Anti-Social Personality Disorder… Widespread Denial?

bad boys bad men psychopathDonald W. Black writes in “Bad Boys, Bad Men: Confronting Antisocial Personality Disorder”:

“…Their disorder is often difficult to hide, but some anti-socials manage to keep it under wraps wit elaborate cons, colorful lies, and brash attempts at charm.  Sometimes, though, friends and family members become accomplices in anti-socials’ efforts to hide their nature, pretending nothing is wrong or holding out hope the problem will pass. Unfortunately, it seldom does. We have astonishing capacity to overlook or forgive the faults of those close to us from the friend who ran out on his wife and refuses to support his children, to the cousin jailed for forging checks, to the brother who deals drugs on the sly. That these people may be anti-social seldom enters our minds, even when their misdeeds assume obvious patterns and turn even more destructive…”

I have read most everything written on psychopathy over the years and I thought this was interesting. He’s right. Not only do we not take a critical look at a number of fairly common behaviors that could be seen as anti-social, we seem to go out of our way to excuse or justify them.  This book was written in 1999. A dozen years later I think we have progressed even further in this direction.

What do you think?

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Anti-Social Personality Disorder… Widespread Denial? — 10 Comments

  1. “holding out hope the problem will pass”

    this is resonates the most with what i see around me. i attribute it to the concept of extended childhood/teenagerhood that seems to be the norm! 30 year olds still acting like they’re 17, feeling they’ve got time to grow up later. when. 50? i couldn’t wait to grow up and run my own life. i don’t get it!

    the most perverse manifestation IMO is the proliferation of teenagers held up as new sex idols. are you effen kidding me. i am not a teenager and i sure as hell DO NOT WANT TO SEE A SEXUALIZED TEENAGER! or a child for that matter but i would HOPE that goes without saying-

  2. In my experience, two of the most dangerous attitudes now prevalent in ‘enlightened’ circles which contribute to this problem, are:

    Give the benefit of the doubt,

    Say only good things about a person.

    Wrong use of these allows these people to go about the business of messing up other people’s lives without interference. And if you happen to speak the truth of your own experience about them, YOU end up being branded anti-social.

  3. Opal, my default setting is to give the benefit of the doubt, and I usually do my best to say only good things about people, but that flew out of the window this year.

    I was going to add something, but I’ve forgotten what it was… oh! In light of what h, said above: it was a quote that I can’t find, from a woman that I agreed with.

  4. Here it is:

    “And I’m weary of boymen who want their cake both ways: They want to be allowed the freedom to be their inconsiderate selfish little boy selves (“I’m just a simple man living a simple life.” Eye-roll here.), itinerantly, with its implied slide on responsibility for words and actions, or lack thereof. All the while, demanding a man’s respect. ”

    A man like this has been trying to convince me to accept what has happened, and just go along with it, for his benefit, at the same time having him ignore the huge effect his actions had on me. And he could be classified as anti-social, although he’s getting help right now. He’s having to learn that there are consequences to his actions.

  5. You got it right Angela and Opal.

    And for anyone who is now or has in the past suffered abuse of any sort by men, please read Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men. Not only is the author, a man named Lundy Bancroft, the only writer I have ever read who does NOT BLAME the victim, he writes at length about the denial surrounding abuse. And, yes, many women are deniers: mothers, sisters, new lovers.

    We have to be unafraid to call a spade a spade no matter how close we are to an abuser or we are part of the problem too.

    Thanx, Elsa, we need more discussion about this. And I really worry that these sorts of behaviours are being perpetrated on younger and younger girls
    by their BFs and SOs. Let’s help to call it out and stop it now.

  6. There was a student at our school, caught stealing a book, with the teacher’s name in said book, and his father, a policeman, said, “I will back my son no matter what and I choose to believe him when he says he didn’t take it. We will accept no consequences.” Excuse me?!

  7. Heather’s example is one which underlies the problem: it’s common in schools too where parents always support little Jimmy or Sharon even if the kid has attacked a teacher or a fellow pupil.

    There are now so few social sanctions in any area; once we were a church-going society and public morals were broadly in line with the Judeao/Christian ethos. Now wrongdoing is visible everywhere, from the top – the wholesale abuse of parliamentary expenses, in officials and representatives lying to parliament and to the public – right on down.

    It’s also endemic in personal relationships, in the huge level of shoplifting and public drunkenness and thoughtless abortion and people abandoning their children to run off with a new squeeze, in cruel ‘reality tv’ shows… I could go on at great length, those are just arbitrary things off the top of my head.

    There are no longer any social sanctions which force anyone to grow up and to accept responsibility, as there were in any community in the past. Breakdown of community is of course part of the reason – most people now live in anonymous huge cities. Political Correctness with its refusal to lay the blame anywhere for anything just turns its back on the problem.

    Common decency is now a matter of personal choice. And yes I do think it’s all getting worse.

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