, as opposed to the other very distinct, yet horrifying possibility.

  2. Psychopathy and sociopathy aren’t the same thing at all.
    I posses the empathy switch, luckily it defaults to on most of the time, but in stressful or painful times I subconsciously trigger it to become detached. This is actually incredibly useful such as coping during a crisis and staying focused no matter what. I can sometimes also manually trigger it. This once lead me to give all my money away with no care for the consequences, and I then had to survive on a packet of soup a day for a month. :P Thankfully that gave me some perspective and a big drive to only use this trigger when absolutely necessary, because my control of it is shoddy at best. I don’t feel ashamed for being this way, it has made me a better person in the long run.

    1. Unfortunately term usage in this area is replete with misunderstanding and misuse. Psychopathy is definitely not the same thing as antisociality. Sociopathy refers to the pathological social parasitism often associated with an impaired capacity for empathy, guilt, and remorse, whereas psychopathy refers to the deranged mental processes often associated with the same deficits. Unfortunately psychopathy and sociopathy have traded places as the dominant term to describe the phenomenon for over 100 years, hence most of the confusion. But also, unfortunately, the terms sociopathy and antisociality are frequently used as if they were synonymous, which they aren’t, which only further muddies the water. And I think when you’re insisting that psychopathy is not sociopathy you might also be equating sociopathy with antisociality. You’ll find a more detailed explanation of all the terms and what they really mean in my book Character Disturbance.

    2. we can all detach, if the brain struggles with shock or your life is in danger. You are hyper vigilant in order save yourself,mpreserve your life, your child or dignity. I was detached during a near fatal car crash and with grief.
      psychopaths are not equipped with morals,they have impulse control issues, enjoy creating the hyper vigilant responses without reason.
      They actively seek situations to watch others fright and fight for the thrill of it.
      I guess normal people detach from emotions to survive in a crisis, psychopaths create the crisis to enjoy reactions.

    3. I believe In the theory that in the human population there are sheep, wolves and sheep dogs. psychopaths must make the choice themselves to be good. unfortunately society casts us out for the ones of us who chose the dark over the light or simply just for personal gains. I made the choice young when i discovered my ability to detach myself. I was only in one fight and bullied the bullies in hopes to help their victims get relief. i believe the world is in such turmoil because we’ve let the wolves obtain power. If we where to look more into educating phycopaths instead of labeling them ass possible mass murderers from birth maybe id have more sheep dogs with me, instead of run off anytime i offer assistance.

      1. I think that people w/the (probably genetic) low capacity for empathy, but who are raised in healthy environments and families, can often live w/a more logic-and-rule based respect for others and desire for society to function well, which requires a social contract. They can be extremely useful as the ‘sheep dogs’, although oversight is needed, since it’s easier for people like this to get off track.

        And we need to remember that as a society, we need some people w/low empathy. There are many roles, in the military, as surgeons, and in many rule-maintaining roles, where being high empathy would be a huge impediment to doing the job well. But there needs to be recognition of that role, and clear guidelines about how to carry it out.

  3. I am unsure as to what I am. Though after reading this some questions appear to be answered. I am easily capable of turning off any care I have in the world. Whether its someone close to me pr a total stranger. I see someone suffering and morally I know its wrong. Emotionally I either don’t care, pretend to care, or am irritated that they were weak or stupid enough to end up in that situation. I’ve been having to pretend I care for years. Finally I have some answers that fill in the blanks. So my good doctor, what would you say I am?

    1. I’m sure you are normal but maybe just not very emotional and also impatient when it comes to people wasting your time.

  4. The sudden disconnet of all what’s humanity. I can’t really tell when it comes over me; its a sudden rush of cool blood in my vein, from there on out i make new memories, whatever happenes is played only within my head, its not a part of my action. I could just feel everything – not much there – fall away. As a child, i though everybody could be capable of such a cold blood. I can’t do things and feel them. I am not real, i act “normal”, i just pick a character, and i play the role. I don’t really know who I am.

