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Psychopaths show overactive dopamine systems

Why do psychopaths go after what they want regardless of the negative consequences they may experience? According to the journal Nature Neuroscience, the answer may be chemical—an overactive dopamine reward system.

Read Driven toward reward without regard for consequence on Time.com.

Read the scientific study, Mesolimbic dopamine reward system hypersensitivity in individuals with psychopathic traits, in Nature Neuroscience.

Link submitted by a Lovefraud reader via Facebook.


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271 Comments on "Psychopaths show overactive dopamine systems"

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Donna,

Thanks for posting this. I wrote something about this in Marcia’s thread, questioning if their ‘chemical’ feedback systems might be contributory toward the disorder. I just watched two discs of ‘This Emotional Life’ that was produced for public broadcasting, and learned some really amazing scientific information about how our emotions are generated by our biology. So of course that got me to thinking…..

I am fascinated by this approach to understanding why we feel as each of us do, and how this then effects our behavior and relationships to and in the world.

Thank-you for posting such a wide variety of information!

I read both articles. Found the first one very interesting, the second was written in too scientific language for me…I would need it broken down to truely understand it.
How does this relate to seritonin levels in the brain, depression, and self-medicating? Does anyone know? Dr. Leedom?
From what I undersand, some drug abuses actually lead to reduced levels of seritonin…does this create a viscious cycle?
And certainly all addicts are not psychopaths. Right?
Thanks for this, Donna. It goes a long way in explaining my X’s addiction, impulsivity, fearlessness, and failure to predicts consequences.

Yikes, if this is actually true then it is not their fault…??? eh not ready to hear that, I still hold the fantasy they are bad people who need to be punished, but day by day I realise this is just denial…..so where to now?

Bulletproof,

Just as a rattle snake is not a “bad snake that needs to be punished” but you still do NOT WANT TO TAKE IT HOME AND MAKE IT A PET. It is still a dangerous creature, and was born that way cause it’s parents were both that way (i.e. it got the “rattle snakes” gene ) so, no it isn’t the fault of the rattle snake it was born a rattle snake instead of a king snake, but you know, I still don’t want to play with one, and I am not going to start a campaign to release all the rattle snakes that are in the zoos into a gradeschool classroom either, just because it “wasn’t their fault they were born that way” and so they have as much right to have children pick them for pets as birds and cats and dogs and gerbils do.

Alcoholics have a gene or two that make them more prone to drink to excess, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the CHOICE to STOP drinking, because they do. I don’t “buy” it that if you have a gene then you have no choice, cause I think you do. I also don’t buy that continuing bad behavior is given a “pass” if it “isn’t your fault!!!!” YOUR choices are always your CHOICES.

OxDrover

They have choices (but lets face it they are not showing signs as a group of wanting to change..)

alcoholics are horrified at what they have done when they get help, as do drug addicts etc. they have raw moments of regret and make amends

snakes are beautiful …they do not go out and torture their loved ones, they kill to eat….thats about it.

I am beginning to realise is…PSYCHOPATHS FEED ON REWARD SYSTEMS enabling them to naturally bypass everything in the way of that reward. Their choice is to ~GET THE REWARD!

So we need to define what the reward system is….recognise it, refuse to feed it and WE MAKE THE CHOICE…forget waiting on the reptilian brain, get conscious and say no..NO To FEEDING PSYCHOS and there should be a test out there so you can determine if you are a psychopath feeder. The responsibility has to be with us….because PSYCOPATHS ARE REALLY STUPID when it comes to taking responsibility..

I hear ya bulletproof. I posted something earlier in the week about wishing I could come up with a spray spath repellant, cause if we could repell them, they wouldn’t feed on us and eventually they would starve to death.

interesting, the study isn’t showing the entire picture. There are a lot of dopamine ‘junkies’ out there, dopamine is released during sex, doing drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, even food. High dopamine levels are linked to psychosis. This article is saying sociopaths get a ‘high’ from what they do but it does not explain why they feel no remorse nor feel empathy nor do they feel nor understand fear or jealousy. They don’t chose to ignore these emotions because they prefer the high they do not have them nor do they understand them.

Ox Drover, You have been strangly quite the past couple of days. You okay? I miss you. What’s up?
Are you enjoying Spring-like weather in your garden? Are you off on a joy ride on Fat-ass or Hairy? Are you practicing martial arts with your skillet?
Oxy…come-out, come-out where-ever you are….

Hello all
From what I know of these types, the betrayel or ‘getting one over’ another person is a reward in itself. I strongly beleive my ex gets a ‘hit’ or a ‘fix’ off the act of betrayel. Sad but true.

I will go off and read the articles now lol

Sorry to cut and paste but I think this person’s comment is especially insightful and thoughtprovoking! (After that the comments just turn into a sh*tfight):

The study implies they can feel the remorse, but the drive for the next fix/rush/pleasure is so strong, remorseful feelings are quickly disregarded in the pursuit of more pleasure.

I can totally relate. I care for the poor suffering animals in slaughter factories….but apparently not enough to do anything about it. I want to go vegan, but when I crave burgers and fried chicken…somehow I just don’t care as much. I’m aware of my guilt, but the cravings are just too strong. I felt the same way when I did drugs. Chasing passions and pleasures are way more fun than caring about the suffering of other beings.

Perhaps I’m just a bad person. Perhaps we all have a little psychopath in us. Maybe it just depends on what we’re addicted to. If it’s sex or feeling control over others…watch out. Perhaps it’s all about the ability to filter out all potent desires. The more we become like robots, the easier it is to be civilized. Perhaps we just need to be reprogrammed like robots so we’ll feel nothing, want nothing, then we’ll harm no one.

Strangely amused as I picture the sign some of you have conjured for me “Please Do Not Feed the Psychopaths”

Indeed!

