The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues

The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues

The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues about the So-Called Psychopathic Personality ❮Read❯ ➵ The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues about the So-Called Psychopathic Personality Author Hervey M. Cleckley – Larringtonlifecoaching.co.uk Reprint of Edition Full facsimile of the original edition Not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software This classic account of the Psychopathic Personality was first published in We reprint her Reprint ofEdition Full facsimile of the of Sanity: eBook ´ original edition Not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software This classic account of the Psychopathic Personality was first published inWe reprint herein the expanded Second Edition of Cleckley describes clinical interviews with patients in a locked institution The text is considered to be a seminal work and the most influential clinical The Mask ePUB ↠ description of psychopathology in the twentieth century The basic elements of psychopathology outlined by Cleckley are still relevant todayThe title refers to the normal mask that conceals the mental disorder of the psychopathic person according to Cleckley s conceptualization Cleckley describes the psychopathic person as outwardly a perfect mimic of a normally functioning person, able to mask Mask of Sanity: Kindle Ö or disguise the fundamental lack of internal personality structure, an internal chaos that results in repeatedly purposeful destructive behavior, often self destructive than destructive to others Despite the seemingly sincere, intelligent, even charming external presentation, internally the psychopathic person does not have the ability to experience genuine emotionsCleckley questions whether this mask of sanity is voluntarily assumed to intentionally hide the lack of internal structure, but concludes it hides a serious, but yet imprecisely unidentified, semantic neuropsychiatric defect.


10 thoughts on “The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues about the So-Called Psychopathic Personality