    1. I’m the same way. In addition I can flip the switch in my mind to shut down my feelings. I was young when I mentally understood empathy and slowly step by step learned to grow it. I wasn’t shown it at home so it was difficult. I was 17 when I found a mother figure that changed my life. I live my life in the service of others. I joke that I only use my powers for good! If someone I care about is being threatened or I have to be the leader in a situation where a clear focused mind is a must I will shut it all down but otherwise I am glad I can feel. I still have a piece of me that feels empty and I think it always will because of how my brain works…

  5. Well, I realised a while ago that I have this so called emotional switch.
    I’m very capable of hurting people, remorselessly. Even the ones that I hold the closest. I’m just unwilling, because even if they do something wrong, it’s not actually their fault. It’s nobody’s fault, it’s nature and nurture. I’d rather correct them. But if it becomes threatening to me, believe me, I wouldn’t even think twice about ending a life.
    I sometimes find myself toying with people simply because I’m bored, so I have to consciously stop doing that. I’m supremely efficient at reading people accurately and often use it to help the ones who deserve help, and hurt the ones who don’t. But I just know nobody should have this power, for who am I to decide who deserves what.
    Is there some way to completely remove this switch? Well, I do realise this is very handy and useful…but sometimes just doesn’t seem natural.
    P.S I’m 19 years old and am pursuing various graduate degrees at once. Absolutely love to read. More to the point here; I had an abusive mother and this switch developed as a defence mechanism, probably. Also, I’m an ENTP(don’t completely agree with MBTI but it’s somewhat correct). Studied a lot of psychology as a hobby, trying to understand myself. I’m pretty darn smart, if you believe IQ is any indicator, usually hit around and over 150 on legitimate tests. All these feelings that you may(hopefully not) view as regret or guilt or something are just logical conclusions and nothing else. I’m just curious as to if this switch can be removed if I ever wished to feel ‘normal’. It’s nice to have options.

    1. Undergraduate*
      And we are not bad, like you are portraying us. Some of us make a choice to be good.
      Even the non-psychopathic can be pretty horrible with all their passionate feelings about the right Gods, thinking they know what’s best for others etc etc. The only thing is if psychopaths, like myself, choose to be horrible, we’d end up doing infinitely more damage.
      It’s a choice, as much as anything can be called a choice in a non-deterministic or deterministic sense.

    2. Anon
      If the switch developed as a defense mechanism have you thought about exploring dissociative disorders?

  6. Hi, my name’s Stephen and I’m a teenager I just discovered somethings about me lately. I made a research about psychopathy and sociopathy and I’m afraid I’m either a psychopath or a sociopath and I’m sort of in between like I’m a psychopathic sociopath,
    I remember the differences of psychopathy and sociopathy but I clearly noticed of my self that both of it’s facts and truth seems to be appearing on me. I move normally like the other people when I’m not having a conversation with them but when it happens that someone talks to me I talk normal but afterwards I sort of showing myself being weird and strange like that, whenever I’m weird and strange I always talk and laugh really vexing and imitates that scares everyone. A lot of people already told my parents about it but my parents just ignored them. Whenever I imagine myself that someone’s about to hurt me, kill me I laugh and rampage with self defense.

    Please help me understand I know there’s still a part of me that is normal and by the time I know it’ll fade away. I need your help.

    1. Stephen,
      I think it is important that you have observed and recognized these traits in yourself. If you are willing, which I think you are, find a good therapist and work with them on these feelings you are having.

      The very first step in change is to recognize and admit one has a problem. If you feel inclined and think we can help I would encourage you to comment further. More than anything I suggest you find a good therapist and share your concerns. I hope you find your real self.

      1. But you need a therapist who knows what they are doing. Many, being highly empathic themselves, believe that everyone is ‘warm and fuzzy’ deep inside, it’s just defense and self-protection that creates that cold hard wall.

        But that it not really the case, is it? You can absolutely learn to be a good person, even w/low empathy. But you need to work with someone who is specialized in this type of therapy.

    2. “Teenager” is the key word here, and all teenagers have bizarre thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. To say you are ‘afraid’ you are a psychopath or sociopath, then you’re not.