Rosie

I saw that piece yesterday and I have been thinking of it since, thanks for posting it again. Yes, it really says something uncomfortable for me.

It just depends what we are addicted to!

I adore animals yet I have a rack of lamb for dinner. (A baby)
There is a piece of a dead baby in my refrigerator that I am having for dinner….yet I would be traumatised if I saw a baby lamb slaughtered. Is that not psycho in denial? the enjoyment of the meat has won out over the life of a baby.

Then I was thinking (maybe I should stop thinking lol) that if we do not understand what a psychopath is, then maybe we will be reincarnated as one so we can find out as part of our learning about life (mysterious)

smoke coming out my ears now. Gotta go

KimF

Spray repellent! wonderful, I am sure psychopaths do not go for certain types. I remember a documentary on tv a murderer describing seeing 3 women walking down a corridor, he knew from THE WAY THEY WERE WALKING WHICH ONE HE WOULD KILL basically it was the one who was walking a little funny, (slightly unbalanced, clumsy signalling weak and vulnerable)So walk with a purpose, back straight ready to karate chop
TAKE NO BULLSHIT-DO NOT BE POLITE-
but how do we get away from the psychopath inside US? the baby animal eaters and ignorers of starving children in Africa?

Zen, about the lack of conscience and/or remorse. Dr. .Leedom first put an article here about research done with Oxytocin, which is the BONDING hormone. The Ps apparently have enough of the hormone itself, but their receptor numbers are lower or blocked. This keeps them from having the normal BONDING to any/all other humans in the “normal” sense.

Oxytocin is produced during birth, sex, and other times as well. In fact, most women after natural child birth are given an injuection of Oxy to help the uterus contract. BTW breast feeding releases Oxy and the feeling is rather like an orgasam.

I don’t think the problem with psychopaths (and keep in mind there is a scale, they are not all the same in the LEVEL of their beastiality some ARE worse than others), and my guess is that there are multiple hormones including adrenaline that they get “hooked on” or Lack that makes them able to do what they do without conscience or consideration for otherrs, in some cases, without even consideration for consequences.

Dear Kim,

Yesterday was one of those days that I was staying away from LF because there was something Toxic on this thread and I didn’t want to see it blow up into a cloud of poison gas. I was checking in from time to time, but had to “tape my fingers together” to keep my posts where Donna wouldn’t ban ME! LOL Engaging with these trolls at all is a losing game, because once you see that they are here to only criticize or make snide remarks ignoring them is the only way to handle them….that, and hit the “report abusive comment” button.

I guess I am more than a little protective of this site and when trolls come here to debate or stir up chit, it sets my teeth on edge to the point that I really don’t have anything constructive to add. Maybe its because I’m in my second day of almost no nicotine replacement and I’m cranky! LOL Actually I am doing really really well. I had 1 piece of nicotine gum last night. I’m about 6 months non-smoker now so over all I guess I’m doing pretty well.

Anyway, you guys had some interesting conversations yesterday and I am glad that all the new folks who are posting look like they are making some good progress in “getting” it and in skipping on down the road toward healling! ((((hugs))))

Oxy, six mos. nicotine free? YAY!!! My X MIL tried the gum for a while but found it too expensive on their limited retirement…she kind of had a hard time coming off it, too. I’m sure it’s better than cigarettes, though.
When I woke up this morning, I thought about the situation on LF, and thuoght it’s kind of like a dream in which you are in this very comfortable building, cohabiting with other like minded people, doing very well, no complaints, then all of a sudden, your familiars start to disappear, slowly, one at a time, but you don’t notice at first, and new people come in….and pretty soon the atmosphere changes, becomes dark and forboding, and you look around and see some smiling faces, but somethings not right, and all of a sudden you are surrounded by people, getting closer, and closer, and you realize they’re vampires….scarey stuff.
That’s not to imply that we’re all vampires, it’s just hard to tell sometimes who is and isn’t…
Just like life I guess, but we shouldn’t have to wonder here.
I’m in a bit of a crisis. I have been living with my daughter for a couple of years, being housewife, while she worked. I do most of the cooking, provide child-care, and clean-up.
We moved in with her BF about 6 mos. ago, and he is now not happy with the situation. My daughter is fine with it. She seems to think it works out well, for all of us (except him).
He is making her life miserable and just handed down an ultimatum. I don’t know where I’ll go, but I know I better get busy and figure something out.
I’ve rested on my laurels here, grown fat and lazy. I’ve been very comfortable, but I know I’m not pushing myself, or challenging myself, or really growing.
There aren’t many jobs here, I’m pretty unskilled, and I have a few strikes against me, on my record, as I confided in the past. So, I’m scared. Really scared. Not very good at rejection, and it seems inevitable when they see those strikes.
Anyway, Ox, I’m glad to see you’re back.

Garbage and baloney. Just more scientific/ chemical excuses for bad behavior. Amazing that these people can be so nice to folks when they want something or to “look good”. Hmmmm, guess they just need some more dopamine or whatever that day then can get nasty when done. None of the science explains the deliberate scheming and betraying. Its called good old fashioned getting away with being bad and liking it!!

Dear Kim,

So what’s the problem with this BF? So maybe she might want to dump HIM! LOL Oh, well, whatever works!

You know what, though, Kim, like most of us when you first came here you were NUTSO! Don’t mean that in a mean way, you know that, but you are NOT NUTSO now! You are healing. I was TOTALLY NUTSO, freaked out, when I first came here to LF and I’m doing better now. Better most days than the day before. I’m really proud of how you are doing, and I know you will have some rough spots finding a job in this economy, but I also know that you are MUCH STRONGER now than you were “back when” and you have more STRENGTH to workk with. You can do whatever it takes. I’m glad that you had the “down time” of just being a “House-mother” with your grandkids and your daughter, I can’t even imagine trying to work while we are in that “nutso” stage! I know I couldn’t have and I admire those men and women who have to work during this traumatic part of their healing, while they are so raw and injured.

