Palo Alto, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/03/2021 --Psychopathy Is, a nonprofit organization based in Palo Alto, CA, announced today the launch of their new website.
Psychopathy Is, the brainchild of an internationally recognized group of researchers and clinicians, as well as parents of affected children and adults with psychopathy who aim to reduce the suffering caused by psychopathy, one person at a time.
Founded by psychologist and neuroscientist Abigail Marsh and investor Lisa Michael, an educator in the San Francisco Bay area, Psychopathy Is (psychopathyis.org) aims to help people identify signs of psychopathy. The goal is to improve awareness and knowledge, and ultimately reduce antisocial behaviors psychopathy can lead to, including gun violence, bullying, and domestic abuse.
Psychopathy is often misperceived as a rare and uniquely untreatable condition marked by extreme violence. But research Dr. Marsh has conducted and described in her award-winning book The Fear Factor, finds that aggression, a lack of empathy, and other factors associated with psychopathy exist along a wide spectrum. And crucially, children with these traits can be moved along the spectrum. This breakthrough is a major advance from labeling children "psychopaths", which is widely but wrongly believed to be a static and untreatable condition. Psychopathy Is provides screening tests to identify children and adults at risk for psychopathy and the resources to find treatments that will help them improve.
Almost one-third of the population is estimated to have measurable levels of psychopathy, with 1 in 100 being severely affected, including half of all violent offenders. Psychopathy is the most expensive mental disorder in existence, costing the criminal justice system $460 billion annually. But instead of investing in intervention and treatment, most government and private institutions address violence and violent offenders after the fact. Psychopathy Is aims to ensure that at-risk children are assessed and treated before they begin to show antisocial behaviors.
A central feature of the new website is a screening test (including separate tests for children, adolescents, and adults). Unlike other psychology tests you can find on the internet, these tests are scientifically validated assessments, based on the most up-to-date research on psychopathy. Test results are anonymous, secure, and designed to help guide treatment choices by a medical professional. The tests hosted by Psychopathy Is, according to Dr. Marsh, "are designed as instruments to assess personality traits and behavioral tendencies along a spectrum." The site provides guidance and recommendations for how to interpret scores, and whether to seek care from a mental health professional.
Psychopathy is a feared and misunderstood diagnosis. "It is massively understudied and underfunded relative to other prevalent and severe mental disorders, such as autism, bipolar disorder, or depression," says Dr. Marsh. As a result, parents struggle to access resources to address the destructive and frightening traits they may see in their children.
Psychopathy Is offers current research, dispels cultural myths, and gives encouragement to seek effective treatment options. Its central message is that people affected by psychopathy--and their families--do not have to live with the stigma, shame, blame, and fear that they do now. Treatment options exist that are effective for some children and adults. With more research, even better screening tools, interventions, and treatments can be developed. Promoting research to develop such screening tools and treatments is one of the major goals of Psychopathy Is.