  7. Not every psychopath wants to abuse children, family members, and pets nor do we all want to blow people’s heads off for no reason. I spent my teenage years experimenting with manipulation and I’m good at it. I’ve never physically assaulted someone without reason. I’ve never mentally broken someone without reason (which I prefer). I’m an intellectual psychopath, I find contentment in studies and the pursuit of knowledge. I’ve maintained relationships before and while, no, I didn’t feel anything, I’ve always been an exemplary partner. And despite my asexuality and odd aversion to sex (I wouldn’t do such a thing unless it was necessary), many of my former partners still pine for my affections (I broke it off with every man I’ve ever been with). I used to form platonic relationships because I have a strong interest in how normal people work. I was only a child when I knew I wasn’t normal so I’d befriend others to see how normal people behaved and acted. Hell, for a school presentation, I did a detailed plan on how I’d achieve my future career (it was what did we want to be when we grew up). I wanted to be the dictator of Africa (and still do). The reactions were interesting and I found the fear in my teachers’ eyes amusing as I laid out my strict law code.
    Regardless, I’m not your “average psychopath.” Just as no person is the same, the same goes for those under the label of psychopath. I’m not the spawn of Satan (though I think that’d be interesting was it true), I’m just a person with no heart. I don’t need help or confinement. And while I plan on becoming a doctor (a surgeon, no less, oh no, hide the pointy things from the psychopath), I have no intention of performing my job poorly. Some psychopaths like to form cults and kill people, I like to be good at things, everything. And I hate being poor. I was going to become a psychiatrist but I figured it’d be too Hannibal Lector.

  8. I am a stranger and you do not know me. I’ve always been isolated I used to beat my sister’s dog every day when I was 7 with a broomstick cuz I loved it’s reaction. I would also set Neighborhood Cats on fire because of the sound was funny. even through all of that I think I still had a little bit of human in me. But I wasn’t raised with love I was raised by narcissists who were only out for themselves. I can literally feel my soul dying Through the Ages. No it’s a soothing calm in my body but I’m so bored all the time… I have mouse traps in my house. I catch mice that I light on fire or drowned in the pool. In my head I am a dark demon. I am beautiful in all my ways.. the only thing I feel is irritation when others try to put themselves above me. It makes me want to squash the souls they have which I lack. The only thing I find funny is how many people strive to be this way. If I put an dog in front of you and tell you to slit his throat you ,won’t do s*** because you’re not real psychopaths. You’re so pathetic in all your ways. In the meantime my whole family thinks I’m a saint. I can’t possibly do anything wrong because I’m too stupid

  9. When you make terms for people, you compartmentalize them and they become zoo animals. Hardly how you want to treat your fellow man, if understanding him ia what you had in mind.
    The earliest I remember was my parents saying there was something wrong with me, and I might be able to deal with it when I grew up. They made it sound like I was handicapped.
    I have no emotional connection, at all. So I had my work cut out for me because people were really nice to me so I tried to figure out how can I live among them safely? Managed that by adulthood. I can understand good and evil, even interpersonal relations, but I understand from the standpoint of logical thought, not emotions.
    Being someone like me is not as fun as u think it is. For every little thing most people know automatically, I had to logically work them out.
    It is not that I can’t feel emotions, it’s a question of why would you feel emotions when you can use them as tools?
    One time, when I was still a kid, I asked myself what the difference was between me and other people. Although I am very intelligent, I concluded there was little difference anatomically, but a lot of mental difference.
    A teacher read a proverb that said, “to erre is to human”. I thought to myself, “If that is the case, maybe I’d rather not be human.

    At the end of this whole thing, I think it is a mistake to call people psychopaths. Emotions and thoughts are not understood. Neither are motivations. You could apply the law, use the knowledge available to deal with criminals, provided you are unreasonable about crime, you will never need to worry about these definitions. They are of no help to you ans act to create witch hunts. Do what creates results. Don’t play funny games with people’s lives so you can feel relevant in the world.

    1. mike,

      You may not feel emotion too strongly, but you should have logically figured it out that what you don’t like other to do to you, others may not like you doing that to them. That alone covers lot of ground of emphatic behaviour without actually having much empathy.

      There is a philosophy of stoicism. That encourages reason, and discourages reason.

  10. Psychopathy and sociopathy, as described, do not in reality exist. The level of emotion exhibited by people is not your business and engaging in witchhunts based on false studies on emotional attitudes is illogical, moronic and destructive of society in general. You sow the seeds of distrust that will serve to destroy western society, which is no doubt the goal of psychology and psychiatry.

