Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Sociopath Next Door: the ruthless versus the rest of us

by Martha Stout

I heard a bit of this book when a friend was playing it in her car. Intrigued, I ultimately decided to read the whole thing, in part because I'm convinced my brother is among the one in 25 people who have no conscience at all. I can't profess to know anything about the author's credentials and/or status in the scientific community, but she says she specializes in helping people recover from traumas and has counseled many people who have been damaged by their relationships with sociopaths. This book is an eye-opener, but I recommend taking it with a grain of salt. Psychiatry is a tricky business, and explaining it to a lay-person is particularly dicey, prone to over-simplification, exaggeration and over-generalization. A pretty quick read, totally worth if if you have mentally ill or just plain mean person in your life — which you almost certainly do if these statistics are accurate.

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