Ongoing interest in psychopathy and those who almost qualify for the diagnosis.
Human beings are social animals, and the tenor of our social life is one of the most important influences on our mental health. Without positive, durable relationships, both our minds and our bodies fall apart.
Questions of personality have vexed mankind from the dawn of personhood: can people change? How do others perceive me? What is the difference between normal and pathological behavior? One's personality is so pervasive and all-important that it presents a clinical paradox of sorts: it is hard to assess our own personality, and impossible to overlook that of others.
Personality disorders are deeply ingrained ways of thinking and behaving that are inflexible and generally lead to impaired relationships with others. Mental health professionals formally recognize 10 disorders that fall into three clusters, although there is now known to be much overlap between the disorders, each of which exists on a spectrum:
Self-deprecating comedians and complainers wear their neuroticism as a badge of honor. In truth, the negatively biased are more prone to depression, anxiety, self-consciousness and hypochondria, to name just a few behavioral tripwires.
Narcissists cut a wide, swashbuckling figure through the world. At one end of the self-loving spectrum is the charismatic leader with an excess of charm, whose only vice may be his or her inflated amour-propre.