    Merciless use of data in investigations in crime and interpersonal relations will lessen potential damage from unscrupulous persons, who are in the main normal people with narcisstic tendencies anyway, but can also be non-neurotypical.

    You can not take findings from a criminal population & apply that to a non-criminal population & call it good sense.
    At the same time, you seek to give moral authority to weaklings and victims by reason of weakness, stupidity and emotionality & naïvete. Too much of that floating around. People must take responsibility for their own lives. You can’t baby adults.

    Instead of looking for the bogeyman,protect yourself from the unscrupulous person, it can be a normal person or a non-neurotypical. It is relatively easy to override your conscience to justify criminal actions by embracing bigoted or racist attitudes. Such mechanism woukd result in lessened empathy for certain people resulting in so-called psychopathic behavior.
    If you keep up with “psychopath-sociopath” study, you are essentially promoting misunderstanding, by not getting to the root of the problem; non reliance on observable data and full application of investigative and scientific technology that already exists.

    1. Sounds like something a narcissist/psychopath/sociopath would say. In general, people who want to have as much info as possible about a subject, so they can actually make an informed decision, do not mind reading any article whether it contains, facts/opinions, or just commentary. People who do mind such articles are usually afraid of something.

      1. Rose,

        All we talk about on this blog is the CDN to include the psychopaths and sociopaths. Some good reads are:
        The Psychopath Next Door by Martha Stout ,
        Without a Conscience by Robert Hare and Snakes in Suits.

        I wouldn’t give Tudor or Vacknin the time of day. Both of these lowlifes are profiteering off the misfortunes of others they have victimized.

          1. Rose,

            If you would like I can give you the name of several other books. Also, in the top right hand corner is a search box, if you enter the word psychopath every topic on this subject will come up. You will be able to read the entire topic and all the comments written by individuals who have dealt with these soulless individuals.

            Please feel free to comment and ask any questions you may have. We learn from each other. Take care and know you are welcomed.

        1. BTOV,
          Thank you for your comment “profiteering off the misfortunes . . . .
          I have already read all of them, a couple of them more than once, but I 120% appreciate your thoughtfulness and kind words. I mentioned Tudor because he is my ASPd/Narcissist/Psychopath. And YES, I have learned a lot from reading other peoples struggles and victories. It can be a really tough road some days, but most of it is behind me, and some of it will follow me to the end of my days. Take care and thank you again.

          1. Rose,

            I am glad I gave you words of comfort. I know one thing, being an empath I must always have my radar on. The CDNSP are Jekyll and Hydes and can many times keep the charade up for a very long time.

            What is the worst of all masquerades is keeping the mask on till the marriage certificate is signed and then ownership begins. Very true, so we must always be consciously looking for those slight tells. Believe me the tells are there, if only for a brief second. These are the dangerous ones, as they extremely covert in their gas lighting.

            Feel free to post and share your experiences as it benefits many. I am glad I was of help to you.

            God Bless Kindred Spirit

        2. BTOV

          You had mentioned to ask you anything and so yes, I have a question.
          How does a mother of two children, one boy, one girl, fill the hole left behind after she is confronted with the fact both of her children are diagnosed with Anti-social Personality Disorder/Psychopathy?

          1. Rose,

            It is late at night, let me give your question some thought before I answer. One question, how old are the boy and girl?

            Thank you and please feel free to participate in other areas of the blog. I am hoping others will chime in too. I wrote down where your question is and will get back to you.

          2. BTOV

            What does the age of the children have to do with how the mother is to fill the hole left behind after the discovery of her children are psychopaths?

