Thursday, June 7, 2018

Do Psychopaths Feel Anything At All?


I Reader asks me the following question:

Hi Zhawq,
I came across your blog today and I would like to say that you indeed clear a lot of doubts in my head regarding psychopaths. 
I have always been interested in Psychology and I understand that Psychopaths are truly misunderstood. Therefore, to understand them better, I have a question which I am hoping, you will be able to answer.
So my question is, are psychopaths totally incapable of feeling emotions at all or do they, at a deep level, do feel emotions? Is it possible that they feel extreme of any emotion like anger or love or hatred like it’s either white or black with emotions. Either they feel it all on an extreme level or don’t feel anything at all?
Regards,
......

Far from all psychopaths are completely incapable of feelings or emotions.

- No, let me re phrase that: No psychopaths are completely incapable of having feelings or emotions.

I know the idea is a popular and common belief among people in general, but the truth is that there is no such thing as a human being without any feelings whatsoever.

That being said, there are psychopaths who are very close to not feeling anything. But if you look closer, you will find that in order to f.ex. eat you have to be able to feel hungry, right? And in order for these extreme psychopaths to perform very horrific sadistic crimes, putting other people through unbelievable torture (an example would be the acts committed by Leonard Lake and his "apprentice" Charles Ng(1*).


The matter is not whether psychopaths can experience feelings or have emotions, but what kind of feelings and emotions they can experience, and this is something we know a good deal about (psychopaths know, of course, but psychiatry is catching up).

The main type of emotion that psychopaths tend to lack - some lack it completely while others - such as myself - can experience it for a short while, particularly if and when I have a reason to want to do so. The emotion I'm talking about is Empathy.

Coupled with the absence of empathy is the other aspect that you bring up: The depth of emotion.


Psychopaths tend to have 'shallow emotions' or, phrased in correct psychological terminology, 'Shallow Affect'. This basically means that the depth of understanding of one's own emotions, and, as a natural consequence the understanding of other people's emotions, is lacking and superficial or even completely absent in psychopaths.

Some of the reason for this is that the feelings and emotions that we psychopaths do have tend to be superficial and 'flimsy', short lived, we may have a vague idea of what it means to be sad or to be seriously frightened or afraid, but since we have never experienced any of these emotions at any deep level ourselves, it is difficult for us to put ourselves in other people's shoes.

Add to this that other people's understanding of our lacking ability to feel as strongly and deeply as normal people do means there have never been anybody in our lives or during our upbringing who could explain these differences between ourselves and others.

In other words, we are expected to be - and treated as if we are - the same and feel the same way as normal people. This can understandably lead to the psychopathic youngster (and adult) believing that the strong display of emotions that we see take place around us is fake, a make-believe that is being staged with the purpose of manipulating particular reactions to occur in others.


A young psychopathic individual who has a sincere wish to be a just and helpful, truthful member of society, will conclude that society at large is rotten and untrustworthy, that everybody are looking after their own interests at the expense of others, and the psychopathic teen or young adult will often become a jaded, hardened and self serving person who is very good at doing what he believes everybody else have been doing all along: manipulating each other.

When he sees himself vilified because he is better at doing what everybody does anyway, he becomes resentful and may retire into a dark mindset where wish for revenge at a society that never understood, accepted or treated him just, rules his actions. Many young psychopaths develop a certain level of Antisocial Personality Disorder(2*)....But this is perhaps a subject best left for future article(3*).


The depth of ability to feel emotions differ of course in between psychopathic individuals, and it isn't possible to know precisely how much or how little psychopaths at each end of the spectrum can feel or not feel. At the end of the day there's a lot of grey areas not only within the spectrum but at the upper and lower ends as well, which is why it can at times be very difficult even for an expert to make a proper diagnosis.

.................................................................................
(1*) - The link will take you to a documentary which shows very graphic material, so viewer discretion is strongly advised. Do not watch if you don't feel confident that you have a touch stomach.

(3*) - Note that Antisocial Personality Disorder is not the same as Psychopathy - even though the two have been categorized under the same paragraph in DSM-V in spite of the plan to separate them. <-- Sorry, I couldn't avoid a Wikipedia link completely.

(3*) - I have touched on these matters before. In my earlier writings that date back from before I began studying psychopathy on a more serious level you will find a lot of antagonism in how I perceive the world.

38 comments:

North said...

Psychopaths tend to have 'shallow emotions' or, phrased in correct psychological terminology, 'Shallow Affect'. This basically means that the depth of understanding of one's own emotions, and, as a natural consequence the understanding of other people's emotions, is lacking and superficial or even completely absent in psychopaths.

Some of the reason for this is that the feelings and emotions that we psychopaths do have tend to be superficial and 'flimsy', short lived, we may have a vague idea of what it means to be sad or to be seriously frightened or afraid, but since we have never experienced any of these emotions at any deep level ourselves, it is difficult for us to put ourselves in other people's shoes.

Add to this that other people's understanding of our lacking ability to feel as strongly and deeply as normal people do means there have never been anybody in our lives or during our upbringing who could explain these differences between ourselves and others.

In other words, we are expected to be - and treated as if we are - the same and feel the same way as normal people. This can understandably lead to the psychopathic youngster (and adult) believing that the strong display of emotions that we see take place around us is fake, a make-believe that is being staged with the purpose of manipulating particular reactions to occur in others.


Really useful explanation of why psychopaths regard emotional behaviour as manipulative. **-*, the psychopath I have dated for a couple of years, has agreed to cope with my "hotness" because I cope with his coldness - I think he has learnt to be patient, but I know his first reaction is to think I'm manipulating him.