The things we could not have handled back then though, we can handle now, we can assess the situation and do what has to be done to make it work. We can also get better at rejection (no one likes it! LOL) I’ve been meaning to tell you how much better you have been sounding lately.

I know what you mean about people coming and going from LF, that seems to be the way it goes, there’s a few of us “old timers” here and the rest come and go. Sometimes I wonder about them, are they okay, or are they back with the bastard?
Sometimes people check back in from time to time to either refuel or check up on the rest of us….Aloha, who is working on her masters degree, and Janie, Matt, and others. I was glad Bird checked back in recently. I remeember when she was preg and that bastard left her high and dry for the other woman, but she had her baby without his help.

Sometimes when the newbies pull up the old articles that we haven’t seen in a while, I look back through the comments page and see someone’s post and name and I thinkn “Oh, my goodness, I had forgotten about so-and-so, wonder how they are?”

I go back through and re-read old articles and also read some of my 2 year old posts.

Mainly, I’m just trying to get my own life in order and get on with doing GOOD things for myself. Losing some weight (lost 4 inches off my waist so I can wear my jeans now! YEA!!!) quit smoking six months or so ago, and now am weaning off the nicotine replacement. It is cheaper than cigarettes at nearly $50 a carton for smokes here (they raised the taxes a year or so ago which is okay with me) but I wanted off the nicotine replacements as well. I have just sort of naturally been doing less of it, and so the other day I ran out and just didn’t buy any more and it is 13 miles to the closest place I can buy them so figure if I go NUTSO I can always get up and go get me some, but it is inconvenient, so actually I’m doing okay. A friend of mine chewed the gum for 10 yrs or so after she quit smoking. The nicotine in the gum can’t be “GOOD” for you, even though it is probably better than cigarettes, so won’t hurt to get off it too. Plus, have cut down caffine to nearly nothing (less than 1 cup of regular coffee) so that is working as well.

Reading more stuff that is NOT related to psychopaths! Though too many times I see Ps pop up in the news—many in political offices! LOL

Yesterday in our local news, this gal that had 3 little boys, got high and drunk and drove her car into a lake and drowned the 3 little boys. At first she denied being drunk and blamed the highway department because she drove down a BOAT RAMP into the lake, but she went to court yesterday and the judge sentenced her to ONLY 2 YEARS in prison for killing her 3 little boys ages 2-8! They let her plead out to “child endangerment, 3 counts” ENDANGERMENT HELL, SHE KILLED THEM!

They just put a guy away a couple of weeks ago for five years for playing with a gun and accidently shooting his buddy to death. She “accidently” drives into a lake drunk and drowns her three babies and she gets 2 years? In my mind CRUCIFICATION would have been too mild for what she did! Son D says I have to quit watchin the news! LOL

Ah well, when I am the DICTATOR it may not be any better, but it will be DIFFERENT! Elect Ox Drover for Dictator!!!! A chicken in every pot, a jack ass in every barn and all psychopaths exiled to Devil’s Island!!!! ROTFLMAO

I’m all for an OXtatorship!

bulletproof – you are too funny – “Say No To Feeding The Psychos” –
the only way to NOT FEED them would be for all people to isolate and not have relationship with others – IT IS IN RELATIONSHIP with others that the psychos are able to feed. It is the ability of them to pass by the uneducated masses and insert themselves into relationships where they are able like vampires to suck the life out of others.

The thing S/P/N’s seek – they seek warm, kind, loving people. Who does not want to be around warm, kind, loving and generous of heart and soul people? Many people who have really good boundaries are also often perceived as colder or less available for friendship etc… Because they are not always as open and warm the P/S/N’s of the world do not waste time on them. People who are warm and soft and nurturing of others – they become the food.

Personally I choose not to change how I am, warm and nurturing and loving. BUT NOW – since my S/N experience – and in looking back over my life seeing that my parents trained me to be a good supply of sustenance to N’s…(them being narcissistic in the extreme) I now know to look and watch behavior of others. I watch and watch and watch and – while I may relax into a relationship – I watch. I now know that if someone shows me they have been a wolf in sheep’s clothing I do not need to wallow in mourning the loss of the sheep, I do not have to try and make the wolf become a sheep again – it is his wolf nature to be wolflike (like the snakes) but I now can rejoice in the knowledge I have.. I recognized and can defend myself from the wolf. YAY!

Love that analogy, Breckgirl…mourning the loss of the sheep…and trusting the wolf to stay a wolf! AWESOME!

Oh and by the way – destroying the lives of other people and eating a rack of lamb are so so so very different in my honest opinion. We eat food for nourishment, and there is nothing wrong with that – anymore than a lion eating a gazelle. That is completely different from a thief stealing the rack of lamb out of my refrigerator and then sitting down to dinner and asking why the rack of lamb is not being served?

(Edited to add – thanks Kim!)

Oxy,

yes I do recall reading Dr. Leedom’s article re oxytocin. A thought re bonding and remorse & conscience- I still feel remorse/conscience when I’ve done something that would not involve someone I am bonded to so wondering how it’s truly related? I understand how someone is more likely to hurt another individual they’re not bonded to but even at that having zero conscience about anything even re strangers or concepts is what is puzzling.

I had recalled an article re brain studies that showed sociopaths had differences in the frontal lobe here is that article. :

http://www.cerebromente.org.br/n07/doencas/disease_i.htm

Thought this portion interesting:

“Why the frontal brain seems to be so important in the genesis of antisocial individuals ?

