Psychopathic Patient Treatment

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There has been lengthy discussion and debate on whether psychopathy is a treatable condition. There has even been controversy on the exact definition of a psychopath. This controversy has led to the diagnostic criteria being under review in the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5), which is due to be released in May, 2013 and could very well have pscyhopathy as a subset of antisocial personality disorder. The theory of psychopathy refers to a pattern of chronic antisocial behaviour and personality features, such as emotional detachment, lovelessness, and guiltlessness, attributable in part to a temperament deficit, (Fowles & Dindo, 2010). Psychopathy is commonly characterised by a set of interpersonal (i.e., egocentricity, lovelessness, impersonal sexuality, superficial charm); emotional characteristics (i.e., poverty of affect, lack of nervousness, guiltlessness); and in addition to disinhibited or antisocial behaviour (i.e., unreliability, insufficient motivation for the costs associated with the behaviour), (Fowles & Dindo, 2010). Psychopaths are thought to inflict great suffering on their targets of their exploitation and also cause great cost to society as a whole. Psychopathy may be understood as a cluster of personality traits that includes remorselessness, callousness, deceitfulness, egocentricity, and failure to form close emotional bonds, low anxiety proneness, superficial charm, and externalization of blame, (Skeem, Monahan, & Mulvey, 2002). Another interesting description of a psychopath made by Hervey Cleckley in 1982 is the “mask of sanity” in which good functioning of the mask is underlined by disturbances. The reason for this paragraph and its extensive list of definitions and descriptions of psychopaths is due to the fact that psychopathy has not yet been agreed upon in the literature, in regards to a definitive
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