Friday, June 19, 2015

Understand Psychopaths or be Victimized by Them

From mass murderers to women helping felons to escape prison to people lying about their race, psychopaths all have something in common; the same motive for what they do. Since so few people understand psychopathy, few understand the true motivation behind their actions.

In just the span of a couple of weeks, three stories are being heavily debated in the news and on the Internet: why Joyce Mitchell helped two murderers escape prison, why Rachel Dolezal claimed she is black when she is actually white, and why a mass murderer would kill  a bunch of innocent folks attending church.

The three main answers people seem to want to settle on is 1) Mitchell fell in love with one of the prisoners and her emotions led her astray, 2) Rachel Dolezal so identified with her black adopted siblings, she felt as black as them, and 3) racism caused a young man to become a killer.

None of the above is actually true; the real answer is all three thought what they did was fun.

"What? Fun?" You exclaim in disbelief and hundreds of psychiatrists will roll their eyes and charge me with practicing mental health without a license or a clue. They will claim I am tossing out some one-size-fits-all motive and ignoring all the complicated psychological issues that cause behavior.

Let me explain. Yes, all three of these human beings have complicated issues that CAUSED them to become psychopaths. From that point on, they are motivated by the thrill their behavior gives them. The love the attention they get through their manipulations, lies, and actions. They love the power and control they get from getting over on others. To put it simply, what they do is fun for them.

Mitchell wanted to play Bonnie to her Clydes. She had fun befriending dangerous men, having sex with them, fooling her husband, and then planning a masterful escape. Soon you will see her having fun manipulating people in prison or on the Internet through inmate dating sites or a Free Joyce Mitchell group of people who think she was the victim of manipulation by men.  Rachel Dolezal had fun convincing people of something that was not true, she had fun playing the victim, and now she is having fun on television. If people stopped giving credibility to Dolezal's claims, she would disappear.

All mass murderers find it fun to kill people, that is their real motive. They are not actually getting back at bullies, starting a race war, or killing for Allah; they are killing for fun and the thrill they get when they pull the trigger, and, more importantly, the thrill of becoming famous. It all is so much fun, so much more fun than being a normal person, telling the truth, and slogging away at a normal job and being just a regular Joe. If we recognized this, especially the media, then we would be adamant that the media stop giving glory and fame to mass murderers because that is exactly what they want. Stop their fun and you take away motive for their crime. We might still have some mass murderers who want the thrill of the moment when they drop a person, but, the bigger motivation of fame would be gone; we would see the numbers of mass murders decline substantially.

People find it difficult to accept that a person who commits horrific crimes is just a psychopath just having fun; it seems so incredibly shallow, so pointless, that an individual would kill or ruin peoples' lives on a whim. But, yes, that is exactly the point; psychopaths ARE shallow people; they don't really care much about anything or anyone. They may quote religion, but, in reality don't care all that much about it; they may state they are fighting some race war or fighting back against some group, but, in reality it isn't about any issue, it is only about them getting attention and the cheap thrill of power. They want to have fun and you are how they are going to get it. You are just fodder, meaningless fodder. Rachel Dolezal has had fun for years with her crimes of lies and deception and people continue to fall for her manipulations and so she is still having fun. Be on the watch for her reality show or her bestselling book! While we waste our time thinking there is something to figure out about Dolezal and race, she is just having fun hoodwinking us.

The other difficulty people have with accepting people are psychopaths is also accepting that there is nothing that one can do about it. You can't change a psychopath; they remain one for life. There is no therapy and, for psychiatrists, that is an income killer and an affront to the entire concept of helping people regain mental health. Kind of a buzz killer.

Anyone who has truly been the victim of a psychopath over a long period of time will be nodding their head at my words; they will totally get it, totally. But, for the rest of the population, psychopathy makes no sense, it cannot be, there must be a better explanation, be more complicated and more "fixable." It simply is too frustrating to think these zombielike people are among us and can strike out and hurt us at will and simply because they find it fun.

But, that's the way it is. All we can do is recognize it and do whatever we can to stop psychopaths from inflicting so much damage on us. But, our refusal to recognize psychopathy, especially the refusal of psychiatrists to recognize psychopathy, puts us all in harm's way and we need to open our eyes to the truth of this horrific personality disorder and deal with it. 


Anonymous said...

So if I suspect a close family member may be a psychopath, if not that, a narcissist for sure, what are we to do about it? People are always saying about "missing the signs." Well, what are you supposed to do? You can't call the police and turn them in if they have done nothing. You can't have them committed if they are adults and are deemed not a threat to themselves or others. So what can you do to avert a tragedy. This family member was threatening suicide or "doing something bad." I had an emergency custody order initiated and he was picked up only to be released 3 hours later because "he was not suicidal or homicidal." He was just manipulating, he said.
What can I do for myself? I do not let myself be manipulated or abused any longer. Other than that, not much anyone can do.

Pat Brown said...

