By | May 27, 2011 70 Comments

Donna Andersen and Dr. Liane Leedom present research at psychopathy conference


Dr. Liane Leedom and I spent last weekend, May 19-21, at the 4th Biennial Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy in Montreal, Canada.

Approximately 200 people were at the conference, including the biggest names in psychopathy research: Robert Hare, Paul Babiak, Paul J. Frick, Kent Kiehl, David Kosson, Joseph Newman, Christopher J. Patrick, and many, many more. Also in attendance were graduate students and researchers from all over the world—nine different countries were represented.

It was an opportunity to learn about the latest research going on in the field. A total of 46 researchers made 15-minute oral presentations of their work. An additional 91 groups of researchers presented their work on posters.

Dr. Leedom and I were among those presenting in poster form. We summarized the findings of the survey we did last year in response to the request for public feedback on the draft of the new American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5). (See Lovefraud’s comment about sociopaths for the DSM-5.)

I designed a poster, 6 feet long and 3 feet tall, which briefly described the survey, the findings, and the conclusions that we drew. The title of the poster: When Psychopaths Say “I Love You.” Dr. Leedom also presented another poster on Familial Attachments and Parenting Behavior of Psychopathic Individuals. Our posters were displayed right next to each other, and as people came around to look at them, we explained what we learned.

The reaction to our work was very positive. The majority of research in the field is done either on college students or prisoners. The information that Lovefraud readers provided about their relationships with disordered individuals is highly unusual, and very important. Thank you to everyone who participated.

I also designed a tri-fold brochure version of the poster information. If you’d like to take a look at what we presented, you can download a pdf of either the poster or the brochure. Don’t worry, the poster pdf will scale down to fit on your computer monitor. If you’d like a printed version of the brochure, just send an email with your mailing address to [email protected].

When Psychopaths Say “I Love You” poster

When Psychopaths Say “I Love You” brochure



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Donna and Liane,

Congratulations! I especially like the brochure as a tool to legitimize the findings of anecdotal reporting as a source to inform the diagnostic construct.

Would have loved to have been at this conference. If i had known it was happening, I would have gone.

I trust that you will be posting about the information you gleaned.


Donna – thank you. Very interesting reading and well done you for your awareness campaign.


Good Job! You ladies should be very proud of yourselves. Thank you for everything you do.

Best of wishes ~

Ox Drover

Interesting observations of the traits, and the observations made by the people who thought they were associating with a psychopath….very interesting in fact!

Good poster BTW—conveys a great deal of information and easy to read and understand.


who’s gonna be the one to send the brochure to Maria Shriver????

Ox Drover



Don’t look at me, Oxy! I don’t have her address. I hear she is staying in a hotel near LA. someone could just dro this off at the front desk.




Has your BF heard of Niaomi Wolf? She is pretty good.


OH, Skylar,
Are you there? Time for me to go to bed. I would have loved to here your answer…maybe tomorrow. Gnite!




Donna (and Dr. Leedom),
Congratulations! This is wonderful work.

There are so many things that are ‘right’ about what you’ve done that it would be difficult to list them all.

But one thing I’m extremely grateful for is your fairness. Although the majority of the readers of your site, and respondants to your survey, are females who have been victimized by men, your reports and language are fair and impartial, and report on sex/gender differences only when they are relevant (e.g. your conclusion #4). Your examples give equal voice to all.

Thank you, from a grateful LF member.

I hope that Dr. Leedom will likewise post her “poster”, and I hope you’ll both share your thoughts and impressions from the conference.


EEK! Can’t remember the blog title I posted in the other day. Skylar if you’re around, any clue?


Hi DW!
I can’t ever remember where I post either. Once it slips off the roll, it’s gone.

Ox Drover

Hey DW, glad to see you around. How are you doing , sweetie?

This is the first chance I’ve had to get on the website….crazeeee here….Cousin’s husband in ICU….doctor and his RN daughter got into a verbal knock down drag out in hallway and so now we have new doctor! (I concur with the daughter’s assessment of the doc he had being an incompetent and arrogant ass, and a narcissist to boot!)