  1. Kristina Kristina says:

    I wanted to read Hervey Cleckley s The Mask of Sanity because it is referenced in other psychopathology books as the leader of psychopathology for its time Robert D Hare s Without Conscience, a book on psychopaths I ve read a few times, references it and I thought I would check it out To be clear, I read the fourth 1964 edition I found this book fascinating for probably all the wrong reasons.To put this book in its proper perspective, the bulk of the book research and writing was done in I wanted to read Hervey Cleckley s The Mask of Sanity because it is referenced in other psychopathology books as the leader of psychopathology for its time Robert D Hare s Without Conscience, a book on psychopaths I ve read a few times, references it and I thought I would check it out To be clear, I read the fourth 1964 edition I found this book fascinating for probably all the wrong reasons.To put this book in its proper perspective, the bulk of the book research and writing was done in 1941 This is before the Second World War, before Elvis, the Beatles, and essentially television People still had servants those who could afford them and families of distinction could trace their histories back to colonial times the patient s remote antecedents had lived in or about Charleston, SC, in colonial times They had never been famous for wealth but in the Revolutionary War, as well as the in the War Between the States 101 Women, for the most part, were expected to get married and have children Men had jobs People still drank highballs it s a cocktail of some sort and it s mentioned surprisingly frequently in a textbook about psychopathology and smoked cigarettes In other words, it was a totally different era and I found it an amusing, fascinating, na ve, and disturbing world There is a certain innocence to the America in this book Deals are considered legal contracts by handshakes and man s word is gold The government seems to care about its citizens Cleckley often mentions how lawyers and judges and police officers have a certain amount of sympathy for the patients he s worked with they know these people aren t quite right because they keep committing idiotic crimes that really have no pay off, but they aren t legally insane When the patients show up in mental hospitals this is when America still had a large network of hospitals to treat the mentally ill how quaint , the psychologists and psychiatrists know they don t meet the legal definition of insanity and can t justify keeping them locked in an institution with clearly disturbed patients Lawyers, judges, and politicians would write letters on the behalf of the patients asking for them to be released from mental hospitals and loan them money This surprises me because I can t imagine that happens often today There s a real sense that everyone involved in dealing with these patients are concerned about them and wanted to help them become better people and citizens and gave them numerous chances to do so and of course, since they are psychopaths, they always disappointed their benefactors What I found most disturbing about this book is the overwhelming sense of paternalism and male chauvinism While women are mentioned as having jobs, it s understood that of course they do that until they follow the natural course of life and get married and have children A case study of one woman was particularly horrifying to me The woman was considered to be a deviant and show signs of psychopathology merely because she was a lesbian and had the audacity to say that she did not want to be married No worries she was soon cured of those two unnatural conditions Deviant behavior abounds in this book There is a terrible chapter titled Homosexuality and other consistent sexual deviations Wow I know, it was written in the early twentieth century, but this chapter is amazingly wrong, full of incredible stereotypes, and horrifying There is also a certain amount of white man knows best kind of racism too It s not overt, but when Cleckley mentions Negros his tone is insufferably smug I m not going to debate Cleckley s research or anything like that I am not an expert in any way in the field of abnormal psychology I just find it fascinating and have read a few books on the subject I mostly want to make observations on his writing style What I was most surprised about when reading this is that I due to the amount of knowledge available now about psychopaths knowabout psychopaths than he does At the time this book was written even with the later fourth edition I read , psychologists don t know a lot about psychopathology Some psychologists think patients do all the socially unacceptable, illegal things they do because they are guilty about having bad feelings impulses and want to be caught and punished by the law or put in a mental institution so they can receive help They just don t know they want this because the emotions thoughts are buried so deeply Cleckley thinks that s a bunch of nonsense and that the evidence and research don t support this theory He s not sure why they do the things they do, but he s very close to the modern theory when he proposes it s because they don t care The mental health community is still trying to decide if it s lack of emotional development or a lack of biological underdeveloped brain development The modern theory is the brain is underdeveloped and thus psychopaths will never be able to be cured They just don t have the brain parts The part of you that allows you to feel strong emotions, to have a conscience, to worry about the consequences of your actions, or to even have a deep interest in a hobby is missing from psychopaths They are incapable of feeling strong emotions They don t care about the consequences of their actions, don t care what others think of them, and don t recognize emotions in others When you know this, the things that psychopaths do make sense One of the biggest dilemmas and probably still today facing the legal system and the mental health system is that psychopathology is not curable However, psychopaths or sociopaths are not clinically insane They know the difference between right and wrong, legal and illegal, ethical and unethical They just don t care So they take actions that are often harmful to themselves or others and I don t just mean violence most psychopaths are not the serial murderers you see on television or in movies They are often just your average criminal and their crimes are non violent but can cause many problems to the people around them without thought of the consequences They do what they want because it is a passing whim, a way to stave off boredom But how to handle these people The legal system at least when this book was written couldn t wouldn t keep them in jail for long The mental hospitals that often took them couldn t treat them because they weren t ill So these patients were shuttled between jail and mental hospitals, neither of which could