General Overview | Psychopaths and Violent Crimes
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We all have people in our lives we love and would do anything for. If we can help to protect their heart (or lives) from the pain of abuse or violation from someone with strong psychopathic traits – we would definitely do so. Awareness of psychopathy would help significantly. Just as trigonometry or basic psychology is taught to senior level high school students – an age appropriate curriculum focused on general psychopathy awareness is important as well. This is information a young person could carry into their future.
(Please note: This site is not intended for children).
At the very least, awareness plants the seed that there are individuals capable of shifting from romantic ‘love’ to extreme hatred with the potential to cause fatal harm to them and their family.
It allows the young person to be aware that such behavior (if psychopathy) stems from the presence of a brain disorder associated with the morality, empathy, emotional, reward processing, and regulation systems of the brain.
It alerts them that psychopaths can look like the average guy or girl next door. It is absolutely possible to have an illness of morality and blend into society without detection.
Awareness and education also plants the seed that there are individuals who compulsively troll and hunt other humans as though they were animals or ‘game.’
Lives could possibly be saved with increased awareness and information. Not only information regarding psychopathy, but also information geared toward lowering one’s appeal to psychopaths who are in the midst of hunting for victims (e.g., strong boundaries | women remaining within a trusted group when they are out and never isolated or alone).
When we send our daughters to college, we want to know that she is aware of this population of individuals and takes steps toward being vigilant, safe and responsible. We all want our children to make it home to us. We want our hard earned money to grow without thievery from corrupt white collar workers. We want to feel free from intimidation and manipulation at work and in the boardroom.
We all have a basic need for safety and unfortunately, this particular disorder is responsible for much fear and compromised safety.
It is understandable, when one has no prior exposure to psychopathy, to be confused by their behavior and struggle with understanding ‘who‘ these individuals are. When observing the manipulation, deceit, and mask of normalcy it simply does not make sense to those who are not familiar with psychopathic traits.
For some, their exposure to psychopaths is via news programs or crime documentaries. In those programs we often hear individuals state, “She seemed so normal … I don’t understand how she could do that!” It is human nature to think of reasons to explain the behavior described in such news report.Some may assume the psychopathic individual has to be repressing emotions, putting up a wall, acting out, responding to childhood abuse, or suffering from low self esteem. In actuality their brain disorder (present lifelong) is responsible for their disordered affective state and behavior.
It can be extremely difficult to process that there is a population of individuals who intentionally harm others (sometimes in brutal ways), with minimal provocation and without concern/subsequent remorse.
Often people cannot conceptualize the type of person who could kill their own daughter, slaughter their boyfriend, stalk and rape a vulnerable woman, or murder a group of children. It is at that time that many will ‘go with‘ what they know – “She has to be crazy!” Often when they use the term “crazy” they are referring to a person with a severe thought disorder – perhaps someone psychotic or not ground in reality. Naturally, as humans we want to understand others and seek the humanity in others. We want to make sense of the violations. We want to label the odd behavior. Often psychopathy can be difficult for the nonprofessional to detect or conceptualize due to their manipulation and ability to conceal certain features. Many can imitate a normal (non-psychopathic) human quite well.
In these crime documentaries/ news reports, sometimes the psychopath’s family of origin may erroneously state (in reference to a history of fluctuating moods and rage episodes) , “I think she’s bipolar!” | “He might have Asperger’s.” Even though no prior contact with a mental health provider gave such a diagnosis.
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