• Share. Be Supported. Recover.

    We are a friendly, safe community supporting each other's mental health. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Help figuring out symptoms

H

Hokiepokie

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Messages
23
Location
South Carolina
My family member displays some behavior I don’t know how to figure out. Maybe you can help me? She lacks empathy and sympathy even for close family and friends who have serious health conditions and she doesn’t even remember they do because she doesn’t listen. She is selfish and self-centered. She brags and embellishes. She behaves like a wild teenager but she’s a senior citizen. She frequently meets men on the internet and is taken advantage of by scammers. She doesn’t listen when her friends and family tell her things. It’s like she’s only interested in what she’s thinking or doing without regard to other information or news. She constantly tells us things with no context, leaving us confused as to what she’s talking about. Often when talking in person she seems vacant like she’s not listening and later if the subject comes up she doesn’t remember it so you know she wasn’t listening. I don’t think it’s a drug or alcohol issue. She has spent more money than she has chasing men and living beyond her means. She makes detailed plans then changes them so frequently no one takes her plans seriously. She continues to travel non-stop throughout the pandemic for pleasure using credit cards. She keeps moving to live in new locations far from previous places and making all new acquaintances. Any ideas? Could it be multiple parts of different disorders?
All below is just my opinion.

As a psychopath, I can clearly see by your description that she has traits of psychopathy. Is she a psychopath (meeting the criteria of 30 or above on the PCLR checklist)? I have no idea. No way to know through a computer, but let me take a stab<----no pun intended at it. Before I go further, lets get down one premise. That premise is......Narcissism and Psychopathy are on the same continuum. Just Draw a line from A to Z. A is narcissim and the extreme variant of narcissism is Z- psychopathy. She clearly falls somewhere along this line.

She has low empathy. That's a give away, but not an absolute for narcissistic personality (NPD) or Psychopathy by itself. Both conditions require more than just low empathy or in the case of a protypical, pure 40 out of 40 on the PCLR Psychopath which is rare, ZERO empathy....as in....NONE. Over 99 percent of psychopaths have SOME empathy. 1% have NONE as in...ZERO, and this person is exceptionally, exceptionally, exceptionally rare and the overwhelming majority of humans will never encounter one. They either die in their youth, get killed, or they are in prison. Bragging and embellishing is another indicator. Telling stories with no context is sometimes termed, psycho babble. She's so wrapped up in her self that she couldn't care less if the story was stated in an easy way for you to understand. Spending money and getting took by internet scams suggests low impulse control. Traveling and seeking pleasure and moving to new locations suggests an increased need for stimulation due to overwhleming boredom. The combination of all of these things are very concering. All of these suggests to being AT LEAST narcissistic. How far along is she on the continuum towards psychopathy? I have no idea.

What she does not display, at least you didn't write anything about it, was her past history or current history of harming other people, either verbally or physically/emotionally. In short, you haven't mentioned calliousness or risk taking or criminality. She displays poor impulse control, boredom, grandiosity, self-centeredness, and low empathy, but not much calliousness which would likely be needed to rule in psychopathy as well as risk taking. Criminality is NOT a requirement for psychopathy, but it's usually in the history of psychopaths, whether they got caught or not, if you ask them, they have commited crimes but may or may not get away with them. For Antisocial Personality Disorder, more commonly known as Sociopathy, criminality is required in the diagnosis, but Sociopathy and Psychopathy are not the same. .

Questions that would need to be answered that would point to POSSIBLE psychopathy. Not absolute slam dunk 100%, but possible psychopathy would be....
1. Callousness. Has she been cruel to others? Slanderous? How has she changed from one relationship to another when her and another man broke up? Is she taking the money of the men then dumping them, or are they just mutually parting their own separate ways?
2. How many marriages? Going from man to man suggests permiscious activity, but how many marriages or short term relationships?
3. Any law breaking history, DUI's, etc? Doesn't matter if she got caught, is she able to break the law or does she have a history of breaking the law? Getting caught doesn't matter.
4. Superficial Glib? Is she charming in social settings? Can she be the life of the party, but then seem very cold and shallow 5 minutes later?
5. Risk Taking? Sky Diver, Mountain Climber, Motorcycle-preferrably no helmet, scuba diving in her youth? Does or did she drive a sports car? Gambling? Does she like to gamble and take big risks?

It sounds like she is clearly at the very least narcissistic. Keep this in mind. There is narcissisiic disorder where people display narcissistic behavioral traits, and then there is the full blown narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Those two are different. The same with obsessive compulsive disorder and obsessive compulsive Personality disorder. Similar, but two different things. The latter is the more extreme version. In todays American society, and especially with teenagers, narcissism is investing our society. Narcissistic Behavior is just overwhelming in so many people, but this is still not the full blown NPD. Narcissistic Behavior is easily treated, but personality disorders are difficult because they are exactly that, they are your personality. They are "who you are." It sounds like she is definitely flirting with NPD, but again, no way to be sure on a computer.

