Thursday, April 27, 2006

My Journey

My journey began with a simple search on the Internet. I googled the word 'conscience' some time in April 2002. I know what the word means and knew then but I wanted to get an official definition. It all came about because someone said to me that some people don't ever feel guilty because of a lack of conscience. The whole notion that there are people out there who never feel guilty is incomprehensible to most people. It was to me in 2002.

Over the next few months, I continued to educate myself about people who lack the ability to feel guilt or remorse. Eventually I googled the word 'sociopath' because everything I saw on the Internet seemed to tie the two words together. The word 'psychopath' was also used in the information I found. The information was very disturbing and very difficult to understand. I think so many people believe that sociopaths are serial killers or, at the very least, look evil. But that is not the case.

I eventually found an online support group for people who believe that they have come into contact with a sociopath. I was shocked at the number of people who could tell a story, people who were struggling to recover their physical, emotional and/or financial well-being. I read a book entitled "Without Conscience" by Dr. Robert Hare and learned that 1% of the US population have characteristics similar to a psychopath. Dr. Hare believes that these people come from all walks of life and can create a normal facade to hide their real personality traits. They can be very hard to spot because they don't look any different than anyone else. Sociopaths are often very charming, likeable, easy-going and fun to be around. They don't worry like normal people do. They can be intelligent, impressive and inspire confidence. Sociopaths have an overwhelming need to be admired and often portray themselves as kind, compassionate and caring people. Only their victims know the truth.