Anonymous said...

Hi North, if you want to learn more about psychopathy I recommend reading 'Jay Jones' on Quora. He is the expert in psychopathy and is a psychopath himself and has answers for every misconception and misunderstanding in psychopathy and he also answers the differences between 'primary psychopathy (psychopath) and secondary psychopathy (sociopath)'. Also on Quora a lot of the users who refer to themselves as "sociopaths" are actually psychopaths who don't differentiate between the terms well. Also another reason is lately there is a lot of bias going on in Quora in the psychopathy section and psychopaths aren't gaining self awareness due to misinformation and also inaccurate statements by some members of that section and thus some of the psychopaths end up referring to themselves as "sociopaths" or "borderline psychopaths". In reality they are Primary Psychopaths who just aren't getting the correct and necessary information in order to become self aware as psychopaths. Primary Psychopathy (Psychopathy) is the born type and Secondary Psychopathy (Sociopath) is the one made by negative affect due to environment. Jay Jones explains the differences in more detail in his Quora profile. Psychopathy is very common in the world and approximately 30% of the worlds population are neurological psychopaths (Primary Psychopaths). And also North if you want to learn more about psychopathy there's other blogs I recommend reading:
https://web.archive.org/web/20160420040722/http://psychopathyawareness.blogspot.com.au/ (by Jay)

http://sociodomain.blogspot.com/ (by ZKM) <- blog owner is a psychopath but uses the terms sociopath and psychopath interchangeably

And also read more articles on Psychopathic Writings by Zhawq it is an excellent website with so much information and insight about psychopathy and about psychopaths. And also a great website as it is very important that psychopaths gain self awareness and can learn more about psychopathy and themselves with the correct and proper information.

Anonymous said...

And also North, you should read these blogs as well by psychopaths to learn and understand more about psychopathy and psychopaths in addition to the blogs above as well.

http://psychogendered.com/2014/12/psychopaths-and-shallow-affect-some-emotion-not-none/ (by Jessica Kelly)

https://kiasherosjourney.wordpress.com/ (by Fran Nowve)

also read Sociopath World by M.E. Thomas as well (she is a psychopath not sociopath but she uses the terms interchangeably)

If you want to understand psychopathy and psychopaths fully read anything from Jay Jones (on Quora and the blog psychopathy awareness that I linked above from him) and Zhawq (Psychopathic Writings)

MMS said...

North:
"Some of the reason for this is that the feelings and emotions that we psychopaths do have tend to be superficial and 'flimsy', short lived, we may have a vague idea of what it means to be sad or to be seriously frightened or afraid, but since we have never experienced any of these emotions at any deep level ourselves, it is difficult for us to put ourselves in other people's shoes."

So is your relationship one of two psychopaths that have found mutual benefit in being together.?

MMS said...

Zhawq

Good to see you posting again. Hope your health problems are soon sorted out and you can at last move on with your life.

Marilyn (MMS)

whirleegig said...

The DSM kind of sucks actually and it particularly sucks on APD and psychopathy. The problem is that the diagnostic SHOULD define psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder as the same thing, possibly with subcategories. APD isn't really a great term for it anyway and leads people to picture individuals who hide out in closets instead of the charmers that they actually are. In general, I'm rarely impressed with psychiatry and psychiatrists and they're the dudes deciding what will or will not be included in the DSM. The United States is mostly unique in that mental illness requires a diagnosis for treatment that meets with these frankly stupid diagnostic parameters. Throw in that A. psychiatry cannot treat psychopathy (or APD) with the pharmaceuticals they like to throw at everybody with a problem and B. there is widespread concern that if psychopathy is defined as a mental illness, criminal defense attorneys will use the diagnosis to defend crimes in court. Uhhh...we could just create a law that Cluster B personality disorders do not absolve people of crimes they committed. I've always thought that the "well, they know right from wrong so they aren't mentally ill" school of thought was stupid. Most mentally ill people know right from wrong so this point is completely silly. Even schizophrenics typically know right from wrong though they have trouble distinguishing between reality and hallucinations. I do think that crime committed by a schizophrenic should receive special consideration that I don't think is appropriate for psychopaths. Psychopaths are dangerous to individuals and society even when they are not violent and are law-abiding. They do at least as much damage to other people as narcissists and borderlines do. Why would we allow this fuzzy, pointless DSM description that offers little help to anyone? Especially since there are so few resources for VICTIMS of psychopathic abuse! Let me tell you, that shit destroys people and they need real help!
Doesn't this sound like you? Except that it's missing features, right?
https://psychcentral.com/disorders/antisocial-personality-disorder/symptoms/

BTW, it isn't true that there is no effective treatment for psychopathy. It's a brain anomaly observable with EEG that correlates with identifiable genetic markers and is often exacerbated by unpleasant experiences growing up (because it's inheritable and the trait and abuse are often passed down to children). Because it's a brain problem, neurofeedback has shown promise as an effective treatment. https://www.realclearscience.com/journal_club/2015/03/25/a_new_treatment_for_psychopaths_109149.html
Because it's a behavior disorder, behavior modification techniques are helpful. https://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2014/07/can_psychopaths_be_cured.html

But leave it to psychiatrists to call a condition untreatable when there isn't a pill for it. Psychiatry has its place and is helpful to some. In fact, I don't believe psychiatric meds should ever be prescribed by anyone but a psychiatrist (other MDs have no idea what they're doing and they're dangerous).

