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#3842 - 12/01/06 08:32 AM Re: General Discussion [Re: Melanie]
Dianne E. Offline

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Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2788
Loc: United States
Hi Mel,

In answer to one of your questions, help is something that unless court ordered a Psychopath would probably never seek, or they might go along if a spouse or family insists. There is information that any kind of help probably would only make them worse. We have a thread here about Therapy and Psychopaths that I'll go look for so you can read it and hopefully help you.

I can understand your shock but with a Psychopath you could have given him the world and nothing would have changed except he would come back and ask for more of the world or rob you of it.

Di

Hi Mel, in scanning through the "threads" I found a couple you might find interesting:

Therapy and the effects

Suicide and Murder

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#3843 - 12/02/06 06:27 PM Re: General Discussion [Re: Dianne E.]
Melanie Offline
member

Registered: 11/30/06
Posts: 6
Hi Dianne

Thank you for responding to my posts. I've replied to a post made by "More Cautious Now" under Murders & Suicides because I think what she described applied to my Dad's situation/suicide.

Thanks again for your help.
Mel

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#3844 - 12/03/06 08:35 AM Re: General Discussion [Re: Melanie]
Dianne E. Offline

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Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2788
Loc: United States
Hi Mel,

Keep in my I am not a professional therapist, however, that said, it is my understanding that people who threaten suicide or make mild attempts are calling out for help. The serious ones will do it and succeed at killing themselves. Does your dad threaten?

He might also be showing crocodile tears and playing poor me over his parents etc. A true Psychopath is all about themselves and how they fool others into thinking they really feel emotions for others, imo.

Dr. Hare defines the word Psychopath as the current terminology. Of course many still use the term "sociopath" but the proper word if they fit the profile is Psychopath.

Di

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#3845 - 12/03/06 04:22 PM Re: General Discussion [Re: Dianne E.]
Melanie Offline
member

Registered: 11/30/06
Posts: 6

Hi Dianne

My Dad suceeded in killing himself it was clear that it was not a cry for help. He had threatened suicide to his wives in the past, but not to me. His suicide was very in keeping with the view that psychopaths are out for themselves. His note was very self - oriented and passed blame for his situation.

Unfortunately I have to disagree with your statement that the psychopath has replaced the term sociopath. Based on many readings and my Dad's diagnosis, my understanding is that a sociopath is a type of psychopath/antisocial personality but does show different traits that make him/her unique. Often the terms are used interchangeably which is why some people think they refer to exactly the same thing. Both sociopaths and psychopaths can be equally destructive. There has always been a clear differentiation between the two, namely that a sociopath's destructive behaviour presents as being more impulsive where as a psychopath is more planned. A psychopath also tends more towards physical violence than a sociopath, but this doesn't necessarily exclude sociopaths from violence, its just a generalisation. Dr Hare actually does differentiate between the two in many works.

There is also clear evidence that psychopaths and sociopaths DO show emotion, albeit at a child-like level. They most certainly do not show emotion for others (which might be what you mean), but they do show emotion for themselves. There are also threads on your forum that support this finding (discussions around the difference between conscience and emotion). In typical form of a psychopath/sociopath, their emotion is VERY self oriented. The elation they feel when they deceive or hurt and the 'low' they would feel when not suceeding in their destructive plans is definately emotion as is the anger they demonstrate when they feel they have been exposed. I wonder if it may be easier for some people to believe that they have no emotion at all because it may help victims feel ambivalent towards the person who has abused them. In the end, regardless of whether they feel emotion of not, a psychopath or sociopaths behaviour is still unacceptable and they should be kept away from.

Anyway, I hope you don't take my response to your post as a push back of your understanding or your experience. Your posts and threads have been very helpful to me and I'm grateful that I've been able to access this site. My intention is only to encourage some healthy debate around the 'inner workings' of such people with a view to helping better our understanding of the psychopath.

Mel

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#3846 - 12/03/06 08:09 PM Re: General Discussion [Re: Melanie]
denfox Offline
member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 82
Hi Mel,

I just thought I'd drop you a note and let you know that while I haven't had the same experience of losing a loved one to suicide, that I do know that some of the confusion and guilt that you describe may be associated to the natural mourning process. I'm sure that you recognize this as well.

It's not your fault, any of it. Your father was sick, we don't know exactly why; but, it is okay for you to still love him and mourn his loss despite the torment he may have caused. This is the paradox, that the sociopath can display so very different sides to different people. Although he may have left a note blaming others, and he may have felt that his own torment and depression was situational, I would venture that the fact that he took his own life is an indication that at some level, he did feel guilt. Despite his antisocial behavior and without denying that he was a sociopath, he was perhaps not so totally malevolent or entirely lacking of a conscience - as evidenced by his final act.