As for psychopathy? It's possible. The questions I asked above would need to be answered. One thing to keep in mind about female psychopaths versus male psychopaths. Females often have less histories of calliousness and criminal behavior compared to males who are psychopaths. It's not to say that callousness and criminal behavior is completely absent, because it's usually there, but just not as evident on the surface compared to males. One final thing to keep in mind, remember the continuum or scale I gave you from A to Z regarding NPD to Psychopathy. People often get caught up or hung up with "absolutes" or cutoffs. Meaning, is she is an absolute psychopath or not? The truth is....it doesn't matter. It's a continuum and if you have traits that are pointing in the direction of psychopathy and other people are getting hurt, then you already have your answer. You don't need to know her "absolute number or score" on a test for psychopathy or NPD. The traits are clearly obvious.

For example, a person that scores 30 or above on the PCLR is a psychopath. The PCLR ranges from 0 to 40. 90% of humans score 7 or less. Lets say somebody scores a 29. Ok, technically, by definition, they are not a psychopath, but knowing 90% of the human population scores 7 or less and your relative scores a 29, are you concerned? Of course you are. There are tons of people out there that can do some serious damage that don't need a 30 to do it. By the way, most sociopaths or people with the diagnosis of ASPD (Anti-social Personality Disorder) will score anywhere from 21 to 29ish. It's not like you are going to take a score of 29, and then think, "oh good, she's not a psychopath because she didn't get a 30" and you walk away feeling great about it. The obvious emotional response by most people would be......very dam* concerned. So, this is why I'm telling you to not get caught up in "absolutes" or numbers that say Yes or NO to psychopathy or even NPD. She clearly has the traits, and having those traits, you should treat the person with the same level of concern as if they have the full blown diagnosis of NPD, or the personality label of psycopathic. Hope this helps.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
J

JoJoRabbit

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2021
Messages
8
Location
Nevada
All below is just my opinion.

As a psychopath, I can clearly see by your description that she has traits of psychopathy. Is she a psychopath (meeting the criteria of 30 or above on the PCLR checklist)? I have no idea. No way to know through a computer, but let me take a stab<----no pun intended at it. Before I go further, lets get down one premise. That premise is......Narcissism and Psychopathy are on the same continuum. Just Draw a line from A to Z. A is narcissim and the extreme variant of narcissism is Z- psychopathy. She clearly falls somewhere along this line.

She has low empathy. That's a give away, but not an absolute for narcissistic personality (NPD) or Psychopathy by itself. Both conditions require more than just low empathy or in the case of a protypical, pure 40 out of 40 on the PCLR Psychopath which is rare, ZERO empathy....as in....NONE. Over 99 percent of psychopaths have SOME empathy. 1% have NONE as in...ZERO, and this person is exceptionally, exceptionally, exceptionally rare and the overwhelming majority of humans will never encounter one. They either die in their youth, get killed, or they are in prison. Bragging and embellishing is another indicator. Telling stories with no context is sometimes termed, psycho babble. She's so wrapped up in her self that she couldn't care less if the story was stated in an easy way for you to understand. Spending money and getting took by internet scams suggests low impulse control. Traveling and seeking pleasure and moving to new locations suggests an increased need for stimulation due to overwhleming boredom. The combination of all of these things are very concering. All of these suggests to being AT LEAST narcissistic. How far along is she on the continuum towards psychopathy? I have no idea.

What she does not display, at least you didn't write anything about it, was her past history or current history of harming other people, either verbally or physically/emotionally. In short, you haven't mentioned calliousness or risk taking or criminality. She displays poor impulse control, boredom, grandiosity, self-centeredness, and low empathy, but not much calliousness which would likely be needed to rule in psychopathy as well as risk taking. Criminality is NOT a requirement for psychopathy, but it's usually in the history of psychopaths, whether they got caught or not, if you ask them, they have commited crimes but may or may not get away with them. For Antisocial Personality Disorder, more commonly known as Sociopathy, criminality is required in the diagnosis, but Sociopathy and Psychopathy are not the same. .

Questions that would need to be answered that would point to POSSIBLE psychopathy. Not absolute slam dunk 100%, but possible psychopathy would be....
1. Callousness. Has she been cruel to others? Slanderous? How has she changed from one relationship to another when her and another man broke up? Is she taking the money of the men then dumping them, or are they just mutually parting their own separate ways?
2. How many marriages? Going from man to man suggests permiscious activity, but how many marriages or short term relationships?
3. Any law breaking history, DUI's, etc? Doesn't matter if she got caught, is she able to break the law or does she have a history of breaking the law? Getting caught doesn't matter.
4. Superficial Glib? Is she charming in social settings? Can she be the life of the party, but then seem very cold and shallow 5 minutes later?
5. Risk Taking? Sky Diver, Mountain Climber, Motorcycle-preferrably no helmet, scuba diving in her youth? Does or did she drive a sports car? Gambling? Does she like to gamble and take big risks?