deal with the root of the problem psychopathology Today, with our decline of treatment options for the mentally ill, these people are often in prison or working on Wall Street Robert Hare s Without Conscience The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us discusses this Is that where they should be Maybe, maybe not That s still the problem They know what they ve done is illegal But due to their psychopathic condition, not only are they incapable of stopping their harmful illegal activities, they are not inclined to stop them But that doesn t mean they should escape justice Who knows if there will ever be a solution to this However, aside from the subject matter, what I found most fascinating and often funny about this book is how it is written Cleckley phrases even the most distasteful statements so delicately and in an old fashioned, scholarly way that I couldn t help laughing throughout this book I don t think he is attempting to amuse, but he does He is a good writer and expresses himself eloquently Some examples Cleckley is drawing the line between people who are mentally ill out and out nuts and those normal, average citizens who, for some reason, fixate on something and go temporarily nuts He s using as an example people who believe in end of the world prophesies and are reasonably sane until the doomsday arrives and they go bonkers Indeed, conviction was so great that at sunrise many leaped from cliffs, roofs, and silos, one zealot having tied turkey wings to his arms the better to provide for flight Those who had hoped to ascend found gravity unchanged, the earth still solid, and the inevitable contact jarring 22.His tone is so understated and calm I don t know if the man had a very dry wit or was oblivious to the humor, but that is funny the inevitable contact jarring Indeed I bet it was jarring And the guy with the turkey wings is either a a complete moron or b not trustful of his god or c both If he didn t trust god to have the power to just grab him up and take him straight to heaven, did he really think turkey wings would give him that extra oomph god needed Of course, there s no sense in applying logic to a situation in which a guy is willing to jump off a cliff with turkey arms tied to his human arms I mean, do turkeys even use those arms for flying Whenever I see wild turkeys in a field, they re walking.I m not sure what social life was like in the pre WW2 days, but apparently brothels, casinos, and other socially unacceptable places were well known and apparently legal Here s a description of a patient s problematic social routine If not through his daily and nightly brawls or uproars in various low grogshops, dancehalls, juke joints, etc., then by putting slugs into slot machines or serving as fence in some petty thieving racket, he brought the police in search of him down on the house of joy which maintained him 53 Max s wife is the owner operator of a brothel and what s so funny is that Cleckley, while not approving of the brothel, is muchdismayed by the problems Max causes for his wife and the ladies at the brothel No one realized better than his wife, a woman of experience and good judgment in these matters, what an unhappy effect these antics had on her clientele quietly seeking pleasure behind doors before which Max roared and paraded Max is a noisy, pugilistic drunk 53 And because Max is such an entertaining psychopath and Cleckley writes so amusingly about him, here s onesentence, this time describing Max and his wife s fights She often fought back vigorously and, though she seldom succeeded in landing a telling blow that would discourage her marital opponent, her resistance made the fight muchlively and greatly augmented the uproar of thuds, slaps, crashes, oaths, grunts, and honest yells of pain 53 Who writes like this any No one This is superb writing Cleckley eloquently handles farting On being approached, he cursed, sobbed feebly, and was brought back to bed, passing intestinal gas with frequent loud and unpleasant effects, grinning almost triumphantly at the nurse who had hurried to him at each detonation 77 Had this guy been born later in the twentieth century, he would have made a great novelist.Cleckley s complicated and awe inspiring way of saying, Yeah, boys like to hang out and when they do hang out, they talk trash and make a lot of poop sex jokes Numerous small groups of boys, sometimes only three or four, sometimes , banded by a common interest in postage stamps Philatelists Kinky , firearms, a secret shack in the woods where they met to gamble, or in some other affair, often reserved for themselves a peculiar connotation in bits of familiar language or devised codes of slang, verbal, digital, and postural, to transmit among the elect understandings of special recognitions best reserved from the surrounding masses..Groping among confused and paradoxical concepts of virility, some boys could find stimulus or protectiveness in neologisms and fresh innuendos pertaining to the act of excretion and its subtle relationships to insult, sexuality, and infinite defilement 127 I wonder if Cleckley would be disturbed to discover that men boys still joke about sex and poop, still love their guns as much as their dicks and continue to engage in posturing Probably not This book is chock full of these nuggets of awesomeness I have severalfolded over pages of underlined passages I could quote, but I think any reader of this way too long review has comprehended my message this dude s writing style has tickled my fancy Of course, he crafted just as many not so amusing sentences regarding homosexuals and how they go against the natural and biologically correct order of life man has the outey, woman the inney what about that can t gay people get, he asks and describes in a very long chapter how immoral, unhappy, and confused gay people are due to their deviant sexual practices That chapter, and the subtle awww, women want to be independent and have jobs Silly women tone regarding his discussions of some of the women patients angered me I realize that at the time Cleckley was considered correct and culturally in sync, but reading his thoughts on those subjects makes me thankful for being alive now, even if we still have a lot of progress to make This is quite a long interesting book to read Anyone wanting to read about psychopathology however should avoid this book and maybe start with Robert Hare Without Conscience Columbine by Dave Cullen also has an outstanding discussion of psychopaths Plus, it s a great book about the Columbine shooting.Okay, damn, I can t stop myself One last funny sentence Another conventional and well adjusted adult recalls an incident after a beer party following the last football game of the season when a fair proportion of the celebrants went out together to a pasture and there pursued and constrained a number of cows in efforts to achieve sexual relations with the patient but reluctant animals 285