        3. Bonfire
          I have read countless words, paragraphs, and blogs online on the subject of psychopathy, ASPd, narcissism etc . . . . . and found a large percentage have redundant information and comments from people who are desperately just wanting to be heard, but not realizing even if someone is to hear what they have to say it will not bring the comfort they seek, need, and deserve. It is impossible to make sense out of nonsense, to make just from the unjust, equal from the unequal, balance from the imbalance. Societies have learned people are who they are and to try and change someone almost always has a negative outcome for everyone involved. It is a waste of time. Societies have promoted equality for all races, religious views, and sexual preferences. They promote acceptance and tolerance. However, no one applies that same philosophy to someone with the traits, characteristics, and behavior patterns of a psychopath (ASPd). There is discrimination and bigotry towards them.- The statement — “when you know better you do better” a fantastic concept when a person has the ability to ‘know’ better, psychopaths do not have that ability. There are a multitude of behaviors where they do not have the ability to improve because there is such a lack of understanding why. They mimic 99% of everything they do. The good behavior and the bad is just aped interpretations of what they have learned through observation from those around them. They become over-the-top masters of imitating others because of the need to never be discovered by anyone that they are what they are. For them to “know” better would be equivalent to asking anyone to learn a foreign language that does not exist.
          I will never condone harming anyone emotionally, physically, spiritually, or any other –ally. Never, and believe until there is a discovery to this birth defect, any intimate relationship will be a lose-lose situation, unless we let go of the prejudices.
          Also, thank you in advance for finding me in this space and time. Eternally grateful for your time and attention.
          My entire life has been surrounded, engulfed, swallowed up by psychopathy, therefore I have shared so few words on this subject, because of all the time that has already been wasted trying to calm the chaos, I just can’t bring myself to waste anymore by commenting on posts where hostility is usual and by the idea I could not possibly ever have the know-how or ability to help someone.

          1. BOTV

            This post reminds me of the true impact of psychopathy. Day to day I feel I have come along way, but every now and then the resentments are too big to ignore.

          2. Rose
            You’ve got a lot of experience to share here on this blog. Please continue to share.
            Myself have never personally dealt with a psychopath and I hope never to find myself engaged with one. I do, however, have a friend that had a brief marriage to one, and indeed they can become extremely dangerous when attempting to fulfill their goal.
            How is it that you’ve been surrounded by psychopaths?
            Sounds nightmarish.

          3. Rose,

            In your post you said: ” Also, thank you in advance for finding me in this space and time. Eternally grateful for your time and attention.”

            I would like to thank you also for sharing your knowledge and experiences with others who come to this post looking for answers. When we share we teach and help others to be aware of CDNSP, this is a wonderful gift of giving back to society. Hopefully, we can be that voice, that voice that will lift another up.

            I want to answer your post in further detail, but have to do so later.

          1. I wanted to know if all the comments posted on this website belong to Dr. George Simon and this website and can be used by him for any purpose? If someone could help answer this question I would most appreciate it. Thank you

          2. Rose,

            That probably is legal matter.
            My take as non-legal person, with college paper writing experience, will be…
            Comments here are in public domain with anonymous authors. I don’t think comments become property of website owner. At the same time, owner does not really need commenters permission to reproduce the comments. Adding citation to reproduction will be legally full-proof, for example, “as my blogs’ well-read readers commented, blah blah…”. Maybe even citation is not needed as long as it is implied that a particular material came from patients or blog followers, or a generic sentence is added to acknowledgements section, for example, “I’m grateful to my clients for providing insights and broaden my perspective blah blah…”

  11. What is it in the rest of us that tolerates psycho/socio-paths? Why can they carry out their evil deeds on us and even use the Courts to do so, many times never being caught? And then they pass on their damage to the next generation. There must be an answer.

    1. There is very little justice for the victims when crossing paths with someone of their kind. Time is better spent on yourself than ever spent on some sort of vengeance. They will win. Be grateful for everything you do have, smarts, beauty, kindness, and don’t look back. Also, it is 50% hereditary. It isn’t the behavior that is passed along it is the disorder. Best of luck.

  12. I am confused. You claim ONLY psychopaths can switch their emotion of? Really?!

    I am known to be a very caring and selfless person – and I do switch of all emotions too – when I or others are in danger of life.

    I for exampel tried to maximize the number of lifes saved in a dangerous driving accident – but I had no trouble at all then to risk and take the life of another driver to achieve the aim of saving the situation and the other lifes (that driver made a seriuos driving error too, but I felt no anger on him either. As I said I felt nothing. I just was in “the flow” of getting controll back over my damaged car).

    Furthermore I recently answered a typcial psychopath “quick test” at least as quick as a psychopath does – but I choose the answer option that a psychopath would not choose.

    Am I a psychopath? I do not register as one in the normal psychopath questionary. I however have an exceptionally high tested IQ.

