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.

61 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.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jay I have another question regarding pure sociopaths.

Do pure sociopaths experience duality? Like "inner self" and "outer self" like a neurotypical person would?

Or do they not experience duality like a psychopath?

Anonymous said...

Wow, I've discovered this blog today and I really appreciate it...
When you mention primary psychopathy traits, I can't help thinking of two public personas: Elon Musk and Alex Honnold. They are not malicious, they are not antisocial yet they cannot be neurotypical with their accomplishments. Their extreme risk-taking is not for humans with "normal" emotions.
Alex Honnold's brain was scanned http://nautil.us/issue/39/sport/the-strange-brain-of-the-worlds-greatest-solo-climber to reveal he had virtually no response to pictures that had to induce fear or disgust... and his stare is unique.
But he did nothing wrong, the only life he threatens is his own, so he wouldn't get psychopathy diagnosis.

But maybe those are the people we should look at? For me the most important question is: How to raise your emotionally cold, disinhibited child so they would become a scientist, businessman or sportsman instead of a criminal?

Anonymous said...

Hi Jay I have a question regarding remorse.

If a person who is not psychopathic is born but was never taught any morals and as a result never developed any pro social emotions can they still feel remorse?

Also Jay when is your new stuff on psychopathy coming out and where can I read your new info.

Is it going to be on another blog? or are you going to create a professional website like you did earlier?

And also Zhawq how are you doing it's been a while since you posted anything. Hope everything is going well for you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Zhawq gotta question regarding meditation.

How often do you meditate and also have you ever used isochoric or binaural beats when practising meditation?

Also Zhawq I think you should write an article about psychopaths and meditation.

Like how psychopaths view mediation and what effects it has on them.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jay or Zhawq gotta question regarding psychopathy.

Which genes are involved in psychopathy and what are the specific alleles for those genes?


If one of you knows the answer please tell me thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Zhawq please come back online it's been so long.

Anonymous said...

How would someone know if he/she is a psychopath or pure sociopath?

So from what I read on here about psychopaths and pure sociopaths both have shallow emotions, low empathy, lack of remorse as well as adhd and high active testosterone/low active cortisol

So going by this how would someone know whether they are psychopath or pure sociopath?

Zhawq AmaDraque said...

Anon March 20 -19, 2:03AM

I will, as soon as possible. I want to get back and continue to create content for the website.

____________________

Anon March 20 -19, 7:26PM

How would one know if they're a psychopath? The first indication is to notice that you don't share the feelings that you see people around express on a daily basis and, not least, under special circumstances. If you wonder why people get so upset upon learning that somebody in their neighbourhood was killed, this would be a good red flag to base your suspicion on.

After that it is a matter of research. Read my blog, including my early writings. There's a lot of information about how I as a psychopath react to and feel about the things I experience and observe around me. I describe these things and my overall approach to life, and to people, in many of my postings. But there's also some general information some of which you may have come across before, but I add my own take on it and offer plenty of corrections to where I see the official researchers - who themselves are not psychopaths - go wrong.

I will try and find time to write a more detailed article as a response to your inquiry, intending to post it soon. Watch out for my notification when it's been published here on Psychopathicwritings.com (I usually make my notices via tweets).


You're right about the shallow emotions, low empathy, etc. I haven't got much into the role that low cortisol appears to play in some - maybe all - cases, so that would be an obvious addition that I may provide.


We don't know which genes specifically are involved in creating a propensity for psychopathy in a foetus, it's still a very new area of research but one that is sure to evolve and branch out as more knowledge is being established and content upon which to base future research and tests are found.

I'm not sure what you mean by the distinction "psychopath or pure sociopath"?

'^L^,

Zhawq AmaDraque said...

Everybody,

I regret I can't, and haven't, replied to each of you. You have posted intriguing questions very worthy of response, and I am going to reply to most of you in the form of individual articles that I will post as I complete and finish them (something I believe I have mentioned before, btw., but it's been so long so it's only natural if you don't recall this).

I'm going to take them from the top and work my way through the list, but I cannot promise I will be finishing and posting my response articles in succession. I mention this so you won't think I have passed you by or overlooked your posts and questions...

Remember this: I never overlook, forget, or ignore anything, and I read every post and email that I receive. So if I skip a question, it only means my reply will come later.

Finally, I'll just quickly mention that I have been quite ill these past three and a half months following a treatment that completely shut down my immune system and thus gave way to no less than three serious illnesses which have taken their toll on my energy and ability to function. And yet I have had to do the work that enables me to keep a decent team of lawyers and solicitors on my case (which is a necessity since without them I'd be imprisoned for life).