  2. Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin says:

    A classic study of psychopaths with numerous case studies, defining characteristics of psychopaths, glib superficial charm, manipulative, little or no emotional bonds, criminal behavior, failure to learn from experience, pathological lying, violent behavior, injudicious hedonism, lack of fear or remorse The signs that many are familiar The doctor distinguishes this from the type of madness of schizophrenia which is driven by hallucination and delusion and paranoia On the surface, a psychopat A classic study of psychopaths with numerous case studies, defining characteristics of psychopaths, glib superficial charm, manipulative, little or no emotional bonds, criminal behavior, failure to learn from experience, pathological lying, violent behavior, injudicious hedonism, lack of fear or remorse The signs that many are familiar The doctor distinguishes this from the type of madness of schizophrenia which is driven by hallucination and delusion and paranoia On the surface, a psychopaths cognitive awareness appears intact and reasoning ability seems fine but emotionally and socially they have serious disorders In the 1940s the doctor thought some study and treatment were in order As of 2019 outside of confinement and quarantine no such treatment is available


  3. Mary Overton Mary Overton says:

    Cleckley s book is out of print, so I read a pdf version of a scanned copy made available at this online essay is informative if you can handle ignore the New Age Twilight Zone stuff at the end.Cleckley provides detailed case histories of psychopaths incredible reading if you are interested in stories of dysfunctional people families.Medical discussions in Cleckley s book are fascinating from an historical viewpoint obviously info is dated.Con Cleckley s book is out of print, so I read a pdf version of a scanned copy made available at this online essay is informative if you can handle ignore the New Age Twilight Zone stuff at the end.Cleckley provides detailed case histories of psychopaths incredible reading if you are interested in stories of dysfunctional people families.Medical discussions in Cleckley s book are fascinating from an historical viewpoint obviously info is dated.Consider a spectrum of anxiety, with the psychoneurotic at one endpoint and the psychopath at the other People who suffer from personality disorders which cause them to be anxious, restless, unhappy, and obsessed with thoughts they themselves recognize as absurd but who are, in the lay sense, altogether sane have for years been classed as psychoneurotic They recognize reason in general, often admit that their symptoms arise from emotional conflicts, and are free from delusions and hallucinationsThey are often resistant to reasoning butin the sense of a person with strong prejudices than of one with delusions or with intellectual dilapidation Sometimes they feel strong fears that they may carry out acts which they dread and which would indeed be tragic or criminal, but they recognize the nature of these acts and do not carry them out Other acts, all patently senseless but relatively harmless, they do carry out, recognizing the absurdity of feeling that they must do so but becoming anxious if they resist the impulse In general, psychoneurotic people recognize objective reality and try to adapt themselves like most others to the ways of society Kindle location 4788 4802 On the contrary, those called psychopaths are very sharply characterized by the lack of anxiety remorse, uneasy anticipation, apprehensive scrupulousness, the sense of being under stress or strain and, less than the average person, show what is widely regarded as basic in the neurotic the interpretation of the psychopath s behavior as symptomatic acting out against his surroundings, in contrast with the development of anxiety or headache or obsession is, it seems to me, an interesting formulation I do not believe that psychopaths should be identified with the psychoneurotic group, for this would imply that they possess full social and legal competency, that they are capable of handling adequately their own affairs, and that they are earnestly seeking relief from unpleasant symptoms There are disorders in which the two diverse types of reaction developing subjectively unpleasant symptoms versus callously carrying out socially destructive acts seem to exist in the same symptom The so called pyromaniac and kleptomaniac often seems motivated by forces similar to the classic obsessive compulsive patient The distinction emphasized by Fenichel between ego syntonic and ego alien motivations compulsive acts of caution versus so called compulsive antisocial acts is a fundamental point and brings out a distinction not merely of degree but of quality. Kindle 4809 4833And the bottom line is that psychopaths are BORED If, as we maintain, the big rewards of love, of the hard job well done, of faith kept despite sacrifices, do not enter significantly in the equation, it is not difficult to see that the psychopath is likely to be bored. Apparently blocked from fulfillment at deep levels, the psychopath is not unnaturally pushed toward some sort of divertissement Even weak impulses, petty and fleeting gratifications, are sufficient to produce in him injudicious, distasteful, and even outlandish misbehavior Major positive attractions are not present to compete successfully with whims, and the major negative deterrents hot, persistent shame, profound regret do not loom ahead to influence him Kindle location 7204 7217Herge, the Tintin cartoonist, and musings on deceitful facial expressions


