Sunday, May 20, 2012

Reader: Zhawq Can Never Understand His Psychopathy!

A Reader writes:
"You seem to claim that you're changing and that you are beginning to understand your psychopathy because of your research. But I don't think this is possible. I think no psychopath can really understand his own emotional deficits because if you could you would have to understand empathy and love and remorse and the other emotions that you don't have. And that's never gonna happen because if it did you'd have cured yourself. It seems like that's what you're trying to do, or you're trying to make the readers believe you're doing it, or probably most of all the clinical psychologists who are keeping you in the research program because then you might be free for real.

I think you're deluding yourself if you think you can make them believe you've understood your psychopathy. I'm not just saying it because I believe it, I've also noticed that every now and then you write that you've now concluded that you're not a psychopath at all and it was all a mistake. I think you'll always return to that conclusion because how can you understand that you'll never feel empathy if you've never felt it?

What are your thoughts on this? If you disagree can you explain how you understand your psychopathy?"
It is understandable that some will think I'm putting on a show in order to fool the research board to think I'm "cured" so they'll let me go (some on the board thinks so too). However, I believe I've showed - in the way I approach the various aspects of the psychopathy diagnosis and how it makes a person different from the average non-psychopathic person as well as in the very fact that I've been persistent in my pursuit of knowledge and understanding - that I am sincere. That said, I can't hope for everybody to believe me, but this is the case for everybody and not only for psychopaths.

Your thesis - that my sometimes returning scepticism towards my psychopathy diagnosis shows that I haven't understood my condition at all - is interesting. Right off the bat I would say it's a sign that I am processing the data I research and that I don't take everything at face value. Indeed, this is not just about learning a new language but about learning a whole new way of understanding and seeing reality, it's not any kind of reality. It's a view on reality that implies your acceptance of the perhaps most stigmatized and unpopular social position in present day, you will have to accept and adopt a self view that labels you as Evil by definition, and that is something nobody should be expected to take lightly.

I can foretell what you would say here: "But you don't really in your heart care about being evil". And that's true, I don't care about 'evil' in itself, but I most definitely do care about the position it has put me in as relating to the rest of society. Add to this that I am not devoid of emotion. No living person is! If I had no emotions there would be nothing to entice me to get out of bed every day.

I do care about a lot of things though admittedly not always the same as most people care about. I care about my well being, I care about making a lot of money, I care about producing something that has value, I care about achieving as much as I possibly can, I care about having a lot of victories in my life, I care about always getting better at what I do, I care about having fun and about satisfying my needs and urges, and I care about having an impact upon our society. I care about proving that I can be a valuable asset to society and thereby proving one of two things: Psychopaths can be valuable assets, or I am not a psychopath after all.

As a thinking human being I also believe it's very important to question everything that I learn during my research and not accept something merely because a prominent expert said it or because it's what most people think they know to be true.

But you're right, I do question the diagnosis they've kept giving me!

I'm going to say a little more about the misconceptions that I see in how clinicians define certain psychopathic traits. Either it must be wrong or I am not a psychopath after all but a very misunderstood sensitive person. Here goes...

There are times when I think it can't possibly have any truth to it, that it must rely on bias and a need to "prove" they can assess anybody. I think there are many things they clearly overlooked or chose to not take into consideration when I was diagnosed the first time. What about the second and the third time? They can very well be nothing more than the easy way out: "We can't see what makes him different, so let's stick with what our predecessors said and save face: He's a psychopath!".

One of the prominent traits in the psychopathic character is an inability to tolerate what they call 'Boredom'. I've always called it 'Lack of Stimulation'.
Another prominent trait is the 'Strong need for Excitement'. I call it 'Strong Need for Stimulation' and a 'Strong Appetite for Life'.

The way they explain these traits in psychopaths goes like this: Psychopaths have a very shallow, empoverished, emotional life. They lack deep emotions and that is why they need much stronger sensations before they can feel satisfied.

