"Now the interesting thing is that with neurotypicals, cortisol will reduce their feelings of love and connection with others. Showing and receiving love and connection with others will have the opposite effect and reduce cortisol and stress."My knowledge of chemistry is very limited, but it is an area I intend to learn more about. At present I'll admit I don't even know the molecular structure of the more commonly known active substances like f.x. Dopamine, Serotonin or Adrenaline, and about Cortisol I know only that it's a steroid which plays a role in creating appropriate responses to effects of stress on the body by among other things elevating blood sugar levels and inhibiting the immune system (with the purpose of maximizing the body's effective ability to deal with danger and threat for a limited time). If I'm not mistaken Cortisol is being produced by the Adrenal Gland.
If I understand you correctly, you are saying that a propensity for love and affection will tend to lower Cortisol levels quicker in neurotypical people than in psychopaths, and that seems like a logical assumption.
Whether showing love and affection will lower stress is probably a question of more complexity and therefore not as easily answered, since love and affection depend on interactive cooperation individuals in between. If you show love towards a person who is about to kill you whether or not you show love towards him, your love may lower your stress levels, but it will also lower you ability to prevent it from happening because your alertness and readiness to protect yourself are subdued. And this raises the question about whether love is an appropriate response in stressful situations.
Some might argue that love can turn the situation around, emotionally "disarm" a hostile attacker, and such has been known to happen(1*). But it is also known to be a minority of exceptions to the most common and likely outcome of such an approach in a situation of this nature.
So in this respect it generally isn't productive to lower your physical ability to respond and react efficiently to threats. But it is certainly productive to be able to lower stress levels when there is no longer any threat, and this is something that many people struggle with - though psychopaths are not among them. Indeed, psychopaths are known to have markedly lower than average levels of Anxiety, Nervousness, and Fear (ref. this example, an excerpt from a text by Hervey Cleckley).
I should mention that some Secondary Psychopaths, as well as Sociopaths, do suffer from Generalized Anxiety. But for as far as someone fills the requirements for a psychopathy diagnosis, his personality constellation will still make the idea of love and connection problematic. I try to explain the reasons for this in other articles and will renew my efforts to do so in future publishings as my knowledge and writing skills improve and I believe I can convey my thoughts, knowledge and experience more effectively.
"BUT with extreme psychopaths, they are so damaged ..."This statement is subject to some dispute. The last several decades of research points to a different conclusion, that psychopathy isn't one but several related conditions which can be divided into two crudely simplified categories. One is termed Primary Psychopathy (or psychopathy defined by mainly Factor One Traits) and the other is Secondary Psychopathy (or psychopathy defined by mainly Factor Two Traits).I describe Primary/Factor One Traits and Secondary/Factor Two Traits in some detail here.
Primary Traits refer to lack or absence of certain emotions with origin in the person's genetic make up. The Primary Psychopath is born that way, he did not become that way and were not caused to become that way by being damaged - unless you think about damage during the fetal stage, in which case we talk about Synthetic Psychopathy. Synthetic Psychopathy can happen at any time in life by severe trauma to one or more among certain parts of the brain.
Secondary Traits refer to specific behavioral patterns which have at least some origin in Environmental Aspects such as exposure to physical or mental abuse and/or neglect during upbringing or very early on in life.
It is the Secondary Traits that are connected to damage, and in this sense I guess you can say at least a good part of psychopaths are damaged to some extent. Then again, this does not account for why they have become psychopaths as there are undeniably a very large number of people who have been subjected to the same, or likewise, debilitating abuse during upbringing or throughout their lives, and who are not psychopaths.
The answer to this "paradox" is that psychopathy is largely a question about personality. Indeed, the question - in my convinced opinion - is not so much if somebody is a psychopath as if that somebody has been taught/given the tools and the opportunity to form a life that doesn't create acessive damage towards other people that he comes into contact with throughout his life. as things are at present in society, where the mainstream has no knowledge about what psychopathy is and therefore also has no way of recognizing a future psychopath in a disconducted and unresponsive or rebellious child, it is no wonder that the approximately 1% of the population who are psychopaths are involved in so much damage and discomfort on various levels of society.
"... that love and connection (i.e. EQUALITY with others) will actually cause them stress as they must totally repress this in their mind to prevent enormous pain."As you correctly have said, love and connection doesn't happen to psychopaths. We generally don't experience it, and if or when we do, it is fleetingly and in small ways. I think I have felt at least strong sympathy several times, but I have to say it has never given me the least sense of pain or discomfort. Quite the contrary, and there have been cases where I was disappointed when the connection was broken and the other party left.
More often it has been me who tired of the experience, but again there was no pain involved and I moved on without regret.
With this in mind, and my knowledge that I am far from unique as a person who has been diagnosed with psychopathy, I doubt that the absence of connection and love in psychopaths has anything to do with pain. Indeed, I don't think even Secondary Psychopaths experience pain in relation to connection and love, because they lost the ability to form bonds and feel love before they had ever heard the words 'connection' or 'love'. What they do suffer from is anxiety, and a lot of us experience anger and frustration every now and then.
I have to conclude - at least for the time being - that since a psychopath has never experienced love and connection that he could feel pain about, I don't see how what you describe would be the case. Maybe I misunderstand you, maybe you can elaborate?
