I wrote a blog a while ago that said psychopaths are so prevalent in society some psychiatrist were suggesting the behavior no longer be listed as a mental illness. What’s more, a recent survey of the disorder revealed that those afflicted with the impairment turned out to have some admirable traits: charm, focus and an eye toward long term goals. Also, psychopaths tend to thrive in highly competitive or stressful occupations. For example, they make great CEOs of companies, lawyers, journalists, police officers, clerics and civil servants. The professions where psychopaths are found least are among case workers, nurses, teachers artists, doctors and accountants. (“Wisdom from Psychopaths? By Kevin Dutton, Scientific American Mind, Jan/Feb 2013 pg. 42)
To test his findings, Kevin Dutton, a research psychologist in Oxford, went to Broadmoor, England’s largest psychiatric hospital. His book on that encounter and his subsequent research will soon be published in, The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success.
During Dutton’s visit with some of the most dangerous psychopaths on the planet, he was surprised to discover these in-mates were capable of an almost Zen-like attitude toward life. As one of them advised him, “give tomorrow the slip and take today on a joy ride.” (Ibid, pg. 43)
So, what is the difference between a psychopath and the rest of us? Well, for one thing, given the psychopath’s ability to focus on a goal without distraction or conscience, he or she is more likely to become a success than the rest of us, even at the cost of becoming a violent predator. As another inmate expressed it, the talents that mark his disorder may simply be “too much of a good thing?”
(Courtesy of www.fanpop.com)