  4. Leo Robertson Leo Robertson says:

    Phew THANK FUCK FOR THAT, EVERYBODY I ve been reading this for research for a story Perhaps fortuitously I picked the toughest book I needed to read for this research That means I ll be able to plough through the rest by the end of the month in time to get back to editing the story throughout October in time to start a new story for NaNoWriMo November We re on schedule, everybody Pfffft not like you ll get to see anything I m writing until someone publishes it, but, sorry folks, that par Phew THANK FUCK FOR THAT, EVERYBODY I ve been reading this for research for a story Perhaps fortuitously I picked the toughest book I needed to read for this research That means I ll be able to plough through the rest by the end of the month in time to get back to editing the story throughout October in time to start a new story for NaNoWriMo November We re on schedule, everybody Pfffft not like you ll get to see anything I m writing until someone publishes it, but, sorry folks, that part of the process is out of my hands I m holding my end up, he said.Oh, what do I think of this I understand the need to include so many case studies, but as Cleckley openly acknowledges, psychopaths are utter dickheads The problem here is that, as it turns out, everyone is happy in their own way, and unhappy people are all unhappy in the same way Isn t that interesting That s something I honestly believe.Side note sorry, but I wish you d stop writing about your depression for other people By all means journal your way to good mental health again, but that s it Write it off While once the material of this book was important clinical evidence, hearing different unhappy people be unhappy in the exact same way again and again and again becomes hypnotically bleak, and that s all That s just what I think That s why you re reading this, right Anyways, the book opened with countless case studies and only later developed interesting arguments and suppositions that were worth reading I m glad I began to skim and picked up what I could of these Including an account that you ll understand was hilarious for multiple reasons about a normally heterosexual gentleman who drove to a worksite and picked up four unwashed Negros , transporting them in his pickup truck to a tent were he was caught performing fellatio on them To quote Cleckley if I recall correctly , He took on the oral role This after a decent chapter of interesting reasoning about how the reader was not to consider homosexuality a psychological disorder based on scientific evidence of the comportment of homosexuals Indeed, they are lawyers, scientists, architects and other decent folk contributing to their society What a modern marvel Okay maybe that chapter is worth reading but in general this is not recommended to the general public, who should instead read Hare s Without Conscience The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us, which was designed for public consumption and incorporates the necessary theories and info from Cleckley s work.Oh you should also read the story I m writing based on all this research because it s going to be meticulous as FUCK


  5. Gwern Gwern says:

    Cleckley scatters through this book constant fascinating anecdotes and remarks, some so outrageous or remarkable that one would assume he made them up if he were writing on some other topic.Cleckley s moralizing and occasional very old fashioned comments are occasionally as interesting, and reading him in 2012, one feels very strongly just how distant in a social s sense we are from him in the 1940s and earlier when he writes of miscegenation I wonder how many teenagers now could tell Cleckley scatters through this book constant fascinating anecdotes and remarks, some so outrageous or remarkable that one would assume he made them up if he were writing on some other topic.Cleckley s moralizing and occasional very old fashioned comments are occasionally as interesting, and reading him in 2012, one feels very strongly just how distant in a social s sense we are from him in the 1940s and earlier when he writes of miscegenation I wonder how many teenagers now could tell you what sexual miscegenation is , when he defends homosexuals as possibly not insane but sometimes even decent people, or when he speaks in horror of female psychopaths not guarding their virginity, or in a half page fulminating against the hippies, or when he speculates that a healthy male adult might after several years stranded on a desert island enjoy masturbation no, really.Sadly, Cleckley is not nearly as dated as one would hope after reading something like 200 pages detailing the endless wake of destruction, fraud, violence, deception, manipulation, and criminality his basic conclusion that there are no effective treatments for psychopathy, and all previous attempts have been expensive failures, seems to remain true Indeed, some attempts at treatment have backfired and resulted in evencrime being committed by subjects