Thank you for this blog. The public has a dismally ignorant understanding of psychopathy. Dude shoots a whole bunch of people from a window in Las Vegas and the public is just mystified. Why would anyone do such a horrible thing? Because he was a psychopath with narcissistic features. Duh! Because his intrinsic reward system is very different from yours. More importantly, it would be great if the public finally recognized the psychopathic manipulation tactics that industry uses on us every day, brainwashing the public and usurping democracy. Wouldn't that be nice?

We make everybody take mathematics every single year throughout school and then most of us rarely use it in real life. On the other hand, nobody is forced to take psychology and it sure would help us in our daily lives if we did.

North said...

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the replies, Anon and MMS.

Anon, I'm reading the resources you recommended and am grateful for the raw perspectives. I've been hanging around on Quora and find the Psychopathy section disappointing. The popular posters seem to simply run the lines laid out in Kevin Dutton's work and I don't find it enriching for my understanding. I spent a lot of time on Sociopath World but it's pretty lifeless these days.

MMS, I have schizoid adaptations. This means I am self-reliant and don't like to get emotionally close to people. I'm also analytical and good at pattern recognition, which helps me I think with **-*. Somehow, I have learnt to feel more with him, but in a way I can manage because he will never rely on me or engulf me. We seem to share a physical language: I would even say his unself-conscious physical expression awoke something very powerful in me. I think he likes me because I do not depend on him and do not try to control him. I accept him for who he is because he has accepted me for who I am.

Cheers,

North

Anonymous said...

Forgive me if this isn’t specifically on topic, but it’s something for which I have yet to receive a satisfying answer to.
As Zhawq and many others describe it, Psychopathy is distinguished from Sociopathy as an inborn brain condition, as opposed to a learned behavior. Yet in the overwhelming majority of cases of criminal psychopaths we see that they suffered traumatic abuse and/or neglect in their formative years, thus leading to their later criminal behaviors.

Zhawq is one such example. Leonard Lake, Charles Ng, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, as well as nearly every serial killer are labelled psychopaths, yet nearly all of them were victims of abusive upbringings.

While brain scans may show anomolous activity, or lack thereof in certain regions of the brain, it doesn’t address the cause of such anomolies. It seems that the psychiatry profession infers inborn causality rather than the possibility that brain chemistry could be altered as a result of past abusive treatment. Afterall, brain scans aren’t routinely performed on newborns.

That said, I certainly believe that some people are born with such brain anomolies, but if a distinction is to be made between psychopathy and sociopathy one needs to first accurately determine the origin of such anomolies rather than simply attributing them to an inborn cause.

Perhaps those labelled as psychopaths are actually born that way, but perhaps their brain chemistry was altered early in life because of abuse or neglect.

While the serial killers I mentioned might have been born that way, there’s no way to lnow with certainty. One thing we can say with near certainty is that social conditioning was a profound influence on their later behavior, indicating at least sociopathy.

One serial killer I did not mention was Jeffery Dahmer.

Jeffery Dahmer has always fascinated me because he wasn’t abused or neglected. His mother had emotional issues which likely contributed to Dahmer’s own psychological developement, but his father was loving, kind, and behaviorly normal.

I believe Jeffery Dahmer was indeed a psychopath because his early indicative behaviors were present despite a generally normal upbringing.


Finally, I need to recognize that the overwhelming majority of psychopaths are not societal deviants, but are otherwise normal members of society, due largely to having been reared and nurtured in loving surroundings which taught them normal societal behaviors, if not the ability to sincerely empathize in the way most people can.

Zhawq, you may not agree (based upon your description of signs of shallow affect and antisocial behavior in the orphanage at a very early age), but I can’t help but wonder if you had had a brain scan as a newborn might it have shown a normally functioning brain?

Perhaps not, but perhaps you’ll agree that had you been reared by loving parents, in a normal situation, and had not suffered the abuse and neglect you endured, you would’ve likely grown to be a law abiding, well adjusted citizen, although maybe still not an empathizing one.


If my hypothosis failed to account for something I missed in your earlier writings, my apologies.

However, my main point is that with few exceptions I believe that antisocial behavior is largely a conditioned behavior, rather than neurologically predetermined.
In other words, most psychopaths aren’t antisocial sociopaths, but antisocial sociopaths are sometimes psychopaths.




Anonymous said...

Hi Zhawq I gotta another question for you. Have you ever played the video games Halo. You know the Spartan II in Halo like John-117 (Master Chief) the main character. I think are psychopaths. In the game Halo the Spartan II are super soldiers that were trained from 6 years old and in the game the scientists were looking for all the right genetic markers in the children they wanted to train to be Spartans. Also they would look for things like will to win, strong mindedness, athletic ability. A lot of the Spartan II as children were aggressive, violent, had thrill seeking behavior, a strong need for stimulation, were very intelligent and had very high levels of natural instinct. If you go on Halopedia wiki and search Spartan II program they will explain the program in more detail. They also have a list of all the Spartan II super soldiers and you can read about them as well and their personalities, mindset and skills as well. And if you read about them you will notice how similar they all are and that all of them are psychopaths.

Anonymous said...