Daughter-cousin had to return to her home for a few days to take care of business, so I’m on duty with her mom-cousin, and keeping her posted by phone on the situation in the hospital.

Oh, and BTW the bi-polar ASPD (professionally diagnosed on both counts!) other daughter-cousin (who lives in OK) is trying to cause trouble, but fortunately, mom-cousin is NC with her….Ain’t life grand! Any time there is a crisis that they can possibly make more stressful or worse they pop out of the woodwork to do so! BUT—we have caller ID so that helps! LOL

I read some of your interesting posts guys, glad to see DW back too. Fill me in on what is going on! (((hugs))))


Hi Ox. Sounds like you are really having a busy time of it. Take care not to over-stretch yourself with all of that drama going on:)



Your post was under the Cartoon blog title.

Ox Drover

Yea, you know, I NOW REMEMBER why I hate hospitals!!!!! And why I hate drama queens and psychopaths….but the good thing is that I am handling it both physically and emotionally very well…..letting the Drama roll off my back like water off a ducks back.

It is amazing just how we get when we finally get to where we don’t ENGAGE in the drama-rama on an emotional level.


Hi Ox,

Good luck with the cousin’s husband ICU care. Hope everything goes well, and boy you are in a whirlwind of activity.

It’s very nice that you are able to help wit your grounded attitude around drama.

eb92044, thank you for the reminder!!


DSM – Very good article about the history and the context of change over time of the DSM and how it has affected mental health treatment and the reciprocal relationship between the changes and drug companies.

The writer, Ian Brown, is a well respected Cdn. journalist.

Ox Drover

WOW! ONE!!!! Thank you, Now I have a diagnosis for what’s wrong with me…….


Or there’s minor neurocognitive disorder, “evidence of minor cognitive decline from a previous level of” ”“ oh hell, what’s that word I’m looking for? ”“ “performance.”


Ox Drover

Actually, I think we should go back to the way people who were “insane” were treated in the 1800s, chain them to a wall in the smoke house…we could do that with the Psychopaths who are “morally insane.” We could throw in crusts of bread every now and then.


yah, it’s a bit ridiculous. think we used to call minor cognitive decline ‘getting old’.

smokehouse! harumph, that’s what firearms are 4!

and if you try to throw them bread, i am going to steal it and give it to the birds!

Ox Drover

Yea, the birds probably need it worse…..

Ox Drover

One, James Black, ( the black smith that made the Bowie knife for Jim Bowie that died at the Alamo) spent his later years chained to a wall because he was “insane”—the Bowie knife was made in Old Washington, AR in southern AR. There is a state park there now and I have done living history demos there, neat place and neat history.


do you know his story? why he ended up ‘insane’?

Ox Drover

I have read his biiography, pretty interesting actually….don’t remember all the details. I do remember he went blind toward the end of his life and spent most of the money he had on treatments for his eye problem (went back east for treatment that was a hoax I think) went back to Old Washington and lived there with some family, and became demented and they had to chain him up for his own safety. He was apparently a nice, educated man for his time and a good man, just became either senile or demented by something, who knows?

If a retarded or senile person was likely to get into things or hurt themselves, or wander off, it was not unusual in those times for them to be locked up or even chained up.

The blacksmith shop has been rebuilt in the park and there is a black smith there now demonstrating the kind of work he did. I have a “Bowie” type knife made by Damascus method (folding the metal over and welding it by heating and beating) made by a certified knife maker George Roth who was a friend of mine. I have another knife, smaller, that George also made for me. Both of mine have sterling silver hasps and hilts though and are works of art as much as anything…George was a sculptor and wood carver as well, and the big knife has a leaf-shaped hilt that George designed. To qualify as a master knife maker the person has to build a knife that can be bent 90 degrees without breaking. The small knife has a walrus tusk handle and the big one a burl walnut handle. They are one of a kind and very sentimental for me as well.


they sound really beautiful oxy.

