After describing the futile cycle of psychopaths going to prison, to a mental health hospital, and back into society, Cleckley describes the clueless nature of those trying to address those with psychopathic personalities:-
Turning now to penal facilities, now to psychiatric [hospitals], relatives, friends, doctors, lawyers, the community at large, all find they are trying to measure areas in kilowatts or color in inches. Since the fire extinguisher did not particularly help the child’s fever, which has become alarming, we gravely apply a plaster cast.
The Mask of Sanity
I’m proud to show off a drawing done by my good friend, the artist Katie Kelleher. The picture below is entitled ‘Weeping Neurons Lack Potential’.
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a technique used to measure the integrity of white matter tracts within the brain. In the brains of psychopaths, and no doubt with other personality/developmental disorders, white matter is often poorly developed, which hinders neuronal communication. DTI will often measure the integrity of white matter by noting how easily water could diffuse through the tract. If there is no damage, the DTI score would be 1.
But tracts that lack mature white matter would score less than 1, and in these tracts it could be harder to generate an action potential or it’ll be slower than if the tract was mature.
Weeping neurons lack potential
The DSM-V development website lists a number of proposed revisions for personality disorders from how they initially appeared in the DSM IV. Part of the problem with the DSM IV was that people with a personality disorder were frequently diagnosed with two or more, and as individuals only have one personality the need to recognize a singular personality as dynamic has been recognized.
For more information on how the classification of personality disorders will be different in the DSM V, click here.
The proposed revision of APD does not include recognizing Conduct Disorder (CD) before the age of 15, even though many studies have shown that CD in the pre-pubescent years is a good indicator of APD in adulthood. Although, the revision still includes the need to be 18 or over to have a diagnosis of APD.
For more information on the proposed classification of APD in the DSM V, which should be published in May of 2013, please click here.