he following is from the chapter “Cyclothymic Personality,” out of the book Manic-Depressive Disease, by Dr. John D. Campbell, from 1953.  Yes, even in the 19th Century and before, it was possible to recognize hyperthymic personalities, simply by observing them.  Some things you really can define just by observing them (which really makes me wonder why the Catholic hierarchy keeps pleading that before about 1980, naturally they didn’t realize that they couldn’t trust pedo-priests to re-offend).  The entire chapter is here.

What this book calls “cycloid” personalities, is any of the usual everyday temperaments that could come with bipolar disorder, whether this be chronically depressed, hyperthymic, or cyclothymic.  This chapter goes quite a bit into comparing cycloid personalities with other chronic and mild psychiatric disorders, mainly talking about how much more attractive and otherwise likeable cycloid personalities tend to be, than the others.  In fact, the color of the above “the Whole Thing,” is the same as the color of the book’s cover. (The background of one of my webpages, is that book cover.)  Certainly those who chose that color, realized how this book would look sitting in a bookshelf among brown, black, and maroon medical books, in the 1950s!  The spine of the copy of this book that I just bought used, was so faded from exposure to the light, that whoever owned it obviously had it displayed on his bookshelf a long time without a dust jacket!

The following compares what then was known as the “hypomanic” personality, with sociopathy.  This isn’t what we currently think of as “hypomanic.”  In the discussion of terms” section near the beginning, this chapter says,The term hypomanic is also sometimes used to describe mild manic attacks of manic-depressive psychosis.”  This section of this chapter begins, “The irritable, argumentative, litigious type of hypomanic, involved in family discord at home and unable to adjust satisfactorily at work, often presents the superficial appearance of a psychopathic personality,” so this clearly isn’t limited to the sort of not-quite-insane impulsivity that’s called “hypomania.”

 

Psychopathic Personality.  The irritable, argumentative, litigious type of hypomanic, involved in family discord at home and unable to adjust satisfactorily at work, often presents the superficial appearance of a psychopathic personality.  The hypomanic, especially when drinking, is quick to take offense, start an argument, demand his rights and project his own deficiencies on others.  While the hypomanic is a restless, often obnoxious, egocentric person, close scrutiny of his personality usually reveals an insatiable desire for accomplishment and group approval, which is not a feature of the psychopath’s make-up.  The hypomanic is friendly, likeable, often slap-dash, and sometimes overbearing, but always capable of attracting friends.  Kraepelin said of this type: “Already at school they are insubordinate and disorderly, ring-leaders in all disturbances of the peace; they play truant, run away, do not get on anywhere, have to change their school, fail in examinations, because of their aversion to thorough and persevering study.  They stand military discipline very badly, neglect cleanliness and order, overstay their leave, are remiss in service, resist authority, and are, as a rule, often punished, when it is not recognized that they are ill.  At the same time an important part is played by the sexual instinct which awakens early and is very active, and which leads them to debauchery....  The influence of alcohol is usually still more unfavorable, to which, in general, they yield themselves without resistance.”

The basic difference between the psychopath and the hypomanic cycloid is essentially one of conscience.  Even in his erratic and poorly timed actions, the hypomanic can be observed to work toward a goal, some kind of worthwhile accomplishment, whereas the psychopath is less meaningful, more destructive and not nearly so interested in accomplishment.  Both may be irregular, impulsive, spasmodic workers, but there is a difference in attitude toward the vocation.  The cycloid usually adheres to orthodox occupations whereas the psychopath prefers off-color jobs.  Although talkative, cocky, bombastic and erratic, the cycloid’s personality contains a certain philanthropic attitude which is lacking in the antisocial psychopath.  Both are capable of making friends but the cycloid is more able to keep friends.  A history of a previous depressive or manic episode, or a positive family history, often aids in making the decision.  A longitudinal study of the patient’s life, if he is a psychopath, will usually reveal significant information.  This subject will be discussed again in the chapter Manic-Depressive Psychosis, Manic Type.  The depressive type of cycloid personality is rarely confused with the psychopath.

 

                 

 

Or, as Jesus put it, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  This is also very much along the lines of that question that an Enron employee asked Ken Lay during the employees’ meeting on October 22, 2001, when Enron was starting to fail, “I would like to know if you are on crack? If so, that may explain a lot.  If not it will be a long time before we trust you again,” except that the disinhibited overactivity of the brain is endogenous, and it’s permanent so unless the person manages to get control over it, he’d remain pretty untrustworthy.  When they really feel like doing something that happens to be destructive, they’re amoral rather than immoral, but when they don’t, then they could have a moral sense.  After all, addicts were once called “dope fiends,” though their intent certainly isn’t cold-blooded, because of the extent of harm they could do.  Hyperthymic Personality Disorder is like someone being under the influence of stimulants that have the same disinhibiting effects as booze, and while most hyperthymic states of mind are like a “good trip,” some are like a “bad trip.”  Most drunks are just irresponsible but some are “mean drunks,” etc.  Evidence-Based Treatment for Alcohol and Drug Abuse, by Paul M. G. Emmelkamp and Ellen Vedel, says, “According to the fourth revised edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association, 2000), antisocial personality disorder is characterized by failure to conform to social norms, disregarding safety of self and/or others, consistent irresponsibility, lack of remorse after having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another, impulsiveness, failure to plan ahead, irritability, aggressiveness, recklessness, deceitfulness, and manipulative behaviors.”  The same hyperthymic person could act like this most of the time:

 

and this some of the time:

and you could have no idea what is “his real self.”  Or, when they’re problematic, their behavior might be just reckless or negligent, yet they cause big problems anyway.

This could also fit the pattern of the wife-batterer.  Crazy Love, by Leslie Morgan Steiner, gives as part of her interview with “an assistant professor at a large state school in Maryland, working toward his Ph.D. on the behavioral psychology of batterers,”

“You say there is a pattern to the violence that spans different relationships.  Could you tell me more about this?”

“Based on my quantitative research and learning from the men’s groups I run, my hypothesis is that men who batter are like a subspecies whose behavior, as a group, is highly predictable.  A relationship starts.  The batterer has an uncanny sense for what the woman wants and needs emotionally, and he meets that need.  I hear female partners use the phrases ‘Prince Charming’ and ‘knight in shining armor’ with incredible regularity when they describe what their partners were like in the early, courtship stage of the relationship.  Batterers are like predators seeking prey.”

How did Conor know, the night he met me on the E train, that I was so vulnerable?  Was I still?

“You never hear of a batterer who introduces violence early on or too suddenly.  No batterer hits a woman on their first date.  He always waits until he’s secure, which from the woman’s perspective means until she is trapped, emotionally or financially, like getting engaged or pregnant, or quitting her job because he ‘wants to take care of her.’  A batterer intuitively knows when and how to lay the groundwork for a ‘successful’ violent relationship.  The best cons, after all, are the ones that make the victim want to participate.”

and quotes this professor as saying that wife-batterers tend to grow up being beaten by their parents, and,

They hit their partners because they love them.  I have yet to come across a batterer who lashes out violently at strangers.  Part of the paradigm is that, to batterers, violence is a normal component of intimate relationships.  The men I’ve studied would not get any emotional satisfaction or release unless they are intimately involved with the object of their violence.  Their vulnerability terrifies and overwhelms them because of their learned behavior from childhood.  They have learned—as a survival mechanism—that controlling the people they love is the only way to be certain they won’t get hurt.  And they know, through their own personal experience, that fear and violence are very effective ways to control people.

Those with violent cases of Hyperthymic Personality Disorder act normally when that’s what they feel like doing, and destructively when that’s what they feel like doing.  You might think that someone who hits his partner because he loves her and he thinks of this as a form of bonding between them, must be so pettily self-centered that he might as well be drunk.  (Sure, he learned this during childhood, but common sense should be able to tell him how horrendous this actually is.)  Hyperthymic Personality Disorder involves impairments of the same parts of the brain that booze impairs to cause its disinhibition, so yes, someone with HPD might as well be drunk.  Hyperthymics also tend to be very attractive most of the time, not just to the stereotypical codependent who’s attracted to trouble, but to everyone, like Phil Spector in the top picture.  Hyperthymics tend to have a great intuition, particularly a great ability to “read people.”  And, of course, since their parents would have tended to be hyperthymic, they would have had a great chance of being irrationally violent, beating their family members.  Leslie wrote that she kept thinking that if she stuck it out with Conor she could cure his problem, which might sound stereotypically codependent, except that it would be only natural for anyone, male or female, to believe that he/she could convince someone who usually acts as good-natured as was Phil Spector in the top photo, that he shouldn’t act like the Phil Spector in the bottom photo.

Robert D. Hare’s book Without Conscience describes psychopaths as, “social predators who charm, manipulate, and ruthlessly plow their way through life, leaving a broad trail of broken hearts, shattered expectations, and empty wallets.  Completely lacking in conscience and in feelings for others, they selfishly take what they want and do as they please.”

If a person did that only when he really felt like doing and/or believing something, and the amorality was far more oblivious than malicious, then that would be what a particularly problematic case of HPD would look like, and is exactly what you’d expect from a mild case of mania.  This is also what you’d expect from someone who’d be under the influence of stimulants that have the same disinhibiting effects as booze, which is what a hyperthymic state of mind is like, in various ways.

