The Hidden Suffering of the Psychopath
The life histories of psychopaths are often characterized by a chaotic family life, lack of parental attention and guidance, parental substance abuse and antisocial behavior, poor relationships, divorce, and adverse socioeconomic circumstances.4,5 These individuals may feel that they are prisoners of their own etiological determination and believe that they had, in comparison with normal people, fewer opportunities or advantages in life.
Despite their outward arrogance, psychopaths feel inferior to others and know they are stigmatized by their own behavior. Some psychopaths are superficially adapted to their environment and are even popular, but they feel they must carefully hide their true nature because it will not be acceptable to others. This leaves psychopaths with a difficult choice: adapt and participate in an empty, unreal life, or do not adapt and live a lonely life isolated from the social community. They see the love and friendship others share and feel dejected knowing they will never be part of it.
Psychopaths are known for needing excessive stimulation, but most foolhardy adventures only end in disillusionment because of conflicts with others and unrealistic expectations. Furthermore, many psychopaths are disheartened by their inability to control their sensation-seeking and are repeatedly confronted with their weaknesses. Although they may attempt to change, low fear response and associated inability to learn from experiences lead to repeated negative, frustrating, and depressing confrontations, including trouble with the justice system.