I wonder if Bowie had syphilis?

Ox Drover

BTW One, that was a great article about the DSM history…and the state of medicine and mental health is always going to be in flux, with changes in knowledge. I have several antique medical books since my family on my P-sperm donor’s side were all doctors except for him, but he had a sister and brother that were and one of my half sibs is a doc, and I have been interested in the history of medical treatment and pharmacology as well. I never wanted to be a doctor because of the brutal work schedule and lack of time for anything else even after medical school….that is changing somewhat now in medical practice and docs are working shorter work weeks, but still…wasn’t my desire to be a doc. Kind of wish now I had gone to vet school though. But maybe in another life time.

Ox Drover

One, when I lived in the Imperial Valley in So. Calif in the 1980s and worked in the hospital there…we had many patients, mostly old Mexicans, who had syphilis and had the last stages of it, insanity. You know, it is only since the invention of PCN that it has been “curable”—it was just as deadly as AIDS or a lot of other things before antibiotics.

In 1939 my grandfather (egg donor’s dad) had pneumonia and was nearly dead and the country doctor sent him to “town” to get sulfa drugs which were miracles at that time. He got better and lived because of it. There was really no treatment for TB and a lot of other diseases that now are pretty rare at least in this country…but with the antibiotic resistence that is coming along now, it may be that there will be more and more diseases and infections that can’t be cured.

I was reading though about ONE man in Europe who was EFFECTIVELY treated and “cured” of AIDS by two stem cell transplants he got for Leukemia which they picked out a certain strain of stem cells that had a particular mutation that is resistant to HIV, and he has not had any anti-viral treatment in 6 or 8 years now and no sign of the HIV returning. It might be a break in the “cure” down the road some where, but it just so happened that the particular mutation was also compatible with his blood type etc.

I would love to be around in 100 years to see how medicine has changed….but there are still so many people in the world who don’t even have adequate food or water, much less cutting edge medical treatment. Famine is really hitting Africa hard right now.


my mom had a host of medical ‘ailment’ books that i was fascinated with as a kid – all these old plates of disease deformed bodies. jeez, things that kids shouldn’t see!

i think the article is very important – we need to understand the context under which things are developed. in the case of the DSM, one or two men have had a huge influence. reminds me of AA – a few hardcore christian guys in the early 20th century trying to dry out created a movement that now has a culture wherein the origins of its language and culture cannot be challenged.

We think things like the DSM are ‘gospel’. but just like the gospels – they were written by a ‘bunch of guys.’


what you said about the stem cell transplant is fascinating and encouraging. i think we are going to see more and more famine – more and more climate change war and regime changes in country’s that have little resiliency to begin with. not that the people don’t, but if there is no soil and no will or money or infrastructure on a gov’t level – people starve.

Ox Drover

Unfortunately, too, the aid that is sent to those countries is stolen before it gets to the actual people in most desperate need.

It is also a fact that babies that are starved in the womb are born retarded to one extent or another, and in the case of female children, that retardation is passed on for up to 3 generations of the offspring. I have seen children with match-stem legs and arms and bellies swollen like big watermelons from starvation, and those pictures are still etched in my brain…I can never forget them. Life is not fair, and I feel guilty at times because I have enough food in my house and freezers to live for a year, and I have to Limit myself for my own health. No matter what we have or don’t have compared to others in our county, we are BLESSED in so many ways, starting with clean water to drink.

Reading Viktor Frankl’s book “Man’s search for meaning” about his experiences emotionally and spiritually in the Nazi prison camps made me take a hard look at myself and my own search for meaning. We can’t solve all the problems in the world, but we can reach out an understanding hand of compassion to others at the very least.