Hi Zhawq I know I was getting a bit carried away with the cartoon characters and fictional characters asking if they were psychopaths or not but I think I have built a solid foundation of knowledge regarding psychopathy and psychopaths reading your website and jay's website and also his quora profile as well as other psychopaths on quora and also other blogs run by psychopaths. And also psychiatric and scientific research into psychopathy as well. Also reading information and books from giants in psychopathy research such as Hervey Cleckley, Robert Hare, Kevin Dutton and James Fallon. I have been able to compartmentalize a vast amount of knowledge regarding psychopathy, look at psychopathy from every possible angle, every nook and cranny of information and can easily spot psychopathy in real people and fictional characters. Psychopaths can come in all different shapes, sizes, personalities, occupations, desires, choices, needs and ambitions. They can be seasoned special forces soldiers, hardcore career criminals, the socialite who takes million selfies of her self on social media feeding her narcistic side, the quite guy in school who sits by himself who never socialises with anyone, usually called the weird kid but also sometimes is misdiagnosed by psychologists as aspergers and the everyday run of the mill man and woman who live uneventful lives who are also Psychopaths. What all of these people who are different, live different lives have in common is the genetics, brain pathology (which is what psychopathy is at its core) and hormonal differences (high testosterone/low cortisol). They are all Neurological Psychopaths (Primary Psychopaths).

Also I was reading about your blog on malignant narcissism and psychopathy. I think the term malignant narcissist is an experimental term used to describe someone who has NPD, ASPD and traits of sadism together going by what is on Wikipedia. How ever in real life most of the people who are called malignant narcissists are just run of the mill NPD who cause trouble and do some antisocial things and also some psychopaths who have very high narcistic traits who also cause trouble and do some antisocial acts. The word I think has been blown way out of proportion and used when it should not be.


Even though the term malignant narcissist may not be 100% applicable to people in real life it certainly can be in fictional works such as movies, tv shows, cartoons, video games and books. I have 3 characters in mind who are what would be described as malignant narcissist:

-Evil Queen from Snow white and the seven dwarfs
-Lord Farquard from Shrek
-Gaston from Beauty and The Beast

Characters from movies who are psychopaths who sometimes people mistake with malignant narcissists include:

Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter
Emperor Palatine from Star Wars
Shan Yu from Mulan*

*although no one would mistake him for malignant narcissist I thought I should add him in although the character Chi Fu in Mulan I would say is a malignant narcissist but he is on the good guys side.


Secondary Psychopaths (Sociopaths) would be:

-Darth Vader from Star Wars
-Morgana from Merlin(BBC tv show)


Both these characters undergo vast personality changes due to negative affect from environment and dampen there emotionality and feelings but also retain some morals from their time before becoming sociopath. Also both characters previously to becoming sociopaths display triggers they have that push them towards dismantling their morals, social mores, emotions and feelings. But now after becoming fully sociopathic they are calmer and there emotions are at a stable level. But they still have triggers that someone could cause by saying the wrong thing or doing something that they don't like usually something that caused them towards sociopathy in the first place and then attack that person. They also have attachments to things in their past life or family such as with Darth Vader is his Mom, Padme (his wife) and his children.

Jay explains this in more detail on his quora profile.





Anonymous said...

Hi Zhawq also another thing I wanted to add was *dyssocial psychopath. They usually are brought up in a subculture that reinforced psychopathic or antisocial attitude, behaviour and mindset toward life and is usually associated with drug use. Another few characters I have in mind who are *dyssocial psychopaths are:


Mouth of Sauron from lord of the rings
Bellatrix from Harry Potter
Darth Maul from Star Wars

All these characters were brought up in a subculture that reinforced a certain antisocial viewpoint and they adhered to it and lived by it. There are other *dyssocial psychopath characters out there in films and works of fiction who I cant think of right now but some of those characters actually turn out good in the end. As jay said in his quora profile a lot of the *dyssocial psychopaths can be changed to be law abiding citizens of society and can change there antisocial viewpoint. Although this may take time and proper education of social mores and norms is needed with a positive and safe environment.

*Dyssocial Psychopaths are not Neurological Psychopaths (Primary Psychopaths)

just for anyone who is confused by any of this I will explain to you. There are 3 types of Psychopaths and possibly a 4th kind as well.

-Primary Psychopaths (the born type): ADHD brain, high testosterone/low cortisol, cognitive brain function differences, shallow to fleeting emotional range, immune to social norms, mores, ethics and morality.

-Secondary Psychopaths/Sociopaths (the made type): Born as *neurotypical but undergo vast personality change due to negative affect from environment dampening their emotional range, social norms, mores, ethics and morality. They become similar to a Primary Psychopath in terms of emotional range and social norms and ethics. But they retain some of their morality from previous life. They also have triggers that send them berserk if you accidently say or do the wrong thing to them or around them. Usually something that made them sociopathic in the first place. eg: jokes about sexual abuse, bullying, insulting a close personal relation of theirs.


*Sociopaths are still Neurotypical they have the same brain patterns and genes and all as a neurotypical just there personality, emotional range and
ethics and morality changes due to the negative affect.

Dyssocial Psychopaths (made from subculture): Usually Neurotypical (although some sociopaths would be in this group) are brought up in a subculture that values antisocial attitude towards society and is usually corelated with drug use. These individuals can change there out look if given proper education and guidance.


Pseudopsychopathy (also known as synthetic psychopathy or acquired sociopathy): This is usually acquired through brain damage, injury, accident or even drug use. What happens is the prefrontal cortex is damaged (especially the orbitofrontal cortex) and they lose their ethics, morality and impulse control. They become very similar to a Primary Psychopath.



I did the best I can to explain the differences but I highly recommend reading Jay Jones on Quora if you want to learn more about the differences. He explains it all in much greater detail.

Anonymous said...

Hi Zhawq the question I asked earlier about the halo game and if you've played it and what your opinions are on if the Spartan II characters are psychopaths. Zhawq if you have time have a read of the Spartan II project on halopedia and read the Spartan II super soldiers profiles and read their personalities, skills and attributes and please tell me if you think they are psychopaths. I know I am getting way too carried away with the fictional characters and asking if they are psychopaths but I just think its important to get an all round perspective if we are to learn fully about psychopathy and compartmentalize all the information.


