Y.You know what? I have no desire to write about mood or fear this week. But there is something that caught my attention. That would be psychopathy. Really a fascinating topic and this is an interesting perspective. Here we go…
Dr. Martens talks to psychopathic serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer and Dennis Nilsen. Both said they only killed out of company.
Did some very scary people do binge watching a week ago? The session included episodes about Aileen Wuornos, John Wayne Gacy and Charles Manson. Riveting stuff if you ask me.
Do you feel the same?
One of the things that I’m particularly interested in is the personal and family history of these boys and girls. I mean, as hideous as their crimes and devastating effects on families are, I can’t help but have empathy for them. What they endured through no fault of their own during their development years was just terrible.
It was right to hold them accountable, but they were legally ill people.
By the way, did you know that psychopathy in the DSM-5 is not an independent diagnosis? It is considered part of an anti-social personality disorder.
“What’s Behind It: The Psychopath’s Hidden Suffering”
I recently spent some time in the Psychiatric Times and noticed an article. “What’s Behind It: The Hidden Suffering of the Psychopath” was written by the renowned psychiatrist Willem H. J. Martens, MD, PhD.
The article offers an interesting perspective, so I would like to summarize it for you.
Dr. Martens begins by depicting traditional diagnostic features of psychopathy. It includes superficial charm, high intelligence, pathological egocentricity and inability to love, lack of remorse or shame, grandiose self-esteem, pathological lies, manipulative behavior, poor self-control and criminal versatility.
So it seems that the psychopath deserves the stereotype of a cold, heartless, inhuman being. Martens wonders, however, whether traditional diagnostic features apply to all psychopaths. Yes, do they all show a complete lack of normal emotional skills and empathy?
The good doctor points out that many psychopaths, like healthy people, love family members and their pets. But loving and trusting the rest of the world is another story. Martens further notes that psychopaths suffer emotionally from separation, divorce, the death of a loved one, and their own deviant behavior.
A diary entry
In his article, Dr. Martens made numerous diary entries from one of his psychopathic patients who died a few years ago. This would be a good time to check part of one of the entries …
My empathy and emotions were frozen in my youth due to all possible aversive experiences: tensions between my parents and lack of security at home, lack of social contacts and related social-emotional exercises and feedback. I episodically suffered from social isolation and loneliness, my inability to adapt, and the awareness that the distance between me and others that could not be bridged became worse.
I realized that I was and would remain a stranger no matter what my attempts to make contacts. Sometimes it was just unbearable to continue to feel the dark feelings caused by this constant stream of negative experiences. And at some point, maybe as a result of an overload, my emotional fuse broke and it got cold inside. I remember being 8 or 9 when I suddenly realized that I was changed forever …
Pretty rough – sad, don’t you think?
Sources of sadness and emotional pain
According to Dr. Martens can suffer from sadness and emotional pain for a number of reasons. Like most of us, psychopaths have a deep desire to be loved and cared for. Of course, because of their repulsive personality traits, the desire is typically unfulfilled. So much for warm, tight ties.
In many cases, psychopaths are at least regularly aware of the effects of their behavior on others and can be really sad because of their inability to control it.
Martens confirms that the life story of psychopaths contributes significantly to their sadness – their illness. We are talking about family chaos, lack of parental attention and guidance, drug abuse and parental behavior, a variety of parent abuse, difficult socio-economic circumstances, and more.
Dr. Martens emphasizes that despite their external arrogance, psychopaths feel inferior to others and know that their own behavior stigmatizes them.
Some psychopaths are superficially adapted to their environment and even popular, but they feel that they need to carefully hide their true nature, as this is not acceptable to others. This leaves psychopaths a difficult choice: to adapt and participate in an empty, unreal life or not to adapt and to live a lonely life that is isolated from the social community.
Reaching the predetermined breaking point
Dr. Martens says that many of them cannot continue their energy-saving lifestyle as psychopaths age. Therefore, they are often burned out and depressed. Your physical health may also deteriorate.
In too many cases, the psychopath reaches a point of no return where he feels he has broken the last thin connection with a normal world.
Hidden suffering, loneliness and a lack of self-esteem are risk factors for violent, criminal behavior in psychopaths. In fact, Dr. Martens contends that social isolation, loneliness and the associated emotional pain could immediately precede violent crimes.
Dr. Martens talks to psychopathic serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer and Dennis Nilsen. Both said they only killed out of company. Neither had friends and their only social contacts were the occasional encounter in a bar.
Heck, Nilsen watched TV and chatted for hours with the bodies of his victims. And Dahmer ate parts of his victims’ bodies to become one with them. It may not be something you or I would ever think of, but the dead don’t go.
After all, violent psychopaths are at high risk of directing their aggression towards themselves as well as others. They may believe that all life is worthless, including their own.
This is the
As I said, I didn’t want to write about mood or fear this week. At least I stayed in the field.
Psychopathy has always fascinated me. Maybe you too. It is only fair that we are exposed to all sides of history. Dr. Martens certainly helped us with that.
Oh, almost forgotten! Do you know who the famous psychopathic killer in our main picture is? (Actually, he’s not – just a guy.)
Under no circumstances could I record everything that the good doctor wrote. Take a look at the original article: What is behind it: The hidden suffering of the psychopath.
If you are looking for easy and reflective reading, you should consider my eBook, feelings and rhymes through treacherous times.
Much more inspire4u reading for browsing. These hundreds of inspire4u titles.