Oxy, many years ago, I met an Architect in Scotland who was a Polish Jew who had survived the Holocaust.I met him around 1970 or so. His wife was Scottish.he was lucky in that the Americans liberated the camp before they were all killed off.
He told me,{and Ive no reason to believe he was lying} that just before he was rounded up to be put in the Lager,{camp,} his old Grandma, the Babushcka, gave him a very small glass bottle about 6 inches high,containing very concentrated orange peel and herbal extracts. She told him.,”Put one drop of this on your black bread every night, and it will keep you alive. He did. And every night, all the inmates of the camp lined up in secret and he put one drop of the precious orange oil on their bread.Around 40 to 50 people each night. He also got the starving Russian POWs from the lager next door to push their potato peelings thru the barbed wire, and he put a drop on each of their peelings each night too. he was very careful to hide the bottle even when strip searched.He wrapped it in cotton and pushed it up his arse.Thank God they didnt look there!They took everything else, including his wedding ring.
The camp was liberated after 3 years, and he told me that after he was released to freedom, there was still about a couple of centimetres left in the bottle!It never ran out in 3 years, and kept many many people alive!
The Babuschka died in Theresen stat or Treblinka, and Pavel lost every other member of his family, but he survived! What a miracle from God!!
The same thing as happened to the Prophet Elijah and the poor widow, her meal and oil never ran out!!
True story!
Love, Mama GemXX


Mama Gem:

Amazing story…thank you for sharing.

Ox Drover

In the mid and late 1960s I worked with people in Los Angeles who had the Tattoos on their arms from the camps, and I knew what thye meant but I never spoke to those people about their time there, but it made me curious and I have read many many first person accounts of life in the camps. I have also read many other first person accounts of life in prisons for prisoners of war, and Several books on the Batan Death March. My egg donor had a friend who was on that march and he did talk to her some about it, and she told me some of his stories. I’ve also ready many stories of ship wrecks and people lost at sea for extended periods of time.

Humans are amazing creatures… of my favorite Hymns “It is well with my soul” was written by a man who had just found out that his four daughters had been lost in a boat accident. The first verse goes:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


Great article in Psychology Today online today.

Masks of Sanity (Part Four): What is a Psychopath?

By Dr. Stephen A. Diamond, Ph.D.
Created Aug 31 2009 – 9:48am

If you ever watch television shows like Nancy Grace and Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell, you have probably seen criminal profiler Pat Brown and numerous other experts commenting on sensational cases like the recent shocking murder here in Los Angeles by former reality star Ryan Jenkins of his ex-wife, model Jasmine Fiore, after which he hanged himself in a Canadian hotel room. And you may have noticed that, especially for profiler Pat Brown, almost all violent offenders seem to be “psychopaths.” Ms. Brown, who, so far as I know is not a mental health professional, is certainly not the only one guilty of such diagnostic overgeneralization: Guest panels commonly include clinical psychologists and psychiatrists making similar proclamations. But seasoned forensic psychologists know that it is dangerous to leap to such diagnostic conclusions prior to evaluating the criminal defendant and reviewing all the facts in such cases. For example, do Ryan Jenkins’ gruesome efforts to conceal his murdered victim’s identity by removing both her teeth and fingers and then stuffing her into a suitcase, or Chris Coleman’s apparently premeditated slaughter of his wife and two children while they slept (see my previous post), or Casey Anthony’s alleged killing of her own daughter (see my prior posts) necessarily make them psychopaths? Possibly. But it seems that for some of these commentators, the facile label of “psychopath” can be pejoratively pinned onto just about any bad behavior–especially when it involves extreme violence, such as the recent shootings of random women at a fitness club in Pittsburgh (see my previous post.) Meanwhile, did you know that the American Psychiatric Association’s official diagnostic manual (DSM-IV-TR) does not even consider “psychopathy” a legitimate formal psychiatric diagnosis?