Research with animals has shown that the right orbitofrontal cortex is involved in fear conditioning. For instance, when a rat is punished with an electrical shock every time a light blinks in its cage, it develops a fear association between the stimulus and the punishment. Normal humans learn very early in life to avoid antisocial behavior because they are punished for it and because they have the brain circuits to associate fear of punishment (feeling emotion) to behavior suppression. This seems to be a key element in the development of personality. When there is no punishment, or when the person is unable to be conditioned by fear, due to a lesion in the orbitofrontal cortex, for example, or due to lowered neural activity in this area, then it develops an antisocial personality.”

Dear Zen,

I see your point too, about the fear, and one of Dr. Leedom’s arguments is that the psychopaths are FEARLESS, meaning they do not connect punishment to their OWN behavior, they are somehow able to “blame” someone or something else for the punishment and do not figure out that THEY are punished for THEIR behavior.

My son, for example, doesn’t see him being in prison as a result of HIS behavior—DUH!

There seems to me to be SEVERAL different genes + environment = Psychopathy. Also environment turns genes on or off as well, so the gene can lie dormant until something in the environment turns it on/off. Lesions in the brain, or injuries to the brain can cause various behavior changes or thinking changes as well.

I think the subject of our personalities and how much is genetic and hard wired in and how much is programable by enfironment. Apparently FROM WHAT I HAVE READ there is actually some PHYSICAL rerouting of neurons caused by trauma and stress (i.e. PTSD) Of course I could be “all wet” about this, but to me with what little I know (enough to make me dangerous! LOL) it would make sense.

I’ve done enough work with both wild and domestic animals to know that “disposition” is pretty well predictable in most breeds and types of animals through genetics. However, you can traumatize even the mildest of animals until it will become “crazy” and aggressive.

I wish I could be around in 100 years from now to find out what they will know by then. Maybe I can see down (or up) from wherever I am to know. I really am curious!

Ravenlesstower, “Pleas do not feed the psychopaths” that is my new motto now!!

Bulletproof, yes that is pretty disturbing isn’t it. Same goes for when I do things like buy products which individually wrapped which I know are destroying the environment..but it’s so much easier when I’m busy

Bulletproof says;
“I remember a documentary on tv a murderer describing seeing 3 women walking down a corridor, he knew from THE WAY THEY WERE WALKING WHICH ONE HE WOULD KILL basically it was the one who was walking a little funny, (slightly unbalanced, clumsy signalling weak and vulnerable)So walk with a purpose, back straight ready to karate chop”

Woah, a penny just dropped for me..or more like a vault full of coins. I know I have some work to do on myself with posture, bodylanguage, fitness etc .

Oxdrover,

These articles and research give hints to the why what is lacking in these people. We want to believe it is a character issue because we ourselves have zero point of reference as to their line of thinking and reasoning. It makes no sense to us. I worked with kids who had issues that were unexplanable, some very troubled children. One child an 8-year old attacked me and told his counselor that he truly wanted to kill me, he wanted me dead. His attack was proceeded by me telling him that he was violating one of the rules, he was manhandling a child much younger than himself, age 5. He was NOT happy. I was very calm in my approach with him but he wanted to do what he wanted to do and I stood in the way of that. It’s quite disturbing to see young children exhibiting these behaviors and I always wondered what made them ‘tick’ so these articles are very interesting to me.

Thanks for your input!

Zen , I have volunteered for a few years with youth at risk in the past. There was a lot of anger and resentment in these kids with manifested as violent, high, confrontational behaviour at times. For these younger kids I believe it came down to trust. They didn’t couldn’t give it or receive it as it just hadn’t been in their radar(environment). Sure some of them may have been budding sociopaths, but I still want to believe that if the environment were different they would be more empathic/reachable as people. I sometimes think all the technical analysis can get in the way of just coming alongside someone(no matter their age). Who knows who can be “saved” at that age???

Dear Zen and Conomo,

For a good many years, back in the days when every baby was “born a blank slate upon which environment wrote” people began to notice that many ADOPTED children tended to have “unhappy” outcomes, and it was thought that possibly the fact that they were told they had been given up for adoption by their biological parents upset them so they felt abandoned though their adoptive parents tended to be “better than average” mature and caring people— in the last few years however, when it has been noticed that many of the babies AVAILABLE came from “less than functional” parents, and the stats were run, especially with abandoned kids in Europe who may ahve ALSO been left for eyars in orphanages with little or any holding, etc. plus, the fact that human DNA was being studied, and studies of identical twins, raised APART, etc. it has become pretty apparent that children are NOT born “blank slates” upon which environment writes, but sequences of DNA upon which environment turns on or off certain reactions.

Some children are born with limited intellectual capacity. Some children are born with little potential to be athletes. Some children are born blind and no amount of environmental stimuli or teaching or loving can restore that child’s eyesight because the genetics they are born with will cause them to go blind by the time they reach adulthood.

People have known for hundreds of years that certain “attitudes” can be bred into animals—the aggression of the Spanish fighting bulls and the Pit Bulll Dogs, or the gentle guardianship of the Greaty White Pyrenees dogs for their flocks. Humans are mammals and to one extent or another there are some components of personality that are genetic, and some that are genetic that are influenced by environment, just as a mammal generally requires some for of nurturing from the mother and/or father or they will not grow up “emotionally” healthy. Baby monkeys will stay with a “soft cuddly” surgate mother, though it is not fed by that “mother” and is fed by a bottle wired to a wire “mother.” Children who are taken care of in orphanages but not helded and cuddled and interacted with, will sicken and die. I have literally seen this myself in children that were neglected by teenaged mothers who did not have proper teaching in how to nurture those babies.

When I worked in psych inpatient, I have seen children as young as age 8 and 10 who were by that age extremely DANGEROUS, who would hurt others with GLEE in their eyes. Children who respected noting but force, fearless children, who were “acting out” but not necessarily out of anger, but who could ALSO act out violently if their desires were thwarted. One minute attempting to kill you, the next minute telling you they “loved you.”

