What is emotionally absent in the psychopath

What is emotionally absent in the psychopath is most important. More mature feelings that require whole-object relatedness and a capacity for secure attachment are missing.These include anger, fear, guilt, depression, sympathy, gratitude, empathy, remorse, sadness,loneliness and reciprocal joy – emotions that are broad, deep and complex. Instead, the emotional life of the psychopath centers on his internal management of envy (Kernberg,1984) and shame (Kohut, 1968), two affects that often precede intentional destruction of he object in real life. The damaged object diminishes envy since there are no longer any qualities worth possessing; the damaged object diminishes shame since it can no longer threaten as a source of humiliation.


Psychopathic individuals do not struggle with tensions of ego-dystonic aggression, since the impulse to aggress is either immediately acted out, or remains a source of aggressive fueling of the grandiose self-structure without conflict or ambivalence. Rorschach research has counter-intuitively found that antisocial and psychopathic individuals at all ages do not see percepts engaging in aggression as often as normals. They do, however, produce more aggressive objects with which they identify (Gacono & Meloy, 1994).Empirical research has established that psychopaths engage in two modes of violence more frequently than other non psychopathic criminals (Meloy, 2005). Affective violence, characterized by an emotional reaction to an imminent threat, is common among psychopaths,especially in the face of immediate frustration or humiliation. Predatory violence, characterized by a lack of emotion, careful planning and preparation, and the lack of autonomicarousal, is also frequent among psychopaths, and is emblematic of the homicides and sexualhomicides which a few of them commit (Woodworth & Porter, 2002; Porter et al., 2003)

Click to access meloypaper-psychopathy.pdf

A Psychoanalytic View of the Psychopath

We are just beginning to understand the brain of the psychopath (Patrick, 2006). His mind is another matter. Recent neuroimaging research has begun to functionally map the abnormalities of the psychopath’s brain (Kiehl et al., 2001, 2003), and such findings help us to biologically ground the clinical and forensic extremes of his behavior. But a theory of the psychopath’s mind is also important (Meloy, 1988). It guides empirical research. It puts flesh on the bone of empirical findings. It specifies the motivation and meaning of the psychopath’s behavior. And most importantly, it helps us understand his discrete experience of the world, and thus shapes our realistic perception of the risks he poses to himself and others.

Freud understood the psychopath, but devoted little time and thought to investigating his mind. He wrote in 1928, “two traits are essential in a criminal: boundless egoism and a strong destructive urge. Common to both of these, and a necessary condition for their expression, is absence of love, lack of an emotional appreciation of (human) objects” (p. 178). We define the psychopath’s personality nearly eighty years later in essentially the same twofold manner: his pathological narcissism and his cruel aggression. There is also a general recognition that both of these characteristics are fueled by an absence of emotional attachment to others: the bond that keeps most people from physically violating those whom they love.


Born to Destroy


According to psychologists at Emory University, schadenfreude can reveal something about people with dark personality traits. In a new article published in New Ideas in Psychology, the authors discuss how schadenfreude encompasses aggression, rivalry, and justice. But something more sinister connects the three.

“Dehumanization appears to be at the core of schadenfreude,” said Shensheng Wang, a PhD candidate in psychology at Emory and first author of the paper. “The scenarios that elicit schadenfreude, such as intergroup conflicts, tend to also promote dehumanization.”

Dehumanization means depriving a person or group of people of positive human qualities. Essentially, you perceive them as not really being human anymore, and not really feel any empathy for them at all.

When there is a disconnect between the event and the person witnessing it, dehumanization is easier. For instance, in a viral video where you don’t know the person, or when a natural disaster happens and you’re too far away to comprehend it.

In a sense, schadenfreude is an example of dehumanisation, because it’s unlikely you’d feel so satisfied if bad things happened to people you care about.

“We all experience schadenfreude but we don’t like to think about it too much because it shows how ambivalent we can be to our fellow humans,” said psychologist Philippe Rochat, another author of the study.

“But schadenfreude points to our ingrained concerns and it’s important to study it in a systematic way if we want to understand human nature.”

Scott Lilienfeld, the third author, added that schadenfreude overlaps with several dark personality traits like sadism, narcissism, and psychopathy. On some level, it could explain the feeling sociopathic, psychopathic, or narcissistic abusers get when they hurt someone they’re close to.