Sacrilege, Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church, by Leon J. Podles, says, “Like other abusers, Fortune was a narcissist and sociopath.  [Psychology professor Feichin] O’Doherty noted Fortune’s ‘apparent lack of real feelings about the reality of his position,’ and that he did not take his actions and situation ‘seriously enough.’”  This doesn’t say whether O’Doherty stressed Fortune’s obliviousness to how this affected himself, or to how it affected his victims.  Yet this alone certainly doesn’t sound like stereotypical narcissists and sociopaths, in that they care very much how anything would affect themselves, about their own positions and situations, and how their actions would affect themselves.

The chapter about psychopaths in Adrian Furnham’s 50 Psychology Ideas You Really Need to Know, says, “Curiously, when asked about justice and morality in the abstract, they tend to give ‘correct’ conventional answers.  They just don’t apply this knowledge of right and wrong to themselves.  This is particularly the case when their judgement conflicts with their personal demands for immediate gratification.”  Yet similar things have been said about pathological gamblers, and recovering addicts in general.  A pathological gambler could see what the odds of winning really are, if he looks at gambling in the abstract or advises another gambler, but when the gambling addict wants to believe that he’ll win, he does believe it.  And those who plan therapy for recovering chemical addicts have become very aware that even if an educational program really does get an addict to understand the consequences of relapsing, he could still just go ahead and do it if he wants to strongly enough.  Ironically, the chapter on cognitive therapy of that same book says, “Further, it has been shown that cognitive therapy can really change irrational and distorted thinking in certain clients without having much effect or change on their maladaptive behaviour,” and while this doesn’t say that this tends to mean aggressive behavior rather than hurt feelings, clearly people would be far more likely to act out aggressive desires though they realize that this would be maladaptive in the long run, than they’d be to act out hurt feelings though they realize that this would be maladaptive in the long run.  Everyone knows that sinfulness is understandable and forgiven, and that attempts to stop it could be angrily labeled as guilt-tripping, moralistic, manipulative, controlling, whiny, naïve, resentful, etc.  All of this aggressive impulsivity follows the pattern of Hyperthymic Personality Disorder.  While other factors could also at least contribute to this, such as drugs making the brain act as if the pleasure that comes from the drugs means that they really are that beneficial, this is still how HPD works, regarding anything that the person really feels like doing or believing.

This is certainly very relevant to not only the crimes and reckless behavior on Wall Street that are now causing so much of a problem, but also similar behavior that keeps cropping up in business.  Some books about Wall Street such as William D. Cohan’s House of Cards, A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street, about the fall of Bear Stearns, describes tantrums as normal business tactics, as if the Darwinist culture of Wall Street naturally causes this, though chances are very good that those prone to tantrums during the workday are hyperthymic.  (Though Bear Stearns was the moral equivalent of Drexel, one of their otherwise cold bosses had a tendency toward cute eccentricities, i.e. inventing a character named Haimchinkel Malintz Anaynikal, who, in business memos, would give folksy advice about saving money and similar old-fashioned responsibility.)  Naturally, both the Darwinist rules, and the need for persuasive abilities and intuitive intelligence (for what the business world calls “hunches” about where the economy is about to go), would tend to attract those with fairly pathological hyperthymia, to Wall Street.

“He says, ‘Come down to my office right now.’  Not hello.  ‘Come down to my office right now.’  I open up the door to his black-walled chamber, all done in black ebony wood.  Between the door and the chair, if I hadn’t had almost thirty years of experience on Wall Street, I probably would have shit in my pants.  Because he barked at me the moment I set foot in that office.”  After a fulsome, expletive-filled discussion of the managing director’s supposed error in judgment—carved out in front of Alan Schwartz and Sam Molinaro, who were there, too—“he just sort of said, ‘Dismissed.’”

Those who’d say that we can’t trust those who care about social problems because they’d tend to be hyperthymic intellectuals who put too much faith in sociological models and other intellectual constructs, would also have to figure that we can’t trust those on Wall Street because they’d tend to be hyperthymic intellectuals who put too much faith in economic models and other intellectual constructs.

When, in the summer of 1920, William H. McMasters, one of Boston’s top publicists, was approached by possible client Carlo Ponzi, McMasters, as he wrote in his as yet unpublished memoirs, thought, “...if he was crooked or deluded, I must make up my mind to have him stop taking the money from the public,” so even then, some were aware that those who seemed very respectable in the investment world could be deluded.  (He ended up exposing Ponzi as a fraud.)  And as Steve Fishman wrote about Bernard Madoff in his New York Magazine article The Monster Mensch, “His operation was relentlessly predatory, systematically looting charities, longtime friends, family, as well as investors spread around the globe. And yet it seems unlikely that he was a sociopath in the classic sense, someone indifferent to the feelings of those around him.”  After all, when he was arrested, he’d been married to the same non-submissive woman for almost 50 years.

And as Madoff victim and writer and artist Alexandra Penney wrote about Madoff’s guilty plea, “I was sure he’d cop the ‘aberrant gene’ defense,” and, “something in me says that in his insanely grandiose mind, he believes he will still outsmart the prosecutors the way he gamed the SEC and the government.”  As Jerry Oppenheimer’s book Madoff with the Money said, “…Madoff [was] nearing 10 percent of the volume of the NYSE in the 1990s.  Madoff had become Wall Street‘s 70th largest firm during the Clinton years, doing 25,000 trades daily.”  Frontline of May 12, 2009, The Madoff Affair, said that in 1992, just after the SEC investigated and stopped Avellino and Bienes, the first big firm that was selling for him because the SEC thought that they were the Ponzi schemers though Madoff paid them even more excessive pseudo-profits than they were paying their customers, that  the SEC didn’t then go after Madoff because, “His market-making operation was handling trades equaling 9% of all trading on the New York Stock Exchange, and he had recently been named chairman of NASDAQ.”  On December 15, 2008, Madoff’s website said, “With more than $700 million in firm capital, Madoff currently ranks among the top %1 of US Securities firms.”

Madoff With the Money quotes early Madoff victim David Arenson as saying that Bernie, “was just simply crazy, that at some point he became rather demented, because it’s incredible to me that somebody could be that callous, that insensitive, to hurt so many people.

“He acted the role of a philanthropist and a friend to the community.  It’s possible he had some inner need to screw the system in a grand way that no one had ever done before.  It’s entirely possible he knew someday his scheme would come out and he was just waiting for his moment in the sun.”

This is exactly the combination of qualities that you’d expect from sociopathy-esque HPD.  This looks like it comes from a brain impairment.  At the same time, this also looks like exactly the sort of behavior pattern that psychoanalysts would diagnose as an expression of a subconscious desire to act aggressively and possibly get punished for it, since the consequences were so obvious, so he must have chosen them on a conscious or subconscious level.

The eldest son-in-law and most active salesman of Madoff’s main feeder fund Fairfield Greenwich, Andrés Piedrahita, wrote when canceling his fiftieth birthday party just after Madoff’s confession, “What this monster [Madoff] has done to so many people including us is known in the bible as ‘an abomination.’  It means an act so alien to our values and our natures that it cannot be understood or explained.”  That, also, is typical of sociopathy-esque HPD, both extremely alien to normal peoples’ natures, and supposedly selfish except that it the long run it has such a horrible cost/benefit ratio.  An SEC document says about a phone call between Madoff and two others at Fairfield Greenwich, in which he told them what to say when talking with the SEC, “Madoff went on to state that the reason he said what he did during the telephone call with Fairfield Greenwich is that he was trying to impart this view of his role, and added, ‘Look, these guys aren’t rocket scientists.  That’s the problem.’”

As Catastrophe, The Story of Bernard L. Madoff, The Man Who Swindled the World, says, Dr. Andrew Twardon, director of New York’s St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital’s Center of Personality Disorders, said that Madoff could have a combination of antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders,

Twardon went on to say that Madoff may be a narcissist, a personality disorder that differs significantly from the antisocial pattern.  “Whereas in the antisocial personality, the primary problem is disregard for norms and laws and the need to inflict suffering on others for personal satisfaction, the narcissistic personality is about self-aggrandizement—what you would call, in popular psychology, denial.”

 

During a deposition of extremely recidivist pedo-priest Oliver O’Grady, the following exchange occurred:

Questioner:  Oliver, have you ever been diagnosed with a disassociative disorder?

O’Grady:  [with an amused smile] I’m sure I fit the category of a lot of disorders.  Whatever they are, you name them, I’ll jump.

Questioner:  I’m not trying to be flippant.

O’Grady:  And I am; I’m sorry.

…Questioner:  Do you think that [this not being sure that some molestation happened] is because it didn’t happen, or do you think that’s because either to deal with the trauma yourself, or to justify it, or deal with guilt, or whatever the malady you had was, that you may be disassociating from the reality of what actually occurred?

O’Grady:  I think that would be accurate, yes.

The film Deliver Us From Evil, about O’Grady, includes plenty of his confessing his molestation of pre-teen boys and girls.  On one hand you could call him remorseful, since he honestly is giving a confession, and he isn’t just trying to look remorseful in front of a judge.  He was one of the few pedo-priests to infuriate their bishops by writing a sincere letter of apology to a victim’s parents.  On the other hand, his demeanor and general attitude are very oblivious to the magnitude of damage that he caused, sometimes even blithe and la-de-da, sort of like how Adolf Eichmann acted during his confession in Jerusalem, which inspired the term “the banality of evil.”

The first thing that O’Grady says after the introduction is, “Some people are born to be leaders, and some people are born to follow, etcetera, you know.  I like helping people.”  He shows this obliviousness as consistently as a chronically depressed person would show depression, so his disassociation probably isn’t just a result of wanting to be in denial about something.  The film shows one of his victims, Nancy Sloan, saying that she didn’t want to accept his invitation to meet with him and other victims because, “If I thought that he had a heart at all to touch, it would be different.”  From what she’d seen of him, she could recognize that he’s so lacking in a heart that talking with him would make no difference.

