Tag Archives: ASPD

Inspirational creativity

Today it is not the news that got me active; it was a TED video (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYemnKEKx0c). It was inspirational for a few reasons. In the first, I have had my exposure to Mental Health Law at UTS, best elective subject ever!

Anyway, the video gives an interesting view on the properties of Mental Health. Whether we look at this from the comedy perspective; whether we see it as an assessment of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it does not actually matter. We can take it into several directions, the problem is the approach towards statistics and how we see people.

Jon Ronson gives an interesting view, but the issue behind this all is that we have pushed ourselves onto the list of being a member of at least one of the stated diagnosis of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Is that not interesting? Consider that close to 80% of the people optionally have mental disorders, 85% if you are in the UK.

How did I get there?

First we get to the group of people who are a sociopath, that group is well over 30%, one in three is a sociopath, I know, because I basically am one (of we accept the evidence).

Let’s go over the rules:

  • Doesn’t respect social norms or laws. Most gamers seemingly disrespect social norms, gamers are a separate group of people and they are often in niche places that are based on what games they play. In addition, workaholics ignore the social norms of a family life.
  • Lies, deceives others, uses false identities or nicknames, and uses others. Gamers are often deceptive, yet we need to see levels of deception, gamers use other players to gain a tactical advantage. Workaholics use nick names all the time to alleviate stress, often these nicknames are not disrespectful or intended to be disrespectful.
  • Doesn’t make any long-term plans. Workaholics live from deadline to deadline; as such gamers often do too, from gaming season to gaming season, as well as release dates to upgrade the pool of games they live by.
  • Shows aggressive or aggravated behaviour. OK, in this, virtual violence (NHL, Fortnite, Overwatch) does not count.
  • Doesn’t consider their own safety or the safety of others. A lot of workaholics are chasing deadlines and meetings; they always overbook their schedule and in addition to that, leave too late for every appointment trying to balance that by speeding and being a menace on the road. Oh and they always call their next appointment that they are stuck in traffic and they will be there in 5 minutes (whilst they are still 15 minutes away).
  • Doesn’t follow up on personal or professional responsibilities. Most workaholics ignore or pushes against personal responsibilities, even as they do whatever they can to meet and follow up on professional responsibilities, with a schedule that is overburdened by well over 15%, they fail there too with some regularity.
  • Doesn’t feel guilt or remorse. It is all about the job, there is no remorse when a target is to be met, there is no guilt when it is met and often thee is a lack of guilt when it is not met either.

As a dedicated workaholic (since 1979) I pass every test but one on the sociopath list, from all this we can state that EVERY workaholic is a sociopath. This is the first issue where we see that the balance of work and life styles is so thin, that line will get crossed on a daily basis. This economy and the work life style that some companies claim (and then set the stage that it can be met when all tasks have been completed) is a stage that warps, instigates and promotes mental health issues.

The plot thickens

You see, there is another revelation; it comes to us when we consider the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath. “There’s no clinical difference between a sociopath and a psychopath. These terms are both used to refer to people with ASPD. They’re often used interchangeably” and now we have created a stage of mayhem!

You see antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is as I personally see it outdates issue, we see the setting “People with ASPD can’t understand others’ feelings” I do not disagree with the stage, I merely see that stage as a convoluted, overrated and optionally outdated one, social media is part of the live of almost all and it influences all our actions inside and outside the social media. How many people have been willing to ‘understand the feelings of a gamer‘, I have been a gamer since the very early 80’s (1983) and I never stopped being one, yet for decades (until late 90’s) women would ‘yuck’ at those who loved video games, these people were not cool, they were nerds and no one wanted to understand them, because cool people rub off on them making those socially cool people optionally no longer cool.

It was only after the PS2 and the Xbox that gamers were more and more accepted in the world. Now we see the issue when we consider a workaholic that is also a gamer (that still includes me), for us time is a precious commodity, for the social types, time is a measure of procrastination, you merely have to see Facebook, Snapchat and optionally Tinder to see where their priorities lie, and self-esteem with a dose of Ego feeding is more often than not the ingredients of their need.

Those people fill another void of the DSM, the Narcissistic personality disorder.