Secondary Psychopaths - and to some extent most psychopaths - have experienced Absence of love and connection, and this would be painful to a little child, provided the child had the neurological wiring required for a person to experience 'connectedness' or love. The damage to a psychopath has happened before any love or connection was experienced to begin with. What you are describing could refer to several other categories of Personality Disorders, among which the one that comes closest to resembling psychopathy is Borderline Personality Disorder. People with this condition can, and often do, on occasion behave much like a psychopath. But note that I say 'like' a psychopath, there's an important difference, and Psychopathy and Borderline Personality Disorder are NOT the same thing.
"Most psychopaths may not be this bad and compartmentalise things a bit more but generally they view the world very irrationally as they can't stand EQUALITY just as a scientist can't stand IRRATIONALITY they also have a misguided view of the world."I have to object to the part of this statement concerning psychopaths' ability to 'stand' Equality. I will explain and use myself as an example:
It is true that in my interactions with other people I tend to be 'above' the rest, there's no denying it and I don't care to deny it. However, I do not by definition choose to take this position at any time and for it's own sake, it all depends on a variety of things, one of which probably is obvious: Getting what I want as easily and with least possible effort and fewest possible obstacles is undeniably easier if you're the boss. But this is not what you think to be my motivation, is it? If I'm correct, you meant to say that psychopaths take the 'superior' position because they can't tolerate being on level with others, even if they don't loose anything by being so.
This is where I disagree. It's just not how it works. I have on many occasions been very much equal with others that I interacted with, and it honestly didn't bother me one bit. Why not? Because I had, and I got, what I wanted and needed as things were, there was simply no need to waste energy on becoming superior, and certainly not just for the sake of being superior in the eyes of others. When I am content I care nada about how others see me, this is a fact and I'm not alone with this personality trait.
I think this belief about psychopaths wanting to be superior just for the sake of looking better and stronger than everybody else may be a remnant of the common mistaking of psychopathy with narcissism. The two are not the same.
That said, it is true that I do tend to end in the 'superior' position. And the same is the case with a good number of psychopathic people. So why do we do this? In my view there's several factors at play. One is the fact that psychopaths really do see themselves as marvellous, great beings who can fill any position, including leading everybody else. But there's also the fact that most normal people do not see themselves in the same way, and that is reflected in how they behave and respond to a person who is naturally assertive.
I think psychopaths so often end up as seemingly superior because both we ourselves, and others around us, perceive us this way. It's a result of interpersonal dynamics.
Look at it this way: If you could easily out maneuver almost everybody you meet in any setting, and you knew it would give you privileges - and let's remember that you, if you were a psychopath, did not have the need for bonding or connectivity, just as you would not be responsive to the stress people around you feel when you display dominant behavior - wouldn't you take them when they were apparently given to you so willingly? Of course you would... or rather, of course you would if you were a psychopath.
Still, it would not be motivated by a need in you to look superior. To be as frank as I can possibly be about it: I truly do not care if I'm equal with people around me, provided I get what I need and want. What's more, I am not unique in this respect. Indeed, I have met plenty of psychopaths who didn't care about putting themselves in a leading or superior position if their lives depended on it. Some of these people have lived all their lives at the bottom of society being petty thieves and drug addicts. If they get their pitiful fix of drugs or excitement by stealing a random stranger's wallet in passing, they're satisfied....AND they're convinced that they are marvelous - and superior in spite of the obvious!
This last sentiment is something most psychopaths share, and I am no exception. However, I believe I have good reason to feel this way, and I will add that I am not arrogant or contemptuous because of it. On the other hand, I can't make myself feel differently when I keep seeing what I feel proves me right. Another thing is that I don't believe I'm a bad person for being aware that I'm superior to most other people. If I was, all leaders throughout the existence of our species (and all other species as well) would be bad, and we know they're not. But there's not much I can do about it, I honestly believe I'm superior to most - but certainly not from all - other people, it's just the way I feel. On that note I think average people could use some of my self confidence. - But again, I digress.
Does a psychopath have an irrational view of the world? Probably. Most people do, after all, and it's very difficult to be completely logical about everything. Even the most brilliant men of all time did not have All Knowing Insight about the world. The world is an organic, living and breathing entity which is ever changing along with mankind. What is true today may be a fallacy tomorrow. It's the only thing about existence that we can know for certain: There is no absolutes and nothing really lasts indefinitely, not even one of our most beloved Holy Grails, the Absolute Truth. The very idea is a construct, and it has done more harm than most everything else that mankind ever created.
Are psychopaths misguided? Oh, absolutely. But so are everybody else in varying degrees, it is not unique for my 1% minority. The guidance I was given about the world was so obviously flawed that I saw through a great deal of it long before I hit 1st grade. So like a very large number of people - not least in our time - I found it necessary to form different views, and I quickly learned to listen mostly to myself and always be weary of 'knowing adults'. I am still adjusting the views I made yesterday, it's a never ending process.
(1*) - I have done this myself, though obviously not by actually loving my attacker, but by pretending to love and understand her I succeeded in talking her out of completely ruining her own life and ending mine by killing me.