In other words they say my need for lots of stimulation and my hardships with tolerating monotony stems from my lack of emotions.

But to me it seems to be the exact opposite. I am much more sensitive and talented than most people and therefore I need much more stimulation and lively input than others before my wide range of sensitivities and talents are satisfied.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Guilt & Remorse.

A Reader asks:
"From what I can gather, as a Psychopath you never feel Guilt at all. Is this true?"
Yes, it is true, Psychopaths do not feel Guilt. They do not have the required Neuropsychological basis for feeling this Emotion, and that's how it is also for me. Thus I have never experienced Guilt... that is, I haven't experienced Guilt as an Emotion or Feeling.

To me Guilt is not an Emotion but a position that one can be in. Opposite Remorse, to me being Guilty is something you are, not something you feel. You can be more or less aware of being Guilty and accept that you are Guilty to a higher or lesser degree, or you can refuse to accept it.

To me acknowledging Guilt is not an issue at all. It is not a problem and I have never felt bad about being Guilty. Being aware that I am Guilty of something doesn't change how I feel. It doesn't make me sad and it doesn't make me think I should be punished. Being Guilty is just that: Being aware that I am Guilty of something.

Where being Guilty can make a Difference to me is in what it means in terms of Social Repercussions. This is another fundamental difference between the feeling we call Guilt and the feeling we call Remorse. Remorse is personal, you feel Remorse toward the person you wronged. Feeling Guilty, and being Guilty, is directly related to one's social state and therefore involves elements of personal implications ("What will happen to me?", "How severely will I/should I be punished?" or "Do I deserve to be accepted by Society?". The feeling we call Remorse cares only about the wronged party, not about society or the question of one's guilt, nor about being punished or about one's own future standing in Society.

Because of these differences and because of the non-emotional way that I experience guilt,  awareness of being Guilty is for me accompanied by thoughts about whether I can avoid punishment, and if so, how will I achieve that, etc.

Some argue that Guilt is a Selfish Emotion. Personally I think this is somewhat over simplified, as surely there are positive aspects of worrying about your standing in society (if f.x. you have family). I also refuse to go along with the notion that self interest is always negative. My argument is that if self-interest is negative by definition, then it must imply that everybody are bad, because why is it bad to care about the well being of someone who is a good and talented person who can contribute to society? Surely there is reason in caring about yourself if you think you deserve to get a family in the future, no?

Psychopath or not, I have an unwavering belief in my own Goodness and Abilities. But I don't stop there. I am actually quite convinced that I am Great, and whereas I think this is probably a function of my interaction with the Culture I live in, I think the sense of being Good and Capable must be the Natural State of any living being I am quite convinced that the poisonous ideology that preaches Self Denial, Self Doubt and Selflessness is the Result of an Evolutionary Accident which will eventually be corrected as we continue the Journey of Existence. 

I am not overly worried about the Survival of The Human Species, and I don't feel the slightest bit of Guilt for being so Optimistic as to think the Best in us will find a way to Survive and the Rest can go to Hell!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Test: Spot My Criminal Personality!

Can you spot what kind of person I am? Can you tell if someone you know is a criminal? That's what Forensic Profiling deals with, but you can test your skills right here.

...Or maybe not.
An acquaintance told me about a test he found while looking for material to a project in his criminal profiling class. He told me the first question and the four possible answers had made him think of me, and after doing the test he decided to show me the test. 
It is a test where you can learn if someone you know fits the profile of a criminal sub-type, and when I'd read it through I decided it might be fun for my readers to do this test and see how close your impressions of me, your gentle host, is to the profile of the criminal sub-type presented in this test.

You can use the test as many times as you like and test your awareness about people you know such as friends, colleagues or perhaps your family members.

Before I give you the test I want to mention that my acquaintance don't know I have been diagnosed as a psychopath, nor does he know that I have committed any crimes other than minor theft in my youth (because that's what I have told him).