Zhawq if you do get time to read it can you make a new article about whether you think the Spartan II super soldiers are psychopaths or not like you did with the Daria article.

Anyway I really appreciate everything you do Zhawq, I hope your doing well and I thoroughly enjoy reading everything you write and am always looking forward to seeing more posts and articles from you.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading content written by psychopaths for the past few days as a matter of interest and find it fascinating that there are so many different views from each other. Here is a newish blog from one that seems to think similarly to the poster here and has given me something to think about. https://666psychopath.blogspot.com/

I have always had a fear of psychopaths but I am wondering if that was mostly just conditioning by society to hate people who behave differently.

John Nutt said...

“Psychopathy is very common in the world and approximately 30% of the worlds population are neurological psychopaths (Primary Psychopaths).” 1 in every 200 people is a “neurological psychopath”.

“While brain scans may show anomolous activity, or lack thereof in certain regions of the brain, it doesn’t address the cause of such anomolies. It seems that the psychiatry profession infers inborn causality rather than the possibility that brain chemistry could be altered as a result of past abusive treatment. Afterall, brain scans aren’t routinely performed on newborns”

“Perhaps those labelled as psychopaths are actually born that way, but perhaps their brain chemistry was altered early in life because of abuse or neglect.” It (psychopathy) is a developmental disorder - just like ADHD and autism for example so they are “born like it”.


I also agree with this comment (from https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=S-4nzmdYQTA )


“This guy conducting the interview seems to pin certain behavioural aspects on genetic predispositions and I have to agree on that we can even see it more clearly in dog breeds.

“Most dog breeds are known for certain behavioural characteristics, for example certain dogs breeds are known for bonding more with one person inside a family and others are known for being social and open to many people. Others are known for being more obedient and others for being less obedient.

It's the truth that pit bulls for example are more dangerous due to their genetic predisposition in both the physical as well as psychological aspects. Of course like the man in the interview points out, with great parenting etc.. it is still possible for those with these predispositions to lead a normal life.

Now I see this reflecting in the crime statistics, even when you take away the factor of socio economic standing certain people are more likely to commit violent crimes. Others are more likely to abuse substances etc.. And when looking at intelligence the same applies.

Therefore it is important we further research into genetic predispositions for certain behavioural aspects. And use that knowledge to properly guide humans within our society”

http://hsi.org/assets/pdfs/temperament_dogs.pdf

“Environment, Socialization or Training can modify the expression of an individual dog’s temperament, but they cannot transform it nor
eliminate it. The dog will die with the temperament with which it was born.”

And from Wikipedia
“Genetic factors may generally influence the development of psychopathy while environmental factors affect the specific expression of the traits that predominate.”

So psychopaths with great parenting (and support and understanding from the community etc) can grow up to live a normal life (though their isn’t a guarantee of it). But they will never develop a conscience - and that is determined by their genetics/temperament.

Zhawq AmaDraque said...

Hi guys,

I'm pleasantly surprised at the many interesting and thoughtful comments in this thread, and I will be replying to each of you in a short while.

I meant to reply right away but I've got some things to do that I have to attend to immediately, so I'll have to wait a bit and reply later this evening - or night, as the case may be.

Due to the quality of your comments you deserve my replies to consist of more than just a few lines, so some of them will be lengthy and perhaps take the form of new articles.

And this means I may not be able to reply to everybody in one session, I'm sure you understand.

See you all later - and in the meantime... Keep them coming. ;)

Zhawq AmaDraque said...

Hi guys,

My electricity has been closed for 4 days. - I'll tell you more in an article I've already started writing. It should be finished sometime today or this evening, so I won't go into detail about that matter here.

I wanted you to know I'm back (finally! *sigh*) and I have not forgotten what I wrote in my previous comment, and I've certainly not forgotten your comments and emails either.

I'm ready to get going. '^L^,

Frith said...

Hi North

Nice to see you on Quora.

Regards, Frith

Anonymous said...

Hey Zhawq you should do an article on the conscience. Cause Jay explained that psychopaths have a conscience but since we don't internalise social mores and morality as part of ourselves our conscience doesn't take that into account. But in neurotypicals the conscience weighs up all things bearing including social mores and morality they internalised as part of themselves. But in psychopaths since we don't internalise social mores and don't have any internalised morality our conscience doesn't weigh all that up when making a decision on how to act or behave in a certain situation. Instead the conscience in psychopaths just weighs up all thoughts, feelings and past experiences and gives us the answer immediately through the power of the subconscious of how to behave or act in a certain situation. But in neurotypicals their conscience weighs up the social mores and morality as well.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jay if your around can you please tell me when your book about psychopathy is going to be released?

Also Jay are you going to return to Quora and answer more questions about psychopathy soon? Your answers have helped so many psychopaths become self aware and also learn more about psychopathy and themselves accurately as well.

And also Jay are you going to write another blog about psychopathy or create an official website about psychopathy soon too?

Jay if your around and do read this please tell me.

Anonymous said...

Zhawq this blog is truly a masterpiece and the greatest blog ever on the internet and also the greatest masterpiece of work in the entire history of mankind and everyone in the world needs to hear about and to read this blog.

Anonymous said...

Jay Jones @ anonymous comments

You seem keen to draw me out.

I'm glad my you find my writing useful though I have not contributed to Quora in many years. I lost access to the account and have taken a long rest from the psychopathy subject. It never goes away completely though as it's impossible to escape yourself. My understanding of the topic has definitely come a long way since then and will publish fresh content soon. Studying multiple qualifications atm has left no spare time but that is about to change and I expect to have something going by the end of November 2018.

