A Summary of Madness

Screaming man is torn into small piecesAfter technically finishing the series on female madness, I’m left with a few thoughts that were not covered by the series itself, so I decided to summarize some of my thoughts after the research and writing.

The topic of female madness has been written about quite extensively in a series on this blog. Starting with the aptly titled “How Many Bitches Be Crazy?” to “Women and Narcissistic Personality Disorder“, I’ve covered ground from how many there are, what their methods are, and what they are. While, I’m not a psych professional by any stretch, I tend to think that psych professionals may be a hindrance more than a help in these situations. Mainly because the diagnostic criteria do not reflect reality in many ways, they represent what is useful to a clinician not to a layman sitting across from someone, possibly with a mind fogged up by manipulation tactics. Continue reading

Women and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

narcissism_selfiesNarcissism is one of those disorders that the public has taken to their hearts and calling someone a narcissist is a common insult to attack someone perceived as vain, egocentric or self-absorbed, however this does not reflect the full spectrum of the diagnosis. As with most things the public presses to their heart as the pejorative du jour, they failed to understand the full complexity of the disorder and the diagnostic criteria. Being a vain, self-centered bastard is part of the diagnosis, but is not the only thing required to be a narcissist, if it was most of us would qualify at one point or another.

Narcissism in the western culture is a growth industry [1] thus, the socio-cultural aspects of the diagnosis, is influenced. This follows from the BPS response to the DSM-V, where they write

The putative diagnoses presented in DSM-V are clearly based largely on social norms, with ‘symptoms’ that all rely on subjective judgements, with little confirmatory physical ‘signs’ or evidence of biological causation. The criteria are not value-free, but rather reflect current normative social expectations. Many researchers have pointed out that psychiatric diagnoses are plagued by problems ofreliability, validity, prognostic value, and co-morbidity. [3]
Thus with a growing level of narcissism within culture, and thus social norms, how long until today’s narcissist is tomorrow’s normal person? Furthermore, considering the growth of social media, how does a diagnosis of being grandiose and self-centered work with a culture where most women can have a cadre of online admirers constantly validating and complimenting them?

Continue reading

Women and Anti-Social Personality Disorder

female-sociopathThe holy grail of personality disorders, psychopathy, sociopathy, ASPD or madness without delirium. Described by Harvey Cleckley in his book “The Mask of Sanity” as the insane that appear sane. Most of the research on this disorder has been done by Dr. Robert Hare using the populations of America’s prisons as his subjects. This lead to the Psychopathy Checklist (PCL) and then the next version the Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R). Unsurprisingly the diagnosis of this disorder appears to favor men with up to 3 men being diagnosed as having ASPD for every woman. The symptoms in Hare’s checklist was developed almost exclusively by studying men, mostly the prison population, which may have affected the calibration of the tools. There are some questions among professionals that wonder if psychopathy have a lower incidence rate in women, or in fact there are issues with the diagnostic tools [4]. Either in the form that the disorder manifests differently as is the case with schizophrenia [5], or in that the psychologist may interpret behavior different.

From three different studies, the prevalence of anti-social personality disorder has a prevalence of 1% – 4.1% in the population. This is a fairly significant amount of people, as it comes out to 1 – 4 in 100. This means that most of us has probably interacted with quite a few psychopaths, and probably do so on a daily basis without realizing. The reason for why we do not realize, is that if predators were easy to spot, they would not be very good predators. Continue reading

Women and Borderline Personality Disorder

marilynBorderline personality disorder is somewhat unfamiliar to most outside of the manosphere, as men who have been in relationships with borderlines often arrive on one manosphere blog or another attempting to pick up the pieces of themselves from such a relationship. By some viewed as the female variant of psychopathy [1] and by some as a far cry from the cold, unflinching psychopath, considering their often highly emotional and erratic nature. Borderline personality disorder is characterized by various behaviors related to emotional regulation or lack thereof, most aptly captured in the book title “I hate you, don’t leave me(link at the end of the essay).

It has received much less focus than the two other mainstream disorders within the cluster B spectrum of the DSM-5, narcissistic- and antisocial personality disorder [4], one must wonder if this is because that unlike other two, it is a disorder that affects mostly women. The name comes from the observation that a person with this disorder exists on the borderline between sanity and insanity. Prone to imaginative interpretations of events, magical thinking, perceiving slights where none exist, and intense reactions it is an understandable observation. Coupled with highly emotional outbursts, and a tendency towards gas lighting and manipulation, this creates a picture of a person with very little tangible connection to reality. Perhaps the reason why this is often referred to as female psychopathy is that it appears to 3:1 female to male when it comes to being diagnosed. While people with borderline personality disorder only make up about 1.6% of the population, this means that in the U.S alone there are over 4 million people with BPD, out of which 3 million are women. Continue reading

On Liberty

john-stuart-millPerhaps it is a little conceited of me to steal the title of Mill’s classic work for this post, however it seemed the only title apt for this train of though. Recently, I’ve been reading and viewing many historical documentaries, and it made me think of what actually constitutes liberty. We live in a modern world, with the internet, and the human freedom index, which shows the Western Democracies as the most free in the world relating to its metrics. Yet, they also have the highest volumes of laws and regulations of any nations in history. In fact, one of the major contentions in BREXIT was not only the volume of laws and regulations, but also who was permitted to influence their passing. Laws are rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, with the social institutions having the power to coerce people into following them. After all, law without enforcement is moral philosophy.

However, this seems to be a contradiction to me, that the most free societies are also those with the strongest rule of law. The United States has 5000 Federal criminal laws with 10.000 – 300.000 regulations that can be enforced [1]. The European Commission passed a total of 49,699 laws between 1993 and 2014 [3]. The UK Parliament  So, what strikes me as strange, is the thesis that these countries are the most free while their citizens are regulated and controlled by law to such an extent. Continue reading