I would like to believe that “every child” can be helped, but I don’t have to say that any more to keep my job. I don’t believe that every child can be helped. Any more than I believe that every child can have cancer fixed, or those born without limbs can have them grown. Or that children born without sight can have eyes implanted. SOME can be helped SOME. Some can be fixed. Some will get worse. How do you tell the differences? I’m not sure.

I do know that many times when a person has zero chance of even surviving any disease or injury, physicians and therapists will not tell the family “I’m sorry, but there is nothing we can do for your loved one.” My husband had third degree burns over 95% of his body and his tongue was blistered from inhaling the flames, and yet the physician did not tell me there was NO WAY he could survive more than a few hours.

Instead, he kept telling me that theyy would do everything possible for him. Fortunately, I am a (now) retired Registered Nusre Practitioner, and I looked at the physician and I said “WHY?” and he didn’t have an answer, all he could say was “Well, Memphis is the best burn center in the south.” I again said “WHY? So we can drive three hours to pick up his dead body and not get to spend that time with him conscious to say goodbye?”

I wanted to b1atch slap and gobsmack that physician for not being honest. What if I hadn’t known what was going on? What if I hadn’t been the first one on the scene at the crash? He would have built up HOPE, totally unreasonable hope that there was something that could be done for my husband?

I believe every human should have the dignity and every family should have the dignity of a REASONABLE hope of recovery if there is one, and the truth if there isn’t reasonable hope, but promises and blaming the parents when a child with a mental disorder or disease doesn’t recover because the parents were “emotionally distant” or “abusive” or whatever other poppychock doesn’t cut it with me.

These parents need hope and help to survive the onslaught that some of them endure. A mother came here a year or so ago begging for indeas about what to do with her pre-teen daughter who was so dangerous she felt she couldn’t go to sleep at night and had no help available for her.

Other parents came here hoping against hope that someone could find HELP for her child, HOPE when there was really none. They were afraid of their children. The community instead of supporting and helping them, told them as long as their child was not breaking the law there was no help.
Even when my son WAS breaking the law, there was no help, no one to tell me what I was dealing with, or even ASSESS what I was dealing with.

It may not be politically correct to say that AT SOME POINT and I think it is earllier rather than later, there IS NO HELP for the psychopath, especially the ones who are violent or have other issues and problems as well, some ALSO with bi-polar and/or ALSO ADHD. What makes one kill and the other con? I don’t know, and I can’t predict, but I do know that a big portion of the criminal acts committed in this country are commited by psychopaths, and a great deal of the violence and “some one better wake up, it ain’t gettin’ no betta”

To those feeling uncomfortable with meat … I can relate strongly to what you are saying and it shows a high high level of empathy for sentient beings.

I want to make one point crystal clear before I go on … I have no problem with what others choose to eat – we each make up our own minds and I hate people who lecture others …

That said – I have been vegetarian for some years now – mostly because of my empathy for animals. A while ago I met a vegan friend who talked about the spiritual path of becoming vegan – I thought at the time he was full of chit and continued drinking milk, eating eggs, cheese and yoghurt.

However something changed for me the other week … I saw a sheep jammed into a truck heading for the slaughter works. I have seen these trucks before and always felt bad but this time something was very different. This sheep made eye contact with me and wordlessly begged me for help. It also looked resigned to its fate – like a Jesus sheep if you will (Forgive them Father for they know not what they do) I know some people will be raising their eyes to the ceiling about now!

It affected me very deeply. I cried for the sheep and when I really thought about it, I could see that I was contributing to the unethical treatment of animals through my consumption of dairy and poultry products. I can’t really describe the shift, but something profound happened to me that day and I can’t forget it.

So I have gone vegan. It’s been a couple of weeks now and I have had a couple of slips – like accepting coffee with milk in it without thinking, but on the whole it hasn’t been a massive adjustment to make and I feel quite proud that I am doing something small to help the animals and mother earth.

For those of you who seriously would like to tread this path, I respectfully suggest you do it gradually so you can manage the changes as they happen – for example give up red meat to start with, then seafood and fish, then white meat. My thinking is that it’s very hard to do this kind of diet for health reasons by themselves – there needs to be a spiritual element involved as well that allows the will to stay strong. I thought my friend was full of chit when he talked about that, but the more I have reflected the more I can see it – it gives me a greater appreciation of all the wonderful earth gives us and how very often humans are unappreciative of the gifts we are given – it’s humbling in the extreme.

I really hope I haven’t offended anyone in saying this – like I said before – personal choice for everyone, but if you’re feeling drawn this way, then why not give it a chance? You might just surprise yourself at what you’re capable of. A good place to start is a program called the 21 day kickstart (sorry don’t have web address) – you just commit to 21 days of veganism to give it a try. And you get sent recipes, videos and motivation each day for free. A vegan diet can cure Type 2 diabetes in little over a month (mostly raw vegan eating) – there is a documentary out about it.

Congrats Oxy on 6 months – wish Ii had your strength in THAT area – baby steps for now!

Rosie – would you be interested in swapping email addresses? I would be really keen to write to you off site 🙂

i am so speaking out of turn again Oxy…but we are not talking about animals….I skimmed through yet again….I don’t want to label someone who not incorrigible.

I truly believe the b-tard I deal with is incorrigible. The only way to truly tell is to have the test done on them…whatever that test is….I’lll vote for Hare’s…but most wouldn’t. cuz it’s too harsh???

Since I am the sole poster: I would like to repeat:

Two Wolves
One is EVil
It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, iiinferiority, lies, falsre, pride, superiority, and ego.

THE OTHER good:

It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, truth, compassion and faith.”

In the end, which one wins???

“THE ONE THAT FEEDS YOU”

Another part of me..

conomo – the answer is “the one that you feed…”

withoutadooubt beck girl

Oh god I don’t know what to say to you BreckGirl…….I am no scholar but You are right —I think…you get what you giive and feed…iinto….however the SOB’s change everything

Conomo what you posted comes from these two similar tales:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Here is the same story, but it is called “Grandfather Tells” which is also known as “The Wolves Within”

An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, “Let me tell you a story.

