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SUMMARY OF THE SUBTYPES OF PSYCHOPATHY

Summary of the Subtypes of Psychopathy Britnee Schatz Northern Oklahoma College

SUMMARY OF THE SUBTYPES OF PSYCHOPATHY

Summary of the Subtypes of Psychopathy The article I chose to summarize is called The Subtypes of Psychopath: Proposed Differences Between Narcissistic, Borderline, Sadistic, and Antisocial Psychopaths. I chose this article because I have always been interested in the type of disorders that psychopaths have. Psychopathy is something I want to get in to when I am older. I do not have too much knowledge on the subject of psychopathology, but I was hoping to learn more when reading this article. Murphy and Vess wrote this article, it is also a summary of someone elses work. The main ideas in this article is that there are psychopaths that share many similar characteristics, but they also have their own personal characteristics. Like narcissism, sadism, borderline and antisocialism. In the article, they are writing to describe the differences in the subtypes of psychopathy characteristics. To begin, the group of men that were observed are from the Atascadero State Hospital (ASH). This forensic hospital help approximately 1,000 male patients. Each patient had a varied behavior. Murphy and Vess describe the four major different psychopath behaviors as the entitled, superior, self-absorbed and belittling narcissistic psychopath, the needy, labile, and impulsive borderline psychopath, the deliberately cruel sadistic psychopath, and the remorselessly criminal antisocial psychopath (12). In the article, MacKay (7) said that only about 80% of criminals actually met the criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder (ADP) (13). The presence of psychopathy is when the person scores a 30 or higher on the PCL-R, which is the psychopathy checklist revised. It was also concluded that the PCL-R cannot only determine the presence of psychopathy, but can also determine the strength (14). Two factors were found in

SUMMARY OF THE SUBTYPES OF PSYCHOPATHY

psychopathic personality, Factor 1 was selfish, remorseless use of others and Factor 2 is the unstable, antisocial lifestyle. On page 14, it goes on to talk about the importance and differences between factor 1 and factor 2. Basically, factor 1 shows a higher presence of psychopathy and also is harder to treat than factor 2. The Big Five model of personality proposes five dimensions that have been found to comprehensively describe normal personality, including neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience Agreeableness and conscientiousness are two dimensions that consistently appear to have an inverse relationship with measures of psychopathy (15). It was actually found that APD was further away on the spectrum for psychopathy than Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). When it comes to intelligence of the psychopath, the low IQ psychopaths were involved in more violent crimes than higher IQ psychopaths. An example of the effect of the IQ on the psychopath is described with case J. J has a very high and severe score in the PCL-R. J also has a history of violence in the family and against strangers that go back all the way to early adolescence. J has extremely violent actions during hospitalization, the use of drugs and home-made alcohol were in front of the staff and was also behaving very sexually in front of the staff as well. In the end J is forced to be placed in permanent one on one supervision. Anxiety is a variable in determining the psychopaths characterization. It was found that the psychopaths had no ability to feel guilty, anxiety, or remorsefulness. It is believed that the psychopaths had none of those feelings because of the fact that they are less responsive to punishment or consequence (17). Psychopaths were also found to deal with their anxiety in many different ways and that psychopaths who do experience anxiety could possibly have other

SUMMARY OF THE SUBTYPES OF PSYCHOPATHY

problems such as an antisocial personality. They also believe that some psychopaths can suffer from symptoms of mental illness and that it can start the symptoms of anxiety. Sadism is defined as the pleasure of physical or emotional suffering of another, or from the control and domination of others (18). Sadistic psychopaths have also been described as aggressive and narcissistic. The sadistic psychopath is not concerned that they are harming others. It was pointed out that a lot of psychopaths suffer with sadistic characteristics. A sadistic psychopath is not addressed directly, in fact, there is only one item in the PCL-R that even relates to sadism. In the research at ASH, they found five subgroups of psychopaths. These included the primary or simple psychopath, the hostile psychopath, the paranoid schizoid psychopath, the neurotic psychopath, and the confused psychopath. The confused psychopath was one with symptoms of mental illness that served to disorganize behavior (19). Case M describes an example of a narcissistic psychopath variant. M frequently starts arguments with the staff about the hospital rules and regulations and also claims he is an expert. M has caught many staff off guard while making errors in protocol and complains to the state about these errors. He also has stopped staff members, mainly clinicians, in the hallways and begin talking about his treatment plan. M will then complain that the clinician broke the rule of confidentiality by discussing the treatment plan in the presence of others. M is very quick to divert the conversation back to himself and his needs (22).

SUMMARY OF THE SUBTYPES OF PSYCHOPATHY

For the borderline variant, we discuss case S. S devalues others and makes several suicide gestures. S likes to manipulate the lives around him, in this case it shows a characteristic of emptiness. While messing with the lives and emotions of people around him, it gives him a sense of pleasure and entertainment. During interpersonal interactions, S attempts to draw female staff into inappropriate involvement and he also behaves in a seductive manner (22). Case T brings the sadistic psychopath into perspective. His crimes are very violent such as setting a family pet on fire and continuous raping and torturing several of his female acquaintances over a period of several days. When T talks about the crimes he has committed, he is very detailed but does not give any consideration of what the victims felt during all of this. T is aware of what he caused to his victims, but it gives him pleasure. The sadistic personality increases a risk of acting violently in a hospital setting. The antisocial psychopath is an example from case B. Case B does share some characteristics with the other psychopath subtypes, but he does not share a similar act of crimes as the sadist, and is not self-destructive like the borderline psychopath. Case B lives a life a crime. That is what his whole life is revolved around which is why the antisocial psychopath is so different from the other subgroups of psychopathy. In the end, they found that throughout the narcissistic psychopath, the borderline psychopath, the sadistic psychopath, and the antisocial psychopath, neither of them had the drive to change. It is impossible to demonstrate conclusively that psychopaths cannot benefit from treatment, for to do so one would need to identify and empirically test all possible forms of

SUMMARY OF THE SUBTYPES OF PSYCHOPATHY

treatment (Murphy&Vess, 24). It has been shown that a psychopaths personality can change and that if they believe in themselves, they are able to change for good.

SUMMARY OF THE SUBTYPES OF PSYCHOPATHY

Reference Murphy, C & Vess, J. (2003). Subtypes of psychopathy: Proposed differences between narcissistic, borderline, sadistic, and antisocial psychopaths. Psychiatric Quarterly, 74(1), 11-29. retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.argo.library.okstate.edu/docview/230514083?accountid=4117