As you seek understanding, may you also find peace in your own heart.

Best regards,
den

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#3847 - 12/04/06 11:14 AM Re: General Discussion [Re: denfox]
denfox Offline
member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 82
Hi Mel,

I hope you find what you're looking for and accept the support this group offers.

I just wanted to drop you a note, and say that since my posting yesterday, I have learned more and should have more appropriately used the term psychopath where I have said sociopath - not only in this post, but in my other previous postings. What we are dealing with is psychopathy. I hope you can see that, as I have now too.

I have a more generalized question for the group as well, how common is depression and other mental health issues amongst psychopaths?

Is it more likely that a psychopath will have other problems, or is their psychopathy so defining that all other problems become trivial in comparison?

Best wishes,
denfox

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#3848 - 01/05/07 12:39 AM Is my son a psychopath? [Re: denfox]
Christina Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 1
Hi my name is Christina

I have a 21 year old son who still lives at home and goes to college. I have recentlly made an appointment for him to see a therapist. I dont really know where to start, the first time I remember him having problems was when he was 8 years old, he came to my office after school and said he wanted to die, I was surprised and worried, so I sent him to see a therapist, they said he was normal and just bored and was very manipulative. He has always been sort of a hothead especially when he doesn't get his way, even for the simplest reason, I always remember this strange hateful spooky look in his eyes. When he was 12 he was seeing psychologists for his dislike of school, again but nothing ever seemed to help and they could never seem to tell me what was wrong with him. At 13 the therapist he was seeing said he was dangerous for talking about wanting to kill a kid from school and recomended that he go to a psych ward, he did for a week, but then again they couldn't tell me what was wrong with him and after that I pulled him out of school and he went to homeschool. I later learned that he had about of months worth of homework that he didn't want to do and wanted to go to a psych ward to try and get out of school, which he succeeded. At age sixteen he tried to frame someone at the high school he used to go to for possesion of marijuana, he said the reason he did it was that he wanted to hang out with some of his friends and this guy with a car always got in his way, so he stashed wild grown marijuana in his car and called the cops on him.
He went back to see a therapist to get out of trouble for the act and succeeded once again. The docters never could say what was wrong with him, but suspected a type of personality disorder but was too young to be diagnosed. After that he has been suspected of a few burgleries, I has gotten a DUI, shoplifting, underage drinking, countless speeding tickets, and right now there is a charge on him for agrivated battery. He was in the Marines for a little over a year but was medically seperated for having a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which he claims he was malingering for depression to get out of the Marines because he hated them. When he got home he got unemployment checks and the only reason he is going to college is because he found a way to get the government to pay for it.
I have read the book Without Conscience and I cant say for sure if he is a psychopath, I feel so guilty for even saying the possibility for my littlest angel being a psychopath descibed in that book, but I have too face the truth about my son and was wondering if anyone with experience with psychopaths could help me out.

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#3849 - 01/05/07 06:48 PM Re: Is my son a psychopath? [Re: Christina]
Dianne E. Offline

Administrator
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Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2788
Loc: United States
Hi Christina, welcome to the forum. I am sorry for your situation. It must be a terrible thing to have to consider your son is a Psychopath.

There is a thread here I recommend in case you haven't seen it:
Click Here:
Therapy and its effects

This is a quote I found somewhere and had it on file about Dr. Hare and therapy for Psychopaths:

In reply to:

That is why Hare believes that therapy makes psychopaths worse; most of them learn about human emotions through psychiatry, and they are "eager to attribute their faults and problems to childhood abuse." [Hare, 50]. Also, "antisocials (psychopaths) themselves can be uncooperative or unpleasant, complicating efforts to study and treat them." [Black, 12].




Please keep in mind that I have never walked in your shoes but from what I understand therapy can be a negative. Would you consider seeing a professional who has taken Dr. Hare's course for an evaluation? They don't keep a list of who has taken this course so it will take some leg work to find one who has. I am sure with some phone calls you will. It would seem that for your own peace of mind to get to the real diagnosis would be a way to let you know what to do next. Are there other siblings in the family?

I am sure some parents who are in your position will come along with some more input.

All my best,

Di

It has only been recently that Dr. Hare has released a youth version of his checklist so I am sure when you began this journey not enough was probably known to give you the help you so desperately need.

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#3850 - 07/17/07 11:42 PM Re: General Discussion [Re: Dianne E.]
wendi Offline
member

Registered: 07/17/07
Posts: 1
Hi, this is my first post. I am too worn down right now to go into over forty years of what my psychopathic sister has wrought upon myself and my family. Back in the early 80's, before the word psychopath was as frequently used among the general public, I remember reading the description of one in a book on abnormal psychology, and thinking "that's her!"

