Monday, February 4, 2013

Naming A Psychopath.

This article is about Naming Psychopathic Individuals in Public Space or Forums. The article was meant to be a written in two parts. One Part would be About the Personal Aspects and Implications surrounding Pointing Out Someone - or Being Pointed Out - as A Psychopath. The Second Part would be About One or More Known or Famous Individuals, Being Pointed Out and Named as Psychopaths, and my Personal Views and Standpoints about this.

Alas, I haven't been able to make 'Part 1' ready for publishing as it was planned, which of course I regret. I am instead going to publish what was meant to be 'Part 2' of the article, and the rest will have to wait until a later day or night, when I am less busy.

Alright, here we go - let's See if we can Name a Psychopath...

Just this past week I received an email from a Reader who asked me - among other things - if I could tell whether or not one or more of a few named celebrities are psychopaths. I'm going to respond here with regard to one of the named celebrities and will explain why I do not believe this particular guy is a psychopath. And that being the case, I don't see why I shouldn't explain it 'publicly', so here goes...

Keep in mind, however, that like any other person representing a minority, I cannot be sure to recognize any other psychopath with a 100% Certainty Rate, it just isn't possible(1*). In the present case it is also worth noting that I haven't had time to research the person whom I was asked to confirm or refute to be a psychopath. So I ran a search on Youtube and found video of moments between 'on-air' takes from a guest appearance of our subject, hosted by a fellow well known TV personality.

The video I have uploaded with this article can hopefully give the Reader an idea about what I am referring to when I talk about a Professional Persona versus a more Private You - the 'you' that you tend to only display under more private and relaxed circumstances - and why it is situations like that I look for first when I'm trying to determine if someone may be a psychopath.

"For a while I was pretty convinced Jerry Seinfeld could be considered [a Psychopath]. His affect and emotion is really shallow, he is very self-centered and also quite manipulative (especially when you imagine his personae in not set up context). Don't get me wrong though - love Seinfeld!"

Seinfeld does not show some of the important traits that would make me view him as a possible candidate for a psychopathy diagnosis. - I can't know this for sure, of course. As always, an investigation including a thorough check-up into his past with interviews of people who have known him throughout the years and at various periods of his life - most significantly his parents and family, his friends, his school and hobby teachers and coaches, neighbors, ministers, and so on - would be required. But also people who have had more sporadic contact with him, f.x. officers who were present at a time when he was arrested for speeding (if such ever occurred, this is Just an example of what COULD be an experience from his past!) would need to be included. 

Again, some psychopaths are just too good at emulating normal behavior, and they'll slip through the needle's eye until they blow it in some other way. Maybe that's the case with Jerry Seinfeld, but I don't think so, and I have a number of reasons for believing I'm right when I say he isn't a psychopath: He's consistent and really puts a lot of effort into preparing and creating good comedy (By the way, comedy really isn't a psychopath's typical domain - but never say never, of course). There are also things about his handwriting that suggests he has plenty of emotions. His laughter is often spontaneous which is something you rarely see in psychopaths (though obviously a psychopath's 'staged laughter' can be very hard to spot).

That said, Seinfeld may be controlling and narcissistic (as you mention in your mail), and Narcissism and Psychopathy can in some respects be hard to distinguish. But then, most high profile performers and creators in the entertainment industry have a Narcissistic Streak, which again will be naturally nourished if you work and thrive on success in that industry. - Another thing to note is that learning to be (sometimes VERY) assertive is another trait that can be mistaken for a psychopathic trait, just as is that certain air of Personal Charm. If you're an entertainer of any kind you cannot survive without it.

- I haven't watched Seinfeld or his shows much nor closely, and after all I've still only been out of prison for approximately 2,5 years, most of which time I have spend in part on rebuilding my business relations, and on providing articles to please the committee and the board in charge of the psychopathy program I'm participating in (and being subject to), and who therefore has a lot of saying in how much freedom I get, if I am to retain it, or if the whole thing is going to be recanted and I'm going to be thrown back into prison. But I've just taken a look at what I could find about him, and it is my conclusion that Seinfeld probably is not a psychopath.

(1*) - for reasons that should be at least somewhat clear when taking into account what I try to explain in several articles: Psychopathy is a spectrum, there's no 'completely psychopathic' individuals, but there are plenty of 'somewhat psychopathic' individuals, and more over, psychopaths can be surprisingly different from one another in spite of the similarities - which, on the other hand - are often well hidden and only observable in subtle ways.


Anonymous said...

That's pretty cool to read about your perspective in that regard! Cheers Raff

Anonymous said...

Hi Zhawq.

The character he plays on Seinfeld is more like a psychopath. I'm betting people mistake him for his character all the time.

Anonymous said...

This comment does not really belong here but whatever.

What would happen if you left 100 psychopaths on an island with everything they needed to take care of themselves except a way off the island? 50 men and 50 women, all in their 20s, all good looking, and in excellent health.

How many of our top leaders and heroes have been psychopaths and we just didn't realize it?

Do psychopaths every really trust another psychopath or anyone for that matter?

Can a psychopath ever really believe in God and if they can what god would they believe in?

Anonymous said...

do you sometimes feel like a freakshow in here?