The dangerousness of persons with delusional jealousy

Delusional jealousy is an important subject for forensic psychiatry because of its well-known association with violence, especially as directed toward spouses. In this article, we report a study of 20 individuals who suffered from delusional jealousy. Important biopsychosocial parameters, the relation between jealousy and aggression, and directions for future study are explored.


Paranoid phenomena and pathological narcissism

Paranoid phenomena can be seen to arise from pathological narcissism. As a result of certain kinds of trauma to the ego-ideal and/or losses of important self-object relationships, the self becomes dislodged from internal agencies and representations. Narcissistic cathexis of the self to these internal psychic structures loosens and hope, aspiration, affection and will become markedly diminished. Meaningful goals and choices become impossible to adopt and make. The paranoid patient is internally at “loose ends”; he is lost. Tragically, being gripped by the paranoid condition and its manifest delusional system is the only kind of security that the paranoid patient knows. No wonder it is so hard to give up. The vulnerability to paranoid phenomena may be seen to be a result of past experiences of subversion of “selfhood.” In significant ways, the patient vulnerable to paranoid phenomena has not been adequately attended nor adequately “left alone.” The self can be seen as arising out of crucial mother-infant exchanges that are paralleled by interactions between developing internal psychic structures. Out of these “reflections,” the self is born. The narcisstic cathexis of self to the ego, superego and ego-ideal is the result of self-expression. If full self-ownership has not been possible then self-expression is vulnerable. Given these understandings of the relationship between paranoid phenomena and pathological narcissism, treatment will focus on reducing the threats to selfhood, refinding the self, and reestablishing ties to internal sources of affection, initiative and aspiration.


Narcissist are delusional

A narcissist will become delusional that they are still fully present in their victim’s life. This type of behavior is psychotic.

Some common personality traits of the narcissistic stalker are:

  • Selfishness
  • Stubbornness
  • Obsessiveness
  • Impulsiveness
  • Possessiveness
  • Dishonesty
  • Depency and co-dependency on others for a sense of self-worth
  • Self-deprecation



This is usually how it goes:

Test #1 — Sweetness. They usually start off all sweet and seemingly vulnerable, maybe even with a pity ploy. They’ll tell you something they know you want to hear. They’ll act like they’re sorry or they can’t live without you. In this test they try to pull on your heart strings of compassion and love. If that doesn’t work and your boundaries are solid (ie: you don’t budge in your stance, you ignore them, etc.) they will quickly shift into Test #2.

Test #2 — Meanness.

Test #3 — Grand Finale. This is when they go after what hurts the most. They often know what most matters to you and they will try to destroy it for you. If they know being a parent is what gives you purpose in life and how much you enjoy that, they’ll accuse you of being an awful parent and/or remind you of any failures in the past. If they know that your work is what gives your life meaning then they will tell you how you’re no good at what you do and how you’re actually hurting people instead of helping them. (Btw you can watch a narration of a real life example of that in a video from last year called Leaving the Narcissist Before the Discard). This is the part where they often fabricate stories of “everyone thinks…” or “everyone says…” about you so you feel alone and isolated, so you will doubt yourself and maybe just maybe feel that false shame or guilt that they want you to feel because in that low state you could fall back under their control. Be very careful not to internalize these messages that the manipulator is saying. This is the Grand Finale test because by now either you got the point that this person is not someone you want in your life and you’re beyond done and/or the manipulator has given up their attempts to suck you back because you’re maintaining No Contact and they must move on to a more reliable supply source. Sometimes we wait for this level of the manipulator revealing themselves so we can assure ourselves that we made the right decision to leave.

3 tests, 3 words: JUST SAY NO. No response. No reaction. No taking the bait.

Block. Block. Block


Using other people to get to you

Beware of the hoover by proxy, which can happen when your ex plays the victim and tries to get other people to reach out to you on their behalf. 

Some ways they may do this include:

  • regularly chatting with your parents and telling them how much they miss you
  • telling mutual friends how great you are and how they regret letting you go
  • using your child as an intermediary by getting them to relay messages back to you


When the court must order eviction for antisocial behaviour

The court must make an outright possession order if the council or housing association prove a ‘mandatory antisocial behaviour ground’. 

The order sets a date for you to leave your home. 

Your landlord is using a mandatory antisocial behaviour ground if your notice:

  • lists Ground 7A and you have an assured tenancy
  • states the court will be asked to make an order under section 84A and you have a secure tenancy

These grounds can only be used in specific situations. For example, if you’ve been convicted of certain offences in the local area.