    1. WoAMI,

      Why not keep it simple. People read to much into all these sites regarding the DC and many times come away more confused when they first started searching. What I like about Dr. Simons writings, he keeps it simple and to the point. In actuality Dr. Simon covers what all these so called experts on the internet regurgitate over and over in histrionic diatribes to keep people coming back for more.

      To answer your last question, many people have exceptionally high IQ’s and are not psychopaths.

  13. Before commenting, I’d like to say I’m a diagnosed psychopath at 18 (noone knows but me really and maybe doctors and the people who diagnosed me). Keeping this from my family and everyone has been a walk in the park. Being looked down upon by society as a psychopath I understand people would have a problem with it, especially with all the cliches and stereotypes of psychpathy. Most people don’t know what a psychopath even is, now back to the comment. What you said about how psychopaths are what you could say in a nutshell “predatory” this is true. Knowing I can say I’m a bad person is completely in the picture, and I love literally Every second of it, but… I’m confused about one thing. I have a weird attachment to animals. Specifically my dog. I can’t seem to understand but animals are the one thing I can say i.. love? It’s always been weird to me. I can’t easily shake off how my dog makes me feel, and no. It’s not bestiality.. don’t twist this on me I’m not deranged. I love to manipulate everyone, cause psychological pain to whoever I wish, “not physical” I’m not interested in ruining my reputation even if I could possibly get away with it. I just want to understand how I could possibly have a connection. I mean, if he ever crossed me or died I wouldn’t grieve, or care anymore, I don’t manipulate him. I can’t think of a way that’d be possible. Any idea of what could be going on? I’m just simply curious.

    1. Ello,

      I am not sure how you were diagnosed a psychopath. There are many ways therapists conclude a diagnosis, to me the ultimate test would be a Pet Scan.

      I know someone like (supposedly a psychopath) you who has expressed the same feeling about their dog. A dog has many instinctive abilities far superior to humans and depending on the breed can be as instinctive as a bear. Being a hunter for decades I have learned to rely on instincts in the wild not the normal common sense others would use. I believe the predatory instincts that are natural to a wild animal and the natural instincts that are still inbreed and natural to many dogs are the common bond with many psychopaths.

      Most humans can’t sense the uncanny dispositions of the psychopath at first or for that fact ever. They may sense something is off but never attribute it to psychopathy. On the other hand the instinctive feral genes left in a domesticated animal such as your dog will instinctively understand the unspoken language between you and him. You may find one day, you miss your dog and never find one quite the same.

      I hope for your sake you may try to realize the part of humanity you are deplete of. I understand you may feel well pleased with who you are but at the same time you will completely miss how rewarding love can be. Just know there are ways to live in this world without using and abusing and manipulating.

      Bonfire of the Vanities

  14. Thinking this over from yesterday. Yeah.. well I didn’t mention that to the person who diagnosed me, but in reality psychopaths don’t manipulate every second of thier lives, there’s a spectrum I’m pretty sure. While I feel everyone can be used, it doesn’t mean we use everyone. Loving is a huge part of life, in my conclusion I say psychopaths aren’t entirely incapable of love if we can love ourself, well I mean it’s still love and if that is possible you can obviously love something else, It just doesn’t process the same way. I may not be a great person but ik it could be worse. Just look at our counterparts… serial killers, pedophiles, rapists, ect. Me personally I find they are fucking disease to society. If u ask me they have far Far less right to be alive then any neurotypical. I mean pyschopathy is only the lack of empathy, they ruined it. Anyone finds out ur a psychopath nowadays you’re now done for, forced to hide. We may use people, hurt them psychologically but killing them? that’s just sick and sadistic and all ur even doing is cutting ur own future throat. As to your last comment I feel love probably is very rewarding I’m agreeing with you, it’s just not that easy for us. Neurotypicals have a hard time hiding emotion, we have the opposite affect. We want to be nice sometimes.. just we have that .. addicting adrenaline rush of dopamine and testosterone to keep being manipulative and controlling. And it feels like ecstasy, you don’t want it to leave and it just turns into a life long addiction, but you can’t get rid of this addiction because its chronic unfortunately, and when it comes to relationships that.. feeling is so overpowering and overwhelming that it’s extremely rare to find that bond and it just wants to tear them apart and get what you want. What probably happened with my dog is that very rare chance, and along with what you said.