When we look at the elements we get:

  • Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
  • Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration.
  • Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  • Exaggerate achievements and talents
  • Be preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people
  • Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior
  • Expect special favours and unquestioning compliance with their expectations
  • Take advantage of others to get what they want
  • Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
  • Be envious of others and believe others envy them
  • Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious
  • Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office

Here the colours change, the blue is directly seen in Facebook exchanges that a lot make, the problem here is that they are intent on feeding the urge to respond, feeding the interaction that are part of the Rules towards Social Media engagement. the greens are sometimes part of Facebook, yet too often these elements are merely trolling and cyber bullying issues, they are however optionally still part of the Narcissistic personality disorder, Red is a different issue, at times it is not an issue. It can be the sociopathic side in them waking up; it can also be due to unclear communication in social media. When the one word response ‘fine’ comes through, it could be positive, or perhaps sarcastic oppositional negativity, the problem is that this carries in the voice and not on the keyboard. To quote Big Bang theory, Dr Sheldon: “How can I be conceited when you cannot understand what I say?” He is true and he is truth, communication and comprehension requires a third step, the feedback of comprehension, that part where the bringer of the message sees that you comprehended the message; a step that is left null and void in the bulk of all social media used.

In all this there is also the issue with the DSM, 5th edition. I believe that people have evolved to some degree (whether positive or negative cannot be said), the stage of corporatocracy where it is all about the deadline, all about the next spreadsheet for commission and the next quarter. A created workforce of workaholics in an age where we see ‘work life balance‘ given out as a ‘mandate’ for a happy future, whilst the work pressures have not been dealt with, it is an unbalanced stage where people are more and more in doubt of what to do and in my experience the first group getting hit on that part are the families that these people are part of.

In an age where jobs become an issue, where job security is out of the window almost 24:7 in present day and as these issues become more and more visible, we see the added levels of depression added to the mix.

In all this, I mentioned ‘people have evolved to some degree‘ is the previous paragraph, well here it is, even as some claim to be social companies and socially responsible companies, their shareholders and board of directors are all about the bottom dollar, an environment that becomes corporatocratical more and more, the social markers are diminishing. they claim to have their ‘Friday afternoon drinks‘ or their social events once a month, yet these events are more and more about ‘heralding’ successes as a light on all others to become more successful. That is not some social event that is a directed pep talk to give the people something to think about on the weekend that precedes next Monday. It happens more and more and it is there that I invented the joke (which I love to tell every Friday afternoon): “Don’t worry, only another 62 hours and it will be Monday morning again!“, most people shiver, they get how short a weekend is, they merely never understood why they shivered, it was not about Monday morning, it was about the lack of true social family time that has gone more and more into the mists of forgetfulness and it saddens them to the core.

I believe that we will see more and more technological jumps which gives light to more commerce, more goals, more metrics and further isolation of individuals, as they are pushed and pushed into a stage of performance, making the bulk of your workforce an optional mental health case. Even as the Irish Times seemingly hides behind the quote ‘Employers are recognising the importance of supporting employees’ mental health‘, the underlying question is whether this is about work force retention, or actual mental health wellbeing in the workplace. For Europe this is to address “This is because right now almost one third of senior leaders cite finding talent as their most significant challenge” when you cannot find people hanging onto the ones you have is essential, yet the foundation of all this is not the workforce, not the pressures, as I see it the entire quality of life balance has been unhinged for the longest time of a decade and until that is addressed the issue that comes with ‘Why do I bother‘ cannot be maintained and these people are looking for every workaholic they can, those people go on regardless and that is fine with the talent seekers to a much larger degree.

There is no real short term solution and until the metrics reflect diminished work pressures, the situation merely escalated that part we see when HR presentations are set to a stage that no longer includes certain metrics.

When we see:

  1. Revenue per Employee.
  2. Cost per Hire.
  3. Employee Turnover.
  4. Overtime Percentage.
  5. Length of Service.
  6. Job Satisfaction Rate.

We see a problem that does not go away, even as we understand ‘Revenue per employee‘, there are scores where it was all about the team, where the first person properly informs a person and another sells the product as the person comes back gives a lack of understanding of the ‘browsing around’ customer, in a larger corporation there is a lack of comprehension where services and support are reasons why customers remain and buy again, not the salesperson, not even when he or she is selling in the nude. It is the services department that retains the customer and the business they bring. For the largest degree I have seen a lack of comprehension of that in senior management. As long as that issue remains there will be no resolution, especially when the sales people go to suave places for long weekends of training and booze and diners whilst services keep the business clear as they are away.

