Book: The Psychopathic Mind

Book by J. Reid Meloy, Ph.D.

Page 87 “Due to the lack of repression in the psychopathic process and the predominance of more primitive defense mechanisms, rage may be dissociated, or “split off”, from conscious experience. This has been described in higher-functioning sexual psychopaths as a “compartmentalizing” of the perverse and violent acting out….”

Page 89 “Yet the atrocious degree of violence acted out on the victim betrays the intensity of the dissociated affect.”

Page 43 describes process of needing to protect excessively vulnerable me by creating a hard shell.

quote on pg. 43 below:

“This harsh sensory-perceptual experience with the mother may combine with an atavistic fear of predation and predispose the formation of a narcissistic shell that will callous over the excessively vulnerable “soft me”. Herein may lie the skin boundary precursor of character armor as described by Reich (1945), more specifically, the phallic-narcissistic character structure of the psychopath.”

this author Meloy talks of an inhibiting or at least modulating structure called “superego structuralization” pg. 90 “paucity of internal structure is endemic to the psychopathic process and accounts for the gross failures of inhibition, binding, and neutralization (Holt 1967).”

improbability to experience depression. reasons given for why on pg. 92

“It is psychodynamically improbable for the psychopathic character  to consciously feel depressed for the following reasons: first, depression necessitates a failure of denial, an operative defense without which the psychopathic process does not exist. Second, depression necessitates a discrepancy….within the grandiose self-structure.”

The passage below represents one of the obstacles I dealt with before I could get better. I needed to allow the experience of my extremely vulnerable self in relation to (rather than identified with) the correspondingly dangerous object. This experience was very deregulating and scary, but necessary. Part of the implicit feelings I began experiencing in a flooding way was the feeling of extreme vulnerability in relation to a dangerous scary threat of death and harm. This implicit feeling state had to be consciously felt and conceptualized from primitive to secondary. I had to develop a “capacity to appreciate the vulnerability of their physical selves” and gain awareness of my mortality.

pg. 96 “Accidental death during self-mutilation or suicidal gestures by psychopaths betray outrageously poor reality testing at a conceptual level, supporting psychopaths’ grandiose belief in their own immortality and their lack of capacity to appreciate the vulnerability of their physical selves.”

pg. 209-10Description of Zero State and psychosis: Grotstein (1977, 1978) describes psychic space as a “veritable workbench of thinking”(1978, p.55). He conceptualized the psychotic as experiencing an actual closing of the space he is in because of a defect in his perceptual capacity to organize and represent internal space. This is caused by a regressive disorganization of both ego boundaries and reality testing apparatus, as well as a dysfunction of the vestibular apparatus.
Grotstein’s concept chiefly involves the ontogenesis of a sense of space from zero dimension to one dimension, to two, and three dimensions. In the zero dimension of psychosis the universe is mathematically that of a point and is experientially that of boundless, infinite space “where all phenomena relate to the self….” Psychosis can be conceptualized as mental content without a container.