    1. Ellos,

      I will respond to your post later. I am still recovering from the flu and have a lot I would like to say to your post. I think this is a good conversation as I think we are both sharing information and trying to understand how we can come together and live in harmony. I do understand how others are wired differently.

      If I may ask, how old are you now since you were supposedly diagnosed?

      Thank you

    2. Ello and BOTV

      I actually stopped and read this post and I will have to say I am a bit lost. There is too much fluff and not enough facts to do anything with what was said.
      (I’m going with what was said Ello is a psychopath and BOTV is ???)

      1. Ello, were you just bored and thought you would throw a random question online to see what people would say? However, if you do have a weird attachment to animals and do not manipulate them, have you considered the notion, animals are one of your best tools in acquiring success rather than failure? Also, at a glance, you will appear wholesome, caring, and an all-around good guy by taking care of an animal? Which, easily paints the picture you need everyone to see?
      2. BOTV, huh? “There are ways to live in this world without using and abusing and manipulating.” A psychopath is not going to know how to interpret that statement. To them, there is NOTHING else. They do not have other choices to pick from. Okay, if they are not going to use, abuse, or manipulate what other choices do they get to pick from?

  15. Rose,
    Some holes wont’ be filled. Like the death of my parents, there is a void and it will always be that way.
    For me if I were to have to deal with a child psychopath I’d feel a horrendous loss that would be devastating. I’d think by the time the person was an adult I’d have come to some ways of dealing with it, having studied it and sought counseling to help deal.
    And I did not mean to infer with my “ish” as in “nightmarish” that it would diminish dealing with a psychopath in any way. I’m not a professional writer.

    1. Lucy
      You are correct, the holes left by some parents/children/someone special to you can never be filled, but I was hoping for someone might have some ideas.
      Also, I was no different than anyone else who lived or had a relationship with a psychopath, on the ability to recognize them for what they are. I did not see it, but I also did not know anything, nothing, about psychopathy until about 8 years ago and my children had just started adulthood. Out of the 8 years, the first two years I tried to find anything I could to prove it wrong, and over time I finally had to accept it. I went through the whole grieving process over and over and still am. It is harsh grieving children who are still alive. It is also, difficult to find qualified counseling for people affected by psychopathy. There is not many around.
      And the … ish just made me chuckle. And also, and not a professional writer or professional anything, just a women, mother, sister, daughter, who has 99% lost her way. I meant no disrespect, and if you have/had spent some time around anyone with this personality disorder you could see how funny the ‘ish’ is.
      Thanks for your insight.

      1. Rose,

        I can’t imagine the turmoil you’d gone through raising your kids and not understanding the condition. And now realizing it and like you say the grieving process, it seems to last so long. I am truly sorry for what you’re going through.
        You’ve got a lot of experience to share with others experiencing what you have. Maybe sharing will ease the hurt while helping others through their process of dealing.
        So many of us here have had to sort through years of dealing, educating ourselves, counseling, grieving, enlightenment, all the stages.
        Now I’m still healing – and focusing on restoring my life to what it should be/should have been. Trying to not keep revisiting the trauma I lived through living with and divorcing the CDN. I’m trying hard to focus on the present and a future. It’s such a relief to be divorced from the CDN. These distorted individuals actually try to ruin people. The X tried his best to fully financially and emotionally ruin me, finally got what he wanted from me in the divorce and I’ve lost a lot but gained my freedom from that POS.
        I think the best thing you can do for yourself is live the best life you can free from people who abuse and use you. We are people, not objects for them to toss around toy with. They need us for their sick pleasures, we “need” them, as they are, for nothing really.

        1. Lucy,

          An Excellent post which I can relate too. You have outlined so many of the things I have dealt with in life with many of the CD in my life. I think a part of us will always grieve as we have the true capability to love. It’s also is roadblock that needs to heal in order to go forward.

          You and many others on this blog are a testimony to Dr. Simons work that we can in fact heal and become/grow beyond a potential we never thought possible.

          Where you have come from to where you are today encourages me to take just one more step to my own growth in life which is so difficult. Thank you, for being you and caring enough to keep sharing your journey. You truly are a success and an example for others that we can rise up and succeed.

          Thank you
          For being You and sharing so much of you life to lift others up…..

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