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Are Psychopaths Born Or Bred?

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Is psychopathy genetic? Recently someone told me about a group who breed to enhance and increase psychopathic traits in their children. It makes sense you can increase the odds the offspring have this disorder but I also wonder what role nature takes.

For instance, psychopathy may run in a person's family history. If so, would it be possible to deliberately bring it to the front?  Via abuse and trauma for example.  Maleducation, maybe?

If would seem to me if you had this gene(s) and your parents were trying to develop the traits associated with the disorder, you'd have slim chance to escape it. But what if you did not have a family history of this or similar, associated disorder?

I'm asking, among other things, might there be a situation where it wouldn't matter what you did to a child? If they don't have gene or predisposition to become a psychopath, do you think they would be protected or have some kind of immunity?


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That group sounds demonic. Since they are psychopaths, any children they breed would have their genes.

Some abused children repeat the pattern as adults, but many don't.  Could a genetic factor be the reason?


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My mom wasn’t a severe psychopath, but very violent and unempatethic. The fact that I grew up in foster care was my saving. My sibling inherited the same behavior as her, simply because he learned that it looked normal and he watched how she psychical abused me. He doesn’t psychical abuse, but does mentally. It’s sad that parents can do that to their children, and even sadder is that the kids mostly inherited their parents traits. Simply because they don’t know the difference i guess. I see it now with the sibling of my best friend. She converted to Islam and is raising there kids in a very radical way. So sad, makes me wonder: how does Pluto destroy that foundation? Lately I have been thinking , Saturn squared my moon, and Pluto is coming. It’s devastating and forcing me to leave an old version of myself behind. Forcing to just stand up for myself . If I never went into foster care? Wow then I think my life would be awful now. In a way Im grateful I escaped her upbringing of me. Hallelujah. Sad part is that i after what i endured in childhood that I don’t believe in good transits anymore. And there’s my cue: heal my past and make peace with where I am.

its been both a blessing but also a curse.

so no , I don’t think that you are always born a psychopath. You are made into one due to upbringing. Still enough parents get away with it. And that’s the part Im having a hard time accepting. 

Eleanor D
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Ah Elsa - psychopaths. A most intriguing subject is it not? I've commented on a few threads here on this subject so for those of you who might remember what I've written previously, please excuse the repetition.

Psychopaths can be the products of unfortunate genetics or can be created if subjected to trauma, abuse, neglect or isolation in early life. Psychopathic characteristics are created when specific areas of the brain associated with guilt and empathy fail to develop. These areas are, incidentally, immediately adjacent to the area associated where developmental failures are associated with autism. The subject of psychopathy interests me as it would not be an exageration to say that Cluster B personality disorders are rampant within my family. My mother comes from an ancient lineage which inter-married with those from the same bloodline for hundreds of years. The family history is well-documented and the deteriorating mental health of members over the generations can be easily charted. I once had a session with a geneticist and we sketched out the more recent branches of the family tree. In my immediate family, my mother, her mother, her grandmother and her only sister all were diagnosed with, or exhibited the symptoms of Cluster B disorders ranging from schizophrenia to bi-polar disorder to pychopathy to borderline personality disorders. Of the five children in my family, only my older brother and I escaped. Of our three siblings, one was diagnosed a sociopath, one with borderline personality disorder. A third, a sister, exhibits both psychotic and psychopathic traits. This sister had two sons, both of whom escaped inherent mental health issues, but suffered terribly as a result of her behaviour. Both of these sons had children. One of the sons - who was adopted - had two children who are fine. The other had two sons, both diagnosed psychopaths. I have six other nieces and nephews - one niece and one nephew appear to be psychopaths - probably genetic - and one nephew has serious mental health issues quite possibly due to trauma and neglect experienced in childhood. It doesn't help that several male members of my father's family appear to be autistic, with my Grandfather, uncle, father, cousin and both children of another cousin displaying clear signs of autism or aspergers.  I have the charts of most of my family and it makes for fascinating reading.

People can also display psychopathic traits temporarily, as a result of extreme psycholgical trauma or abuse. Soldiers or people living in war zones, for example, may score high on the Hare Psychopath test, only for the results to return to normal once these people are removed from the danger and have time to recover. 

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@EleanorD wow that's interesting!

I remember watching a documentary called The Psychopath Inside by chance many years ago and it's stayed with me ever since.  

Basically, a neuroscientist, researching the brains of murderers and other violent criminals, discovers similarities in the brains as well as certain genetic markers.  Prompted by his own family history, he submits himself and his family to brain scans and other tests, only to discover that of all his living relatives, only he carried the genetic and brain markers for psychopathy. 

When speaking to his family about this finding (which came as a shock to him) he was told that it was not such a shock to them because of the behaviour he could demonstrate at times.  

He wanted to know why he hadn't ended up a killer or committing criminal acts of cruelty to others.  In the end, he put it down to the very supportive family he had growing up, where he got lots of attention and love. 

So maybe it's both - born and made.  He was ruthlessly honest about his way of thinking but then again, he didn't really care what other people thought so...

I'm sure there are people who could escape becoming a psychopath even if brought up to be one.  I don't know why I'm sure but there are always outliers aren't there? And maybe there is the propensity to empathy in the same way as psychopathy.  

A lot still to learn for sure.

Libra Noir
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There’s always that factor that psychology as a science tries to quantify but can’t. 

I think you can create conditions in which certain innate elements are nurtured (across the spectrum of evil to compassion) but there’s always that other “thing” that seems to be the deciding factor. I guess one could call it Freewill, higher will, soul, spirit, or even dharma. It’s that desire of the spirit to connect with what it needs or what needs it. I guess that some spirits are stronger than others in that way. 

As much as I would like to think that all that is equal among people, that’s not what I’ve seen. I think some spirits are stronger and they are the ones that are able to overcome programming. Maybe God loves those people more because he grants them a stronger spirit. Again, as much as I’d like to believe in equanimity as far as opportunities for grace go, that’s not what I’ve seen. Some people are just naturally closer to God, no matter what the environment is and some are just naturally far away from God no matter their environment. Although even that can worked on. There’s ways to get closer to God if the desire/will is there (Gods will or persons will? It’s hard to say.) 

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Libra Noir
Joined: 11 years ago

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One more thing. I’m very wary of this whole thing about genetic predispositions because I see where it can lead. I don’t believe it’s as big a factor as the other things I mentioned. 

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