'Psychopaths' are controlling and out only for themselves
BY DR. KOMOROFF Universal Uclick
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
10/17/12 at 2:09 AM
Dear Doctor K: I hear people talk about psychopaths. Can you tell me how to recognize them so I can avoid them? Do they "snap" and become violent?
Dear Reader: Psychopathy is a psychological condition. I'm sure that events and relationships earlier in life have some influence on whether a psychopath behaves in a destructive way. But I also think the evidence shows that psychopaths are "born" more than they are "made." It is my opinion that the condition is inherited and that it produces changes in brain chemistry that lead to psychopathic behavior.
Psychopaths just really don't care about the feelings of others. They are extremely egocentric, engaging in immoral and antisocial behavior for short-term gains. Psychopaths are predators, and anyone who they think can feed their need is potential prey.
Psychopaths engage in planned, controlled and purposeful aggression. The primary goal is not necessarily to injure others but simply to get what they want. They are also more likely to engage in impulsive behavior, to become emotional and aggressive.
Psychopaths are often superficially charming and glib. Some, but not all, psychopaths can be violent. But a psychopath is just as willing to use a well-timed compliment to achieve his or her goals.
Perhaps you suspect you are involved with a psychopath - at home, work or elsewhere. Here are some considerations and actions to keep in mind:
- Accept the possibility that you are in a very bad situation, perhaps with someone to whom you are closely attached.
- Document, privately and carefully, the behaviors and events that concern you.
- Reach out to others for help.
- Trust your gut instincts.
- Say something. The silence of those whom psychopaths betray and abuse is perhaps the greatest ally they possess.
- If you find yourself being hurt or otherwise abused, get out as quickly and safely as you can.
Write Dr. K at www.AskDoctorK.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106