  6. Ana Ana says:

    An immensely useful read for those interested in psychopathy, particularly if you are were a Psychology Psychiatry Criminology student Keep in mind that it was originally published in 1941, and you will have to sit through an entire chapter which calls homosexuality a mental disorder Barring that, this book is one of the cardinal works on psychopathy, from a pioneer in the field, and it contains tens of detailed cases and clinical considerations from a practitioner who believed that psychopath An immensely useful read for those interested in psychopathy, particularly if you are were a Psychology Psychiatry Criminology student Keep in mind that it was originally published in 1941, and you will have to sit through an entire chapter which calls homosexuality a mental disorder Barring that, this book is one of the cardinal works on psychopathy, from a pioneer in the field, and it contains tens of detailed cases and clinical considerations from a practitioner who believed that psychopathy should have its own classification and should be dealt with differently by a system which was not equipped to treat this disorder It s pretty long, so I would only recommend it to those armed with patience


  7. Maja Leibovitz Maja Leibovitz says:

    Cleckley can write about all the myriad ways circumscribed to scrubbing toilet bowls while somaticizing such tribulations through delineating the less than perfunctory actions required to achieve such immaculate results and still find himself amenable even to the most dyspeptic individual as well as still be considered the pioneer in such a boring field. entertaining you quite propitiously along the way His writing style is superb


  8. Charlotte Earl Charlotte Earl says:

    Hervey Cleckley is regarded as the father of the field of psychopathy studies His first book was published in 1941, and this version of the book is his 1975 revised edition He died in 1984, and the last edition of this book came out in 1888 It is a fascinating read, but it does require dedication to one s purpose to see it through to the end Mr Cleckley s writing style is to be commended, but he is nonetheless writing from a medical stand point, and the average lay person must focus careful Hervey Cleckley is regarded as the father of the field of psychopathy studies His first book was published in 1941, and this version of the book is his 1975 revised edition He died in 1984, and the last edition of this book came out in 1888 It is a fascinating read, but it does require dedication to one s purpose to see it through to the end Mr Cleckley s writing style is to be commended, but he is nonetheless writing from a medical stand point, and the average lay person must focus carefully on the text in order to fully learn from it For any author considering creation of psychopathic characters, this book is a must read The case studies alone will be of invaluable aid to accuracy Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of this book is in its latter portions, where Mr Cleckley observes the character of the psychopath in history and in literature We can all of us only ever pray to be spared dealing with a real life psychopath, but for anyone who has the painful experience of it, this book brings with it much clarity on the nature of the human disaster, even though it regrettably offers little in the way of solutions


  9. Dottie Dottie says:

    I just remembered this book from way back I think I must have read this one sometime in the late 1970 s or early 1980 s It is very hard sledding being a textbook written I believe in the 1940 s I took nearly a year to read it I was doing other reading also, but largely it was my intent to read this slowly and to absorb it thoroughly I was spurred into this by hearing Dr Laura oh yes, not intentionally tuned in but in passing I heard some discussion of a caller which led me to lissten I just remembered this book from way back I think I must have read this one sometime in the late 1970 s or early 1980 s It is very hard sledding being a textbook written I believe in the 1940 s I took nearly a year to read it I was doing other reading also, but largely it was my intent to read this slowly and to absorb it thoroughly I was spurred into this by hearing Dr Laura oh yes, not intentionally tuned in but in passing I heard some discussion of a caller which led me to lissten to her response I m ever so glad I did This book was part of her answer she said this was the definitive explanation of what a sociopathic personality is While not a fan of Dr Laura I am a believer in her answer to that caller and I am a believer in the truth of her praise of this book


  10. Liz Liz says:

    I learnt all I can about sociopaths from this book The case studies were by far the most interesting part of the book Can be a little dry and it s definitely out dated Most of the behaviours in this book that point to someone being a sociopath are socially acceptable ways for people to behave today..so either the book is REALLY out of date or we are living in the era of the sociopath.


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