Psychopaths are Likely the Most Emotion Driven People on Earth

Psychopathy - comes from German word psychopastiche which literally means suffering soul.

You turn on your TV, it's showing the latest crime story saga. The bad guy is a little bit crazy, a little bit maniacal, greatly enjoys dispensing pain, is somewhat obsessed with the main protagonist, 'TVlandia' at large concludes he is a psychopath. But psychopathy as it has been portrayed - an unfeeling being who derives pleasure from things like pain is an inaccurate definition. The American National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines psychopathy as follows:

A neuropsychiatric disorder marked by deficient emotional responses, lack of empathy, and poor behavioral controls, commonly resulting in persistent antisocial deviance and criminal behavior.

This definition is inaccurate for so many reasons, most of which are known and ignored. In fact, my argument is that psychopaths seek to anesthetize. The default state of a psychopath is actually emotional overload that is hard to relay verbally. In 2006, Dr. Martens published an excellent article in the Psychiatric Times outlining some of the risk factors involved in psychopathy. He states "hidden suffering, loneliness, and lack of self esteem" commonly lead to violent behavior in persons exhibiting the 'disorder'.

Psychopathy cannot be a valid mental disorder designation because it is a soul state and is not necessarily a negative one. 'Psychopaths' as society calls them are in fact Seekers, they require huge amounts of mental/emotional stimulation to achieve level-headedness/regular function.

The 2003 Manual for the Hare Psychopathy Checklist lists about 20 factors that are used to denote psychopathy:

Glibness-Superficial Charm, Grandiose Sense of Self Worth, Need for Stimulation, Pathological Lying, Conning-Manipulative, Lack of Remorse or Guilt, Shallow Affect, Callous-Lack of Empathy, Parasitic Lifestyle, Poor Behavioral Controls, Promiscuous Sexual Behavior, Early Behavioral Problems, Lack of Realistic, Long-Term Goals, Impulsivity, Irresponsibility, Failure to Accept Responsibility, Many Marital Relationships, Juvenile Delinquency, Revocation of Conditional Release, Criminal Versatility

Most of these factors unfairly represent the psychopathic mind-state; they portray miscreant psychopathic behavior but are not in and of themselves indicative of a psychopathic state of mind. In fact, most all of them are resolutely inaccurate in portraying psychopathy as a mind-state. Using this list as a diagnostic tool, while helpful for identifying psychopathic behavior, offers no insight on what's going on inside the mind.

For example, "Glibness-Superficial Charm, Grandiose Sense of Self Worth, Pathological Lying, Conning-Manipulative" are all examples of defense mechanisms resulting from rejection. Seekers (as we'll henceforth call them), are usually more experiential learners than visual/audio. So while most parents assume that their children will take visual and audio cues on expected social behavior, children that are Seekers will most benefit from activities demonstrating proper social behavior where they are participants and where they are granted a degree of freedom and allowed to work out why a particular social norm is beneficial. They essentially require a sensory education.

Because of ignorance, a lot of the time, this kind of education is ignored. And after it is ignored, Seeker children are reprimanded/punished for not exhibiting proper social behavior. Que the "superficial charm" a kind of mimicry, designed by a Seeker mind to lessen emotional pain and increase social survival. This "glibness" has far reaching effects and influences mind structure and problem solving in Seeker minds. Because for them, mimicry is a form of survival, lying is registered by the mind as a non-event. Essentially, they have created a superficial world in which to live where the rules are dictated by what they are told is acceptable.

Sometimes what they are told is acceptable does not account for all possible scenarios. Que the "shallow effect". They have no real in-depth understanding of the pseudo world their brain has created. They are acting a part and their mind has no expectations of actually fitting in. Consequently, they only interact with others from an "acting the part" standpoint with no real emotional connection or nuanced perception.

When they make an error using this approach and miss a subtle emotional/social que that ends up being really important, they adapt to using "Conning-Manipulative" behavior. This is not a conscious or even active choice. They learn to read what is needed from them by those around them in order to get to where they need to go and then give whatever is available within their emotional arsenal to give. Problem is, this is a brain space consuming process that prevents them, to an even greater extent, from reading social ques within the situation. To a Seeker, they are giving to the best of their ability with the information they have collected. To the rest of everyone else, they are manipulating everyone to gain some kind of advantage. Que the criticism, and then que the resulting withdrawal and sense of loneliness.

What is perceived as "Lack of Remorse or Guilt", "Grandiose Sense of Self Worth", and "Callous-Lack of Empathy" are actually signs of resignation. At this point, the Seeker has determined that they cannot and will not navigate the social scene to the satisfaction of others and so they stop seeking to actively fit in and instead default to whatever social construct of themselves they set up. Additionally, they keep their interactions very surface level and avoid situations where genuine emotional/social responses are required (at least in the traditional sense).

It's not that they are not sincerely happy for you and your new baby, in fact, they will do all the research in the world (most likely not an exaggeration) for an appropriate card, the very best gift they can afford and will bring it to you with every wish for your happiness. Unlike everyone else who will think your baby is the 'cutest' being on earth at the moment, and who will think you're the luckiest parent, a Seeker will draw from their known (by experience; if they don't have the experience or are insufficiently involved with you, this is one of the ques they will miss - they'll pay more attention to interaction if there's a greater emotional connection unlike the rest of the world that thinks this is a basic social norm) catalogue of behavior in the situation, will conduct the requisite social function but not for the reasons that other people do. They'll do it because it gives them joy to see you happy and, in the least callous way possible, gives them a genuine sense of social fulfilment and connection, something that has eluded them, to see you genuinely happy because of something they did.