Anon 7:40

You are correct that when a narcissist or psychopath is within the family unit, it is a very difficult situation. The best thing to do, of course, is get distance from that person, if at all possible. Divorce is possible, avoid the if possible, end the relationship if possible. Now, of course, it helps if it is a friend you can "defriend" or a relative that you can be "too busy" to see. If the person is a parent and you are grown, avoid. If the person is a child and grown, avoid. The most difficult situation is when it is a parent and one does cannot leave the home or it is a child and one cannot throw the child out or one is married and in fear for the children.

But, let's go back to ending a relationship. Many have trouble doing that EVEN when it is possible because they feel bad about it. After all, it is one's brother or mother or.....but, truly, if you are being abused by this person, you have every right to walk. They do not deserve the title of relative or friend if they cannot treat you right. I have worked with people to put distance in between themselves and their loved one who is psychopathic and the reason they tend to have a really difficult time is that they want to believe that when the person is acting nice, he has changed or been wrongly labeled. Then, it happens again, the abuse and manipulation and lies, and then the person has to go through it all over again. I have seen people do this over and over for years and each time the relative comes back asking to be forgiven or try again, the person tries to convince ME that I am wrong about them being a psychopath. They give in and a couple of weeks or months later, I get the call...."You were right; he did it again."

As far as turning them in, for what? If they commit a crime, you can call the police, but personality disorders don't benefit from mental health counseling. If that one threatens suicide and you know him to be a psychopath, all you can do is allow him free will. If he is a psychopath, he will be there in the morning. But, the problem is, why are you there in the morning with him or her? This means you are continuing in a pointless relationship, where you have no rights or importance.

AnneGuedes said...

3 types of crime are joined here : hatred (leaving a survivor to testify), racism (here against the black community) and mass murdering (the more the better). A lonesome wolf ? Where did he feed ?

Is that technically part of the terrorism category ?

Pat Brown said...

Anne, this is the problem with not understanding psychopathy and assigning motives from a nonpsychopathic point of view! Without discussing the creep because I don't like to give them fame, I can tell you that he is a mass murderer plain and simple. None of what he claims has anything to do with is all about his version of having fun and getting attention.

Here is how it should be laid out as far as labels (and my opinion alone)

Hate Crime - An organized assault by a group with the express purpose of demoralizing or destroying a particular community: KKK, certain attacks by skinheads, etc. The group plans attacks that will send fear into that community in order to maintain power and control over whatever sphere they inhabit. They are not trying to influence a political change; just to be dominant over what they consider lesser or unacceptable

Terrorism: An organized assault on a particular community in order to influence political/religious change. This does not include lone wolves UNLESS the lone wolf has been particularly sought out by a cell group and sent into action to achieve the political purpose

Mass murderer: A lone psychopath goes out to take revenge on the society he thinks has ignored him; he wants revenge and recognition with massive media attention being the gold ring. It matters little what purpose he claims for his mass murder because it actually isn't about that at all but purely to make himself feel awesome for a moment in time and to be remembered forever.

The problem I see with labeling is it is more about how the public feels than the perpetrator and the usual label ignores the true motive spurring on the attack. And this is important because if we know the true motive, then we know how to stop the crimes. Mass murderers need zero attention from the media, terrorist cell groups need to be routed out and their activities monitored and hate groups need also to be monitored for a build up that will lead to some kind of assault on the target group.

Anonymous said...

Pat, you can add pathological liar to this group. They are really dangerous to those around them, particularly those in the family who are helpless to get away from them and their manipulations and lies.

The pain they create and cause to family members can last for years; they have no empathy or conscience for those they hurt so badly nor will they ever admit or accept their guilt. The trouble they create within the family is unbelievable.

As her grandmother, with her living in my home, I've been subjected to this little pathological liar starting at ten years old and rapidly progressing. I loved her dearly, now I almost despise her. Today she is thirteen and still creating major havoc in the family.

She is beautiful and brilliant, however, I see no hope for her other than the possibility of becoming a hardened criminal while dragging her closest relatives down emotionally for the next number of years. She is pure evil. I see no hope for myself either in having to be subjected to her lies and manipulations. God help us all.

Libby Munro said...

I agree with all of this Pat. Do you think Jodi Arias and Casey Anthony are psychopaths?

Mac said...

Well said Pat, you need to be a victim to see them in all their ugliness, once scarred by them you will see it easily in others. Rachel Dolezal is without doubt a psychopath, made worse by the fact she is a woman and will fall back on all the old cliches, the worst of those being lack of accountability for women generally, so in turn it will be the parents, ex-husband etc. If she can pull this grand delusion off she will feel like the Queen of the World instead of just plain old Washington. Here's hoping that people read the actions and not the words.

Anonymous said...

