Friday, May 6, 2016

The Psychopath Inside by James Fallon

The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the BrainThe Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain by James Fallon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! This book is so interesting. I looked it up and about 1% of the population has this mental disorder. It seems to be related mostly to genetics but can also interact with related mood disorders (it's pretty complicated). But at 1%, you regularly run into and interact with psychopaths, you probably even have some "friends" with this condition. I think it's imperative that the rest of us understand what we're up against.

What makes this book really amazing is that the author is both a neurobiologist and a psychopath himself (and bipolar). He hides very little about his own personality in order to illustrate the issue. This is very off-putting, yes. I had to get to Chapter 4 before it got interesting enough that it compensated for how awful the author is. But that's part of the point. The author is awful because he's a psychopath. It's a great service to those of us trying to understand what's going on inside these people that he reveals himself so much even at the risk of being despised. Even though I previously knew a little bit about psychopaths I'm still shocked by the psychopath mentality that other people just serve a purpose - and that they are nearly devoid of personal emotion for them. Please read this book! Think of it as a self-defense course.

5 stars for importance not for enjoyability or accuracy.

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