I will also say that this test is a popularized test based on knowledge gathered by proffesionals researching and working with criminal profiling, and therefore it may not be possible to answer absolutely correct about me or others who are not criminal, nor about people who are criminals, for that matter... (yes, I do not consider myself a criminal and never did, but that's another discussion).

Let's get started with the test...
Q: When you first meet this person what characteristic best described him/her? 
  1. Insecure, shy.
  2. Charismatic, charming.
  3. Secretive, unresponsive.
  4. Humorous, easy going.

Q: Which word best describes how this person most often presents himself?
  1. Naive.
  2. Moralistic.
  3. Street wise.
  4. Intellectual.

Q: Have you ever suspected or caught this person lying?

  1. Rarely if ever.
  2. Sometimes - to avoid hurting feelings.
  3. Often - to keep from getting in trouble.
  4. Habitually - often about silly things.

Q: What best describes this person's employment history?
  1. White collar executive.
  2. Manual laborer
  3. Educator
  4. Middle management

Q: When dealing with people in positions of authority which best describes how the person reacts?

  1. Resentful of people in authority.
  2. Tends to suck up to authority.
  3. Respectful of authority.
  4. Afraid of authority.

Q: Which best describes this person's financial situation?

  1. Responsible, pays his way in life.
  2. Rarely holds the same job for long, lets others support him and complains of bill collectors.
  3. Struggling along, sometimes shows irresponsible behavior.
  4. Wealthy, sometimes flamboyant, rarely speaks about being over his head.

Q: When dealing with his failures such as a loss of a job, bypassed for promotion or failure in school this person reacts...

  1. Angrily and always blames the person who made the decision.
  2. Overly hard on himself and beats himself down for his failures.
  3. Depressed but eventually shakes it off and moves on.
  4. Learns from his mistakes and shows personal growtrh from the experience.

Q: When speaking about childhood memories this person appears...

  1. Reflective and generallyt speaks positively about his childhood.
  2. Avoids discussing it and seems vague if asked pointed questions.
  3. Remembers the good times and doesn't dwell on the bad times such as parent divorcing.
  4. Extremely specific with details most people would forget.

Q: Select the phrase which best describes how this person is in his intimate relationships such as marriage.

  1. Shows respect toward his mate.
  2. Seems to have the ability to share deep emotional ties with his mate.
  3. Seems to love his mate, but has had occassional flings.
  4. Has no regard or respect for his mate and has regular flings.

Q:  You have observed this person...

  1. Directly point out a potentially unsafe situation to others.
  2. Observe a potentially unsafe situation, but did not say anything about it.
  3. Appear generally unobservant and usuallyt fails to notice unsafe situations.
  4. Overreacts to potentially unsafe situations demanding they be rectified immediately.

Q: Which best describes the person?

  1. Takes good ccare of himself by exercising and watching his diet.
  2. Is moderately careful about his health,m an occasional drinker.
  3. Drinks often and enjoys drugs such as meth and cocaine.
  4. Warns others against the use of alcohol and drugs.

Q: Choose which best describes this person after you got to know him.

  1. Nice, honest, caring, responsible.
  2. Arrogant, liar, lazy, irresponsible.
  3. Often charming, deceptive, manipulative, void of emotion.
  4. Hard, isolated, uncommunicative, private.

I will publish the "correct" test results as they should be if I or the person you did the test about fit/s the criminal profile the test is based on - as well as the result in regard to myself as it actually looks in comparison with the criminal profile of the test - on: 
Monday, May
Evening or late afternoon. 
Nb. The past couple of weeks following upon my release from jail have been hectic and I have simply not had the time to write or publish. However, if I want to live a good life and remain free in the future I will have to continue my work on Psychopathic Writings, so my absence is most definitely not a permanent thing! 
I haven't forgot anything about the projects I have begun. Most Part-2 texts for previous articles are finished and ready to be uploaded, I will publish these articles in the coming days and weeks.