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What pulled the trigger?

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What pulled the trigger?

Postby justonemoreperson » Wed May 01, 2019 6:42 am

A conversation on here yesterday, prompted me to come up with this.

Most schools of thought around psychopathy suggest that to create an anti-social psychopath, you need two conditions:

Nature: reduced connections between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (empathy and guilt) and the amygdala (fear and anxiety). This, so to speak, "loads the gun."

Nurture: environmental factors that effectively "pull the trigger".

In effect, what they say is that you can have the reduced brain function and live a pretty much normal life, inasmuch as you'll probably stay below the police radar, but if environmental factors have negatively influenced you then your reduced ability to maintain control means you could end up wearing a hookers head as a hat.

What makes it harder to distinguish, is that you'll not really be having a brain scan unless they're looking for something; in other words, you're behaving like enough of a c*nt to make them look.

Question: irregardless of whether you've had a brain scan or not, what do you think, in your life, pulled the trigger to make you behave in a way to become "anti-social" to society to a point of diagnosis?
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Re: What pulled the trigger?

Postby 1PolarBear » Wed May 01, 2019 9:11 am

If I try to remember the days I would be more antisocial, which was in my youth, there was not any real positive reason, it was more a lack of caring about what other people thought, and a lack of caring about the consequences. That's until I decided to do things by the book, because I realized stress was killing me, as well as not particularly helping on the image front, whether towards others or just self-appraisal. What's better, to be upright and be able to call people out on their bad behavior, or be on the other side and for a good reason? its kind of opening yourself up for all types of injustice and be defenseless. It decreases your potential instead of increasing it. I still don't particularly care about those things, but I reserve bad actions for bad people.

Anyway, that is not the real answer, it looks more about the nature part, even though I doubt a brain scan would indicate that in my case, but the result is the same.

If I were to actually pinpoint a trigger, being around a bunch of hypocrites was probably the main factor. That and those same people condemning me anyway, no matter what I did. So at this point, you ask yourself "what good is their rules, which they do not follow themselves?". They drop them as soon as the going gets tough. So in a way, it was to show that to myself, that when their rules get broken, people panic. When they get treated the same they treat others, it panics them, which is funny to see. They like to break small rules, that are more or less accepted breaking. Small abuses here and there, small thefts here and there, small lies here and there, small betrayal here and there. Those are all "part of the plan". It is assumed they will be broken, and people seem to look down or disbelieve those that don't, and funnily enough, will punish those that don't, just as they will punish those that break those other rules, those that are not meant to be broken ever. Then they panic and suddenly develop a moral code.

So yeah, in the end, the trigger is simply other people, and acting as they are acting, just not in the exact same way, but better. So empathy is to blame, at least the mimicking part, but not the intensity part, or the "conditional cause" clause. That little thing that says this one is right, but not this one in some sort of a global normative imperative. That is the filter in the prefontal cortex they talk about.

Maybe it is just education, it is not like people are born with the content of that filter, it has to be put there by someone, usually parents. If they fail in doing so, the filter might be there, but it is empty, or not accurate since in order to have it accurate, you need people that are close enough to be talk about it, and exchange it, teach it. They don't do it in school, in school, they teach high principles that nobody follows, and often don't even believe in. So its the parents, and if their opinion is that morality is something bad imposed by some sort of religious entity that oppress people, as in my case, then the child is pretty much screwed. Can't say my relationship with them was harmonious either, which does not help. If everything you are told is a lie, you simply stop listening.

So those are the triggers, that I see. In the end though, "being different" and acting different than the majority will bring condemnation, even if it is not something that you could call immoral. Anything will do. Appearance, gait and so on, non verbal communication. And that is also due to parenting, probably even more so. Having the wrong "attitude", will bring you condemnation and shunning in a big way. Its a fuzzy concept, but most people's morality pretty much turn around that concept, and nothing else. I did not know that at the time, and even if people would tell me, I would find it retarded, which it is, strictly speaking. It's completely retarded to read people's mind and find in it some sort of rule and attitude, that is mostly a fantasy made by the feverish mind of the mind reader. It took me a long time to accept it, and I had to see other people get condemned in order to see what the accuser was seeing. When you are the one being accused, obviously you can't see it, and never will unless it stops and you end up on the "other side".

