Who or what is a psychopath? Learn more about the concept of psychopathy, the use of the term “psychopath,” and psychopathic personality disorder (vs. antisocial personality disorder defined in DSM-V and DSM-V-TR).
What is a psychopathic personality disorder?
Individuals with psychopathic personality disorder tend to lack empathy for others or concern for others’ rights and feelings; however, they may be able to act as though they do and can seem charming at times.
It may overlap with the concepts of psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder and is not currently a personality disorder in the main text of the DSM-IV. However, additional research and discussion are underway regarding its future and the treatment of psychopathy in DSM-V (DSM-5).
How do psychopaths and psychopathic personality disorder differ from the concept of antisocial personality disorder?
While psychopathy may include individuals with an antisocial personality disorder, not everyone who could be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder under DSM-IV necessarily reaches the level of someone who displays a psychopathic personality disorder.
There is a nice discussion of the history and relationship between psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder in:
I was very pleased to read all of the wonderful comments on my last post. There is nothing more inspiring than opening up and for fleeting moments connecting to people. One of your email addresses’ put the Sisters of Mercy 1969 in my head. I always loved that song – the Iggy Pop original is great too.
This post is about adventure and breaking convention. Perceiving myself a moral psychopath, you might at first think that I fall victim to a terrible conflict of interest.
How can you be self-serving and uncaring and follow moral mores to the letter as well? That’s where the adventure exists! Invariably it’s about finding loopholes.
I’ll compare and contrast evil and good variations of the same theme. Both equally accessible to the emotionally unencumbered.
|Befriending someone and stealing a large sum of money from them for no reason.||Befriending someone and giving them a large sum of money for no reason.|
|Building a romance with someone you don’t care about and then breaking their hearts.||Building a romance with someone you don’t care about and then making them think they broke your heart.|
|Picking someone at random and treating them like shit.||Picking someone at random and treating them very, very well.|
|Enjoying people that hate you to tear them down.||Enjoying people who hate you because it is enjoyable to be nice to them genuinely nice.|
|Building someone’s ego and making them vulnerable later.||Building someone’s ego and aligning with them as a resource.|
The items on the left seem evil. The items on the right seem altruistic. However, to a psychopath, they are both very much the same. In either action, he/she is performing a mind fuck.
It’s just on the right-hand side no harm is done, and the rules of morality are fully engaged. The actions are there. The intent is lost.
I play these games often. They are loopholes and circumvent the true intent of ethics largely. This irony is very pleasing to me.
A lot of these things may seem puzzling at first. Looking closer, the clockwork may make more sense.
Playing the generous benefactor really throws people for a loop. It’s fun to watch them try to figure out your angle. If you have one, you ruin the entire activity.
The whole thing is about playing with them and dotting the I’s and crossing the t’s morally at the same time. It leaves people bewildered and emotionally affected. Exactly what I’m looking for.
Giving someone a genuinely satisfying short-term romance. Letting them think you will always love them but for one reason or another can’t be with them.
This one takes some skill, or you might break the target. It’s like creating a sandcastle—a wonderful project. The key, of course, is never to tell anyone you aren’t sincere.
When you pick someone at random and treat them very well because it’s just a project you don’t really care about. You certainly don’t expect anything in return.
When you clean your windshield, do you expect it to thank you? The feelings are the same here. Be genuine; play up only a person’s strong points.
When people hate you – enjoy it and favor them. This one is fun from so many angles. When you obviously know someone doesn’t like you, but you genuinely like them back, it can say many things.
One is that they aren’t important to you. You like them, and their thoughts on the matter aren’t relevant. Another is they will invariably start to have an attraction to you (not romantically or sexually).
They will be so curious and confounded they will find it difficult to understand. Most of the time, they will start to like you – which can end the game quickly.
Building someone’s ego and aligning them as a resource. When you focus on someone’s good points but still invariably don’t care about them, you will find you can bolster their egos quite a bit. This will make them more productive and invariably a good resource. But that has nothing to do with the real reason you’re doing it.
Why do all these things?
Intelligent psychopaths are good “lawyers.” They can justify just about anything. I could give you a million purely practical reasons why these things are smart to do. Like much properly timed altruistic behavior, the benefits come back in spades. However, that’s not why the psychopath does them.
A lot of people think psychopaths love to lie. This, in fact, isn’t true. Even the ones that lie habitually really only love a few things. They love treating people like objects, fucking with their heads and the sense of power this brings.
Are these good traits to have? That’s certainly debatable. Some will see it as a colossal waste of time. But it’s an instinct in the mind of reptiles. Sex, after all, is a “colossal waste of time” if you aren’t going to breed. But yet I bet you don’t see it that way.
Just as many instinctively are driven towards sex, the psychopath is instinctively driven towards adventure and “the game.”
Adventure is the core of what we live for. All else be damned.