I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.

But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.” He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.

But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing.

Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”

The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one I feed.”

Awesome, Ladies. Thanks for reminding me.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Kim – thanks for sharing your ‘shit’ 😉 dream with me. if i draw a direct parallel to your dream, i would have to sit nobly in that tub, poo and all.

yesterday i had an opportunity while talking to a friend to see how messed up I am – how different than I am than before the discard. I was pretty stretched and overwhelmed before the discard, but since, oy! i guess it was important as I can see the big chasm, SEE how not okay i have become. if i can SEE it that means i am not so wholey in it.

hmmm, i don’t like what i just wrote. although i am messed up, i want to defend my right to be. it is where i am. i am so angry at feeling like it can’t just be how i am, always hiding. i need to stop hiding. but i do it for a reason – fear of repercussion. i am begininning to not hide. i have said about 4 things in the last while of the not hide variety to people i feel i need to keep a face on for – which by the way is almost everybody.

this, i just realized is a ‘poo gift’ from the spath – this hiding, is a maladjusted way of ‘keeping safe’. it is a form of lying, and she is all about the lying. you know how when we need to sy somethign polite in a situaion that is a bit political, and we are thinking something a bit different?…well, i am good at that. i am good atactully SEEING the good in the situaion and puttingit out there. right now, i see the BS of the situaion and when i say something political i FEEL THE LIE OF IT.

OKAY, gonna start a rant now: that f*cking spath. she made a lie for me, then she killed it. and left me with this idea that i will never have what i want, so maybe i should try hiding and lying ‘casue it seems to work for her. (but aren’t i hiding and not telling my truth in reaction? part of me seems to think i have control if i do that…but this sort of reaction is in place cause i have been harmed) i really feel this way. i view people (on some days) with this spathy eye now – sure they are malicious and are doing something to ‘get me’ or ‘win.’ but htat’s not so much the people i meet every day, but the people i may meet every day – i project that the world is unsafe. ahh, but the crazt neighbour, the toxins, the N, the spath, the N father, getting mugged, the allergies that keep intensifying so that many environments are really scarey for me —–well, looky, the world IS unsafe.

i wish i could just go live in the woods for a while and fall apart. disintegrate. this need to release pressure is getting to be a an important theme. and i need to figure out how to take the pressure off internally. can do some things about the outer world, but mostly, it’s the inner stuff.

okay – where are the pressures – need to write that out? and i need to get gentle with me. always it comes down to – get gentle or get moving (and sometimes a little kick my butt is good too). or both.

it feels so good to write. i have moments of feeling quite present and okay with how i am when i write. accepting, acknowledging and seeing – this is loving.

i know this one may be kinda hard to read – bit salady.

xx one step

Not a bit salady. Very coherant and accessable.
Like I said my dream was a bit uncouth, and a bit embarrassing to share, but dreams have no preconcieved ideas about what is or isn’t couth…they just are what they are and they tell the truth.
I don’t think it is lying to not divulge everything to people, whether it’s your feelings, your past, your political leanings,your religious beliefs…I think it requires discernment.
I appreciate your sense of anger in not feeling free to be who you are, how you are, but that’s just how the world operates. We all have to pretend sometimes, in order to survive.
I can’t be a raw nerve in the work place, or my co-workers may fear I’ll go postal…I couldn’t hold a job that way…
I can’t go around, ready to fight constantly, telling everyone I meet to F$^% off, because I don’t think they get it, or because they don’t agree with my politics…
That’s why it’s sooo good to have a place like LF, where it’s safe to be real.
When we are raw and angry, it is very hard to pretend, to go out into the world, and function.
I think that writing is an enormous tool for you, as it is for me. One place where the real me can just be.
I’m considering going into therapy, again. It’s been a very long time since I tried to battle my demons, hoping they had gone away, but I see their effects are still lingering.
I need help to find the courage, desire, ambition, to go into the world again, after my last devistating relationship, and 2.5 years of insulated isolation. I DON”T WANT TO GO.
I’m scared and I’m kicking and screaming and even angry…
acting spathy. I don’t want to act
spathy. I need some help.
Thank-you for acknowledging my dream. It’s always so nice to see that someone has posted back.
I believe we are all on the path, and exactly where we should be. Remember how powerful it is to have faith.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

kim – ‘I need help to find the courage, desire, ambition, to go into the world again, after my last devistating relationship, and 2.5 years of insulated isolation. I DON”T WANT TO GO.
I’m scared and I’m kicking and screaming and even angry”
acting spathy. I don’t want to act spathy. I need some help’

this is so beautiful; you so want the healing. 🙂

all BEST to you kim – just the way you are…a harmed warrior for healing.

one step

Dear Kim,

Remember back when you were scared chitless to go into the world and the “friends” you had then that you kept enabling, and couldn’t say “no” to—and how in a panic you were?

Those days are GONE Kim, you are NOT the same struggling person in a panic now, YOU ARE STRONGER, WISER, AND READY FOR A NEW CHALLENGE going toward healing.

Yes, you might be ready to go back into therapy, because when you were in therapy before you weren’t ready to hear the messages it gave you, but NOW you have taken in those messages, and made them your own. Still, like the rest of us,, NOT PERFECT, but who gives a rat’s big booty if you are perfect or not, I don’t, do YOU? I hope not!

Kim everyoone here on this web site has made some BIGGGGG blunders of decisions, you do NOT hold a patent on making BIGGGG BOOO BOOOS. You and I are among some great, smart, cultured and educated men and women here who have really screwed up big time. We (all of us) do not have a patent on being “stoooopid”or doing things that “ruined” our lives.