Anonymous said...

Hey Zhawq it'S Jay

Good to see you're at it again mate.The article is very concise which is great as it cuts out the irrelevant that pervades the even the key points of most other authors. There are a couple of things I would add or change though for the sake of clarity.

When you introduce the extreme examples of psychopaths, it seems to come out of nowhere and reinforces the media driven stereotype of these characters being representative of psychopaths more broadly. I think it requires contextualising.

I would also add that psychopaths, and specifically those prone to emotional detachment, often go for prolonged periods without experiencing any physical feelings associated with emotions. Emotions are at play much of the time, often in ways that are imperceptible. Emotional detachment roughly correlates to the secondary characteristics in the PCL-R that are mostly environmentally driven. This is independent, but interrelated, to the primary, more genetic style of being less emotional and empathetic across less of the time.

There can be a world of difference to compare the two they often appear the same to the untrained eye. Both could be quite emotionless and very low in the spontaneous emotional empathy department. One is detached, and usually unaware of the disconnected emotions that reside beneath the surface. This is a response to negative interactions with their environment, and associated emotional states tend to have a negatively slanted affectivity. Their emotional empathy is suppressed in this mode but could cover a typical capacity for emotional empathy.

This is in contrast to the genetic style, characterised by a stable state of low affectivity and emotional empathy, especially if the person has never experienced anything else.

I think you could have made it clearer that the young psychopaths described represents a common perspective. However, every person has their own experiences and tendencies that shape perception and behaviour. There is a near infinite array of possibilities.

It seems weird personally, to describe empathy as an emotion. There are forms of empathy such as emotional or cognitive, and empathy can induce emotions. When people say or write 'the emotion empathy', I interpret this as; they inflate and over-emphasize the importance of feelings they derive from emotional experiences. They felt something positive when they were being empathetic, don't see past it effectively, and it obscures their insight and sense of context. Lol. I think it is inaccurate to describe empathy as an emotion. Rather it contextualises emotions and changes how they are felt. It is this associated range of modification to their emotions and feelings that is being called an emotion. Could be wrong, that is how it appears personally.

Cheers, Jay

Lewis Caine said...

I question if I truly am a psychopath, but whenever I do, I quickly remind myself in deed, that if not iredeemable, I am as close as possible to the word. I am an addict. And while that can justify some of my behavior, it doesnt justify anywhere near all of it. It doesn't justify my utter indifference to my own safety or my manipulation of people at length, for everything. I tried to kill myself. At first you would think that depression is the cause, and so did everyone else. But I know why I did it. It was just so logical. I knew I sought nothing in life but drugs, and I knew the party was coming to an end. So I just stole a very nice cellular device from a relative, bought a substantial amount of heroin, well over a gram. I crushed it, and there was enough powder to cover my entire cell phone screen. And I just snorted it all. Every bit, there was not a crumb of heroin found on me by the police. I felt nothing. I mean I felt the drugs. But before, I felt no fear. I feared no death. It was the next logical step. Now death seems almost illogical, because that attempt at suicide, reanimated the empathy of everyone else in my life, made them willing to help me with living quarters, and now, the people who could have been spared my manipulation by letting me die, are ripe targets for manipulation again. And I know I will nevet change. But they don't. I think I pity them. They are trying to climb a downwards escalator. They want to move the immoveable. They are preforming an exercise in futility. To socially adept to have aspergers. Too antisocial to be a schizoid. To cold to be normal. Levelheaded, until I chemically alter the head. Honestly at the end of this, this post itself seems meaningless

Anonymous said...

Yes Jay your back.

So glad to hear from you and also nice new insightful and informative comment by the way.

Yes Jay I remember last year when I became self aware emotionally I was a psychopath and then I remember finding your profile on Quora. I immediately was able to understand everything you were saying perfectly and accurately and since I was emotionally self aware the information was easily free flowing to my head.

I've been reading your answers and gaining a higher level of understanding of psychopathy, sociopathy, narcissism and many other things as well.

Also other psychopaths on Quora are becoming self aware and gaining a higher level of understanding of themselves as well.

Oh yeah Jay that blog you wrote Psychopathy Awareness was fantastic and explains everything so well about psychopathy. Also other psychopaths on Quora love that blog too. It was an excellent insightful and informative blog.

Also Jay I want to ask you a question it's about pure sociopaths.

So basically pure sociopaths are born normal but it's there natural path in life to become sociopaths? So any small negative affect will send them through the sociopathic process?

And also they have adhd/add brain types and also have higher levels of cortisol activity before they become sociopathic? And also before becoming sociopathic they also have adrenaline rushes a lot and due to this they fatigue a lot?

But after they become sociopathic their cortisol levels decrease and become more leveled with testosterone levels? And also they stop having adrenaline rushes after they become sociopathic?

Also with pure sociopaths do they like normal sociopaths retain any previously held morality? Or do they completely dismantle any morals they had (if they were taught any morals).

Also do pure sociopaths after they become sociopaths score high on factor 1 as well or do they just score high on factor 2?

So pure sociopaths are born with a high feeling emotionality and as they go through life they emotions become shallow and fleeting?

Please tell me more about pure sociopaths.

And once again thank you Jay for all your insightful answers on psychopathy and for helping me and other psychopaths learn about psychopathy and ourselves accurately and also for helping us become self aware emotionally.

Anonymous said...

Also Jay another question with pure sociopaths when they get angry do they have a slow release of serotonin and do they stay angry for a long time like psychopaths?