If, instead, he had some other job that allowed him to take advantage of others brutally, i.e. a pillar of Wall Street, he could have done something like what Madoff did.  The Madoff Affair has, near the end, a statement of Madoff investor Burt Ross, “I have no interest in psychoanalyzing Madoff.  The man is a monster; he’s evil.  I cannot fathom hurting every single person I met, every dear friend.  It just doesn’t get worse than that,” with Frontline showing some of those photos of Madoff with the dimple-cheeked smirk after he confessed.  Not only that, everyone knows that all Ponzi schemes must eventually blow up, once they could no longer get the increasing sums of new money they’d keep needing.  If O’Grady were in Madoff’s situation, probably O’Grady not only would have done basically the same things, but also would have kept having the same giddy disposition while doing it, even while confessing it.  Madoff’s abomination was so monstrous that though plenty of skeptics say that his feeder funds’ ignoring the “red flags” that he was committing fraud was gross negligence at best, then “they should have known that he was committing fraud” meant that they should have known that such a pillar of Wall Street was pulling the biggest financial fraud in history, though when people in our day-to-day lives show this much negligence and wishful thinking, others would respond, “Oh, well, everyone makes mistakes.”

No doubt plenty of potential customers, regulators, etc., of such businesses figure that since those in charge are respectable overachievers, they could be trusted.  When it looks as if someone with the status of Madoff might have been doing something monstrous that’s so alien to our values and our natures that it cannot be understood or explained, one who suspects that that person is doing that, could seem paranoid.  Yet those in decision-making jobs, especially those that involve such excitement and risk, would tend to be hyperthymic.  They could look a lot like what Madoff must have looked like to the Securities and Exchange Commission before he got caught, someone who’d achieved so much that of course he isn’t the type who’d pull something as sleazy as a Ponzi scheme, and of course he’d have so much to lose especially since Ponzi schemes have to be found out someday.  Plus, Madoff was philanthropic enough, certainly not the sort of thing that a sociopath would be.  The Time Magazine webpage in its 25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis series, about then-SEC chief Christopher Cox, begins, “The ex-SEC chief’s blindness to repeated allegations of fraud in the Madoff scandal is mind-blowing, but it’s really his lax enforcement that lands him on this list,” though, especially to a deregulator like Cox, to have suspected someone as respectable-looking as Madoff may have seemed both paranoid and unfair to him.  How Bernie did it, on the Fortune magazine website, quotes one trader who worked for him as saying, “We were all aware of this hedge fund that had had great returns for 20 years.  We knew it was statistically impossible [to have the steady gains for which Madoff became famous].  As a collective, we always kind of wondered: How the hell does he do it?  Every person was curious.  But that’s where it stopped.  You’d stop yourself from wondering.  You’d say, There couldn’t be anything bad.  The Madoffs had such a name—and such an aura.”

Yet Hyperthymic Personality Disorder is like being under the influence of stimulants that have the same disinhibiting effects as booze, and someone under the influence of such drugs could very easily act responsibly most of the time, but when he feels like acting sociopathic, he’d just go ahead and do it.  In fact, as a New York Times article said, John D. Parsons, the supervisor of a mortgage processing center at Washington Mutual, one of the banks with the most ridiculous policies for maximizing the quantity of mortgages good or bad, snorted methamphetamine, and Sherri Zaback, who worked for him and saw drug paraphernalia on his desk, said, “In our world, it was tolerated.  Everybody said, ‘He gets the job done.’”  It might be hard to tell the difference between the culprits who actually were under the influence of disinhibiting stimulants, and those who just acted like they were.  Just as addicts’ family members may be told that if being under the influence made the addict do something then it wasn’t his real self that did it, you could say that the real Madoff built his reputation and business and would care about them, but his impaired self wouldn’t.

Frank Partnoy’s Infectious Greed, How Deceit and Risk Corrupted the Financial Markets includes, “In one lunch meeting in [Greenspan’s] private dining room at the Fed, he told a senior regulator, ‘We will never agree on the issue of fraud, because I don’t think there is a need for laws against fraud.’  Greenspan said his experience trading commodities early in his career had persuaded him that anti-fraud rules were unnecessary, because participants in the markets inevitably would discover fraud.  Market competition alone—without any regulation—was sufficient, because no one would do business with someone who had a reputation for engaging in fraud.”  Yet even normal personalities, optimism, and self-confidence could sometimes figure that one’s own fraud is just one of those risks that might pay off.  Infectious Greed also says, “Experiments by Daniel Kahneman, Richard Thaler, and Amos Tversky—which showed that people overestimated their own skills, overvalued items they owned, were shortsighted, greedy, and occasionally even altruistic—were an assault on the citadel of efficient-market theory that well-regarded economists such as Paul Samuelson and Eugene Fama had been putting forward since the 1960s,” and compared to this, Hyperthymic Personality Disorder is just slightly excessively normal human imperfection.  And all those hyperthymics on Wall Street wouldn’t weigh the consequences of fraud even this much.  They’d commit fraud just as readily as would someone under the influence of booze.  Then you could add to this such facts as that (especially with the new ultra-complex derivatives) it’s very easy to commit fraud in such a way that it’s ambiguous so any recognition of it would seem to be merely judgmental opinion, and that the same gutsy logic that hyperthymics could use to at least excuse their own non-violent destructive behavior, could also look very excitingly and patriotically pro-freedom to others.  If you disagreed with it, you could seem bad: restrictive, controlling, judgmental, whiny, manipulative, unrealistic, defeatist, etc.  When Wall Street tries to excuse much of what led to the Great Crash of 2008, keep much of its deregulation, etc., much of this logic will be exactly what would at least accept HPD behavior.

When you hear about people like this, or those who engaged in extreme violence simply because they “snapped,” you might think that they deserve the same moral or legal responsibility as would anyone else who’d do such things.  Yet if, hypothetically, someone slipped into your drink some stimulants that had the same disinhibiting effects as booze, you might feel yourself compelled to do such things, and wouldn’t really be morally responsible for them.   Just as the official name of an extremely hot temper is “Intermittent Explosive Disorder,” this hyperthymic behavior could be called Intermittent Sociopathic Disorder.  As a Your Total Health webpage on impulse control disorders says, “For example, people with bipolar disorder may steal or have explosive outbursts.”

By reading that quote from Dr. Campbell, you might not get the impression of just how much mega- pain and grief, the people who it describes have caused.  That really does suggest that the two biggest differences between the psychopathic personality, and the more aggressive manifestations of Hyperthymic Personality Disorder, are the intent, and how consistent the destructiveness is.  That definition of HPD, “tend to be rash and show poor judgement,” when you consider that it comes from a brain impairment very similar to the oblivious disinhibition that comes from booze, can look like depraved indifference.  Yet those differences are hardly radical.  In fact, in some ways they may even make the HPD behavior more dangerous, insidious, than sociopathy.  It could more easily look like just slightly excessively normal human imperfection, and of course normal people accept that others aren’t perfect!!!!!  After all,

 

 

and we must respect people’s freedom of choice.  It’s amazing how easily one who makes his own rules can believe that what he did was right, or at the very least excusable.  Rashness and poor judgment, especially seems forgivable.  HPD is the only personality disorder that, for the most part, could be excused away with, “Oh, well, everyone makes mistakes,” though since HPD is diluted mania, it’s actually a lot more selfishly impaired than are most personality disorders.

Dr. Robi Ludwig’s Till Death Do Us Part: Love, Marriage, and the Mind of the Killer Spouse, describes ten different types of motivations for killer spouses:

Those with HPD are more likely than others would be, to kill with each of these motivations.  Characteristics such as narcissistic, immature, expedient, irritable, impulsive, and emotionally impaired, keep coming up in different chapters on different types of spouse killers  Those who kill their own spouses are probably the most likely to be acting on emotion rather than evil, so would be very unlikely to kill anyone else, and very likely to seem guilty only of “crimes of passion.”  All of these motivations would require the killers objectifying their spouses to a degree that’s oblivious to everything besides what the killers feel like caring about.  HPD often comes with just the sort of edginess that would lead to violent tantrums that are far from what the person would do if he made a rational choice.  This has as many vagaries as does another problem behavior that hyperthymics have a great tendency to engage in: booze and dope abuse, which, when looked at rationally, has obvious dangers, yet when looked at impulsively within its subculture, looks like all-too-typical human imperfection.

