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Lately the words "psychopath" and "psychopathic" have been thrown around to indicate such things as "I don't like that politician, therefore he is a psychopath" and similar uses. In fact, "psychopath," "psychopathic," and "psychopathy" are well-defined terms used in psychiatry and psychology to describe behavioral and psychological syndromes found in some people. The Hare Psychopathy Checklist, used in the field to assess psychopathy, contains twenty items that capture the essential traits of psychopathy, such as lack of empathy, guilt, and remorse; glibness; superficiality; parasitic orientation; flat affect (lack of strong emotional responses); narcissism; irresponsibility; chronic and often nonsensical lying; and impulsivity. These traits are assessed based on an individual's entire life.

This is not how so many people use terms such as "psychopath." They use them as insults and little more. And those who throw those terms around like so much confetti often display essential traits associated with psychopathy. More, a great many people in this country today display such traits -- consider, e.g., Internet trolls, who don't care about the distress they inflict on others, or people in the mainstream media who don't care whether they are lying or not. Question: Why are SO MANY PEOPLE apparent psychopaths, or, at least, displaying many of the traits of psychopathy -- including those who like to throw around such terms promiscuously and inaccurately?

Is it something in our food and/or water? Probably -- GMO foods, food additives, pollution, and other contaminants in everything we ingest, often combined with way too many prescription medications (not to mention recreational drugs), impact the brain and the mind in powerful, not-well-understood ways, especially the central nervous systems of fetuses in the womb who depend on their mothers' intake for their sustenance and are very vulnerable to such chemicals.

Or is it due to the fact that social media attract jerks of that stripe, so we see it in action all the time?

Whatever the reason, such terms as "psychopath" are thrown around by lots of people who don't know and don't care what they really mean, and a frighteningly large number of people on social media and in the mainstream media display the traits of psychopathy.

Anybody have any thoughts on this?

Posts from This Journal by “psychopaths” Tag


Let's Roll
Yael Dragwyla

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