And in all of these stages, there has been an almost evangelistic absenteeism of the marketing department and their approach to ‘Inspirational creativity‘. For me it was the poster and the advertisement of Macquarie University, as they gave us all: ‘You to the power of us!

Did you ever realise just how brilliant that approach was? It is about inclusion where the approached person is at the centre of it all, how many advertisers were able to inspire you? You might not realise it but inspiration and enlightenment is the first sign that there is no mental health issue, because it is them driving you and it is you who engages that drive to a higher degree, we balance ourselves when someone else becomes the inspiration of us, not the work we need to do, but for us to excel what we were doing all along, at that point when we are there we retain ourselves and we contain ourselves to what we can inspire ourselves. I wonder how many companies have figured that out. I know that Google has been on the right track, but behind that metric is still the need to become accomplished as an increase, not as a state of awareness towards something better and in the second degree that is the track where the true innovations are found. It gave me 7 pieces of IP for 5G, two video games, one movie and an optional TV series (still working that out in my mind).

We can all be creative, yet to be inspirational requires something special and too many have not been able to push that, this is one of the reasons why Huawei is ruling the path of 5G and not anyone else. They all forgot to become inspirational creating their share of workaholics, psychopaths/sociopaths and narcissists, to them: “Welcome to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition”, did you have time to find on which page you belong?


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What we create for us

The entire issue started with Jail time for a teacher. (at http://www.epictimes.com/2015/03/jail-time-for-teacher-who-showed-students-sexually-explicit-horror-flick/). It linked to the Guardian article (at http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/mar/06/us-teacher-sexually-explicit-horror-film-jailed-the-abcs-of-death). The issue is that she did something so wrong, that I am surprised that she is only going away for a month (with a 3 year probation). Now, I am trying to exclude the movie as much as possible. It is not about that movie (apart from the level of inappropriateness of the chosen movie).

The first part to consider is found here: “She said that she faced away from the screen throughout all the screenings of the film and was unaware of its content, a claim described by Judge Charles A Schneider as “unconscionable. There’s no way you’ll persuade me that’s what happened.”“, in my view there is every indication that she knew exactly what she did.

After the case “she handed a note to reporters that read: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Last there is a sideline with the quote: “Like Kearns’s lawyer, Schneider criticised the Columbus schools board for hiring a woman who couldn’t speak Spanish. “This is what happens when you put a teacher in a class that she cannot teach,” she said. “Here we are, with the Columbus public schools telling us what wonderful things [they] are doing.”

You see, apart from hiring the wrong people, part of this is (as I see it), the continuation of something different, something we might obscure intentionally, for the simple reason that the reality is just too horrid to contemplate.

You see, the world today has become so unbalanced that the people who think that they are in control are creating a different kind of workforce. The need for cutting corners is so direct, the need for cheap is so high that those in control are as I see it creating sociopaths.

Now, to look at this we need to look at the definition. A Sociopath is a person with a psychopathic personality whose behaviour is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience. (Source: dictionary.com). Now, let’s take away that part ‘often criminal’, often does not mean always!

So, now we get a person with anti-social behaviour, social conscience and moral responsibility. You might think you do not know such a person, but I think you do. You see, look at any decent workaholic and you get a person who is just that. A workaholic often is not social, it is all about work, making that person both non-social and lacking a social conscience. As we see such a workaholic, that person tends to lose moral responsibilities more and more, yet this person is for all intent and purposes not doing anything wrong, or illegal. The married one forsakes marriage and perhaps even children as this person is too busy. When the family complains, the boss, the workload and the cost of living gets blamed (not always incorrectly).

This is what the workforce created, a workforce, largely less and less connected to morality and values, all about the goal, the revenue and the target. Some will throw in a Christmas present and a Christmas party day, a tax deductable event to keep the workforce ‘sort of’ happy, with added congratulations and speeches on how well it all went and soon after that a new goal that is like to be at plus 10%.

Let’s take a look at the Sociopath, or Anti-Social Personality Disorder (ASPD). The elements are:

 A) A pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others, occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three or more of the following:

  1. failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviours as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
  2. deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
  3. impulsivity or failure to plan ahead;
  4. irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
  5. reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
  6. consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behaviour or honour financial obligations;
  7. Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.

B) The individual is at least age 18 years.
C) There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years.
D) The occurrence of antisocial behaviour is not exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or a manic episode.

You might ask how a workaholic would fit here, now consider the following:

i. lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt or mistreated someone else.