Until next time (soon, I hope). '^L^,

Anonymous said...

Hi Zhawq thanks for your response and also i'm also very saddened to hear about the situation your going through currently and that hopefully everything will work out for you in the end.

So yeah with the genes I had a look around on the internet and it seems that scientists have nailed down 5 specific genes and the specific snps in those genes that may play a role in psychopathy.

Genes and snps are:

MAOA - rs6323 and rs909525
SLC6A4 - rs25531
COMT - rs4680
DRD2 - rs1800497
DRD4 - rs1800955

I haven't written down the specific alleles for those genes and snps but for psychopaths I think all psychopaths have a low activity allele version for the MAOA gene (either 2R or 3R). Also people with these lower activity alleles for MAOA release 4x more dopamine in their brains cause of the less maoa enzyme activity.

Also according to James Fallon people who have this specific allele in utero their brains are bathed with serotonin and that when they are born and they get angry serotonin doesn't calm them down cause they are desensitized to the effects of serotonin. Either the brain doesn't release serotonin when they are angry or that the brain does release serotonin but doesn't have any affect on them. I'm not sure cause I've heard two different things in relation to this.

Also that people with the lower activity alleles tend to be more aggressive, impulsive and thrill seeking.

As for SLC6A4 rs25531 there seems to be some to be some studies suggesting that the long allele is associated with factor 1 traits and short allele is associated with factor 2 traits. I think studies for the serotonin transporter gene say that people who are homogeneous for the long allele have more serotonin and people who have have either both the long and short allele or just 2 short alleles have less serotonin.

Some studies show that people with the 2 long alleles have less amygdala activity when viewing images or videos which are designed to provoke an emotional reaction and also tend to have shallow affect. Although some studies tend to show that the short allele plays are role in shallow affect and callous unemotional.

The COMT rs4680 in an enzyme related gene and if one has both VAL/VAL allele then they have more comt enzyme activity which clears dopamine up faster. That means people with VAL/VAL for rs4680 for comt gene have less dopamine in their brains cause it gets cleared out faster. But the VAL/Met or Met/Met gene has slower or less comt enzyme activity which means the person has more dopamine in their brains.

DRD2 rs1800497 is another gene and snp that scientists have looked into when researching psychopathy. The specific alleles for those genes have a lot to do with ocd or alcoholism.

DRD4 rs1800955 is another gene which seems to play a role in personality and also dopamine levels in the brain. A specific allele that some people have in this gene and snp '7R' known as the 'wonderlust gene' seems to play a role in lower levels of dopamine and also increased novelty seeking.

All these genes are related to serotonin and dopamine levels. And it's not one specific allele that makes one a psychopath but a combination of these alleles for these genes.

Although i'm not sure exactly which combination of these alleles makes one a psychopath.

At least this is what I found on the internet in regards to genetic studies done on psychopaths and people with callous unemotional traits or shallow affect.

You can check out more about these genes, snps and alleles on snpedia it gives a more detailed info on these genes and snps. Also other websites such as Wikipedia and some other websites have more info as well.


There is also the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) that I didn't mention above but it has been studied in relation to psychopathy specifically in relation to lack of empathy and shallow affect or callous unemotional. The snp researched specifically for this gene is rs53576.


So yeah these are some of genes scientists have looked into when researching psychopathy.

Anonymous said...

Also forgot to mention that for COMT and DRD4. That some of the specific alleles for those genes such as having 2 VAL alleles and just one 7R allele have also been studied in relation to adhd as well. And having those particular alleles result in a person having low baseline dopamine levels. Which people with adhd and psychopathy have. Low baseline dopamine levels.

But from my understanding psychopaths have a high dopamine release. So it seems to be a combination of having low baseline dopamine alleles and a high release allele such as 2R or 3R for MAOA.

Also forgot to mention earlier that females have 2 maoa copies cause they have 2 X chromosones and males only have one. ANd according to james fallon if a female as a lower active verision for one of the maoa but if they have a higher active version for the other maoa then it cancels out the lower active one. But for males since they only have one maoa gene then it is active if they receive a lower active verison.

So for females they need to have 2 lower active versions while males need to only have one for the gene variant to take effect.

Just food for thought however as you said there is still ongoing research on this topic but hopefully zhawq you will be able to figure out this puzzle and tell us all the answer. I know you will find the answer.

And I wish you all the best in everything and hopefully everything works out for you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Zhawq the distinction for psychopathy and pure sociopathy as I understand I read from Jay. He sometimes comments on here and also wrote a blog about psychopathy as well.

