jonronson · @jonronson

13th May 2011 from Twitlonger

An amazing email I just received (I have his permission to quote it). Hare would say all psychopaths are malevolent, as malevolence inevitably grows in the absence of empathy. But this guy - who I'm sure is sincere - says different.

Hi Jon. I'm a psychopath. I figured it out about 4 years ago. I contacted a doctor here in Canada who specializes in psychopathology to try and get a proper diagnosis, but he never got back to me. My question for you is: why do you make psychopaths seem so bad? I'm a businessman and (I like to think) a fairly decent person. Sure, I'm cold, calculating and self-centered, with little regard for the feelings of others, but that's just the way God made me. I try very hard to remind myself that other people have "feelings" and that I should be concerned about them; and in all honesty I've made a lot of improvement since I told my wife (she's good at reminding me to care). We're not all bad...just different. Like any personality trait, if unmanaged, it can cause problems in life, and I know that psychopaths can be scary. But honestly, some of the most successful and productive members of society that I know are psychopaths (surgeons, brokers, pilots and dentists). Of course, they (likely) would never be as frank as I am about it, but honestly the reason I did my psyke specialization in behaviour disorders of childhood was entirely to learn what was wrong with me (I knew I was different than other kids). But not all psychopaths are violent! We've gotten a bad rap by Hollywood and I'm not sure if you're trying to help us or pour fuel on the "psycho-hate" fire? Forgive me if I've said too much...but its a very hard disorder to live with and I feel like no one understands.

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