Each of the chapters says something about these killers that would make the oblivious and selfishly driven pathologies of HPD more likely to cause them.  Common sense should also tell you how these tendencies would be unusually likely to lead to these murders, which normal emotion would scare most people away from, and obliviously selfish emotions would make more likely, whether the choice to do it was impulsive or cold-blooded.  The chapter on the betrayal/abandonment killer says near the beginning, “The violent act in these instances is one of impulse....”  The chapter on the control killer says, “...alleged that her husband had a ‘ferocious temper,’ was emotionally unstable...”  The chapter on the sociopathic killer says near the beginning, “Punishment does not deter them because they are impulsive and bold  in the face of consequences.”  (One could say the same about the failure to learn from experience, both on the part of the sociopath, and on the person with HPD, who’d be both stimulated and disinhibited.)  The chapter on the black widow killer says, “She has an insatiable appetite for money; no amount is ever enough.”  The chapter on the narcissistic killer says, “This type of personality is not self-aware, and emotions and thoughts are greatly distorted as a result,” “...psychological issues such as impulse control disorder, mood disorder, hypersexuality, an underdeveloped personality, and feelings of inadequacy and depression,” and, “Such narcissists falsely believe that they can do whatever they want and get away with it.  They take unusual risks and then expect the miraculous to happen.”  (Those with HPD are likely to believe that they’re entitled to miracles that would let them get away with it, since anyone who didn’t let them would be manipulative, controlling, blaming, passive-aggressive, guilt-tripping, unforgiving, unrealistic, moralistic, vindictive, whiny, emotionalistic, melodramatic, etc., mollycoddles.)  The chapter on the temper tantrum killer includes, “For example, Scott suffered from low self-control and egocentricity, and yet part of what made him so exciting to Laci and the people who loved him was his hedonistic approach to life.”  The chapter on the transference killer includes, “Without a broad range of emotions...”  The chapter on the revenge killer says, “By nature, the revenge killer is a victim of his/her own emotions.  Lacking the ability to handle negative emotions....”  The chapter on pregnancy killers includes, “If someone has a narcissistic rage problem...”  The chapter on the caregiver killer says, “It’s not the stress that causes the violence, but the mood disturbances that follow the care.”

Bipolar disorder, in its milder form, can include pedophilia.  One of the archived documents about pedo-priest John T. Sullivan, a letter that Bishop Allen J. Babcock of Grand Rapids MI wrote to Chancellor Hansberry of Manchester, NH, dated April 4, 1960, includes, “I honestly believe Father Sullivan is a psychopath.  He makes a very good impression.  He seems to be sincere in his efforts to amend the past, but his judgment is far from what is desirable.  I honestly do not think he is aware of the disturbing influence that he is in a parish and in the rectory.  Someone else is always to blame, not he.”

A CNN webpage on Bruce E. Ivins, who is alleged to have mailed the letters containing anthrax, says that his therapist, Jean C. Duley, testified on July 24, 2008 that Ivins, after learning that he’d be indicted, told of his “detailed homicidal plan” to kill his co-workers.  She testified, “That he had bought a bullet proof vest, had obtained a gun, a very detailed plan to kill his coworkers, to—that because he was about to be indicted on capital murder charges, he was going to go out in a blaze of glory, that he was going to take everybody out with him.”  Several top psychiatrists diagnosed him as a “sociopathic, homicidal killer.”  On July 29th, he killed himself.  Yet if he really were sociopathic, wouldn’t that mean that he’d have a bad character consistently?  Would he have excitedly blabbed about his plan to kill his co-workers?  Around the beginning of the 20th century, sexual predators were called “sexual psychopaths” since they plotted their crimes just as psychopathically, though they could have functioned normally otherwise.

The webpage Factors Contributing to the Development of Pathological Gambling says, “Pathological gamblers have been known to also exhibit antisocial behavior which is related to the impulse control disorder causing antisocial behavior such as exhibited in antisocial personality disorder (Slutske et al., 2001).  Causes of both pathological gambling and antisocial personality disorder are correlated to genetic and environmental factors, including personality traits such as impulsivity.  Slutske et al. (2001) conducted the study of PG and antisocial behavior using twins; controlling for genetic and shared environments, they found an association between gambling and the antisocial behavior in the participants.”  Of course, the impulsivity behind pathological gambling could have the quality of a consistently bad character, like sociopathy, or the quality of believing whatever one feels like believing at the moment and when that changes then what he believes changes, like HPD.  Those gamblers who feel very confident that they’re going to win a lot of money for their families, obviously feel concerned about their families (though not concerned enough to reality-test).  Pathological gambling is so self-defeating that plenty of psychoanalysts thought that, subconsciously, it’s some sort of self-punishment, which certainly isn’t characteristic of sociopathy.  Depressed people, also, are unusually likely to be pathological gamblers, for the same reason that as depressed people are unusually likely to be codependent:  Like an auto accident, many traumatic experiences could get people’s energy levels up, which feels healthier than the usual depression.  The webpage Harmful Effects of Problem Gambling, from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, includes, “Problem gamblers have the highest rate of suicide of any other addiction.  According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, one in five problem gamblers have attempted suicide.”

Larry R. (who said that one possible source of his gambling money was a “freelance script check”), wrote in his personal story in Gamblers Anonymous’ handbook, that as he was destroying his marriage through gambling, “‘This time...this time for sure, I’ll win enough to pay everything off.  Then when I finally get out of this mess, I’ll never gamble again.’  These were my thoughts.  These seem to be the twisted thoughts of every compulsive gambler.”  This almost-insane but standard delusion certainly isn’t typical of sociopathy, but is typical for HPD.  The section of Gamblers Anonymous’ handbook that gives the results of a survey about pathological gambling, includes:

42. “Innocent by reason of insanity” might be an appropriate defense for a compulsive gambler accused of stealing to get money to gamble.                 

                     Agreed  Disagreed  No Opinion

Members of GA          54%      34%        12%
Treatment Experts      31%      59%        10%
Psychologists           4%      88%         8%
Psychiatrists           3%      88%         9%

When pathological gamblers steal money is probably when they’re most prone to believe in such delusions, since they feel certain that they’ll win more money so they’ll be able to “pay back” the money they’re stealing.

Already, all addicts’ friends and loved-ones are expected to treat them as simply passive victims of their diseases of addiction, so the friends and loved-ones are already to treat addicts as not guilty by reason of insanity.  You’re free to avoid anyone who’s not guilty by reason of insanity, but don’t expect to change him or hold him morally accountable, since his disease simply makes him the way that he is.

   

All of these could just as easily result from a particularly aggressive case of HPD.  Those with hyperthymic personalities would likely make good impressions, because of both their vivaciousness, and because they likely have a sense for what those they’re talking with would like to hear.  This means that aggressive hyperthymics could be very good at faking remorse, or maybe they genuinely do feel remorseful, but then when they’re tempted again, they’d be as uninhibited as someone under the influence of disinhibiting stimulants would be.  Such a person would be oblivious to the effects that his destructive behavior would have, and would be quick to blame others, protecting his own ego.  One would have to ask if Fr. Sullivan always acted like a psychopath, or was it just when he particularly wanted to do something, such as go after girls.

The following, also, fits this general pattern: An article in the March/April, 2007 issue of The Angolite magazine, from the Louisiana State Penitentiary a.k.a. “Angola,” April in Angola, about their most recent rodeo, ends,

In the final event, Guts and Glory, a mob of prisoners try to snatch a chit (a small, round piece of wood) worth $500 from between the horns of an irritated bull within three minutes.... Edward Trotter thrilled the crowd on Sunday with a spectacular display of insanity to grab the chit.

...This year’s rodeo and arts and crafts show was the most successful to date—not because of the crowd’s size, nor the record breaking sales, but in the opportunity for the public to see moral rehabilitation at its best.

Spectator Mary Collins of Monroe, Louisiana, echoed the crowd’s feelings as she watched Trotter snatch the chit: “Awesome!”  This may explain as well as anything the madness of competing in the Angola rodeo—for the crowds who love the excitement and the cowboys who love the crowds.

Sure, there’s nothing immoral in that.  Yet if someone (especially an inmate in a prison like Angola) is that insanely oblivious of dangers to himself, then he’d probably also tend to be insanely oblivious of how his own behavior would harm others.  This would very much involve questions of morality, but not a cynical cold-blooded intent, and may not even involve a belief in the wrong values.  They could also often look awesome, even to those who aren’t attracted to trouble.

Hyperthymic rashness and poor judgment are just as much caused by biological impairments, as is the disinhibition that you’d see in functional alcoholics.  If you didn’t realize that someone is a functional alcoholic and you saw him acting disinhibited, you might think that this was just slightly excessively normal human imperfection.  The same goes for most of the recklessness and poor judgment of Hyperthymic Personality Disorder.  Some of this is within the sociopathic range, but even in these cases, just like functional alcoholics, the person could seem normal, even loving and caring, most of the time.  Then, when the alkies and hyperthymics feel like doing something, they suddenly act unreasonably self-centered to one degree or another, which may or may not seem sociopathic for the moment.  And, of course, both functional alcoholics and those with HPD could very likely respond to family members who hold them accountable for their sociopathic behavior toward them, by accusing these family members of not appreciating the love that they have for their families most of the time!

 

  

 

For example, to object to the “debauchery” might seem as prude, or at least as judgmental, as Kraepelin’s era would seem now, but when a lover or spouse has to deal with that sort of betrayal, it might as well be sociopathic.  Others may feel very comfortable telling you, “You might not like the fact that in the context of a romantic relationship and even a marriage, ‘what’s right for someone’ means what feels right to him, but if you were the one who, for whatever reason, felt trapped or otherwise very uncomfortable in a marriage where you previously had felt comfortable, you certainly would want, even need, to have the option to leave!”

For example, one could even say that the following didn’t require sociopathy:

During the first half of the 20th century, those who supported Hitler or Stalin always seemed to have their excuses.  As long as Prescott had the same sort of giddy self-satisfied obliviousness that Dubya has, that would be all it would have taken.  After all, when the Reagan Administration arranged for the export of many varieties of deadly germs to Saddam’s Iraq, including some to be sent to the Iraq Atomic Energy Commission (as detailed in this excerpt of the Congressional Record from September 20, 2002), that really was just as oblivious.  One could cause a good deal of destruction, but have plenty of excuses.