The term psychopath has been kicking around since the nineteenth-century, but was popularized by psychiatrist Hervey Cleckley in his 1941 classic The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues About the So-Called Psychopathic Personality. For Dr. Cleckley, the psychopathic personality was initially defined by a relatively high-functioning, aggressively narcissistic, extraverted persona concealing an antisocial and latent psychotic core. Whether most psychopaths are truly psychotic beneath their affable, charming, manipulative mask is dubious, as Cleckley later recognized, though some may in fact, like severe borderline, paranoid or schizotypal personalities, be compensated psychotics. Someone like Charles Manson (see my prior posts) may exemplify this semi-psychotic type. Based on Cleckely’s conceptualization, psychologist Robert Hare developed the Psychopathy Check List (PCL-R), designed to be administered by a trained mental health professional to detect and measure the presence of psychopathy. The term “psychopath” was replaced at some point in psychiatry by “sociopath,” in part to try to lessen its social stigma. The World Health Organization refers diagnostically to such individuals as suffering from Dissocial Personality Disorder. But the DSM-IV-TR, the most widely accepted and utilized psychiatric diagnostic system today, employs neither of these three terms, preferring deliberately instead to dub this troublesome syndrome Antisocial Personality Disorder. So any time you hear the terms psychopath, sociopath, asocial, amoral or dissocial personality, the appropriate corresponding DSM diagnosis may (or may not) be Antisocial Personality Disorder.

The diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder focuses primarily on observable or documented long-standing patterns of behavior such as disregard for social norms, lying, impulsivity, irresponsibility, recklessness, cruelty, violence, law-breaking, lack of guilt or remorse, etc. Psychopathy or Dissocial Personality Disorder emphasize somewhat more subjective, qualitative and inferred traits like lack of caring or empathy, easily formed but superficial interpersonal attachments, low tolerance for frustration, chronically irritable mood, absence of conscience, failure to learn from negative consequences, and defensive projection of blame onto others. Hare’s PCL-R test looks for specific characteristics such as glibness or charismatic charm, narcissistic grandiosity, need for constant stimulation, shallow affect, parasitic lifestyle, sexual promiscuity, multiple brief marriages, and extreme manipulativeness or deceitfulness. Antisocial Personality Disorder incorporates most of these symptoms and traits into its diagnostic criteria. One major difference, however, is that the DSM-IV-TR requires the presence of antisocial behavior in the form of what it calls Conduct Disorder ( a pattern of destructive, aggressive, deceitful, cruel and socially defiant behavior seen as a prelude to APD in childhood and/or adolescence) with onset before the age of fifteen, and that the person receiving this diagnosis be at least eighteen years of age. ICD-10, the international diagnostic system of the World Health Organization, acknowledges a prior history of Conduct Disorder as being common, but not invariably so, and therefore not requisite to make the diagnosis of Dissocial Personality Disorder.

As we have seen in certain recent cases like that of the “Craig’s List Killer” (see my prior posting), it may be that some individuals are particularly skilled at masking their sociopathy and at cleverly evading detection–at least up to a point–and present no clear history of Conduct Disorder during childhood or adolescence. But I would argue that even in such unusual cases, antisocial behavior does not spring fully formed from the head of Athena. And, if it does, it may be due to something other than psychopathy. The specific diagnostic criteria set forth by DSM-IV-TR make it clear that psychopathy, sociopathy, dissocial or antisocial personality disorder cannot and should not ever be diagnosed in a vacuum on the basis of a violent crime without having concrete evidence of there being a “pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years.” When conducting forensic evaluations of violent offenders, gathering such behavioral history is prerequisite to making a diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder, as is making sure the defendant meets all the minimal diagnostic criteria for this severely stigmatizing mental disorder. And yes, contrary to what certain expert commentators proclaim, Antisocial Personality Disorder–by whatever name one uses–is a real mental disorder, and a very severe, dangerous and debilitating one at that, as Cleckley himself insisted.

