Psychologists, researchers, and the law have been incredibly lazy by using psychopathy as a descriptor for people. It obviously causes problems in the understanding of psychopathy, but that isn't the only place that this has a pretty detrimental impact in other places as well.
Psychologists seem to be either willfully ignorant, or they know better but insist on doing things as though there is no new information. They are absolutely rooted in their belief that the DSM-5 is somehow the end-all-be-all bible of information. I wonder why they are so dedicated to this notion. The DSM-5 has many problems, and the construct of ASPD is just one of them. I imagine that one, or many of my readers may have had the occasion to be diagnosed with something, only to have that something not be particularly descriptive.
What if you are diagnosed with something, and you look down the checklist for that thing, you likely have a few or several of the characteristics, but you have other things that aren’t mentioned at all, or many of the traits simply don’t seem familiar. When you do your own research you find there is a plethora of information that was not shared by your clinician, but rather the community of people that also have that diagnosis. If you are anything like me, that might lead you to question your own diagnosis, but maybe that isn’t what needs to be questioned.
I think that there is this enormous river of laziness and ego that has taken root in psychology. Perhaps it was always there, we are just more aware of it because people in the field seem to have no problem flapping their gums about how this or that personality disorder, or other mental health issue is characterized by behaviors that they use to look down on the person with it.
Take borderline personality disorder. The behavior surrounding this one just annoys me. If you get diagnosed with BPD you might just find out that the person that is there to help you, the person that you put your trust in, fires you immediately, and follows that firing with a litany of things that they are assuming about you because of that little acronym. How is that acceptable?
No matter what it is that a person has, they are still individuals, and the fact that they are so quick to remove that person from their practice speaks to them not having this thought in their mind at all. Instead, they are boxing every single person with BPD up, attributing to them behaviors that may in fact have little to do with BPD, and disposing of them. I don’t know a lot about BPD, but I do know that abandonment is a big deal. If the clinician knew anything about it, they should be better stewards of their patients.
Psychopathy is, of course, surrounded by massive piles of disinformation, and a great deal of prejudice. It isn’t the only one, obviously. For a moment, let’s talk about sociopathy and psychopathy being placed under ASPD. We have gone over why that is nonsense, but there might be something larger going on, something that relates back to the treatment of someone with BPD. ASPD is not something that will often get insurance reimbursement when it comes to treatment, and not a lot of people who have ASPD and going to be opening their wallets.
At the moment, consider the way that people with BPD, and I am sure several other situations, that get them fired from some therapists. If ASPD is not eligible for repayment, it would be a very convenient to stash psychopathy and sociopathy under it as well. It kills three birds with one stone. If sociopathy and psychopathy are beneath ASPD, then no one has to deal with them
Antisocial personality disorder can be diagnosed in nearly anyone. That is because ASPD almost always is a projection of internal issues out into the world. Because it is such a vague term it has simultaneously been applied to actual psychopaths and actual sociopaths, but also people that are clearly not either. Because their diagnosis, whatever it may be, is overridden by the ASPD label, no effective treatment is going to be offered to them. Sure, that doesn’t matter much to a psychopath, but how does that help someone that is depressed with antisocial traits, or someone with BPD, HPD, sociopathy, NPD, or neurotypical with antisocial traits? It doesn’t. Instead, because ASPD isn’t treatable, they might get booted out the door.
Let’s go a bit further into this. Let’s consider serial killing. Serial killing has no discrimination as to who it appears in. Someone with psychopathy cannot have borderline personality disorder, or NPD, but they can certainly be antisocial. By that same token, the same is true in reverse, but both can certainly be antisocial. I have mentioned Dahmer and Bundy in the past, and one was BPD with some sort of psychosis, and the other was likely a malignant narcissist. Both, however, were serial killers.
Currently, there is no consensus as to what causes serial killing. I have heard everything from a malfunctioning brain, to childhood that was dreadful, to a paraphilia gone out of control. What if the reason differs depending on how you are wired. What is a psychopathic serial killer has a different reasoning than one with MNPD, BPD+ASPD, or an antisocial neurotypical? Perhaps there are clues there that could be considered, and perhaps pursue to perhaps have earlier intervention before anyone loses their life?
At one time they believed that the MacDonald Triad was going to be their warning system, but that failed, and left many abused children to fend for themselves, or worse, be called a psychopath or a sociopath. The FBI furthered this damage running with the MacDonald Triad long after it had been debunked because they had a narrative that they didn’t want to change. Now, serial killers by default in most people’s minds, including many clinicians, are psychopaths.