Another area in which moral relativism would seem necessary in order to be realistic, is the business world.  Malcolm S. Salter’s book Innovation Corrupted, The Origins and Legacy of Enron’s Collapse, is a guide to how companies could prevent similar disasters from happening in the future, basically by operating as if a leveraged-buyout firm took over the company.  This obviously doesn’t treat the problems in Enron as unambiguously morally wrong, just as the sort of problem that could be gotten under control if companies’ stockholders insisted on better management and responsibility.  “Enron at its inception was neither a conspiracy nor an axis of evil, but rather drifted into managerial and ethical lapses as its leaders avoided coping with difficult business realities by trying to cover up unprofitable commodity contracts, rising cash-flow shortfalls related to underperforming investments in power plants and water utilities around the world, highly volatile and risky merchant investments in broadband and other technologies, and escalating debt and other financial liabilities.”  “Enron’s story is thus not one of avowed swindlers....  Enron’s drift toward fraudulent management—prompted by the deteriorating performance of its many business ventures and merchant investments, and by an unexpected cash crunch—was subtler and more common, and therefore more instructive.”

Of course, this wasn’t due to just bad luck, but to an over-optimism that was very easy to enforce within Enron since it’s very easy to insist on pro-freedom beliefs.  “Enron’s leaders were not, of course, unique in their vulnerability to hubris.  Many successful people and organizations face this peril.  Hubris, in the business setting, typically involves a kind of supreme overconfidence that blocks systematic analysis of opportunities and risks.”  “Organizations subject to groupthink tend to believe in their inherent morality and correctness and defer to their leaders’ vision—much the way that directors came to view Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling as evangelists and heroes in their quest to enhance social welfare by changing energy markets through deregulation.”

This confidence was in a system that dreaded rules and accountability so much, that it could be called dysfunctional.  “The recurring phrase Enron executives used to describe the company’s decision making was perpetual chaos.  Skilling was highly averse to any policies that might constrain or impede swift decisions.”  “A former executive recounts how more seasoned Enron employees responded to the hype surrounding the company’s inclusion among Fortune’s 199 Best Companies to Work for in America with an alternative characterization: the Bizarre Social Experiment.”

Then, when things went wrong, it seemed only natural to start covering up, out of desperation rather than because they’re inherently sociopathic.  “In the fall of 1997, a severe cash crunch and slowing growth drove these senior executives to begin searching for strategies that would preserve the appearance and reality of Enron as a new type of company representing the next stage in U.S. capitalism, in which newly deregulated markets, new ways of thinking, new technologies, and new forms of finance would help America work faster and cheaper and make the folks rich who ‘got it.’”  Sure, one of Enron’s “defining moments” was when, in 1986-1987, some of those in a newly-acquired business were caught cooking the books, and Ken Lay didn’t fire them, “Lay’s clear message to employees was that rising earnings were more important than sound ethics.”  That’s the sort of track record that, if you’re sizing up someone as to whether or not you’d trust him, would be a danger signal, but if you’re sizing him up in terms of his current moral responsibility, that wouldn’t seem so important.

This is the sort of pattern that Hyperthymic Personality Disorder could very easily follow, including outside the business world, where such an understanding attitude might seem too permissive.  The same mentality that leads to the impulsivity, could lead to a glorification of unrestrained chaos.  This could come with too much optimism.  It could also seem only natural to expect others to at least excuse this, in the name of freedom.  The most morally questionable behavior could come near the end, when the people are in states of desperation about the consequences.  Since hyperthymic temperaments can make people more edgy and impulsive especially when they’re excited, they could be very likely to defend themselves sociopathically.  This could make them look really bad, but in fact they weren’t.  At the same time, this really isn’t the sort of mistake that could happen to anyone, since a pretty aggressive attitude would have been necessary from the beginning.  While it may now seem strange to consider Enron’s ideology to be inspiring, all you’ve got to do is look at old commercials from Enron, and you could see that the entire public, not just those especially greedy people on Enron’s payroll, were supposed to find Enron inspiring.  (The artistic quality of those commercials was also pretty attractive.)

 

 

Not only could the impulsivity be involved in HPD, but also the hot temper.  On August 27, 2008, Sonoma County Superior Court judge Elliot Daum ruled that there was no evidence that Alfred Fournier, who has bipolar disorder, was suffering from any mental illness when he shot motorcyclist Rick Stern to death in a road-rage incident.  Yet if this did result from bipolar disorder, that very easily could have left no evidence.  Plenty of hyperthymic temperaments are labile, meaning that they’re good-natured and enthusiastic most of the time, but then the people could lose their tempers to an extreme degree.  This is a pattern that manic episodes could take, diluted to the strength of everyday personalities.  Since they’re diluted to the strength of everyday personalities, the good-natured parts don’t look like mental illness.  Sure, chronically depressed personalities are basically depression diluted to the strength of everyday personalities, and many of those could be called slightly mentally ill, but that same level of chronic enthusiasm wouldn’t look mentally ill.

The “Characteristics and Typical Behavior of the Antisocial Personality” listed by Dr. Benjamin Kleinmunst in the textbook Essentials of Abnormal Personality, are: “Inability to form loyal relationships,” “Inability to feel guilt,” “Inability to learn from experience, special attention, or punishment,” “Tendency to seek thrills and excitement,” “Impulsiveness,” “Aggressiveness,” “Superficial charm and intelligence,” “Unreliability and irresponsibility,” “Pathological lying,” “Inadequately motivated antisocial behavior,” “Egocentricity,” “Poverty of affect,” “Lack of insight,” “Casual but excessive sexual behavior,” and “The need to fail.”  Anyone who was under the influence of stimulants that have the same disinhibiting effect as booze has, could have all of these symptoms, without the sort of cold-blooded malice that most would associate with the antisocial personality.  That’s what Hyperthymic Personality Disorder is like.

This pathological behavior could cause a good deal of damage, especially since it doesn’t take much malice to cause some real destruction.  Drug and alcohol abuse has got to be the most common example of this.  The more that you’ve been close to this, the more that you could relate to:

And this also makes very relevant the fact that the original conception of a codependent, is someone who wants to get involved with addicts, in the hope that these non-addicts, through tenderness, could get the addicts to stop their extremely self-destructive behavior.  Sure, centuries of practical experience as well as modern scientific measurements, have shown that no matter how much of an impression that one might make on an addict’s mind, his drug-addled brain could still cause him to crave drugs, delude himself into thinking that he could safely use again, etc.  Yet practical experience has also shown that such support would make the addicts relatively more likely to get and remain sober, so these addicts aren’t really not guilt by reason of insanity.  The whole reason why the thinking of codependents seems self-defeating, is that some people are so lacking in self-regulation, that the tenderness that tries oh so dedicatedly and desperately to persuade them into stopping that self-destruction, doesn’t work.  The helper, therefore, would seem to be trying to go on codependent “rescue missions,” to gratify herself.

What this chapter of Manic-Depressive Disease describes, could come across as the person being cold, as in lacking empathy.  To say that someone is “cold,” might sound as if he’s scheming and diabolical.

Rather, these people both come across, and act, as if they simply lack a concern about others.  And since our culture is so likely to insist that if you expect anyone else to show this empathy, you’re trying to control him, “trap” him, manipulate him, guilt-trip him, repress him, etc. (especially if you’re a woman), it’s very easy to get away with that, as long as it doesn’t become unambiguously wrong.

(This is the heading of the section of Al-Anon’s workbook Blueprint for Progress, Al-Anon’s Fourth Step Inventory, for those who seem to be codependent to take a fearless moral inventory of behaviors, including helpful ones, that are labeled as “controlling.”  Frankly, just about any helpful behavior in a relationship that’s considered codependent, would be considered “controlling,” as in, “Sure, you think that what you’re doing is trying to help, but supposedly trying to help someone is a great way to control him.”  This morality-based “control” is in the same sense of what the Mississippi preacher mentioned by Bobby Kennedy’s administrative aide James Symington, meant by tyranny, “One preacher let me into his church, and told me, ‘You represent a tyranny.’   I said, ‘How do you think black people feel living in Mississippi with no rights?’   He said, ‘Well, it’s better to have a lot of little tyrannies than one big one.’”  Control based on one person having power over another, is only a little tyranny.  Of course, if those driven into depression, anxiety disorders, etc., by such behavior, instead fixed themselves by taking antidepressants, choosing to think positively, eating more omega-3 fatty acids, etc., that wouldn’t seem controlling, anti-freedom, manipulative, resentful, etc.)

 

 

In fact, the above picture of the deviously satisfied woman comes from a vintage Al-Anon comic, where the reason why she’s so cacklingly smug, is that she manipulated her alkie husband into deciding to get sober, which, of course, didn’t last too long.  And Al-Anon is a group of alkies’ significant others!!!!!!!!

I’d really like to know what percentage of women in that situation, really do have perky artful and self-satisfied expressions like that, on their faces!  Yet even assertively standing up for one’s own rights, could be said to reflect one’s own SELF-WILL, and, therefore, reflect a hidden self-centeredness.

Sure, the March 24, 2007 issue of Science News quotes Jonathan Haidt of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, as saying about a study that found that those whose brains aren’t impaired have feelings that motivate them to act socially responsible, “In real life, the loss of social emotions is disastrous for moral judgment and action.”  Yet according to the logic of, “God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.  Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it; Trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; So that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next—Amen,” and, “Resentment is the ’number one’ offender.  It destroys more alcoholics than anything else....  If we were to live, we had to be free of anger....  [Fear] somehow touches about every aspect of our lives.  It was an evil and corroding thread; the fabric of our existence was shot through with it,” any loss of social emotions and other motivators isn’t really disastrous.  Yet neo-Buddhism means failsafe coping skills.

