I had a friend once, who I always suspected of being at least borderline, if not full blown psychotic. We became friends when I was right out of college and new to town. He had the craziest parties, never a dull moment around that guy. After a few years it became clear that he really did have problems, a psychosis. I had to cut off all contact. I was beginning to get dragged into some of the delusions, not that I myself was starting to believe them, but I played a role in his. It wasn’t good. There’s no reasoning with an individual living in a cartoon or a nightmare, or maybe both simultaneously, when you’re just a character in it to them.
Psychosis and Psychopathy are different. I have a son who is psychotic ... he occasionally hallucinates and his view of reality is pretty weird.
I’ve known a genuine psychopath. A person who has no conscience and a perfect liar. Surprisingly, I got along with this person pretty well. This person instinctively lied, even when no lie was necessary. The psychopath very often appears to be the calm center of a storm. Turmoil and mayhem swirl around him, but most people are oblivious to the fact that he is the cause of all the chaos surrounding him.
I attended a class on psychopaths, conducted by a renowned psychiatrist with expertise on the subject. As he was describing families and organizations with psychopaths in the middle, my mind went to a then-candidate for the democRatic nomination; a guy named Bill Clinton. He fit the description to a tee. Over the course of his presidency my belief that he was a psychopath never wavered.