The knee-jerk reaction of calling all violent offenders “psychopaths” is inaccurate, irresponsible, misleading and unethical. According to the Handbook of (Forensic) Psychology (2003), “there are many ways that someone can be at high risk for violence that are unrelated to psychopathy.. . . This is especially true,” it continues, in cases of “spousal assault, stalking and sexual violence, where violence may be related more to disturbances of normal attachment processes rather than the pathological lack of attachment associated with psychopathy.” Indeed, there are a multitude of mental disorders associated with violent behavior, including substance abuse or dependence, bipolar disorder, dissociative disorders, narcissistic and paranoid personality disorder, and psychotic disorders. Violent behavior is multi-determined, and cannot be simplistically reduced to or conveniently explained away by glibly dismissing all such offenders as “psychopaths.” In reality, the bulk of violent behavior is not engaged in by individuals meeting the current diagnostic criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder. Psychopathy is, in my view, just one of many anger disorders, though the majority of these disorders remain officially unrecognized. (See, for example, my discussion in previous postings of the newly proposed diagnosis of Posttraumatic Embitterment Disorder, and on anger disorder in general.)

Equally irresponsible is the matter-of-fact assertion by some commentators that violent offenders, whom they view as psychopaths, can never be helped by therapeutic intervention. The truth is that most reports of therapeutic failures with psychopaths tend to be anecdotal. Personality disorders of any kind are notoriously difficult to treat briefly, requiring intensive, long-term psychotherapy by expert clinicians. According to forensic psychologists James Hemphill and Stephen Hart (2003), there have to date been no well-controlled and sophisticated studies of structured therapeutic treatment programs for psychopaths. Part of the failure in rehabilitating such dangerous individuals has to do, in my view, with our inability as mental health professionals to recognize and treat psychopathy or APD as fundamentally an anger disorder. (See my previous posts.) These are, without exception, profoundly embittered, resentful, angry and narcissistically wounded individuals. Violent antisocial offenders are mainly made, not born. Future research on treating this population needs to focus on acknowledging their resentment and confronting the roots of their pathological rage against authority and society in general, teaching them to redirect some of this anger into more constructive activity.

Psychiatric diagnosis is a difficult and highly skilled process, requiring years of clinical training and experience, and should never be engaged in by anyone not formally educated and licensed to do so. Still, when it comes right down to it, whether we view a violent offender as suffering from antisocial or dissocial personality disorder, sociopathy or psychopathy, what we are really doing is trying to make sense of evil by identifying and naming it. But we cannot dismiss human evil simply by calling those who commit it some epithet such as “psychopath.” Indeed, when used glibly and indiscriminately, the term” psychopath” is merely a means of avoiding or projecting the problem of evil and the inherent potentiality for evil in us all. It would be a dangerous error to naively comfort ourselves with thinking that so-called psychopaths are the only ones among us capable of evil deeds. Were the vast majority of German citizens perpetrating the Nazi holocaust all depraved psychopaths? How about the otherwise law-abiding, stable, responsible person who suddenly commits a violent crime of passion? Evil is an ever-present potentiality in each of us, given the right temptation, threats and circumstances. “Psychopaths” are not the sole purveyors of evil. But by better understanding the angry, resentful, bitter roots of psychopathy, we will be better prepared to deal with and reduce the pervasive and insidious problem of human destructiveness and violence.

Parts of this posting were derived from (and are expanded upon in) Dr. Diamond’s article “Violence as Secular Evil: Forensic Evaluation and Treatment of Violent Offenders from the Viewpoint of Existential Depth Psychology” (2003), which was subsequently published in slightly revised form in the textbook Forensic Psychiatry: Influences of Evil (2005).



Thanks Superkid,
that’s an excellent article. It touches so many of the points we discuss here on LF.

I particularly like that he talks about the “angry, resentful, bitter roots of psychopathy and how those roots can help us understand the potential for human evil in all of us. I believe one purpose of the monsters is as a warning to others of what we are capable of becoming if we aren’t careful. Angry, resentful and bitter are the words which describe how many of us feel after an encounter with a spath.

I think that this is no coincidence. The spath intends for us to feel this way, because it’s how the spath feels. He is acting out his feelings and projecting them onto the most naive and innocent person he can find. That’s why it’s so important to refuse to feel this way.

Ox Drover

While there is a great deal of truth in much of the article, I almost, (if you will allow an old woman a bit of hyperbole) SWALLOWED MY TONGUE when I read this following sentence.