I think that ASPD was created to house people that psychologists didn’t want to have to deal with on a real level. Maybe when someone is acting out into the world they lack the confidence to stop it, so that behavior was classified as untreatable. Then, they just closed their eyes and let the mislabeling continue. Perhaps some realize the mess they made but have little motive or support to fix it now. Others likely use it as a shield that prevents them from having to deal with complicated patients.
Perhaps it is like the psychologist that Ms. Hale used, who postulated that all mental health issues were rooted fundamentally in narcissism. When you have such ridiculous notions that are still regarded as in any way valid, it really isn’t all that surprising that some psychologists are so egotistical that they will simply wave away a patient that came to them for help.
I think that “personality disorders” are a category that many ”professionals” are comfortable with the belief system that they have been operating in for a very long time. They let the so-called experts, like Robert Hare, decide for them how to think, and then with a hive mind go after anyone that disagrees with their positions on the matter. Anyone that is antisocial has ASPD, and therefore they are not treatable. That is the mentality. There is no interest in figuring out why someone with BPD might be antisocial, nor someone with NPD. Not to mention that they don’t even acknowledge that neurotypicals certainly can be antisocial. No one cares to explore that? Perhaps discover the root as to why?
That’s just pure laziness. It's ridiculous, and if the psychological community wants any respect from those that they make their living off of, I suggest that they don’t just follow the bouncing ball. How poor do you have to be at your job to be so stupidly stubborn? Can you imagine this mentality in structural engineering?
“Yeah, there is this new fangled math that suggests that if we do it this way the building won’t fall down killing everyone inside, but this is how we’ve always done things, so nuts to that!”
Seriously? Those people would be fired immediately and blackballed by the profession. Instead, what do we have?
“Yeah, there are these “brain scans” that show psychopaths have different brains, but that’s stupid. We all know that they’re just crazy serial killing criminal monsters, so there. I mean, we totally have all these studies that contradict one another, and we diagnose people with ASPD and NPD, and also call them psychopaths even though we know that the traits of the two things are totally different. We’re awesome".”
That is the current world, and even those “up and coming” studying psychology are completely sold on the nonsense myths, and refuse to consider information that would challenge their beliefs. That is not a good sign. Not to mention that psychologists that are respected by their peers are doing studies and lectures at Yale called, The “Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind”. Yes, that was a real lecture as you can see by the flyer below.
At some point, there are going to have to be questions about the people that many who need help entrust their minds to. How much trust can such a lazy and diseased field earn from those that are funding it? If someone goes to a psychologist and they are told all their problems are because they are narcissistic, or that they are a psychopath because of their skin tone, how is it possible that these people still have access to patients? All right, in this case, only one does because the one that believed all mental health problems stemmed from narcissism has since passed away, but not that long ago, and the man had people that followed and perpetuated his work.
Robert Hart will randomly point to someone in public and insist that they are a psychopath. The psychopathic white mind lady is not only lecturing at Yale, but at the Child Study Center. I have had several followers try to engage people entering into the field of psychology absolutely refuse to consider that they are wrong about psychopathy, to the point that they refuse to consider anything that contradicts their worldview. Some doctors fire patients that have BPD. A website that has people that should know better because of their PhDs trying to identify psychopathy in children. Not to mention the “psychopathy researcher” that wants to be able to covertly identify psychopaths and keep them from positions of power.
Are we really supposed to believe that these people have the best intentions towards the world? I don’t. I think a lot of psychologists are good, and some are great, but there is a problem in the field that if it is not addressed will cause its downfall. You cannot disrespect the people that fund it, and you cannot view the people you are supposed to be helping as subhuman. Many areas in psychology have descended into abject laziness and an unwillingness to learn anything new. if we stopped at our understanding of the human brain in the sixties, we would be very poor at treating neurological conditions. That isn’t the case because people are constantly pushing forward neurological work. Psychology, however, has decided in many ways to root itself in old ideas and not advance, or in much more unfortunate situations, begin to backtrack and lose progress.
I am sure that there are plenty of people trying to propel the field forward, but there are so many stuck in the way things are done currently that they either don’t make any difference, or they are made fun of. Kevin Dutton gets a great deal of blowback from those in psychology because his narrative on psychopaths isn’t stuck in the prison system. At this point, many psychologists won’t admit defeat on psychopathy despite their dreadful handling of it, and the fact that neurology has left them in the dust. It doesn’t matter to them, because they are stubborn and lazy. That’s a problem.