People like to think that empathy is this magical thing that makes people good, but you have to be on the right side to start with for it to work. If you are on the wrong side, you won't believe it and won't see it, mainly because the right side is no better, and arguably worse in some ways. So it fails to do what people think it does, or pretend it does. If you are on the other side, no manner of mimicking will do, it is already too late, and people won't believe it, because you are targeted and labeled already. A reputation will stick for a long long time in some people's minds, and some have better memories than others. Many also do not understand that things change, so for them, the person with the wrong attitude is the one you peck, and they will keep doing it even if others stop, and will remind others this is the right target to peck, irrelevant of actual action. They simply are people of habits.

Now, think about what it is to be on the wrong side. All the rules of pecking are irrelevant, everybody is pecking equally, so everybody is a possible target. Probably the more vulnerable is the best target. If pecks just as hard, but can be taken down more easily. It's like in medieval games, you always take on the magic user first, because of high attack and low hit points. In war, you try to take on the artillery first, not the foot soldiers. There is no reason to have special empathy towards to artillery anymore than the foot soldier. But that is where the kicker is, the opposite army do think it is "wrong" to do so. They did plan their little soldiers right. The strongest in front, the weakest in the back, so how come the weakest gets screwed first? that is where the panic and moral outrage starts. It is not part of the rules, and part of the plan. Having an army against a weaker opponent though, is the plan, where you are sure to win and have the less losses and hurt.

Same attitude happened in WW2, when some people started bombing civilians. It was not part of the plan, and people panicked. What was supposed to happen was that the strongest should win with the less losses possible, and rules of engagement were put into place to do just that. But someone broke the rules. The loosing side tried to win, and in the end, that is the only thing that is unforgivable. :x
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Re: What pulled the trigger?

Postby justonemoreperson » Wed May 01, 2019 10:43 am

Interesting; there's some stuff there I can relate / agree to.

I've always had problems identifying what the trigger was. As a child, my various therapists would talk to me about my adoption and how I was integrating in school etc. I'm close to the point where I think that the physiological condition caused the trigger, which relates to some of what you wrote, as follows:

As a young child I don't remember having much anger; just no restraint. I would develop in certain ways more slowly but in other ways more quickly. I didn't see the point of going to the toilet when I needed to piss and sh1t, so I used to do it on the classroom floor.

The teacher would complain, but it was always cleaned up by the following day, so who cares? The first real issue that had my parents summoned was when I hit another child with a chair because he didn't give me what I wanted. Again, not angry; I just wanted the toy and it seemed the quickest way to get it.

As you've mentioned, I think the anger in me grew as the reasoning by others started, as I saw vast chasms of broken reasoning and hypocrisy in what was being told to me.

"People are nice" - no they're not, they just want to get stuff their way.

"God loves people" - no he doesn't; he drowns babies because their parents have a point of view and exercise free will.

Put anyone in a tight spot, and their principles go out of the window. If you want to change my behaviour then use a cogent argument, not some broken sentimentality that fails at the first sign of stress.

I do think that stress was the trigger for me; simply the dichotomy of existing in an alternate framework to others. It still creates stress for me today: not really getting what people mean by certain things and not expecting people to be affected to the same lesser degree by stuff that is natural to me. I don't think people realise just how much stuff they do automatically without thinking, but they always expected me to consciously think about every single action. No one does and no one can.

People relate how I've caused great emotional distress and pain to them and others seem to agree, but it takes a lot of patient explaining to see what they mean, and even then it's often hypocritical on their part. At least it seems that way to me. I wish I could see things as others do, if only for a reference, but they can't see how I see either, so the problem compounds itself.

As such, I tend to be 'righteous' in my view of others and will point out their truncated reasoning and hypocrisy. I take delight in uncovering the truth behind someone's behaviour and watch the paper house of their persona burn.

I know I'm not a 'good' person. I know that I've caused a lot of pain and suffering over the years, but I've also achieved a fair amount. I'd like to think that most of what I've achieved was through choice, which is true. The irritating part is the "bad" stuff was hardly ever by choice, simply my natural behaviour.

It's hard for others to understand that I don't choose to do bad stuff, it's just what comes naturally. I manipulate my wife, she knows I do it and she tells me when I'm doing it. My reaction is anger and frustration; anger that I didn't get away with it and frustrating that I didn't even know I was doing it to begin with. Oddly, there are times when it still works, even when she knows it's happening.