(See, for example, my discussion in previous postings of the newly proposed diagnosis of Posttraumatic Embitterment Disorder, and on anger disorder in general.) End QUOTE

I agree that when we (victims) have been victimized, we may tend to be BITTER afterward, but this isn’t a “disorder,” this is a NATURAL RESPONSE to a traumatic life event.

Then again, when I read this QUOTE

Equally irresponsible is the matter-of-fact assertion by some commentators that violent offenders, whom they view as psychopaths, can never be helped by therapeutic intervention. The truth is that most reports of therapeutic failures with psychopaths tend to be anecdotal. Personality disorders of any kind are notoriously difficult to treat briefly, requiring intensive, long-term psychotherapy by expert clinicians. According to forensic psychologists James Hemphill and Stephen Hart (2003), there have to date been no well-controlled and sophisticated studies of structured therapeutic treatment programs for psychopaths. Part of the failure in rehabilitating such dangerous individuals has to do, in my view, with our inability as mental health professionals to recognize and treat psychopathy or APD as fundamentally an anger disorder. END QUOTE

He thinks that there just need to be better studies of treatment of these offenders by competent long term psychotherapy by EXPERTS like him. SOPHISTICATED studies…yea the psychopaths have “ANGER issues” when they are not allowed to treat others as they damned well please.

The article about the “history of the DSM” that One-step posted the link to along with this article is part and parcel I think with why there is such a hodge-podge of “diagnoses” for in psychology. It is like the camel, which is a “horse designed by a committee” where everyone there has to put their own “hump” on the beast until it is unrecognizable. Rather than increase the complexity in diagnosis, if anything they should in my opinion (which is immaterial) SIMPLIFY.


I looked it up:

Diagnostic criteria for Posttraumatic Embitterment Disorder
A. Development of clinically significant emotional or behavioral symptoms following a single exceptional, though normal negative life event.

B. The traumatic event is experienced in the following ways:

B1. The person knows about the event and sees it as the cause of illness.

B2. The event is perceived as unjust, as an insult, and as a humiliation.

B3. The person’s response to the event involves feelings of embitterment, rage, and helplessness.

B4. The person reacts with emotional arousal when reminded of the event.

C. Characteristic symptoms resulting from the event are repeated intrusive memories and a persistent negative change in mental well being.

D. No obvious mental disorder was present prior to the event that could explain the abnormal reaction.

E. Performance in daily activities and roles is impaired.

F. Symptoms persist for more than 6 months.

This sounds like a narcisstic injury, but I wonder… does encounter with a Psychopath qualify as “a single exceptional, though normal negative life event.”


Skylar & Oxy,
I even dislike the name:Diagnostic criteria for Posttraumatic Embitterment Disorder. That to me is a wtf moment right there!

Sounds like a psychopath made this up to get away with whatever misery they cause. Now it’s YOUR fault you have this “disorder” ugh

Ox Drover

I liked the one I copied and pasted somewhere yesterday (can’t remember where) that was about CANT REMEMBERING.,….LOL

Sheet! I can’t even remember where I posted it, or what it was called now….so that PROVES I HAVE IT! LOL ROTFLMAO


Was that CRS disorder??


Oxy and Ana,
I don’t dislike or disagree with this “diagnostic criteria”. I find it very helpful. And having the disorder is not a blaming or shaming thing, so much as it is a starting point for resolving the problems that it causes.

My take on this is that all spaths have it, and they intend to and succeed in, sliming us with it, so then the victim has it. It’s like a contagious meme. The difference is that the spaths have it so much more intensely that they make it their life focus to slime others with it.


Why is this considered an abnormal reaction? Do you know?
I find this confusing and offensive! Hey, maybe it’s justs me 😛

The trigger event is a single negative life event that can occur in every life domain. The event is experienced as traumatic due to a violation of basic beliefs. Traumatic events of this type include, but are not limited to, conflict at the workplace, unemployment, the death of a relative, divorce, severe illness, or experience of loss or separation. The illness develops in the direct context of the event. The person must not have had any obvious mental disorder prior to the event that could explain the abnormal reaction.