It sounds like she is clearly at the very least narcissistic. Keep this in mind. There is narcissisiic disorder where people display narcissistic behavioral traits, and then there is the full blown narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Those two are different. The same with obsessive compulsive disorder and obsessive compulsive Personality disorder. Similar, but two different things. The latter is the more extreme version. In todays American society, and especially with teenagers, narcissism is investing our society. Narcissistic Behavior is just overwhelming in so many people, but this is still not the full blown NPD. Narcissistic Behavior is easily treated, but personality disorders are difficult because they are exactly that, they are your personality. They are "who you are." It sounds like she is definitely flirting with NPD, but again, no way to be sure on a computer.

As for psychopathy? It's possible. The questions I asked above would need to be answered. One thing to keep in mind about female psychopaths versus male psychopaths. Females often have less histories of calliousness and criminal behavior compared to males who are psychopaths. It's not to say that callousness and criminal behavior is completely absent, because it's usually there, but just not as evident on the surface compared to males. One final thing to keep in mind, remember the continuum or scale I gave you from A to Z regarding NPD to Psychopathy. People often get caught up or hung up with "absolutes" or cutoffs. Meaning, is she is an absolute psychopath or not? The truth is....it doesn't matter. It's a continuum and if you have traits that are pointing in the direction of psychopathy and other people are getting hurt, then you already have your answer. You don't need to know her "absolute number or score" on a test for psychopathy or NPD. The traits are clearly obvious.

For example, a person that scores 30 or above on the PCLR is a psychopath. The PCLR ranges from 0 to 40. 90% of humans score 7 or less. Lets say somebody scores a 29. Ok, technically, by definition, they are not a psychopath, but knowing 90% of the human population scores 7 or less and your relative scores a 29, are you concerned? Of course you are. There are tons of people out there that can do some serious damage that don't need a 30 to do it. By the way, most sociopaths or people with the diagnosis of ASPD (Anti-social Personality Disorder) will score anywhere from 21 to 29ish. It's not like you are going to take a score of 29, and then think, "oh good, she's not a psychopath because she didn't get a 30" and you walk away feeling great about it. The obvious emotional response by most people would be......very dam* concerned. So, this is why I'm telling you to not get caught up in "absolutes" or numbers that say Yes or NO to psychopathy or even NPD. She clearly has the traits, and having those traits, you should treat the person with the same level of concern as if they have the full blown diagnosis of NPD, or the personality label of psycopathic. Hope this helps.
Wow that was very thoughtful and educational. I understand what you mean, I think! I had to read it 3 times to digest it. i will research PCLR and see what happens…
 
H

Hokiepokie

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Messages
23
Location
South Carolina
Outstanding effort, Hokie!
Thanks. Keep in mind, yes, I am for helping people when asked, but as a pyschopath, I do struggle with boredom. I have things to do in life that have greatly helped satisfy by boredom which is part of this condition, so sorry if many of these posts are long winded. I am sure many see and realize that, but the more I right, the more occupied I am. I'm not sure if it's good or bad, but oh well....
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 31, 2015
Messages
2,915
Location
Australia
Thanks. Keep in mind, yes, I am for helping people when asked, but as a pyschopath, I do struggle with boredom. I have things to do in life that have greatly helped satisfy by boredom which is part of this condition, so sorry if many of these posts are long winded. I am sure many see and realize that, but the more I right, the more occupied I am. I'm not sure if it's good or bad, but oh well....

I hear ya. I post certain things on here too in order to alleviate boredom and feel slightly mentally stimulated. Sometimes after a while I lose interest and forget to return to the thread. Oh well.
 
GretaVon

GretaVon

Former member
Joined
Nov 18, 2021
Messages
232
Location
Europe
Thanks. Keep in mind, yes, I am for helping people when asked, but as a pyschopath, I do struggle with boredom. I have things to do in life that have greatly helped satisfy by boredom which is part of this condition, so sorry if many of these posts are long winded. I am sure many see and realize that, but the more I right, the more occupied I am. I'm not sure if it's good or bad, but oh well....

I think you should help as much as you can. Obviously you have the ability. The absence of emotional empathy can actually be an advantage when getting involved in traumatic situations.
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 31, 2015
Messages
2,915
Location
Australia
I think you should help as much as you can. Obviously you have the ability. The absence of emotional empathy can actually be an advantage when getting involved in traumatic situations.

I've found my high cognitive empathy and (mostly) low affective empathy to be very useful in terms of helping people with advice or analysing their feelings...it's interesting to me.
 
Top