High Psychopathy Score? What next?

This information should not be used to diagnose or treat. It is not meant to take the place of consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have concerns, you should contact your healthcare provider for a screening.

I have a high psychopathy score—what should I do?

It is important to keep in mind that our online screening tests should not be used to diagnose or treat. They are not meant to take the place of consultation with a healthcare professional.

If you receive a high score on one of our screening tests, you should contact your healthcare provider for a screening.

Before your visit, you should review information on types of therapy that are effective for treating psychopathy.

You may also want to search for a local therapist who specializes in treating psychopathy and related disorders.

You can learn more about psychopathy. You may find it helpful to read first-person accounts by others with psychopathy, or read about strategies for managing psychopathy.

My adult child, partner, sibling or friend has a high psychopathy score—what should I do?

Having a family member, partner, friend, or co-worker who is psychopathic carries with it many challenges. You may have experienced significant stress, guilt, and heartache as a result of this person’s behavior. If they are targeting you with threats or aggression it can be terrifying. Fear, confusion, disbelief, denial, self-blame and shame often take a significant toll. Even those most in need of support may not seek it.

There are more and less helpful ways to respond to a person affected by psychopathy. These strategies are recommended by Psychopathy Is board member Carrie Barron, MD:

12 Approaches to the Problem:
  • Cultivate awareness, insight and perception.
  • Resist the tendency to deny.
  • Get help, take help from those with the clarity, compassion and backbone to reach out.
  • Realize that hand holding a person with psychopathy enables and restrictions protect.
  • Start early with strong limits so that this person has the chance to learn and internalize self–soothing and the ability to do without.
  • Trust that a reasonable amount of withholding builds resilience and competence.
  • Fight shame and the fear of stigma.
  • Fight the feeling of guilt. You did not cause it and did the best you could.
  • Communicate with those who understand, do not judge, ask questions, convey true concern and comprehend the complexities. Some people are more able to see or sense psychopathology than others, trained or untrained.
  • Stay away from those who are not able to perceive the dangerousness and the need for limits. Their “support and empathy” of a person with psychopathy can facilitate the destructiveness. Avoid those who thrive on conflict or who meddle to provoke it.
  • Make your own life livable and do not put up with abuse, even from a child.
  • Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries.
These suggestions may seem simplistic. Though they are easy to understand, they can be hard to implement. That is where the work needs to be done. Some people find it impossible to withhold, say no, not give to a loved one with psychopathy. Perhaps they feel unkind or even immoral for not stretching to the point of suffering and exhausting themselves.

Learning to give less emotionally or practically can be a huge challenge. But living the truth, confronting the problem and not indulging can be the most empathic gesture. It can be the greatest support of mental health for all concerned.

In addition, you can learn more about psychopathy. You may find it helpful to read first-person accounts by others affected by psychopathy, or read about strategies for managing psychopathy.

My child has a high psychopathy score—what should I do?

It is important to keep in mind that our online screening tests should not be used to diagnose or treat. They are not meant to take the place of consultation with a healthcare professional. If your child receives a high score on one of our screening tests, you should contact their healthcare provider for a screening.

You can complete this worksheet and provide it to your child’s medical provider. You can specifically ask that your child be evaluated for Conduct Disorder with Limited Prosocial Emotions.

Before your visit, you should review information on types of therapy that are effective for treating psychopathy in children.

You may also want to search for a local therapist who specializes in treating psychopathy and related disorders in children.

In addition, you can learn more about psychopathy. You may find it helpful to read first-person accounts by others affected by psychopathy.

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