The victims and potential victims of it would be very motivated to prevent or eliminate the consequences, or at the very least, choose not to let them bother them.  The more that you’re compatible with hyperthymics, and, therefore, tend to deal with them in all areas of your life, the more that you’re likely to be told such things as, “You sure do tend to know people who’ve lost their social emotions, so you must have intended to let yourself in for trouble!” “Look at the ways in which you chose to make yourself vulnerable to him!,” “Since he doesn’t want to care more about you than that, if you try to pressure him into caring as much as a normal person would, then you’d be trying to control him, guilt-trip him, ‘trap’ him, insist that you deserve more love or friendship from him than you naturally caused him to feel, etc.!” “Obviously no one else has been able to ‘fix’ [a word that has very victim-bashing implications when used in connection with codependency] him, so if you think that you can, that shows that you have a big ego!” “Since you aren’t ‘letting go’ of your resentment anger and fear about what he did, you’re having a pity party,” etc.  That’s the self-help approach, i.e., since it’s your problem, yourself is the only one who helps, so you’ll just have to do this as resiliently resourcefully and independently as possible.  If one tried to correct the victimizer with that same firmness, then in most cases he could evade responsibility by using those very same, “Don’t tell me what self-denying feelings I should have!” “Don’t tell me what self-responsible thoughts and feelings I should have had in the past, which I can’t change now that the consequences have already happened!” etc., excuses.

 

 

 

 

And then there’s the excuse that Nixon’s press secretary Ron Ziegler pioneered (along with, “The president is aware of what is going on.  That is not to say that there is anything going on.”), and has become a favorite of politicians in trouble, “Mistakes were made.... I was overenthusiastic.”  His way of retracting some statements that had just been proven false, “This is the operative statement.  The others are inoperative,” would also be very typical of both moral bankruptcy, and pragmatic realism.

Also, his statement  from 1981,“I don’t feel the need to apologize; there are some things, however, I would have done differently,” has the appeal that everybody has regrets like that, and if you think that what someone did was more serious than that, then that could seem to be only your judgmental, manipulative, opinion.  This is in the same sense as Niebuhr writing, in the Man As Sinner (Continued) chapter of The Nature and Destiny of Man, “An abandoned wife may share equal guilt with her faithless husband though the overt act of desertion was his alone.”  (Of course, this book doesn’t say that an abandoned husband may share equal guilt with his faithless wife though the overt act of desertion was hers alone.)  Yet when gauging how much each person is responsible, it would be a good idea not to define “well-adjusted realism,” along the lines of, “Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it.”  Someone who tries to talk you into having that sort of well-adjusted realism, would say pretty much the same things as would someone with Hyperthymic Personality Disorder, trying to talk you into accepting his conceptions of what his rights are, “Stop expecting the world to be as you’d have it!”

That chapter of Manic-Depressive Disease had previously quoted Dr. Emil Kraepelin as writing about hyperthymics, “Their understanding of life and the world remains superficial...  the remembrance of former events fleeting, colored by partiality, and falsified by numerous personal additions;...  judgment is hasty and shallow....  The mood is permanently exalted, careless, confident.  The patients put an extremely high value on their own capabilities and performances, boast with the most obvious exaggeration.  They wholly lack understanding for the morbid imperfection of their temperament....  They are convinced of their superiority to their surroundings....  Toward others they are haughty, positive, irritable, impertinent, stubborn....  They are usually ready for jokes, even for self-derision, for conversation and pastimes of all kinds and for all sorts of tricks.”

Also, “The slightest forms of disorder lead us to certain personal predispositions still in the domain of the normal.  It concerns here brilliant, but unevenly gifted personalities with artistic inclinations.  They charm us by their intellectual mobility, their versatility, their wealth of ideas, their ready accessibility and their delight in adventure, their artistic capability, their good nature, their cheery, sunny mood.  But at the same time they put us in an uncomfortable state of surprise by a certain restlessness, talkativeness, desultoriness in conversation, excessive need for social life, capricious temper and suggestibility, lack of reliability, steadiness, and perseverance in work, a tendency to building castles in the air and scheming, occasionally unusual activities.  Now and then one possibly hears also of periods of causeless depression or anxiety, which usually are traced back to external circumstances, overwork, disappointments.  This experience, as also the further circumstance, that we very often see the parents, brothers and sisters, or children end in suicide, in mournful moodiness, or fall ill of definite manic-depressive insanity, suggests to me that that kind of strongly-developed sanguine temperament is to be regarded as a link in the long chain of manic-depressive predispositions.”

A later chapter, comparing overt mania with other psychoses, says about the comparison with “Psychosis with Psychopathic Personality,” “One must not assume that the manic patient is less destructive or dangerous than the psychotic psychopath.  The reverse is more likely to be true.  The manic, driven by the great pressure of mental and physical energy, and a delusion of self-righteousness, is often a seriously dangerous, homicidal individual.”

This certainly isn’t the modern, self-help, definition of the word self-righteous.  For example, Robin Norwood Answers Letters from Women Who Love too Much, begins its chapter “...Are Battered,” with, “Here is a working definition of addiction: In spite of ample evidence that something isn’t good for us we cannot stop our involvement with it.  We do not stop, even though we have experienced negative consequences both emotionally (through humiliation and degradation) and physically (through declining overall health and the possibility, occurrence or recurrence of serious illness or injury) and those who best understand our condition (professionals who understand addiction or others with similar histories who are now recovering) tell us that as unhappy and unhealthy as we already are, unless we change our behavior we will get even worse.”

Yes, that’s supposed to mean that battered women, in general, let themselves in for it, “It is very important to recognize these factors when they are present (as they have been with every battered woman I’ve counseled) in order to move away from seeing the battered woman as a naive victim of a brutal man.  To do so is to guarantee that her treatment will fail....  Actually there are three areas that every shelter and every program for battered women would do well to address with their clients: the client’s definite relationship addiction, her very probable co-alcoholism [Simply because, according to this, 80% of batterers are alcoholic, that’s supposed to mean that 80% of those battered have the mental illness of co-alcoholism.], and her quite possible chemical dependency.”  Among this victim-bashing, this also says, “Battered women come in many varieties, from helpless and hopeless, to apparently competent in every other area of life, to self-righteously aggrieved and aggressive.”  Clearly, this typically modern use of “self-righteous,” means that she expects this sinful world to be as she’d have it, not that she appointed herself judge and jury, and found herself innocent though she’s actually guilty.  When you consider that the Merriam Webster Dictionary’s definition of self-righteous is, “strongly convinced of one’s own righteousness,” that could mean either punitive, or acting with impunity since defending this could seem to be defending freedom, personal rights, etc.

For example, “Jane,” the alkie’s wife, was portrayed as self-righteous, before Al-Anon made her thinking well-adjusted, with the self-reliant resiliency that Al-Anon pioneered, and self-help psychology now loves:

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Al-Anon’s worldview is exactly what shaped Norwood’s, since she went to their meetings and was inculcated to believe their doctrine.  If your school of psychology is based on that overgeneralized acceptance of sinfulness and condemnation of feelings that object to it, then your school of psychology would have to minimize moral responsibility, and magnify the victims’ response-ability for their own welfare and happiness, to exactly that degree.  That conception of personal responsibility would seem GOOD, since it’s optimistic that the victims could change what they must to solve their problem, as well as self-motivated, pro-freedom, objective, honorably self-reliant, forgiving, etc.  Of course, one doesn’t question expectations that he be well-adjusted, self-reliant, non-controlling, etc.

That self-righteousness was also described in, from Manic-Depressive Disease, in the section “UNLAWFUL OR CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR AS A COMPLICATION OF MANIC-DEPRESSIVE PSYCHOSIS,” “The manic, given to excesses, is restless, obnoxious, self-centered, unconventional and often oblivious to the rights of others.  Excessive gambling, reckless driving, wild business ventures, confusion of records if not actual embezzlement, promiscuity and unreasonable argumentation are likely to occur during the manic episode or sporadically in manic patients who are never committable but never entirely well.”

Casual but big observation I made about 15 years ago: Impulsive behaviors such as those listed here, to one degree or another, also reflect an obliviousness of how much the behavior hurts the person engaging in it.  On my webpages on hyperthymic personalities, I’ve no doubt used the word oblivious plenty of times, and none of them is limited to obliviousness to how such behavior affects others.  This obliviousness to consequences in general, is basically the same as the obliviousness that comes from the disinhibition from booze.  Alkies have been described as both “obnoxious, self-centered,” and self-defeating.  In fact, this very book says about dual diagnoses with alcoholism, “Alcohol to some of these patients constitutes either a compromise with suicide or a chronic form of suicide itself,” though when moralists, those who live with these alcoholics, etc., would treat them as sinful, this wouldn’t be in the sense that they’re committing only the sin of suicide.  And this obliviousness is as unshakable as are the cognitive distortions of depression.

With a non-violent and non-psychotic version of choices and behavior like that, you could see how some pretty destructive tendencies, that we could very easily be expected to accept as “just the way that some people are.”  This could very easily include the more relatively normal versions of la vida maníaca.  As the Cycloid Personalities chapter of  Manic-Depressive Disease begins its section on intelligence, “While the schizoid personality and the psychopathic personality are conspicuously abnormal, the cycloid often goes unrecognized in everyday life.”  Through my own practical experience, I’ve seen how when people are told of a hyperthymic businessman’s fairly outrageous manic-esque behavior, they’d respond as if this was just slightly excessively normal human imperfection, especially for a businessman.  Yet if they’re told that he did certain things that come across as bizarre, even if they were harmless, then they’d start responding as if something is wrong with that guy.  We’re told that in the real world we must sometimes accept “sinful” behavior, not that we must sometimes accept bizarre behavior.  That’s probably also typical for the difference between how the schizoid personality is conspicuously abnormal, but the cycloid often goes unrecognized in everyday life.  It’s also a lot easier for hyperthymic behavior to look slightly excessively normal, than for sociopathic behavior to.

