Psychos in our mist Essay

This essay has a total of 1350 words and 7 pages.

Psychos in our mist

For most of us the idea of a psychopath conjures up images from movies like "Silence of
The Lambs" and characters with names like "Hannibal Lector." Fortunately characters like
Hannibal don't really exist. Serial killers and people involved in ritual torture are
rare, but psychopathic behavior is more common than you might think.


I have known several psychopaths in my life. The clearest case involved an older teen who
had no sense of guilt. He could learn the rules, but he had no sense of conscience. The
only thing that saved him was a mother who loved him, took him to counseling for years and
spent a great deal of time patiently teaching him right from wrong. I remember a
conversation where he told me, "People know when something is wrong because it feels
wrong. I have to remember or be reminded that stealing from someone is wrong. I don't feel
bad if I take something."


Meeting this young boy changed my opinion of a psychopathic personality. Why? Because
children with this condition are "emotionally blind." And while I do not excuse cruelty or
criminal behavior, I have sympathy and appreciate how hard it is for some people to learn
how to act responsibly. Without help, potentially psychopathic children will become adults
who never remain attached to anyone or anything for long. They may end up living a
"predatory" lifestyle, feeling little or no regret, and having little or no remorse -
except when they are caught or about to be locked up. A psychopath is not necessarily a
bad person. But they are prone to have problems with society, rules, expectations and
relationships.


A psychopath will use people for excitement, entertainment, to build their self-esteem and
they invariably value people in terms of their material value (e.g. money, property,
comfort, etc..). They can involve and get other people into trouble quickly and they seem
to have no regret for their actions. To date there is no checklist of behavior and
symptoms that will tell you with certainty whether or not a person is a psychopath. But
there are warning signs. The following warning signs are based on my experience but
primarily research conducted by Robert Hare, Ph.D - the leading expert on the Psychopathic
Personality.


Characteristics of a Psychopath

superficial charm

self-centered & self-important

need for stimulation & prone to boredom

deceptive behavior & lying

conning & manipulative

little remorse or guilt

shallow emotional response

callous with a lack of empathy

living off others or predatory attitude

poor self-control

promiscuous sexual behavior

early behavioral problems

lack of realistic long term goals

impulsive lifestyle
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