One thing that Seekers commonly excel at is mental endeavors; this will most likely be their most honest social interaction. They will take great pride in it. They will dedicate themselves to it. They will also not take into account the social requirement to downplay ones' achievements. Instead, they will use it as a conversational tool and will seek to share their adventure and what they have learned. It will most likely be grand and uncommon, and you will be captivated (or seemingly). They will read that captivation and to them it will be a connection of shared interest. To you, it will be a "Grandiose Sense of Self Worth" and somewhat prideful. You will gossip about it with your friends, the Seeker will come to know of the things that were said behind their back or you will tell them to their face and this will que the disillusionment of the one function that up till now, they were able to conduct with minimal to no emotional/social strain.

Que the "Early Behavioral Problems". At this point, life as a whole becomes a loop to which they see no end, it becomes pointless. A lot of the time, they will resort to suicide. If they don't commit suicide, they will exist for a while in a deadened state of existence, they will be incredibly apathetic and because apathy is actually a painful state of being, they will seek some kind of numbing effect. This is when they start to exhibit what others would then term psychopathy. The numbing factor could be alcohol, "cutting" as in depression because it brings the pain outward, pornography and/or sex and basically any other 'binge-able' behavior. This will be the "Need for Stimulation", the "Promiscuous Sexual Behavior", the "Irresponsibility, and Failure to Accept Responsibility", the possible "Many Marital Relationships" and because a lot of the time they cannot adequately support themselves financially they will exhibit a "Parasitic Lifestyle".

In seeking peace, every so often, they will have a burst of inspiration. This is the "Impulsivity". They will be so eager to "come out of the funk" so to speak, that they will greatly overestimate their ability to cope. They will want to make up for lost time and so will set unachievable goals. This coupled with their inability to be engaged with life as a whole prevents them from accurately envisioning any kind of future. This is the "Lack of Realistic, Long-Term Goals". They cannot actually see a future at this point. Most of the time, consciously or unconsciously, they will be aiming to self destruct as soon as possible.

Self destruction will sometimes manifest as crime. They will resort to crime, not for the enjoyment of it, but for the numbing effects that they will feel from it. What you perceive as emotionally disconnected and "emotional response deficiency" is a long standing accedence to the fact that you will not understand them and neither will they understand you. Disconnect and a pseudo existence has been their default for so long and their disillusionment has been so long standing that they will not be able to communicate in terms you will consider remorseful. Over riding everything else, even crimes and misdeeds, is the 'soul cry' and intense emotional pain they will be experiencing. Everything outside of the pain and 'numbing' it will be considered a non-event. That includes the world at large and their pain and their concerns and all improprieties. By now, they are anesthetized to criticisms of deviant behavior. They cannot make you happy, they know that, and they will not try to make you happy or 'fit the mold'.

Ultimately, Seekers are seeking love. Not to be loved per say, although that is a primary objective, but to experience the full cycle of love; that is, loving and being loved in return. I say 'not to be loved per say' because although a Seeker wants to experience love for themselves, repeated disappointment convinces them sub-consciously that this is an unachievable.

The desire to experience love usually begins passively; observing love in others, that could be from books or films and then because of the current social construct where ultimate love is depicted as sexual love, they will migrate to pornography, and then experimenting with sexual activity all in an effort to find ultimate love. The Book of Song of Solomon in the Bible offers an explanation for why this pursuit of love sometimes leads to murder:

Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. - Song of Solomon 8:6 NIV

The reason the murders sometimes become so vicious is because the Seeker has reached the ultimate expression of what they are seeking only to find it lacking something and empty of something. They prod and poke and stage and find that their 'love' is missing something. The depth of love they are seeking is one that is so complete, so numbing, so consuming as to be completely apathetic that it mimics death. The problem they encounter is that they are seeking a lasting love and they are seeking it in death when it can only be found in life. So while the consummation of love is as unyielding as death, it is not itself dead and will not be found in death. Death includes everything that contributes to 'numbing' and leads to self destruction.

When Jesus' friends come mourning at His grave on Easter morning, the angel asks them why they are seeking for the living among the dead.

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?" - Luke 24:1-5 NIV

Jesus' death and subsequent resurrection are relevant for two reasons: firstly, because He expressed the ultimatum in love, the one that a Seeker is usually looking for, and secondly because He showed where to find it. Not in death, not even in regular life, but in life that transcends death.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. - John 15:13 NIV

And Jesus laid down His life for His friends.

I jokingly (at the time), wrote in my high school year book that we cannot live until we've died. I remember being called to the principal's office because, what a worrisome statement that was to write. And out of context it is, and kudos to my principal for catching that and for caring enough. I am at a point where that makes perfect sense.

This blog is about going from Broken to Living. We've touched on why Seekers (psychopaths) are misunderstood and incorrectly designated. If you're a Seeker, nothing is wrong with you, you're not 'disordered', you're not faulty, in fact, you've got a very special outlook and so much to contribute that no one else can. Someone wants you, Someone wants you very badly and He can love you enough for the both of you and beyond. One of the most profound statements I ever heard God say to a Seeker was, "You're so easy to love". You are so easy to love and everything you think is wrong with you is actually very right with you. You're just as you're supposed to be. Your approach to relationships is supposed to be different, your perception is supposed to be different. In fact, your world view is so powerful, it has the capacity to be very healing. You likely have the ability to access the full range of love as it is depicted in the Bible in 1 Corinthians 13 much easier than anybody else. Read our next post in the series to find out why Seekers are so special.

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