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Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us

Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us - Robert D. Hare I don't regret reading (actually listening) to this book, but I am glad I am finished. A psychopath is born that way and will probably always be that way and will make your life hell. No hopeful treatment options offered. The best the author could do was offer advice on how to spot psychopathic behavior and avoid becoming ensnared in their manipulation.

The author uses this book as a platform for promoting the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, a tool for diagnosing psychopathy. Setting aside the complexities of clinical definition and diagnosis, I did learn some interesting things:
• Psychopaths almost always display psychopathic behaviors in early childhood
• Psychopaths don't have normal physiological responses to fear (e.g. sweaty palms, nervous stomach)
• Psychopaths are probably born with the tendencies, but their environment and upbringing may influence just how awful they become
• Criminal activity by psychopaths often declines after age 40
• Psychopaths are generally satisfied with themselves and therefore are not receptive to treatment
• Group therapy settings such as those often found in prisons do nothing to improve symptoms, and often make them worse
• Very few psychopaths are actually serial killers, likely fewer than 100 in North America, compared to 2 million non-serial killer psychopaths

Sorry people, not a pretty picture.