The non-single workaholic will hide in work, being might be indifferent, but who is rationalising that this person is hurting the family that they were trying to protect by giving them something better in the first place.

ii. Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behaviour or honour (financial) obligations. You see, what is the viewpoint of irresponsibility? From the eyes of the psychiatrist that viewpoint is the person’s commitment to non-work and to some extent to work. And what about consistent work behaviour? Getting the targets that management sets up in a sales driven world? This point is on a scale that is revolving on the mobile premise of the moment, making this element an issue all by itself. The fact that I question that it is limited to financial obligations must also be observed. My reasoning here is that this revolves around a continuing increasing cost of living whilst the nett balance at the end seems to be diminishing. So are we confronted with irresponsibility or are we looking at a sliding scale that cannot be achieved.

iii. impulsivity or failure to plan ahead could be seen as an inability to plan ahead in the light of a changing atmosphere and at times have to make impulsive changes to keep up with a game that is forever seems to be set against the workaholic in question. For those who enter the workaholic game tend to get isolated and pushed forever forward.

So as we see the premise, in my view the three elements have been found. Now, be very certain. I am not a psychiatrist, and I have no psychiatry experience of any kind, so my view here is not just highly debatable, it could be very wrong too (and it likely is).

I see myself as a workaholic, but not as a sociopath, so why label myself as such?

Now we get back to the teacher story, because that is what started it. The quote “The film features scenes in Spanish, as well as English, Japanese and Thai, and was screened as “an act of glorified babysitting” according to Kearns’s lawyer, who claimed she showed the film out of desperation at being unable to teach Spanish. She said that she faced away from the screen throughout all the screenings of the film and was unaware of its content“, as I see it the movie would have been one of the worst choices, which makes me wonder just how extremely ‘unbalanced’ this woman was. In addition the ‘mysterious note’ as it was given to the reporter. The question that the press is not asking and that is missing in all of this is how the woman was hired in the first place. The person who hired this woman should also have been looked at. Why hire a woman, who does not speak Spanish to teach it? It makes the initial hirer less bright, no questions, no references, and no checks? Yet, how does one link to the other? Now consider whomever hired this woman and ‘b. consistent irresponsibility’. This is not the first time such an event has occurred and I think that the amount of these instances is only increasing.

I am not questioning whether more and more people are sociopaths, I am contemplating that the sliding scales of industry are pushing people in a niche group that might no longer correctly be considered to be true sociopaths. Which beckons the question, which of the other labels need to be looked at? You see, if the definition changes and relies on 5 elements the game changes significantly. Is that the solution, or is that the path we are all treading on? You see, I have been forever decently proud of being a workaholic. I create solutions, I get the work done. It is my zone to get the puzzle and to exceed the challenge. From the initial view of being the least likely to succeed and I became one of the few ending up with several University degrees. In Science, computer engineering and Law. Yet, I do not feel like a success, I just feel driven to the new challenge, the new puzzle and the next hurdle to overcome. Does that make me a sociopath? More important, when we choose to find the challenge for our future, our family or to keep up with today’s environment, are the settings of what makes a person normal or sane correct?

Now we move to the driver in these matters, the economy. Part of this we get from the article ‘US economy shrugs off winter weather to add 295,000 jobs in February‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/mar/06/us-unemployment-jobs-numbers-february). The quote we need to look at is: “Furman said more work needed to be done and that the unemployment rates for African Americans and Hispanics remained unacceptably high. Youth unemployment also crept up. Unemployment for those aged 20-24 years old was 10% in February – up from 9.8% in January” and linked to this is “The actual figures beat predictions on both scores with the unemployment rate dropping to 5.5%“. I personally believe that our work environment is changing, the expectations asked from us are vastly increasing. From this I am (in an unscientific way) postulating that the demands (read: ‘pressures placed upon’) the new young workers, African Americans and Hispanics will creep higher still; add to this increasing pressures for them to get a job, the consequent higher ‘willingness’ to meet increasing unrealistic demands. This will only push these new groups into a stream that leads to more extreme editions of workaholics and very likely these people will now lean towards ‘real’ (read: stronger) sociopathic behaviour.
By the way, this example is just that an example, this issue is not an American one, it is a global one!

Is there any realistic premise that I am correct? I do not proclaim to have any idea what is the truth, but I am willing to ask the hard questions. Are you the reader contemplating these elements around you?


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