Another statement in that chapter written by Dr. Campbell himself, shows another reason why some destructive hyperthymic thinking and behavior could be more dangerous than much sociopathic behavior, “Indeed, there may be days in the lives of these individuals during which, if they were examined, they would likely be diagnosed as being beyond the realm of sanity.”

When hyperthymic behavior goes beyond the realm of sanity, it literally has the same irrational merciless selfishness as mania.  Little if any sociopathy goes beyond the realm of sanity.  Yet since manic behavior tends to be far more oblivious about the consequences, than malicious, it’s very easy for someone to insist that you accept such manic behavior, along the lines of, “Yeah, sure, there are days in every marriage where one spouse thinks that the other must be crazy!” and, “But just about anyone, especially when he’s very excited and/or wants to believe what he wants to believe, could impulsively make a disastrous choice that could easily look as if it was outside the realm of sanity!” 

The chapter on “psychosocial functioning,” of a recent book, Psychological Treatment of Bipolar Disorder, edited by Sheri L. Johnson and Robert H. Leahy, says, “It also has been reported that even during remission, outpatients with bipolar disorder reported fewer social contacts with friends (Bauwens et al., 1991).  Gitlin et al. (1995) followed outpatients over 2 years and found that the majority (61%) showed only fair to poor social functioning, indicating limited and impaired contacts with friends....  Only 55% of the outpatients with bipolar disorder described their closest friendship as adequate, whereas 84% of the normal controls described an adequate relationship with their best friend,” and, “Individuals with bipolar disorder are at risk for significant impairment independent of episodes...  Even during stable, euthymic periods, impairment may be pronounced.  Cooke, Robb, Young, and Joffe (1996) identified a sample of patients with bipolar disorder who were euthymic—free of recent substance abuse, personality disorder, or medical illness.  They found that the patients with bipolar disorder scored lower than the medically ill patients on social functioning, broadly defined, on the self-report scales of the Medical Outcomes Study.  Similarly, Bauwens, Tracy, Pardoen, Vander Elst, and Mandlewicz (1991) found worse overall functional outcomes in patients with bipolar disorder compared to controls during remission.”

This doesn’t say whether the impairment is along the lines of hyperthymia, which would look like intractable selfishness, or dysthymia, along the lines of shyness.  Since Dr. Campbell thought that the cycloid personalities were more likeable than those with other walking-wounded psychiatric problems, that includes dysthymia: “The depressive is thoughtful, sympathetic, considerate, sensitive and often apologetic in his relations with his neighbors.  Although sensitive, the depressive cycloid rarely becomes seclusive as does the schizoid.  The physician will often resent the cool aloofness of the schizoid, the critical and sarcastic attitude of the psychoneurotic, but be favorably impressed by the cordiality, humility and graciousness of the cycloid, particularly the depressive type.”

                 

 (Whoever owned this copy of the book before me, underlined the last of those sentences, and put two vertical lines behind it,

as if this was a noticeably strange thing to say in a medical book!  Physicians often resenting some patients, but not the beloved cyclothymics?)

Also, “While the schizoid may be cold and distant, the depressive, although glum and sensitive, likes people and cannot bear not to be liked by them.”  Still, dysthymic personalities could very easily lead to “limited and impaired contacts with friends.”

The section of the chapter of Psychological Treatment of Bipolar Disorder, “OCCUPATIONAL IMPAIRMENT,” “Occupational Functioning,” begins,

Cross-sectional studies paint a relatively pessimistic picture of work adjustment.  It appears that the majority of adults with bipolar disorder has difficulty sustaining employment positions.  The large-scale Stanley Foundation Bipolar Treatment Outcome Network compiled data on outpatients with bipolar I (n = 211) or bipolar II (n = 42) disorder and reported on their current employment status (Suppes et al., 2001).  Only 33% worked full-time outside the home, and 9% worked part-time; 21% reported that they were unable to work, but this figure is probably actually higher, given the large percentage (36%) of additional patients who reported that they did volunteer work, were unemployed, or worked in sheltered or rehabilitation settings.  Suppes et al. (2001) also found that nearly one-fourth of those working full-time indicated working at a level below their qualifications.

and goes on from there to give more details that show, “Overall, the studies of work functioning indicate relatively high rates of occupational maladjustment.  A further fact of occupational activity is clarified by longitudinal studies:  Occupational success appears to decline over time for many patients with bipolar disorder, and dysfunction is relatively independent of remission.”  Of course, remission means remission of the overt symptoms, not of the same sort of impairment as the “significant impairment [of purely social interactions] independent of episodes,” which, obviously, does continue.

It’s very likely that a lot of the hyperthymic behavior that gets in the way of the social and/or occupational functioning, has one feature associated with sociopathy, not learning from experience.  If some people keep doing things which, unlike sociopathy, don’t really gain them anything, and which obviously keep turning others off and causing other bad consequences for themselves, yet they keep choosing to do them anyway, one could very easily say that, very likely, they could “be diagnosed as being beyond the realm of sanity.”  Yet it seems so much more reasonable when these hyperthymics defend such seemingly selfish (though ultimately self-defeating) behavior along the lines of, “But I can’t let those whiny little manipulators restrict my free choice!” than it is to accept sociopaths defending their own free choices like that.

In fact, this impulsive behavior could look a lot like the old joke that you know that you’re addicted to something if feeling bad about your overuse of it makes you need to use more to make yourself feel better.  As When Luck Runs Out, Help for Compulsive Gamblers and Their Families, by Robert Custer, MD and Harry Milt, says, “We detected, also, that in particularly every one of these conflict situations—whether it was at home, on the job, with friends—the underlying element was being or feeling rejected.  That was their response to criticism of any kind. They took it not as criticism of what they were doing, but as a devastating criticism and rejection of themselves.  Their subjective reaction to this was to feel defenseless, under attack, vulnerable, frightened, anxious and angry—emotions that shot up their tension and sent them running to find relief in gambling.”

Those who have the sorts of impulse-control problems that are central to Hyperthymic Personality Disorder, could operate in the same way.  After all, the British GP Notebook webpage on HPD defines Hyperthymic Personality Disorder as, “tend to be rash and show poor judgement.”  As they lose friends or jobs, rather than learning from this that they’d better get more self-control, they feel stressed-out and/or rejected, and this would only make them act more destructively impulsive.

And I’d guess that this decline over time could also result from the fact that once one has caused a problem through rashness and poor judgment, tendencies towards believing what he wants, etc., he’s completely helpless to turn back the clock and undo what he did.  This would both make him feel more helpless and therefore stressed-out, and give him an opportunity to evade responsibility when others hold him accountable.  He’d be the helpless one, helpless to turn back the clock, while those who have the problems aren’t helpless to solve their own problems.  Of course, most people are able to stop themselves from causing such problems in the first place.  But if he tends to keep causing them, this helplessness can no doubt be very disheartening.  If he’s got an impulsive big ego, then whenever he causes a problem like this, that may only make him act even more as if he knows best, which means that he causes even more problems. This ego could also make him resentful of those who hold him morally responsible for his non-malicious, but rash, “mistakes.”

On the previous webpage in this series, I go into how Boston Brahmin and poet Robert Lowell, when in an overt manic episode, persuaded some of his colleagues to agree with some of his supposedly pro-freedom impulsivity.  The book that tells of this, Ian Hamilton’s Robert Lowell: A Biography, also quotes Lowell as saying about a manic episode, “The whole business was sincere enough, but a stupid pathological mirage, a magical orange grove in a nightmare.  I feel like a son of a bitch.”

Sincerity has got to be the most effective defense for similar behavior that one engages in due to Hyperthymic Personality Disorder.  If one is extremely rash and showing poor judgment, then at the time that he did anything because of this, he sincerely believed that he was doing the right thing.  What the above quote about potentially homicidal behavior called “a delusion of self-righteousness,” and which we’d currently call “self-justification,” is also sincerely believed.  When these people sincerely act with a sense of impunity, they could easily make those who disagree, seem punitive.  And, as any self-help guru could tell you, if everyone would simply deal with their own problems emotionally and physically, even when this means, “Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” then all problems would get dealt with, with plenty of self-motivation and self-empowerment, and without interfering with anyone’s freedom.

To those who honestly believe that being well-adjusted means being tolerant and forgiving, “poor judgment” even if pathologically impulsive and based on what one wants to believe, even narcissistic grandiosity, is merely “making a mistake.”  Then, it would seem very obligatory to excuse such behavior along the lines of, “But you must understand that now he’s completely helpless to turn back the clock and undo what he did!” “Expecting him to fix the problem he caused, because of his moral responsibility for it, would be too moralistic, as well as naïve!” “Sure, he narcissistically believed what he wanted to, but next time you could be the one who mistakenly believes what you want, and you certainly wouldn’t want people to hold you responsible for the consequences as if you caused them maliciously!” and, “That simply is the way that he is, so you should have been more careful.”

If you could legally enforce that person’s responsibility for the outcome, then you could change the problem, so you wouldn’t be expected to serenely accept it.  Yet just because you should have the ability to enforce it legally, doesn’t mean that you do.

