The Detection of Malingered Psychosis

This program is designed to give mental health clinicians practical information about the detection of malingering and lying. The latest research on malingered hallucinations will be covered. Psychotic hallucinations will be distinguished from non-psychotic hallucinations. Suspect auditory hallucinations are less likely to be associated with delusions. Persons faking auditory hallucinations may say they have no strategies to diminish malevolent voices and claim that all command hallucinations must be obeyed. Malingerers are more likely to report extreme severity and intensity of their hallucinations. Suspect visual hallucinations are more likely to be reported in black and white rather than in color, be dramatic and more likely to include miniature or giant figures. Resolution of genuine hallucinations and delusions with anti-psychotic treatment will be delineated. Participants will learn twelve clues to detect malingered psychosis and four clues to detect malingered insanity. Videotapes of defendants describing hallucinations will enable participants to assess their skills in distinguishing between true and feigned hallucinations.
Workshop Content:What motivates people to malinger?
Evidence based clues to lying
Common errors in lie detection
The role of inconsistency
Clues to malingered psychosis
Phenomenology of genuine hallucinations
Characteristics of command hallucinations
The nature of hallucinatory questions
Strategies to cope with hallucinations
Patterns of atypical hallucinations
Approaches to detecting faked insanity defenses

https://www.specializedtraining.com/p-1193-the-detection-of-malingered-psychosis-virtual-dec-3-2021.aspx

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.

AGGRESSION

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

Psychopaths can’t attach to, or bond with, others.

It is widely understood that psychopaths can’t attach to, or bond with, others.

“The ‘house of psychopath’ is constructed on a foundation of no attachment, underarousal, and minimal anxiety. These appear to be necessary, related, but insufficient characteristics that provide certain biological predispositions for the development of the psychopathic character. Attachment is a biologically-based, species-specific behavioral system which serves the survival of the infant by maintaining the closeness of the caretaker. It is deeply rooted in mammals, but absent in reptiles.” ~ A Psychoanalytic View of the Psychopath, J. Reid Meloy, Ph.D., San Diego Psychoanalytic Society and Institute

Now I understand where the book “Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work” really got its title.

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.

http://www.yorku.ca/rweisman/courses/sosc6890/pdf/meloypaper-psychopathy.pdf

What do the experts have to say about the psychopath’s eyes?

Many believe the psychopath is unconsciously projecting an “annihilatory stare,” meaning he or she isn’t seeing the other person as a human being, but coldly assessing them as an object he can use, manipulate or destroy.

The psychopath’s fixated, intense stare is sometimes referred to as scoptophilia: the sexualization of looking; predatory staring. It is visual predation.

Experts also call it a “reptilian stare,” and that might be more than just a colorful description. Dr. Reid Meloy’s Reptilian State Theory hypothesizes that psychopaths are more like reptiles than mammals. The brain structure of the reptile supports the behaviors of establishment and defense of territory, hunting, feeding, mating, dominance, aggression, and imitation.  Psychopaths and reptiles are missing behaviors that are products of the emotion-generating limbic system, which is absent in reptiles and markedly underactive in psychopaths.

Emotional Incontinence

Pseudobulbar affect
Other namesEmotional incontinence

Pseudobulbar affect (PBA), or emotional incontinence, is a type of emotional disturbance characterized by uncontrollable episodes of crying, laughinganger or other emotional displays. PBA occurs secondary to a neurologic disorder or brain injury. Patients may find themselves crying uncontrollably at something that is only moderately sad, being unable to stop themselves for several minutes. Episodes may also be mood-incongruent: a patient may laugh uncontrollably when angry or frustrated, for example. Sometimes, the episodes may switch between emotional states, resulting in the patient crying uncontrollably before dissolving into fits of laughter.

The pseudobulbar affect, also referred to as emotional lability, should not be confused with labile mood or labile emotions that stem from emotional instability – affective dysregulation – commonly seen in personality disorders.

Arthur Fleck, the central character of the 2019 film Joker, displays signs of pseudobulbar affect,[53] which are said to be what Joaquin Phoenix used as inspiration for his character’s signature laugh.

In the 2019 movie Parasite, the character Ki-woo suffers head trauma, and although it is not clearly mentioned that he’s affected by pseudobulbar affect, he mentions not being able to stop laughing when thinking about all the events that occur in the movie.

In the medical television show House, season 7, episode 8 (Small Sacrifices), the character Ramon Silva, played by Kuno Becker displays pseudobulbar affect, with uncontrollable incongruent laughter, while suffering from Marburg variety of Multiple sclerosis.

In season 3, episode 9 of The Good Fight, the character Brenda DeCarlo, an external auditor, displays pseudobulbar affect, with uncontrollable incongruent laughter.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudobulbar_affect

Born to Destroy

Female Psychopaths Seek to Destroy and Command All Attention

Many female psychopaths seek to destroy others however they can. A female psychopath may undermine your self-esteemusing innuendo, or bully you and turn friends and family against you by poisoning your reputation behind your back. There is no end to what she might do to shatter your life. Many female psychopaths are pathological liars who are more cunning and manipulative than male psychopaths. 

The female psychopath desires to be the center of attention and demands center stage. Listen closely to her style of speech—how she also manages to play the victim. She may shed crocodile tears to play on your sympathy, and the next moment her tears can transform into raucous laughter. Her personality turns on and off like a neon sign.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/surviving-the-female-psychopath/202107/how-does-female-psychopath-behave

The ‘psychopath stare’

Your eyes, and their movements, can convey a lot of information about mood and emotions, from happiness to humor to boredom to disdain.

While your gaze might linger on someone you find attractive or appealing, you might quickly look away from something that frightens or disturbs you. Your pupils also dilate when you experience strong emotions, including fear, anger, and love (or lust).

Some experts even believe eyes can offer clues to underlying personality traits, offering support for the idea that your eyes offer a glimpse of your soul.

The various suggested characteristics of “psychopath eyes” seem to echo the general belief that people with ASPD have no emotions to show. 

These descriptions include:

  • dead, flat, or reptilian-like eyes
  • very dark irises, or eyes that appear black
  • pupils that don’t dilate
  • an expression, such as a smile, that doesn’t reach the eyes
  • a “soulless” stare

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/psychopath-eyes#stare

Schadenfreude deconstructed and reconstructed:

Schadenfreude is the distinctive pleasure people derive from others’ misfortune. Research over the past three decades points to the multifaceted nature of Schadenfreude rooted in humans’ concerns for social justice, self-evaluation, and social identity. Less is known, however, regarding how the differing facets of Schadenfreude are interrelated and take shape in response to these concerns. To address these questions, we review extant theories in social psychology and draw upon evidence from developmental, personality, and clinical research literature to propose a novel, tripartite, taxonomy of Schadenfreude embedded in a motivational model. Our model posits that Schadenfreude comprises three separable but interrelated subforms (aggression, rivalry, and justice), which display different developmental trajectories and personality correlates. This model further posits that dehumanization plays a central role in both eliciting Schadenfreude and integrating its various facets. In closing, we point to fruitful directions for future research motivated by this novel account of Schadenfreude.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0732118X18301430