And also with pure sociopaths is it just their orbitofrontal cortex that is switched off. But their limbic system is switched on?

And can pure sociopaths emotionally bond with others?

Oh yeah can't wait for your new stuff coming out in November. Where can I find the new information you will post. Is it on Quora, Facebook or are you creating another blog?

Also Jay one more question do you think Daria Morgendorffer is a psychopath?

Anonymous said...

Jay there's a million questions I want to ask you but I guess I will have to wait for now. I'm really looking forward to seeing your new stuff about psychopathy in November. It's so exiting.

Psychopaths are becoming emotionally self aware at a rapid rate now thanks to you Jay.

And you've helped me so much too not just with gaining self awareness but with other things as well. Thank you Jay for everything.

Also Zhawq i'm going through your blog from the very beginning and I must say you are one of the most insightful and most intelligent guys in the entire world. Zhawq I think everyone in this entire world needs to read this blog. It answers almost every question I've ever had about my self, other people, society and the world. Pretty much this blog answers every question I have ever had in my entire life.

And Zhawq I can't wait for another new article by you as well.

Zhawq and Jay FTW!

Anonymous said...

Zhawq I can honestly say you are probably the most intelligent, wisest and most insightful person who ever lived in the entire history of mankind.

Zhawq in the future your name should be up there with the likes of Da Vinci, Einstein, Newton, Nietzsche, Aristotle, Plato, Mozart and all other famous polymaths, scientists and philosophers.

Zhawq everyone in the entire world needs to hear about you. You are a gift to humanity.

Zhawq I am surprised when you say your IQ is 148 for I would have thought it was 200 or over.

You are the greatest human being who ever lived Zhawq!

Anonymous said...

I define Psychopathy as a lack of emotional memory - not that we can't have some level of emotions at sometime, but that its always fleeting and regardless we nearly always remain calculated and logical.

Many people labeled as Psychopaths were in fact abused as children and really have the characteristics of Malignant Narcissist. There has been a real mixing in the past by the Psychology profession of Psychopathy and Pathological Narcissism. Some of their criteria are so obviously contradictory like we're impulsive/ yet cold and calculating - which is it? because its can't be both. In reality its Narcs that are impulsive and Paths that are calculating.

I also don't believe that a real Path child would allow themselves to be abused in childhood. One of our defining characteristics is to seek to control OUR environment from day one. I believe this is because we aren't the same species (Neanderthal DNA) and see humans as either 1) disinteresting or 2) a potential threat - if we have no purpose for them. Its Narcs that try to control others due to compensating for a lack of control in childhood.

I remember being 5 years old and thinking that weedkiller was an interesting option for my parents who seemed to be becoming somewhat annoying and unnecessary by that stage. But instead I settled on revenge vandalism until their behavour improved and they abandoned any form of discipline - which in itself was only ever verbal. So there really wasn't any length I wouldn't have gone to in order to get control over my childhood environment. It also seemed that as a child adults know instinctively to keep away from us - perhaps its because we can already see their weaknesses from the age of 6 onwards.

Rob

Anonymous said...

From Jay to anonymous

Good to hear that some of those old posts etc I wrote were useful to people. I will try and answer your questions:
Pure sociopathy as I understand it can be seen as a distinct variant on the psychopathy spectrum. In saying that, I warn against misunderstanding this as a 100% accurate and unchanging label. People are dynamic even on a genetic level, and labels are only as good as they useful to further understanding. They are like stepping stones that can take you closer to the thing you really want to see and can be communicated like landmarks on this journey of knowledge.

Pure sociopaths have a moderately high levels of the core hereditary traits from birth or very early in development . Examples of these primary psychopath characteristics are low emotional empathy and fear responses. But even these genetic traits could develop in other individuals as a result of environmental interactions. The tendency (susceptibility) for people to activate a latent genetic potential for a psychopathic trait, varies greatly. One person may need extreme and prolonged exposure to the right kind of environmental stimuli, whilst another may need only one mild experience as the catalyst for change.

The archetype denoted by the term pure sociopath; is a combination of moderately high primary traits, together with a very high tendency to develop latent psychopathic expressions held within their genes. Typically such individuals whom are not exposed to very severe and/or frequent/lengthy experiences (capable of driving pathological changes), will still develop along this course due to such a high tendency to do so.

...continued...

Anonymous said...

Jay continued...


So you asked if they were normal at birth...my answer, ignoring the fact normal doesn’t exist...is No. Loosely speaking, the are born moderately psychopathic with a massive tendency to develop and shape other characteristics(plus the ones they already possess). If you were using the PCL-R model, you may say that at an early age they had a moderate score on primary characteristics...but are the most dis-tempered type who later in life would score much differently. Usually much higher on the secondary aspects of traits bringing their total score much higher, and now slanted as a predominantly secondary dis-tempered psychopath.

But even this may change again as the individual grows and changes with age. They may overcome much of their negative affect, level out pathologically, and change towards being classed as a secondary charismatic type with moderately high primary characteristics (which now seem more evident). The change that occurs can loosely be thought of as having two types. Becoming more dis-tempered.(ie the secondary, sociopathic, dis-tempered development with strong correlations for negative personal and social outcomes) or more adapted(the primary, psychopathic, charismatic development strongly correlated with success both personally and socially).

The person you describe; with a typical emotional range coupled with a high tendency towards sociopathic development..would just be your typical sociopath. When you start talking about hormones and neurotransmitters, ADHD and morality..again you need to keep in mind that everyone is an individual and every different combination is possible...genetically and/or environmentally. Also never discount the fact that perception shapes reality; it changes how it is understood and experienced, and thus can affect biofeedback loops that alter genetic expression. The difference can be as simple as a good or bad attitude.

