Aspergers and Psychopathy
By Jessika Endsley
I really love this topic. Seeing as neither groups need more people disliking them, I don't go on about it much but right now I want to, but I figured I could talk about it here on my blog no one reads.
I have Aspergers Syndrome - I lack empathy, I probably don't care about what you're saying and I might not know how to hide my boredom. I am an expert at one or two things and fail to do a lot of normal daily activities. My emotions are different from most, the few I have, and I don't express them well. When I do have them and want to show them, I get frustrated. Eye contact is difficult for me, and I prefer minimal socializing, although I don't experience much social anxiety. I don't want to be your friend if I don't find you interesting, and I probably won't understand you any more than you understand me. Loud noises and unexpected physical contact cause me some distress. When I do read social cues and spot weaknesses, I don't really care because that's not my area.
Most of my family, and my primary case studies, are Psychopaths - they lack empathy, but they pretend to have a lot of it. They don't care what you have to say and that's okay because they spend most of their time talking about themselves in half-truths. They may not be good at anything really, but nothing prevents them from taking care of daily needs. Their emotions aren't really emotions at all, although they'll pretend they have the same ones everyone else does. They can feel things like want, annoyance, and loss in some form, but not much else goes along with their undercurrent of hostility. They can socialize easily and maintain strong eye-contact, making other people (prey) nervous so they can use their weakness.
Art by J. Endsley
My theory is that Aspergers is the neurological cousin to Psychopathy [also it was orignially called Autistic Psychopathy]. Lack of empathy is the main similarity between the two, although they are presented in such different ways that I don't think it's the main point to discuss. Neither type connects fully to the rest of humanity, neither feels the pain of others like Neuro-Typicals do. While my two descriptions based on me and on my family may suggest that people with Aspergers are all specialized and Psychopaths are not, this isn't true. The difference is that all Psychopath's have the same specialization where Aspies all have different ones. Psychopaths may be great at things and have expertise and hobbies, they are more than just shells - but they all have one basic specialization of predator. I would say that the specialization is manipulation, but an unintelligent psychopath isn't exactly specialized in this. But they do all use others as tools, because to a Psychopath, that's all that people are. They're extensions of themselves - discard-able extensions. Aspies aren't making the same connection to people that others are, but we don't tend to be intentionally parasitic. Although the chasm between Aspies and Psychopaths is large due to social victim VS social predator, there are a lot of similarities that should not be overlooked by psychologists and neurologists.
Especially when treating a hybrid. Which is what I think Dahmer was. But more on that later.