I feel so dejected right now. My 14 year old daughter has displayed "conduct disorder" throughout her life. She was living with my mother and she met a man that employed her to work in his business. She ended up moving in with him and his family without asking my mother or me. They just informed my mother that she was staying. This man is very wealthy and is trying to keep my daughter permanently. It has only been a few months and my daughter says she considers them her parents and won't have anything to do with our family anymore. This man wants permanent guardianship of her and has threatened to take me to court to get it. My mother currently has guardianship but she won't fight him. I think she is just too old and tired. He told me that my daughter's problems can be fixed by taking her places and buying her things. He has convinced her that she is now rich and he has promised to pay for her college and he is putting her in a private school. He is also way too attached to her in too short a time. He claims she is now his true daughter. This is not normal behavior to me and I know his intentions are not good. He is in his forties and his wife is in her twenties. His wife was an employee of his that he ended up getting pregnant. He divorced his wife and got custody of their children and married the employee. My daughter is unusually pretty and has the natural shape of a model and I keep thinking she will be the "replacement" I was living in another state when this happened and I have since moved close to my daughter. I am going to the authorities on this in a couple of days. I feel dejected because the last time I tried to get help for my daughter, they took her from me and gave her to my mother, who was in no way competent to take care of a child with her problems. I can just hope beyond hope that they help us this time...Do you have any advice you can give me? Thank You.

Pat Brown said...

Anon 7:08

Everything depends on legal issues. Your daughter is not an adult and cannot decide for herself where she will live. But, if she is not in your care, there must be some reason. If the courts or social services are involved, then you pretty much have to work with them. If your daughter effectively has run off to be with this couple without your permission and they are keeping her against your wishes, then, effectively that is kidnapping. So, I am not sure what your legal issues are but, the police and courts would decide where your daughter should be living.

Now, the other issue would be your daughter's "conduct disorder" which I am guessing means she has been in mental health care and they gave her this label. Regardless of whether your daughter is with you or not, you need professional advice on how to best have a relationship with her. From afar, I cannot really tell you much because the situation is very complicated.

Portal said...

murders on racism is a saddest thing to hear it should be stopped around the world.

Anonymous said...

"conduct disorder" is a term they give to kids who are sociopathic. They are not allowed to diagnose children with personality disorders. The theory is that until a person is an adult, disorders can be cured. Yes we were involved with CPS. My daughter called them herself at school one day. They gave my mother guardianship because my daughter stated at first that she didn't want to go home. She changed her story when she was put in a foster home she didn't like, but by that point it was too late, and she was placed with my mother. Since then, she has been going back and forth between my mother and me. My mother cannot handle her and this child has been involved in shoplifting, vandalism, she contracted an std at the age of 12, and drugs. She has been involved with the police and was expelled at school for sexual harassment. I was told by the family court judge that I could go back to court in the state my daughter lives to have her returned to me but my mother would refuse the guardianship and frankly, I did not have the money to fight this. I was wiped out financially for years from the CPS case. Yes, I am going to work with CPS but what I was looking for advice on was the situation my daughter is in at the couple's home. I have since found out that he has also taken in my sister's son who also has "conduct disorder and is wanting guardianship of him and he is 17. I have never heard of wealthy people taking children they don't even know and making them a part of the family. Especially children who don't need the help and that have families that don't want them to live there and then threaten the families with law suits. It seems really suspicious to me and I was wanting to know what you thought of it. You can call me Lisa instead of Anon if you would like.

Pat Brown said...


Yes, you are correct: "conduct disorder" is a term psychiatrists give to juveniles instead of psychopath or sociopath. Not only do they want to believe the disorder can be fixed or improved upon, they also simply don't like the concept of psychopathy because eliminate use for therapy.

I can't say why this couple wants to take in children with personality disorders; it could be because they have a "use" for them, or it could be that they think they are saviors and have bought into the concept that if only these teens lived with them, they could save them. Also, if the couple is related to you and your sister and they have issues with you as parents, they may want to prove how much better they are.

In the long run, the reality is, if you daughter is truly a sociopath, nothing much you can do is going to help anyway. It might, at this point, be better to protect yourself, set up rules of engagement for your relationship with your daughter and accept that the most you probably can do is be a bystander to what happens. If she does have a personality disorder, you might be better off being a bystander and not immersing yourself in the middle of a drama which she manipulates.

Anonymous said...

Thank You. You are absolutely right. I always end up in a bind of some sort with her. Lisa.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you on this. Why? Because I'm one myself. But I don't know what to do with myself really, and I want to be normal. Alas, I lack the emotions most people do and I have learned to subconsciously feign them instead. Seeing the look of fear on other people's faces has always been extremely amusing however- and I know that if I ever ended up doing anything massively wrong (not that I would, unless something happened and I ended up getting a criminal record for joint enterprise or something (oh boy, hell would break loose)) I wouldn't feel anything. It's sad, really- I don't feel 'numb', but I literally feel nothing most of the time, and when I do, it's probably because I'm 'PMS-ing'.

Pat Brown said...

Anon, you may be over diagnosing yourself. You could suffer from some other issue like Attachment Disorder in which someone that happened in your early childhood has caused you not to trust people and not connect with them (because you don't trust them). Some people with this issue can still be good citizens, put their energies into things that they feel they can control and those things they do can be helpful to other people.

The most important thing is to understand yourself and then work to live your life the best you can with whoever you are.