I was diagnosed as a psychopath


By Matthew Phelan Senior Science Reporter For Dailymail.Com

19:04 15 May 2024, updated 20:04 15 May 2024



A woman who claims to be a diagnosed psychopath has shared what her internal monologue is like, and how she envisions memories and future events in her mind. 

‘I close my eyes and I see black,’ the TikToker, who goes by the name of victhepath, said, revealing the inky darkness of her purely abstract thoughts.

‘It’s so hard for me to describe because it’s just conceptual,’ she continued. ‘I can envision things, but I can’t actually see the things I’m envisioning.’

When it comes to her own ‘internal monologue,’ as she also told her followers, it’s also stripped of vivid detail: ‘The voice isn’t something that I hear. It’s just something that I understand — like, I’m thinking in words, but I’m not hearing the words.’

For victhepath on TikTok, her own absence of rich, vivid, emotionally charged internal visualizations and thoughts were difficult to compare without knowing what the internal monologues of others are like.

‘I don’t really know how to describe my inner monologue,’ she said, ‘because I can’t conceptualize how other people might describe their internal monologues.’

‘I can never tell when people talk about visualizing things or having an internal monologue, if they’re actually seeing and hearing things,’ she confessed.

‘I do have an internal voice,’ she said, ‘but I couldn’t tell you anything about the voice. I couldn’t tell you what it sounds like. I couldn’t tell you if it was a man or a woman. I couldn’t tell you if it has a personality or an attitude.’

‘I don’t think there’s any inflection to it,’ she ultimately concluded. ‘It’s just words.’

The same was true for Vic when it came to visual memories or imagining things.

‘I can envision things, but I can’t actually see the things I’m envisioning,’ she said. 

‘It’s not a physical, tangible thing. It’s not like I close my eyes and I see an image.’

Generally, people who are described as psychopaths show traits such as antisocial behavior, untruthfulness, irresponsibility and lack of remorse or empathy. 

Her descriptions resemble a condition known as ‘aphantasia’ or ‘mind blindness’ — which psychologists with the State University of New York at Albany (SUNY Albany), and elsewhere, have increasingly linked to psychopathic tendencies in recent years.

‘Underneath the psychological hood of human morality,’ SUNY Albany psychologist Dr. Brendan O’Connor and his coauthor wrote in 2022, ‘lies the sophisticated integration of inputs from multiple mental processes.’

A woman who claims to be a diagnosed psychopath has shared what her internal monologue is like, and how she envisions memories or future events in her mind. ‘I close my eyes and I see black,’ the TikToker, who goes by victhepath, said, revealing the inky darkness of her thoughts

Dr. O’Connor points to brain anatomy research showing that the the degree of psychopathic tendencies appears to track with smaller sizes of the hippocampus: a part of the brain critical to making detailed representations from memory. 

‘The lack of empathy characteristic of psychopathology,’ as he put it, ‘may be tied in with an impoverished ability to generate rich and vivid episodic representations.’

According to previous psychological studies he reviewed, Dr. O’Connor now theorizes that a psychopath’s lack of internal visualization ability leads to an ’empathic deficit.’

‘Certain psychopathic traits are positively associated with a sense of feeling “stuck in the present,”‘ he noted, adding that ‘individuals with psychopathy show memory deficits for emotional stimuli.’ 

Dr. O’Connor’s study, published in September 2022 in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review, concluded that, ‘episodic processes,’ like memory ability, ‘may be a key component underlying not only one’s own moral decisions, but also how one comes to evaluate and judge the moral decisions of others.’

Brain anatomy research has shown that the degree of a person’s psychopathic tendencies appear to track with smaller sizes of the hippocampus (pictured, MRI scan) – a part of the brain critical to making detailed representations from memory

Only about 1.2 percent of US adults considered to have clinically significant levels of psychopathic traits, but that increases in prison where 15 percent to 25 percent of inmates show these characteristics.

The disorder is diagnosed using a 20-item Hare Psychopathy Checklist, which features traits such as lack of empathy, pathological, and impulsivity.

Each is scored on a three-point scale, zero is for ‘does not apply’ and two means the diagnosis ‘fully applies.’ 

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However, some medical professionals steer clear from the term ‘psychopath’ and sometimes label it as antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).

Researchers from the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt found that testosterone exposure during puberty is one factor deciding both the size of the memory-making and envisioning hippocampus, as well as the tendencies of ASPD.

‘Without doubt, testosterone has long-lasting effects on the brain, particularly during sensitive developmental periods such as puberty,’ they wrote in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

‘The affected brain regions include the amygdala and the hippocampus, limbic structures that are crucially involved in socio-emotional behavior.’

‘Notably, these two regions are among the core regions for which structural and functional brain abnormalities have been reported in psychopathy.’

On TikTok, victhepath recently said that the most accurate portrayal of a psychopath in media is Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean film series (above)

Vic has scored over a hundred thousand followers on TikTok in recent months for her videos sharing her experiences and perspectives as a person with ASPD.

She has said the most accurate portrayal of a psychopath in media is Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean film series. 

And she recently revealed that her special interests as a child included the Holocaust, human sacrifices by ancient Mayans and the original Grimm fairytales, among other gory stories. 

‘I was really into the Holocaust specifically when I was a kid, not really World War II,’ the TikToker said in the video.

‘When I was in the third grade we had a book fair at school and I remember seeing this little black book called The Holocaust and being really intrigued by it.’

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