He said that psychopaths are born and are born with shallow emotions, low empathy and adhd but he also said there are pure sociopaths who have these same features like a psychopath but also are highly prone to becoming negatively affected by environment.

He did say that pure sociopaths have high testosterone like psychopath too.

I'm only going on what I read from Jay. So my confusion is how would one know if he is a psychopath as in primary psychopath or a pure sociopath which he refers to as born secondary psychopath?

I'm sure you read some of jays comments on your blog regarding pure sociopaths. And what is your knowledge or understanding of pure sociopaths according to what jay is saying.

They both seem to be the same and lets say a psychopath went through negative affect in his life and was very distempered like the pure sociopath how would he know whether he is a psychopath or pure sociopath?

I've tried looking online for this stuff but cant seem to find much info.

I have come across studies on secondary psychopaths and those studies show that secondary psychopaths have shallow emotions, low empathy, callous unemotional but are also anxiety prone unlike primary psychopaths who are low on anxiety.


So i'm guessing this is what jay refers to when he means pure sociopath? basically someobody who is born with shallow affect, low empathy but also who has a very high genetic propensity to be negatively affected by environment and as a result has high trait anxiety compared to the primary psychopath?

But as Jay said before it's not as simple as that and that people are all different and dynamic and that perception plays a huge role in feelings and emotions and also the level of environment affect as well.

So yeah this is what my confusion is all about. So Zhawq from what i read from jay about pure sociopahts in the comments how would one know whether he or she is a primary psychopath or pure sociopath (born secondary psychopath).


I've pretty much nailed down much of everything about psychopathy reading your blog and also jay's blog and writings. But still there is this piece of the puzzle that confuses me lol.

Anonymous said...

So it seems when researchers and scientists are categorizing someone as a primary or secondary psychopath they look for trait anxiety levels?

primary has lower anxiety and secondary has higher, but both have callous unemotional and low empathy. Could be due to genetic variations as well as environment affect specifically for secondary variant?


At least this is what researchers and scientists say when categorizing primary and secondary psychopath variants.

However Zhawq in the psychopath and aspd online communities I have noticed and also on your blog that people describe a sociopath as someone who is born with a normal emotional range and capacity for empathy but due to negative affect in that persons life their emotions become shallow and fleeting and also lose their empathy as well as morals and sense of self. But can and do bond with specific people. Also the said sociopath is said to have triggers or emotional flashbacks as well as other peculiar phenomenon's.


It seems what people describe in these communities and on your blog as a sociopath is referred to as ptsd or cptsd in the DSM or by current psychology and modern understanding.

I had a read of ptsd and cptsd and it sounds exactly what people describe when referring to a 'sociopath' as in someone who becomes like a psychopath.

However the secondary psychopath described by some psychologists and scientists seems to be born (as in shallow emotions and low empathy) but also a product of their environment at the same time (as in high trait anxiety due to negative affect)?

Again perhaps the secondary psychopathy variant is due to inheriting different genetic alleles for specific genes that make them more prone to becoming negatively affected by environment and as a result have high trait anxiety?


Dunno still trying to figure all of this very interesting stuff out.


Hopefully someone here can shed some light on all of this?

Anonymous said...

In relation to the high testosterone low cortisol thing regarding psychopathy.

I think since psychopaths have shallow emotions/shallow affect and as a result stress less and/or if stress is experienced it passes by quickly and as a result psychopaths don't release as much cortisol in their bodies or when they do it doesn't last long.


So basically from my understanding cortisol binds free testosterone but the less cortisol your body produces (i'm guessing due to stressing less) the more free testosterone you have in your body. As we see in hormonal studies done on psychopaths.


So basically psychopaths have higher free testosterone levels due to having less cortisol active in their bodies cause they stress less and this has to do with shallow affect/callous unemotional?

Zhawq is this correct?

Anonymous said...

Hi Jay,

Can pure sociopaths feel remorse?

Anonymous said...

Hi Jay,

In the article Zhawq wrote about the army you mentioned that there is a super soldier which is sort of psychopath/sociopath.

You mentioned that the super soldier is born with much of the hardcore psychopathic features from birth but also undergoes emotional change as well.

Is this super soldier that you describe a pure-sociopath or psychopath or a different type of psychopath? And which variant would they be classified as primary or secondary?

Also you mentioned your dad was half psychopathic. Does this mean he is a pure-sociopath?

Anonymous said...

Hi Jay,

In a PET or FMRI scan how would someone be able to tell whether someone is a psychopath or pure sociopath.