It was a good thing to have some “down time” living with your daughter and being her “househhold help” for a while, and having time and less stress to work through some of the issues and problems you had, but you’ve got that beaten down now, KIM—I know it is scary to get back out there, damn scary, but I can see how you have GROWN while you have been here at LF, I can see how HARD YOU HAVE WORKED to quiet those demons, to keep them under control and to work on he “new and improved” version of Kim, the same way I have worked on the “new and improved” Oxy—

Hang in there Kim, and TOWANDA!!!!! For you!!!!

I just wanted to toss out my two cents for what its worth, and its late so hopefully I don’t ramble to much.

Just because some won’t change or don’t change does not equate to can’t change. Along those same lines treatment may make some worse but it does not follow that it makes all worse. I agree with Oxy in that there are some that absolutely won’t change.

So many are looking for the “nature” or “nurture” piece so they can have something clean and easy to point to and say this is what makes them different. But things are often very complex and it is both nature and nurture combined with a 3rd piece that often can over ride those two and that piece is choice. Just yesterday a new piece of research came out about what makes us all unique (genetics). They:

have found that we differ from each other mainly because of differences not in our genes, but in how they’re regulated ”“ turned on or off, for instance.

The scientists found that even if different people have identical copies of a gene ”“ for instance ORMDL3, a gene known to be involved in asthma in children ”“ the way their cells regulate that gene can vary from person to person.

This is just another piece piled on to the growing theory. To quote another previous study:

“An appreciation of the idea that differences in gene expression can occur over vastly different time scales helps understand some of the complex relationships between genes, brain and behavior,” Robinson said.

The picture that is emerging from these and other studies suggests that social signals can have a profound effect on when and how genes function.

An organism’s genes, its environment, the social information it receives, “all these things interact,” said Clayton. “Experience is constantly coming back in to the level of the DNA and twiddling the dials and the knobs.”

So it is probably not just one thing, though it would be nice if it was. It is a combination of many things all together.

Hey, BloggerT, long time no see! Glad to have you chime in with your reasonable, rational and scientific mind to counter my rantings! LOL

And, I think you are right of course! Genetics, environment and the TIMING of events in environment are all critical. While there are usually great similarities in idential twins, raised apart, they are however NOT 100%, as long term studies of these children have shown. They have identical DNA (the only detectable differences are finger prints) but the environments in which they are reared are different, have different things happen at different times, and supposedly there is a 50%-80% correlation between them in, if one is a Psychopath, the other is. But since “being a P” is not a Yes or No question, like some things, and instead is a SCALE of behaviors and traits, it would be intrersting to know, point for point, how these children with identical DNA fare in different environments.

Even children sharing a womb before birth have NON-identical environments since it is quite common for one twin (even identical twins) to get a greater or lesser “share” of the food available there by where or how the placenta is placed, and there is often a fairly large (percentage wise) difference in sizes of twins due to this difference in the environment of the womb.

There is no way possible to have totally identical environments past the moment of conception, though there are ways that DNA can be manipulated. They are already doing that in research on cattle by making one egg split into 8 embryos which are then emplanted into 8 different cows, so those DNA-identical calves can be raised in different environments to see how those environments influence feed conversion, growth and maturity rates, milk production and fertility, etc. Over the centuries people have selectively “bred” for different characteristics in animals, which is called developing a “BREED” from dogs to horses and cattle with the selection criteria being different for different purposes.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, which ever way you look at it, humans have not generally “selectively” bred themselves, unless you do find the odd culture or race here or there, like the Spartans or the Nazis, who did or tried to do this “selective breeding” with humans. But in many instances children who were not “perfect” were less likely to survive because resources to keep them alive were not available.

Children who were “uncontrolable” in The Biblical times of the Jewish Law of Moses could be brought before the rulers by their parents and if found uncontrolable could be put to death. I think this would have solved some problems for a few families today, but I’m not sure that law was actually enforced even then, even if it was “on the books.” I can’t imagine myself taking my son at age 17 to be stoned by my neighbors….in retrospect, I would have wished I would have done so, but at the time it would have been unthinkable.

Many breeds of domestic animals have had “aggression” bred out of them so that theyy became safer for their owners to deal with, but humans have actually, I think, had aggression reinforced in the genetics because in many cases, the more aggressive gets the resources and if there is a shortage of resources, the less aggressive starves and suffers a loss of reproductive powers vs. the more aggressive.

Too much aggression though, and the community would likely “team up against” the abusive aggressor and eliminate him, thus decreasing his reproductive powers. So there has to be a balance between aggression and cooperation but on the whole, I think the psychopath who is higher in cooperation (apparent cooperation) but high enough in psychopathic traits to take UNFAIR advantage of the community’s individuals would “win” in the survival game and in the reproduction game by spreading their seed far and wide.

But in terms of selection of the fittest, if every human was a psychopath and there were no potential victims to feed them, where would the species as a whole be?

So I think in the meantime, since we can’t most likely change the outcome of genetics entirely at least, and over all don’t have a great deal of influence over the micro-environments of the child’s home, maybe we should concentrate on empowering the victims to recognize and flee the predators among us.

Oxy, exactly. I think we women tend to be attracted to powerful and self-confidant men, and if we don’t take the time to really get to know them, and jump right in with both feet, we may have “selected for psychopathy”
Especially with the charm and love-bombing they do.

Yea, in many species the females are attracted to the most aggressive or strongest male in the competition. There has also been some studies done on WHY certain women are more attractive to men than others, because of the “reproductive” potential that is indicated by certain body shapes, etc. That’s also why younger women are more attractive to males than us “more mature” women. It is programmed into the species, pick physically healthy young partners who will give you a better chance of viable offspring. For the female she bonds to the male (even in normal females we tend to bond more than males do through sexual contact) so he will hang around to help feed her during the gestation, and she gives him sex all through the month not just when she is fertile to keep him around, and he sneaks around in the cave and has sex with other women as well, (multiple partners assures more offspring for the male) so he beats the other men into submission so they have no partners and he has multiples, etc.

