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Archive for September, 2008

When judges and parole boards don’t understand psychopaths, cops die

Tomorrow, the city of Philadelphia is burying a police officer killed in the line of duty.

Last Tuesday, Highway Patrol Officer Patrick McDonald was shot to death after a routine traffic stop in a bad neighborhood. The city is furious, and rightfully so—the killer, Daniel Giddings, had an extensive and violent criminal history. He was convicted of robbery and aggravated assault in 2000 for carjacking and kneecapping the victim in the process. Yet Giddings was paroled from a maximum-security prison to a halfway house on August 18, 2008, which he promptly fled.

Radio show to discuss the children of sociopaths

Sociopathy is a disorder that doesn’t afflict a person as much as it does his/her family! Since the disorder is also partly genetic it afflicts the family for generations. This week I have heard many amazing and tragic stories and I would like to share a few of them with you. These stories are about the children of sociopaths.

Accepting the sociopath/narcissist’s blame to preserve the relationship

Here’s a theme I think we can relate to: Your partner (a male in this example, strictly for convenience’s sake)—a narcissist, or perhaps sociopath—blames you for his misery, bad moods, bad decisions, frustrations, dissatisfactions, disappointments and underfulfillment.

From his perspective, if he cheats on you—or deceives and betrays you—you will have deserved it, because you will have been responsible for the discontent that necessitated his violating behaviors.

Remember he feels entitled to have what he wants; he deserves what he wants, when he wants it; and if he’s frustrated, it must be someone’s fault.

When psychopaths compare notes

Lovefraud recently received an e-mail from a reader telling us about discussion on another Internet forum called PsychForums. Here’s what he wrote:

Found an interesting set of postings. On PsychForums. “Craving for Antisocial Behavior.” With postings between four psychopaths. Arguing for various positions With general agreement that society has infringed on them. And so deserves the revenge. Sounding like people are viewed similarly to enemy combatants. And deserve what they get.

Alternate view is that people’s revulsion against psychopaths is understandable. That people don’t want bad things to happen to them. So don’t be a fool and don’t get caught or cry unfair. There are plenty of ways to enjoy life without having to risk jail to get it.

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: How can we deal with the sociopathic ex-wife?

Lovefraud recently received e-mail from a woman whose new husband was previously married to a sociopath, with whom he had two children. Two weeks before his divorce was final, the sociopath charmed him into sex and got pregnant again. Here’s what is going on now:

She uses the kids as pawns. She molested her son, he told his therapist (at 4 years old). Drew pictures of her vagina, doesn’t like hair in his mouth, wet the bed, the whole nine yards. She got out of it. We’ve been in custody hearings for a year and a half. The judge feels SORRY FOR HER!!!

Reflections on antisocial behavior (Part 3): Is that person a sociopath/psychopath?

Five and a half years ago I started a quest to understand sociopathy/psychopathy and antisocial behavior. Long before that, in 1981, I attended a lecture by Dr. Sarnoff Medick at USC. During that lecture, he presented the results of his research. His research on adopted children indicates that antisocial behavior has a strong measurable genetic basis. His studies did not single out anyone “diagnosed” a sociopath/psychopath they only examined antisocial behavior in parents and their biologic and adopted offspring.

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: The Biggest Lie

By James

A few days ago while watching television with my oldest son, he turned to me and said, “You know, Dad, what biggest lie she ever told us was?”

I said, “No, son, I don’t.”

“When she told us nothing was going to change, and how much everything has changed.”

“Guess so, Son. Maybe that was the biggest lie she ever told us.”

Young pop star scores with sociopathic hit song

Lovefraud recently received the following e-mail from a reader in the UK:

I wonder what your take on this pop-music video is? This song is played ad-infinitum on radio stations in the UK; you simply can’t escape it. What disturbs me is its indifference toward the glorification of sociopathic, even psychopathic, behaviour. Clearly the character the singer is playing out has a taste for control; inflicting degrading, humiliating behaviour, even torture, pain and —as the finale of the video suggests—murder; everything the UN Convention on Human Rights was meant to prevent.

The reader included a link to the song Sweet About Me, by Gabriella Cilmi, on YouTube. Here it is:

Reflections on antisocial behavior (Part 2): It’s genetic!?

Behavior genetic studies of children, adolescents, and adults all report that the overlap of antisocial tendencies (broadly defined) with other psychopathic traits (e.g., interpersonal, affective) can be explained by common genetic factors.
-Robert Hare, Ph.D.

The most profound things researchers say about reality are often so difficult to understand that the average person wants to turn and run away when the researchers begin to speak. The statement above might have that affect on you but stick around because I want to explain it this week. This statement gets to the heart of the most important controversies regarding sociopathy/psychopathy.

The vacancy of the sociopath

Sociopaths have been described in many ways that, at least, from time to time, might describe some of the rest of us: As glib, manipulative, exploitative, superficial; as seeing and relating to others as objects rather than persons.

Sociopaths, in other words, don’t have a patent on these qualities. You can be a nonsociopath and be glib and superficial. You can be a nonsociopath and be a constitutional bullshitter and sometimes manipulator: Just go visit the used-car salesmen at your local dealership, and see for yourself (sure, some of them may be sociopaths, but not most).

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