Sure, if our culture would be willing to accept any and every instance of a problem caused by rashness and poor judgment (but not maliciousness), and label attempts to take it seriously as, “opinionated,” “judgmental,” “self-serving,” “manipulative,” “victim-posturing,” etc., then those in our society couldn’t count on it that people would be careful enough to prevent such easily preventable, and possibly big, problems.  Yet, in real terms, chances are that this is exactly what would happen, sooner or later.  The victim would probably be an untermensch, and very likely a woman, so it would feel very right to label her objections as if they reflect the SELF-WILL of the ignominiously cunning weak.

Just after the My Lai Massacre, that era’s version of today’s “Savage Nation” pundits, insisted that the public should have shown at least some understanding of it, since it was committed in the heat of battle.  A group even sent Nixon a goat dressed in an Eisenhower jacket with red white and blue trimmings, with “scapegoat” written on it.  Yet those who weren’t anti-intellectual realized what was dangerous about that logic.  A high-level Army memo said, “His acts stand alone in infamy among known atrocities for the US forces in the war.... if Calley is let go, or let off with a slap on the wrist, the message to all soldiers must read: ‘anything goes.’  The implications for the Army, let alone the nation, are incalculable but clearly intolerable.”

Obviously, “anything goes” didn’t mean that the writer of that memo thought that if the authorities excused or mitigated the My Lai Massacre, that would mean that other soldiers might commit massacres figuring that they could get away with them.  Rather, it would become a norm that as long as a war-time massacre could seem to have been done in the heat of passion, it would have seemed excusable, and if you disagreed, you’d have seemed to have been a scapegoating whiner.  Red-blooded anti-intellectuals could easily get excited about the idea that if something would “stand alone in infamy,” that would mean only that the intellectualist media gave it a lot of attention, and this would have exactly the appeal that this audience would love.  Strength is exciting!

For example, as the Learning About Depression webpage on the Zoloft website says, “If you have depression, this sad mood along with other symptoms can last weeks, months, or even years if not treated.  Depression isn’t a sign of weakness or a character flaw.  It’s a real medical condition, but there are ways to successfully treat depression....  Depressive disorders affect about 34 million American adults.”

Whatever social problems cause that are certainly worthy of infamy, but just imagine how those same anti-intellectualists would respond to, “The social problem of about 34 million American adults having depressive disorders, stands alone in infamy, so if we require that those hurt by the rampant depression fix only inadequacies inside of themselves, the message to all must read: ‘anything goes.’”  The cure for that infamy would be to stop talking about that as a social problem, and go back to talking about it as if it consists of 34,000,000 rather severe medical conditions, 34,000,000 rather severe character flaws, or 34,000,000 rather severe negative outlooks.

Quite literally, it can’t matter how much someone else is responsible for your problem,

since if people’s response-ability for their own welfare weren’t unconditional, then those in situations for which others are clearly responsible, wouldn’t strive to become better happier people, which they’d probably need to do to deal adequately with their own problems.  And many AA slogans ridicule those who don’t have what Niebuhr (disapprovingly) called “Buddhistic” spirituality like this.  (Yet I could make the following guarantee: The very same all-American types who’d be the first to condemn Buddhistic spirituality as alien, extinguishing people’s autonomy and selfhood, brainwashing, etc., would also be the first to practice what Buddhism calls “mindfulness” when they’re in situations that contribute to our rampant depression.  It isn’t possible to get any more vapid than, “Serenely accept everything that happens to you in a society with rampant depression, that you’re helpless to change.”  After all, their chances of coping with them would be a lot higher if they chose to contrive a serene acceptance of whatever they’re helpless to change, than if they drew their own honest conclusions about it.)

(Yes, that pamphlet that she’s reading, which she got from her first Al-Anon meeting, is titled “Living with an Alcoholic.”  Learning how to live happily with an alcoholic, is what would constitute self-help for her, since that’s the reality that she must deal with.)

If the sort of recklessness that comes with HPD is excused because recklessness isn’t malicious, it would be “anything goes” when it comes to recklessness, not because most people would just go ahead and act recklessly figuring that they could get away with it, but because, if you’re the victim of someone else’s recklessness, then unless you have the physical or legal power to hold the responsible party responsible, you can be certain that, sooner or later, you’ll be treated as if, if you don’t minimize and forgive it, you’re whining about an “accident” or “mistake.”  As usual, it would seem that the victims fix only inadequacies inside of themselves, such as whining and inadequate self-protection, self-reliance and self-responsibility.  The Serenity Prayer, both the redacted version that most are familiar with, and the whole thing which includes the specifics, says, in essence, “Anything goes, but no one’s stopping you from protecting yourself, fixing the consequences you didn’t prevent, etc.”  If the behavior was reckless rather than “sinful,” the expectations that you simply accept it, could be a lot stronger!

Also, speaking of codependency, you could bet that if the wife of someone who has even a moderate amount of the “irritable, argumentative, litigious type of hypomanic, involved in family discord at home and unable to adjust satisfactorily at work,” tendencies (and when you consider the high percentage of cyclothymics who have problems in the social sphere and at work, you could see that one doesn’t have to be markedly irritable, argumentative, litigious, etc.), who really cared about the difference between him and sociopaths, would seem to have a codependent degree of forbearance!  When someone’s MO doesn’t reek of aggression to that degree, so he could be excused as “sincere,” you could bet that his intent would mean that his responsibility for the consequences would be minimized, but the victim’s responsibility wouldn’t.  She’d be treated as if she “let herself in for” whatever the consequences are.

One chapter of Manic-Depressive Disease, “Mixed and Manic Phases of Manic-Depressive Psychosis” (which sounds pretty bleak!), ends its first paragraph, “Inherently warm, friendly, industrious personalities, given to likeable human weaknesses, although one is below the emotional norm, and the other above, there is an obvious kinship between them.”

A section of this chapter, “MANIC-DEPRESSIVE PSYCHOSIS, MANIC TYPE,” begins its first two paragraphs, “The manic reaction of manic-depressive psychosis is simply an exaggeration of the hypomanic personality,” and, “Since he usually is haughty, arrogant and domineering, the manic patient insists that his discourse, no matter how flighty, be heard to the end.  He usually is very convincing, thinking and speaking rapidly, and presenting his arguments in such a confident manner that it is difficult to offer any disagreement.”

And yes, this means difficult to offer any disagreement since the person acts so confident, when he’s overtly psychotic, with some nasty qualities.  Yet this is the same book that also says, “The physician will often resent the cool aloofness of the schizoid, the critical and sarcastic attitude of the psychoneurotic...”  (Simply the fact that that statement appeared in a vivid-green medical book in 1953, written by a man, should give you a good idea of how easily non-codependents could tend to be attracted to hyperthymics, though this could be labeled as, “feminine tendencies to be attracted to people who all cause the same kind of problem.”)  Since the haughtiness arrogance and domineering of hyperthymia come from a diluted version of mania, they include the disinhibition, and obliviousness of consequences, that are characteristic of mania.  It’s as if these people were all under the influence of stimulants that would have the same disinhibiting effects as booze.

It should be pretty obvious that even if someone’s usual personality is only somewhat “haughty, arrogant and domineering,” only some of the time, that person could cause huge problems for others, sometimes inadvertently.  When this happens, especially if those others had trusted him because of his “Inherently warm, friendly, industrious personalit[y], given to likeable human weaknesses,” and, “confident manner that it is difficult to offer any disagreement,” they’d no doubt wonder how their survival skills could possibly be that bad.

These consequences could be similar to those of sociopathy.  Haughtiness arrogance and domineering are similar to the intent of sociopathy.  Yet they’re also similar to normal human imperfection.  If you think that anyone’s haughtiness arrogance and domineering went too far, that could seem to be merely your judgmental and/or manipulative opinion.  After all, everyone wants to believe that their disputes are the other guys’ faultWomen who blame men would be especially likely to seem to be engaging in either old-fashioned manipulation and “trapping,” or new-fashioned “victimology” and “victimhood.”  Also, laypeople would likely seem to have a lot of chutzpah, if they attempted to “diagnose” this haughtiness arrogance and domineering, as anything besides normal human imperfection.

Also, though I haven’t heard this excuse used, I’d imagine that if those who caused problems by acting like this, used the excuse, “I can’t help it.  My disease made me do it,” this would seem far more acceptable than if sociopaths used the same excuse, though sociopathy is just as much a disease.  And, like the hyperthymic selfishness, chances are that a lot of the thought distortions that are parts of sociopathy, involve an absence of awareness of the effects of their destructive behavior, rather than a presence of malice, i.e. cold-bloodedness rather than hot-bloodedness.  Both Hyperthymic Personality Disorder and much sociopathy, could be excused by, “I’m sorry, but your rights never crossed my mind.”

It would seem that the only way that you could protect yourself from such consequences without looking as if you’re restrictive and controlling, would be to avoid haughty arrogant and domineering people, just as you’d avoid those who are innocently incompatible with you.  Our high rate of divorce shows just how easy it is to cause a divorce, and plenty of those who have at least some of those “haughty, arrogant and domineering” tendencies, are to blame for the endings of their own marriages.

Also, as one could see in the Iraq invasion, it’s all too easy to get away with things by using such excuses as, “Everyone makes mistakes,” “Don’t blame me for what I did wrong, since at present I can’t turn back the clock and undo it,” “It’s only natural for people to sometimes be too optimistic,” and, “Oh, well, some people are arrogant,” along with presenting one’s own arguments in such a confident manner that the public may find it difficult to offer any disagreement.

 

 

 

 

 

 But wait.  There’s more...

 Go To the Next Page, which Tells of How These Impulsive Impairments Can Constitute an “Addictive Personality.”


 
 
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 
 

 

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