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Customer Review

53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very very very good book, definitely recommended....., 16 May 2011
This review is from: Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us (Paperback)
This book is very helpful. I was dealing with what I believe is a narcissist type, it's been awful, on so many levels. This book when I read some of the character traits literally made me cry as I could associate so much to it.

Just reading this book, helps sooth you, through understanding the madness and meanness of the situation and personality disordered type.

It's actually quite sad to read it on so many levels, but by the end you feel better, calmer and soothed, that it has a label, you think, "ah that's why he does that". It won't and can't change the person, but you do start to understand what you are dealing with in that person. It talks about criminal and non-criminal types of characters. For me the criminal types were less applicable but also interesting to read about, almost like the same type by as a non-criminal one but a further along the scale.

So it helps you heal in that way and gives you some answers, clarity and closure.

This book is truly a well written and healing resource, thanks to the author for the wonderful insight into these types of people.

I'm not so keen on the term "psychopath" as I associate that with all the maniacs who are in prison having committed awful crimes. However the more modern term used is "sociopath" of which I suspect my ex was one. They often are in society doing fine, or even successful, and not with any criminal record, but they do have the same underlying character.

It gives you a list of the character traits of this type of person. They are:
- glib & superficial
- egocentric & grandiose
- lack of remorse or guilt
- lack of empathy
- deceitful & manipulative
- shallow emotions
- impulsive
- poor behaviour controls
- need for excitment
- lack of responsibility
- early behaviour problems
- adult antisocial behaviour

and explains them in further detail.

It explains how they choose people, they are skilled at doing this.
It looks at origins of the problems, and behaviours at a younger age.
Whether therapy would be helpful or not...... mostly not.
For me, there was a bit too much information and references to the criminals who are sociopaths and looking at their stories, so it would be a useful resource to people impacted that way. But they are still interestng to read and have that insight on, if only to attempt to avoid them in the future.

Finally the last is a chapter on how to protect yourself and survive, which was a short chapter that I would have liked to have seen this as a much longer one, as it's the key to our futures if we are to be happier.

I definitely recommend this book, it will help you see the type and understand some of what you have been through that often seemed bizarre and it helps you get some closure as a result.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Oct 2013 23:12:56 BDT
Just a quick comment to correct the use of the terms psychopath and sociopath in this review. They're often treated as the same thing now, with a lot of debate about whether just psychopathy will feature in the next DSM. Sociopathy is now widely called secondary psychopathy, thus they are still psychopaths, whether you're 'keen' on the term or not. The reason it's associated with 'maniacs' in prison is because we only hear about those psychopaths in the news. There are many successful psychopaths that have families and jobs and don't commit crimes, just engage in ruthless behaviour. The use of sociopath that you describe in the review is actually a primary psychopath. Secondary psychopaths are more impulsive, anxious and reactive, which means they're more likely to end up in prison than primary psychopaths as they commit assualt etc.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Oct 2013 13:33:06 BDT
Sunflower888 says:
Hi, thanks for the comment, interesting what you say about primary and secondary psychopaths, however from your descriptive of my ex, he was impulsive, anxious and reactive, and a counsellor I since saw suggested from what I had relayed of my experience that he appears to have no cognition and just reacts, it seems he would then fall into your "secondary psychopath".

What would clearly distinguish between a primary and secondary one?

Also, what is your experience in this field, are you a medic?


In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2014 17:38:14 GMT
Last edited by the author on 10 Dec 2014 17:41:52 GMT
Mr. T. White says:
Pardon me, but rather than moot there being "primary" and "secondary" psychopaths, is it not far better to realise (as Oxford University's Professor Dutton puts it) that psychopathy is merely a more extreme form of sociopathy? That is, all psychopaths are sociopaths, but not all sociopaths are extreme enough to be classed as psychopathic. In addition, no more than half of all sociopaths could be described as psychopathic. That is again to infer, psychopathy is to be found at the extreme scale of sociopathy. And, it is submitted, with all respect, that that is, by far, the least complicated way of understanding the disorder.

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