When you talk about anxiety disorders, when you talk about depression, these two kinds of common colds of mental illness are non-existent in psychopaths. Psychopaths don’t get depressed. Psychopaths don’t get anxious.
You’ve only got to look at court footage to see that. We’ve seen people sentenced to death in this country, psychopathic killers sentenced to death in the UK. We’ve seen them sentenced to life imprisonment. We’re standing in the dark. If that happened to us too, we would probably just collapse. We would go to pieces.
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But you see that happening to psychopaths and they stick a finger up at the judge. They grin and smile at the jury. They are just not fazed by even the most grievous insults to their existential wellbeing.
So they have no problem at all with taking setbacks and overcoming obstacles in life, even these ones, which would knock the rest of us flat. So psychopaths just do not suffer. It’s one of the benefits of being a psychopath. You are not depressed and you are not anxious.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think’s studio.