Dr. Leedom said one study of kids born in public housing in England, that 25% of them were sired by known psychopaths. We all know that many if not most of the P males we know are very promiscious and many have multiple kids by multiple women moving on to new women and more kids, leaving behind the old relationships and women and kids to fend for themselves. Unlike in the cave-dwelling days though, a woman today can provide for her child and she and her baby will not die of starvation because he moved on, or she failed to adapt to a multiple-wife harem.

I think the Biblical story of Abraham and his wife Sarah, who because she was barren gave Abraham her maid Hagar to have a child for her husband, which the maid did. Then, when Sarah had her own son, 12 or 13 years later, she wanted Hagar and HER son thrown out into the desert. Since she was the WIFE and actually owned Hagar (and therefore the son as well) she had Abraham put them out into the desert, where they would have died had not God in the story intervened. Abraham actually did it reluctantly, but Sarah did this out of jealousy, and probably had a pretty good idea what the result would have been of Hagar being put out of the camp in the middle of no-where in the desert.

Hagar had actually gotten to the point that she lay down where she could not see her son dying because it was so painful for her to observe his death.

In the story, Hagar and her son were both saved from death, and the story concludes with Hagar’s son’s descendants becoming a great nation. I wonder though if Sarah and Abraham and their son every knew what happened to the woman and her son.

Was Sarah a psychopath? Not sure, of course, but this was a pretty cold-hearted thing for her to do, but in those days the culture was a bit different than it is SUPPOSED TO BE now.

Thank you Oxy. I try to drop by from time to time. Here is another article you and others might like:

Controversially, and for the first time in the US, the court was permitted to see evidence from functional brain scans from neuroscientist Kent Kiehl related to Dugan’s diagnosis of psychopathy. – http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100317/full/464340a.html

midlifecrisis

Thanks for a wonderful uplifting post.

I was sick after the rack of lamb and vow never to eat a baby again. I I could taste the sad unlived life in the meat and it made me hurl..the sheep in the slaughter truck..it’s appalling, it’s horrific. I would rather be with that sheep, die like the sheep than to ignore it, of course I can see how cruel it is. never aplogise for inspiring kindess to the planet and all sentient beings.

Oxy

finding it hard to hear about experiments on rats, punishing them with electric shocks etc. We are talking about human beings. I have never met a psychopathic rat. Traumatising animals until they become crazy and aggressive equals misery to me. I know it goes on, but it is unacceptable to me on any level. bullfighting, breeding…

like the animals have no soul?, no reason other than to be manipulated by us. WHO ARE WE TO ASSUME THAT IT’S RIGHT?

Thanks Midlife

Up late tonight, too much coffee today!

I was thinking of asking you the same thing, so that’s cool. Would be awesome to have a localish lovefraud buddy.

[email protected]

Will delete that once you’ve seen it.

Thanks Bulletproof – I have actually been listening to a song today with that very title – look it up on Youtube! It’s great for us thinking of getting back into dating again after the horrible experience with the PSYCHOPATHS – the lyrics are especially apt.

This vegan path is MY path and I recognise it isn’t for everyone, but I can say it has made me view the world in a different way spiritually and it has brought me some healing and tenderness I couldn’t access before in the state I was left after the PSYCHOPATH. I do see some sense in the Hindu (?) belief of reincarnation and often think to myself – next life I could come back as a dog – how would I want to be treated? So how do I treat this dog who I am priviledged to have live with me in my life? I hate the idea of ‘ownership’ of animals – I don’t own them I am just fortunate to have them in my life.

ONE STEP – what beauty and pain in what you wrote. Longing and yearning for something better. I can feel what you are feeling and I understand what you wrote about looking at the world differently now and the people within it you encounter. I sometimes look at people going about their lives – shopping and socialising and having fun and think :

“How lucky are you all to live in the ignorance that evil stalks the earth in human form? How could you live with the knowledge I have? That there are demons amongst us that blend in and look like anyone else?”

Having this experience totally changes your worldview -we are all fortunate indeed to have survived it – survival and thriving is testament to our strength and it’s not a linear climb upwards. There are valleys of doubt and despair on the way upwards and who knows where we will end up? We probably won’t ever be the same as we were, but we can only keep on reaching upwards.

I know that feeling of not wanting to move on. I am feeling it myself and am being gentle for now with myself about it. But every now and then I have to give myself a kick up the ass … it’s hard. I am left with lots of pain and emotional baggage – how do I explain the past ten years to a new partner? When is the appropriate time to display my scars and explain why I am likely to sabotage and want to run away? How do I get rid of the shame I am feeling?

There are no easy answers to any of this – just taking it one step at a time as your name says seems to be the best way. I believe we will all make it through and you’re so right that being able to come here and be real in all our shame and pain helps immensely. Just expressing what is boiling in our hearts often dissipates the horrid energy and allows it the voice it seeks – it can then remove the strangehold it has on our souls.

Just remember we have all survived a horrific experience – one that stalked our souls, targetted us as victims to be manipulated and reduced us from full and beautiful people to objects of supply for another. It totally changed our view of the world and of humans and relationships and exposed us to evil that we previously had not encountered in its raw form. There are bound to be long term consequences from it – most of us are not in active therapy at the moment and are guiding ourselves through this journey of healing – it has twists and turns and sometimes we can’t even see the path ahead. We just have to keep on walking and TRUST that around the next bend is a beautiful spot or a small bench to rest and reflect on or a waterfall from which we can quench our thirst.

One Step – I am sorry you are in so much pain right now. It was palpable from your words and I wish I could ease some of it for you today. It sucks what that woman did to you – she should be jailed for the rest of her life at a minimum.

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