I recently decided to cut off all relations with her. My husband has wanted me to do for 15 years. This time it is my choice due to an unbelievable stunt she pulled, with me as her target as usual, leaving me out of $10,000+ dollars.

How, you ask? Without going into details right now, she is extremely charming (superficially), able to set anyone at ease, very likable (if you really don't know her), articulate, was a beauty in her day, is still attractive for her age, very persuasive, has no conscience, feels no remorse, and has succeeded in convincing most of my siblings except one that *I* am the one who has always harmed her.

There is only one of my siblings who is backing me up and that is because she has pulled rotten things over and over on him too, although not as severe as the ones on me, because he's male and she's afraid of him. He cut her off several years ago.

The other siblings live far away and only come for visits. I've tried explaining what *really* happened/happens, and they still all believe her - to the extent of writing me emails telling me how "hateful and mean" I am to her - yet I have never been in any kind of trouble, and she has been in nothing but trouble (DUI's, stealing large amounts of money from my parents, hit-and-runs, doing drugs, etc, etc, and to this day is a functional alcoholic - though the psychopathic behavior came long before her alcoholism).

I am also the one my father chose as executor of the estate over 10 years ago, and he was not a stupid man. Now he is frail and in ill health - and my sister has just used that fact as an easier way to take even more advantage of him, to the point where my parents have almost depleted their lifetime savings ever since my father's mental faculties declined.

I do my best to stop her from taking everything they have but she is so used to scheming she knows many tricks and roadblocks. I *do* have power of attorney, but that doesn't stop my parents from handing her over money constantly for things that are "broken" (i.e. she wants some expensive clothes, or some fancy repairs done on house at their cost, or even has *my father* do them, whose balance is precarious as it is).

She's already even talking about the cheapest nursing home "we can put him in," where relatives have to provide food, laundry care, etc (meaning me, of course). The fact is if he was being *helped,* as my husband, brother, and I am trying to do, he could have many productive years left.

I know cutting off a sibling is a drastic step but I have tied myself in loops trying to get along with her because it hurts my mother so much for all of us to not get along. In addition, I loved and cared about my sister, and remember when we were children how so different she was - thoughtful, always coming up with fun things to do, just a great sister.

But when she hit her teens and became a real beauty everything seemed to change. She introduced all us younger siblings to hard liquor by the age of 14 and drugs such as cocaine by 16.

For many years the family considered her the "star" of the family, perhaps due to her stunning looks and ability to become friends with almost anyone and have people flock around her. It was as if everything revolved around her.

Even when it started becoming apparent (to my parents, anyway) that she was a rotten apple, they, especially my mother, would make excuses for her - "she's stressed", she's going through a divorce," "she's out of work," "how would you feel if your daughter was on crack?" (Bad, but I have a good clue why).

Now my mother sighs and admits many of the things my sister does is wrong, but I can tell she is so worn out she just doesn't have the energy to try to make her behave decently, which she had started doing in her 50's and 60's.

I could fill a magazine with the stunts my sister has pulled over the years, and many of them are so outrageous some people would probably find it hard to believe someone would do such things, often to their own family.

What really is a downer for me right now is she is going around telling all our relatives, distant and close, some she barely even knows, and even MY in-laws, some of whom *I* barely know, all kind of lies about me.

Well, I didn't mean to make this so long, but glad to meet you all (though sad if you have someone like my sister in your family tree).

Wendi

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#3851 - 07/22/07 01:27 PM Re: General Discussion [Re: wendi]
Dianne E. Offline

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Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2788
Loc: United States
Hi Wendi, welcome to the forum, sorry for the delay in responding. I am moving and hate packing.

Your story is so sad, yet so familiar to read after all these years having the forum.

It is very difficult cutting off a sibling, I have experience with that. At first my mother acknowledged the rotten things my brother did to me, now that she is close to 80 she has tried a couple of tricks to get me to talk to him.

I think in life when people like your sister runs around bad mouthing you to others it is best to take the high road and not defend the lies. Keep in mind that is just my opinion, hopefully some other members will weigh in on this issue. Even though my own brother isn't a full blow Psychopath it has been difficult because I probably have too much empathy. On this one I will hold my ground.

I think the people that count and can think for themselves will see what your sister is telling them are nothing but a pack of lies. If the others buy into her game, that is up to them. I think trying to explain and deflect what a Psychopath is saying could become a full time job.

If you have power of attorney (thankfully) wouldn't you be the one to control where they end up as far as the nursing home situation?

I am sure it is hard for your mother to admit she has a monster for a daughter. Is there anyway to still have a relationship with your mother and deflect speaking about your sister and not hurting your mom?

I would suggest speaking wtih an attorney and see if you could get conservatorship (sic) over your parents affairs since they are being robbed by your sister. I guess I am saying if possible to find a way to block her from essentially robbing them?

Di

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