I'm guessing since pure sociopaths like psychopaths have shallow emotions and low empathy that certain areas of the brain wont activate or show blood flow to those regions when viewing certain pictures and stimuli. And also i'm guessing that those regions will show structural differences in both psychopathic variants due to not being used.

So how would someone looking at a pet or fmri scan alone tell which one is psychopath and which one is pure sociopath?

Anonymous said...

Hi Jay, I have another question.

Are pure psychopaths (the psychos who score 40/40) made by the environment in addition to being born like that or can a psychopath be pure psychopath by not experiencing any negative affect?

Like you mentioned in order to be a hardcore psychopath a person has to be born psychopath and then also go through negative affect in his life to become hardcore but with pure psychopath do they also need to go through negative affect as well to become pure?

Also what is the main differences between a hardcore psychopath and pure psychopath. Like do pure psychopaths have very flat affect and emotions die off very quickly and hardcore has very shallow and fleeting emotions but emotions stay little bit longer that pure psychopaths?


Also what about normal psychopaths who are not hardcore? Like can they feel emotions for more longer and stronger and perhaps deeper than hardcore psychopaths with the only emotion they cannot categorically feel being remorse?

Also what is the difference between hardcore sociopath and normal sociopath. Does that also have something to level of affect and how long emotions can be felt for?

Like i'm guessing hardcore sociopath has shallow and fleeting emotions like psychopath and also they don't feel loneliness or remorse or empathy anymore as well?

But does a normal sociopath still has feelings of loneliness and can feel remorse and empathy in someone circumstances. And that there emotions aren't shallow and fleeting in most circumstances unlike the hardcore sociopath?

Also 1 more question. you mentioned the highest score a sociopath can score on the pcl-r is 32/40 but can a pure sociopath score more than that?

Anonymous said...

I just did a bit more reading on another comment section on a different article zhawq wrote.

So a normal psychopath can be seen as similar to a neurotypical with the exception that there emotions are still shallow and fleeting and lacking ability to feel remorse and also the person hasn't gone through negative effect in his or her life? and unless someone really knows the subject of psychopathy very well they wouldn't be able to tell the difference between them and a neurotypical?


A hardcore psychopath has much shallower and fleeting emotions and lacks remorse and also has negative affect in life which made him/her hardcore? And even people who don't know the subject of psychopathy well can tell there is something different about them?

And as for pure psychopath i'm guessing pretty much anyone can tell there different regardless of how much knowledge a person has about psychopathy or if they even heard of the term psychopath before? Also the pure psychopath has very shallow and fleeting emotions even more so than a hardcore psychopath and that for a pure psychopath feeling certain emotions such as love, guilt, empathy or bonding with another is highly unlikely due this very shallow and fleeting emotionality?


Jay I have a question why are pure psychopaths rare? is it due to genetics or does it come down to perception and/or environment affect/influence?

Anonymous said...

If the world was perfect every person would be like Zhawq and Jay.

Your both the ubermensch

Zhawq if you are god then Jay is the messiah and the holy spirit

Anonymous said...

Hi Jay I have a question regarding maoa gene in psychopaths.

Jay in one of the blogs you created you wrote "The impulsivity/warrior gene MAOA runs high in psychopaths."


I got a little bit confused by this cause doesn't the maoa enzyme have lower levels of activity in psychopaths? Isn't that why psychopaths brains release 4x more dopamine than neurotypical brains and also the reason why psychopaths brains are bathed in excess serotonin in utero resulting in the psychopath being desensitised to the calming effects of serotonin being released when angry.

It's just the way it was worded as being maoa runs high in psychopaths that confused me cause I thought the maoa enzyme activity levels run lower in psychopaths.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jay I have another question as well.

with pure sociopaths if they beat much of their negative affect do they still have the higher active testosterone to subdue cortisol. Like when you said pure sociopaths are very distermepered and due to this they have higher testosterone and are able to maintain low cortisol like a normal distempered sociopath.


But you mentioned that the charismatic sociopaths don't generally have the higher active testosterone to subdue cortisol.


But with a pure sociopath if they do beat their negative affect and become a charismatic pure sociopath do they still have a high active testosterone to subdue cortisol?

Anonymous said...

Jay I have another question too.

You mentioned that for disordered psychopaths the best therapy is to find alternative outlets for boredom and frustration and for sociopaths to find a moral code that fits well with them and doesn't go against society or to find a group they bond with well.


But Jay what is the therapy for disordered pure sociopaths. Is the therapy for disordered pure sociopaths similar to that given to psychopaths or is it similar to therapy given to sociopaths or is it a mix of both?