Speaking up

The gold standard in diagnosing psychopathy is generally considered to be the Psychopathy Checklist by Dr Robert Hare but personality disorders appear to be a particularly contentious issue in the field of psychiatry. Perhaps the focus of such investigations should be more on talking to the victims who have been abused by such people.

I noticed Lundy Bancroft who wrote the book, “Why does he do that?” spoke at great length to both abusers and their victims.    It appears to be one of the few attempts to look at disordered individuals, also from the perspective of the victim.

Victims need a voice and they need to be listened to and respected. Too often victims of this kind of abuse find themselves on the receiving end of victim-blaming and have their issues and suffering trivialized by both those close to them and professionals.

Perhaps Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day provides an opportunity for victims to raise their voices and to  be heard.

For  further information on World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day click here


Jon Ronson’s interesting Ted Talk draws our attention to some of the difficulties associated with diagnosing personality disorders.



Perhaps the  degree of psychopathy would best be assessed by looking at the damage the perpetrator’s behaviour has caused.  There may be grounds for producing a scale based on the deliberate harm done to the people with whom psychopaths have come into contact.

At some point the focus needs to be taken off toxic individuals and back onto victims and aiding recovery.

Karyn Purvis speaks movingly of the effects of trauma.She tells the moving story of the effects of trauma on a nest of barn swallows.(the first twelve minutes).

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Karyn Sue Brand Purvis, an internationally renowned child development expert, popular speaker, author and passionate advocate for vulnerable children, died April 12, 2016 after a valiant fight with cancer.

In Memorium Karyn Purvis “Empowered to Connect”.