Dying from a virus is also a normal reaction but it isn’t a healthy one. I think that the DSM people are calling everything that is sub-optimal to mental health “an abnormal reaction”. So, it is normal to feel angry and embittered by injustice, for example the Casey Anthony acquittal or the murder of your spouse. But for the sake of living a healthy and happy life, we have to move past the bitterness. If you spend years and years being triggered by the memory of an event which you feel was humiliating or unjust, then that can turn into a pathology, regardless of how justified you are in feeling that way.

I’m not the person to tell you how that’s done, since I obviously am disgusted and incensed at all that the psychopaths and their minions do. I just would like to be able to rise above it, so I’m willing to learn about anything that can help with that. I don’t believe that the outrage serves any more purpose after our eyes are opened by it, so it’s best to find a way to deal with those feelings so they don’t inhibit our growth and turn us into THEM.

ironically, I believe that most of the horrible things psychopaths do, they do them simply to make us feel bad so that they can feed on our emotions of despair. If there is a way to not suffer the emotional effects, then it would seriously curb the spaths’ behaviors because there would be no emotional payoff.

It’s not just a matter of getting over the injury, but also a way to take away the spaths psychological reward.


Thanks for answering! No, I don’t want to be turned into THEM! I don’t think I could be anyway, to much

You are a good investigator, by the way. I find some information useful and some not. I guess it’s take what you can from the information given, do the best you can is all you can do. I don’t feel embitterred, do you? I feel some experiences are a GREAT learning experience even though it is painful, very painful. I’m still learning Sky, have lots to learn so forgive my ignorance and bad spelling 😛


we ALL have a lot to learn, that’s why I’m always searching for more information and perspectives.

You know, I would have said, “no, I’m not embittered” if you had asked me before, but now I’m not so sure. I think I suffer from some of these symptoms, especially “performance in daily activities and roles is impaired.” I’m not as resilient as I was and get triggered more easily. So many people here have said that they can’t find the person they used to be and I think this is part of it.

We feel that we have been cheated, and that the cheaters seem to always win. But since our moral compass precludes us from also cheating, we feel like we can’t win and that makes us feel hopeless.

Ox Drover

Ana, I think we will be bitter is WE ALLOW OURSELVES to become bitter and do not heal. For example. If you have a horrible wound and you treat it medically and keep it clean, etc. it will heal, It may leave a scar but it will heal…but if you keep picking the scab off daily, and rubbing dirt in it, it will NEVER HEAL, and it will become infected, and grow larger and more ugly, and may in time even kill you when the origiinal “wound” wasn’t all that serious really.

So we can do the same thing with our emotional wounds, or our losses.

Grief is a normal reaction to a loss of something or someone you care about….yet, grief itself CAN become “Pathological” if you never get over it. I think we have all seen people who never got over the loss of a loved one, or never got over the loss of something they cared about, or something that they were UNFAIRLY deprived of.

The UNfairness of a loss sometimes makes us not grieve it in a healthy manner, I think that’s part of what is so bad about a psychopathic BETRAYAL, the unfairness of it, the unexpectedness of it….but we CAN heal or we can stay bitter. Our choice.

Getting over the bitterness, the anger, (which by the way is a normal part of the grief process) etc. will lead to healing, but hanging on to the bitterness the anger etc. will only lead to OUR OWN DOWN FALL…the loss of the rest of our lives through the bitterness. Yea, in a way that is a “disorder” of sorts, but I don’t think it is a “mental illness” necessarily.

The way they are doing the DSM V it seems to me that if you stub your toe and go “Oh, Shait!” you have some sort of “stubbed toe bitterness disorder.” LOL

Yea, Ana, it is CRS but they had a really great name for it and now I can’t remember it!~ Oh, Shait! OOPS now I have the “verbal outburst disorder!” I better watch out or Donna will Boink me! LOL

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