I was reading and listening to Dr Robert Hare yesterday and another female expert on domestic violence, and I forget her name now. But she deals with women who have come out of a domestic abuse situation and she quoted Dr Hare and referenced his research. For those of you who don’t know who Robert Hare is, he is a professor at the University of BC and probably the world’s leading expert on psychopaths and narcissists. He developed the list of traits used to diagnose psychopaths and has studied the disorder for 30 years. If there is anyone I would believe it is Dr Hare. We hear these abusers called psychopaths, narcissists, sociopaths, borderline, and antisocial disordered; it all gets very confusing; what is he? Like the female expert said, ‘Does it really matter what we call them? they were abusive and are dangerous.” But there are subtle differences. Borderline PD can be helped with medication and counselling and is actually the exact opposite of narcissism but exhibits traits that are very similar, the big difference is the narcissist is not into self harm and the borderline is much more likely to commit suicide, engage in cutting, and has an obviously low self esteem. Antisocial is just another name for the other disorders. They say that sociopathy is brought on by early trauma as a child, usually neglect but it is very seldom curable, like the woman said, she has never heard of anyone being cured but there is always a possibility seeing as it was brought on by events. Whereas with the psychopath/narcissist; they are born disabled. Dr Hare has studied the brain and taken pictures, what are they called MRI’s? where they scan the brain? The psychopath’s brain is different than other people’s brain. They can take a child with narcissistic traits and look at his brain and he is deformed in the same way. I think that is a HUGE break through. They do not have what it takes to feel empathy, compassion, guilt, remorse or love. It is impossible, physically impossible! The female expert said that she holds seminars and shows abuse victims the pictures of the differences in the brain of a psychopath compared to that of a “normal” person. She said that once the women realize that there is no way he can change they are able to walk away from the relationship. She had recorded a 70% increase in the amount of women who were able to leave and not go back. Up until now women have been told he “won’t” change; that is totally different than he “can’t” change. As long as the victim thinks there is hope of the abuser changing they will keep going back, and in the case of a psychopath that could cost them their life. One of the big problems is that the narcissist is not crazy, he does not have a visible or easily detected defect so he can present a perfectly normal image and function quit successfully in society; often it is only those closest to him that suffer abuse. To the rest of the world he is rational and agreeable making it very hard to prove he is a psychopath and very hard for the victim to prove abuse. The victim ends up sounding like the crazy one and questions their own sanity because he only despises her. IF the abuser is charged and taken to court they are all treated in the same way, usually they are sentenced to counseling, anger management classes and given a slap on the wrist. With psychopaths and narcissists counseling and anger management does nothing because it has nothing to do with the woman or anger. He creates situations where he can get angry and have an excuse to be abusive but it has nothing to do with him being truly angry, it is all about control and wearing down the victim’s resistance. If it was a law that all abusers had to have an MRI done, they could determine if he is a psychopath and if nothing else the victim would have proof that he will never change. It has the potential to change the whole scope of domestic abuse and could end up saving the government thousands and save lives. I don’t understand why; if this knowledge is out there they aren’t using it to educate the victims of abuse and manage the psychopaths. Food for thought.