People are f*cking weird.
Last edited by justonemoreperson on Wed May 01, 2019 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What pulled the trigger?

Postby dobiedobiedoo » Wed May 01, 2019 10:56 am

It's unknown wether those you mentioned are the result of nature. There hasn't been any longitudinal research that can confirm it, nor enough brain scans replication studies (only two showing lower Amygdala volume) and only amongst Psychopaths in forensic population with a very high score on the PCL-R.
Both of these areas are related to high executive functions so living a seemingly normal life with them is doubtful.

Back on topic, I'll add that regarding nurture, most studies about Psychopathy point at non-shared environmental influences, meaning those that are not shared with others in the family. So it can be different school, different education, birth order, etc.
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Re: What pulled the trigger?

Postby justonemoreperson » Wed May 01, 2019 11:01 am

dobiedobiedoo wrote:It's unknown wether those you mentioned are the result of nature. There hasn't been any longitudinal research that can confirm it


I have wondered that. I know that my scan says yes, but whether that was caused naturally or by my experiences, who knows? You'd need to have one done as a baby or small child to know for sure and no one is going to do that.

So, f*ck knows. Something caused the initial disconnect. It's logical to reason that it was a developmental issue with my brain. Whether it became worse with environment, I will never know...
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Re: What pulled the trigger?

Postby Bellicose » Wed May 01, 2019 11:32 am

Nature versus nurture who pulled the trigger:

Many years I pretty much blamed my circumstances for my behaviour. If I really think about it I just think there is something wrong with my reward system and how that functions.

In one way or another it would have played out. I think the environmental factors just influenced how it played out.

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Re: What pulled the trigger?

Postby dobiedobiedoo » Wed May 01, 2019 11:44 am

justonemoreperson wrote:
dobiedobiedoo wrote:It's unknown wether those you mentioned are the result of nature. There hasn't been any longitudinal research that can confirm it


I have wondered that. I know that my scan says yes, but whether that was caused naturally or by my experiences, who knows? You'd need to have one done as a baby or small child to know for sure and no one is going to do that.

So, f*ck knows. Something caused the initial disconnect. It's logical to reason that it was a developmental issue with my brain. Whether it became worse with environment, I will never know...


They do prove however Psychopathy isn't just a behavioural disorder, and that psychopathic offenders do whatever they like without regard for others. If that were the case, we'd see the same abnormalities in "regular" offenders.
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Re: What pulled the trigger?

Postby justonemoreperson » Wed May 01, 2019 1:03 pm

It does make me wonder whether the disconnect in the "Psychopath" brain is what is present in a baby's brain.

Baby's are natural psychopaths. They take, grab, stab, have no empathy, care or feeling for anyone else. They learn these behaviours as they grow, so the connections between these areas are probably formed after birth and strengthen with time.

If that's the case, then there is no "born" psychopath in that sense, but some developmental issue prevents those connections forming, and so the person remains a young child, in that particular aspect, for their entire life.

It's not a hypothesis I'm particularly happy with, but the possibility must be acknowledged. If it's a developmental issue, then might it have it's roots in other developmental conditions, such as autism and aspergers? There are overlaps, but there are also chasms of differences.

If that's true, then the condition makes the person as much of a 'sufferer' as someone with autism or aspergers. People are nice, apparently, so if this is the case then psychopaths should be treated with care and consideration...and we're back in the room of social hypocrisy.
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Re: What pulled the trigger?

Postby HSS » Wed May 01, 2019 1:33 pm

@justonemoreperson: if you want to share this info, at which age were you adopted?
(I already asked this in your blog, but it needs to be approved and so I don't know if you read it; if yes, do not consider my question).

Btw: I am asking this because I suppose that there is a first rudiment of empathy between a new-born and his mother, because they need to communicate without words, and because there is a physical union with your mother when you are a fetus. Empathy could be a sort of memory of this union between two human beings.
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Re: What pulled the trigger?

Postby justonemoreperson » Wed May 01, 2019 2:07 pm

HSS wrote:@justonemoreperson: if you want to share this info, at which age were you adopted?


Less than two weeks old.
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