Every pure sociopath I have known well enough to comment on, has had some basic morals and personal ethics. I doubt any of these standards would last long if they very much wanted something in opposition to them, but as I see it they mustn’t have had cause to ‘cross that bridge’ in their life. They have all had an ADHD style brain type though again here there is more to it than a one-size-fits-all label.

Negative affectivity is inherent to the lives of distempered psychopaths and sociopaths, which causes stress and thus cortisol. Funnily enough, I note that distempered sociopaths(like the typical pure sociopath) actually fair better here than the less common charismatic sociopath. I think that the higher levels of anger and testosterone in the distempered sociopaths helps maintain a low cortisol balance, whilst the less stresses charismatic sociopath suffers from higher levels without high active testosterone to subdue cortisol levels. Also from my own observations, pure sociopaths typically can stay angry without their brain initiating feedback loops to stop it...but unlike psychopaths, they suffer from increased cortisol at the same time which often gives rise to a painful looking, white faced anger. Given the right conditions I believe everyone has the capacity to emotionally bond..and pure sociopaths are certainly not the most extreme of all the psychopathic types in this regard and do bond with select others. On the regions of the brain, my short answer is a resounding no...and it would take a lot to answer properly.

Hope that gives you some food for thought and makes the puzzle clearer.

Cheers, Jay Jones

Anonymous said...

Hey Zhawq haven't heard from you in a while is everything ok?

Zhawq you should do an article on how psychopaths don't experience duality and how neurotypicals do experience duality.

This article by neuroscientist James Fallon explains the non duality of the psychopath. It also explains more stuff about psychopaths and psychopathy as well.

https://medium.com/@brijitreed/psychopath-or-sociopath-46043edc27dc

Zhawq AmaDraque said...

Anonymous Oct. 26, 6:40AM

I'm still around and alive, but I've had so much to take care off I haven't had time to write as I wanted to do.

I'm not sure what you mean by experiencing duality, but that may be due to the exact circumstance that you mention: that psychopaths don't experience duality.

I remember vaguely that another reader once mentioned the same thing and I made some attempt to look into the matter but never really understood it, and so I didn't write about it.

I think it's time I find out what it's about. I'll take a look at the article by Fallon that you refer to, so I'll make a renewed attempt and write an article about the results I get, to the best of my ability.

Zhawq AmaDraque said...

Hello everybody,

I have not forgotten about you and I have not lost my interest in writing articles with information about psychopathy and descriptive pieces of text about how I, as a psychopath, experience and view the world.

It doesn't happen as fast as I would like it to because I am very heavily hung up with things I need to do in order to survive (my freedom and health still hang in a very thin thread), but I will get to the point where I can write freely and as often as I want eventually, and in the meantime I will just have to hope that you awesome lot will continue to believe in the work I do and what I am trying to achieve in the longer term.

I owe so many of you a great thank you for the support you have been showing me and continue to show me. Thank you for your emails and your kind words.

I greatly appreciate the many great ideas for future articles that you post, and I encourage you to keep them coming. You are my inspiration during these trying times.

'^L^,

BB before you know it.

Anonymous said...

Wow thank you Jay for the very detailed explanation of pure sociopaths.

Just a few more questions on pure sociopaths.

Can pure sociopaths feel remorse?

Do pure sociopaths have major structural differences in their brain, specifically in areas like the amygdala and pre frontal cortex?

On an FMRI scan would pure sociopaths show less activity in the frontal lobes when viewing either neutral, negative or positive images?

On a PETSCAN would pure sociopaths brains orbitofrontal cortex and limbic system both be switched off? Or is it just the orbitofrontal cortex that's switched off in pure sociopaths?

Zhawq good to hear from you.

Zhawq hopefully everything works out for you and you will be back writing articles.

You will get through this Zhawq your a natural born warrior. Remember we all support you 100% all the way.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jay,

Thank you for your extremely detailed response to my questions about pure sociopaths.

I would also really like to know the differences between psychopaths and pure sociopaths brains as well. If you don't mind explaining in detail. I am extremely interested in learning more about this.

Also can pure sociopaths feel remorse?

And also when pure sociopaths are in utero are their brains bathed in excess serotonin like psychopaths are?

So like psychopaths do pure sociopaths also have the low activity 3R allele version of the gene MAOA?

Jay thank you again for answering my previous questions about pure sociopaths. It really helped me learn more about pure sociopaths and definitely made the puzzle more clearer.

I am looking forward to seeing your new research on psychopathy. Where will I be able to view your new stuff? will it be on Quora or are you creating another blog?

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah Jay and 1 more question about pure sociopaths.

Do pure sociopaths like normal sociopaths have triggers which set them off and which they can't control like they black out or start shaking uncontrollably and feeling a flood of different emotions?

Anonymous said...

Hey Zhawq,

Remember when you were saying when you were younger how you always wanted to experience more and knew there was more out there and more to learn than what people in your society allowed you to know and experience.

You should probably listen to this song by Stacie Orrico. It's called 'There's Gotta Be More To Life'.

I think you will easily emotionally relate to this song and understand the lyrics as they relate to your life growing up and the society you grew up in and how they restricted you but you always knew there was more to life.

Here's the link to that song on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUOcQnWbk_U

Anonymous said...

Hey Zhawq do you remember ZKM?

Do you know whatever happened to him or her?

I was reading ZKM's blog Sociopaths Domain and I must say that she/he had a brilliant mind and had a highly insightful understanding of humanity and society and the world.