Here's a link to a recent story in The New York Times about a 13-year-old girl with the same problem. It must be awful for everyone, really. Ashlyn Blocker, the Girl Who Feels No Pain
I have Aspergers(very mild) and I have a high threshold of pain. I’ve never taken anything stronger than an Advil. I don’t resist burning myself with a lighter because it hurts, I don’t burn myself with a lighter because I know it is bad for me. I also have no natural sense of empathy or sympathy. I could watch people die all day and it wouldn’t affect me(which came in handy when I worked in EMS in high school).
I’ve been around people like me and it scares me.
My guess is that the Aspergers was combined with paranoid schizophrenia/bipolar and drug use.
I’ve been acquainted in the past with a young teen who hurt himself intentionally. Said it was the only time he felt alive. Only time he really felt anything. He was the nephew of a former girlfriend. She took him in occasionally, since his home life was not very good with her sister. He’d been medicated with Ritalin from an early age. Not aware of anything else, but I wouldn’t be surprised. He was a decent enough kid, very bright, very serious, very quiet, slightly strange but not alarmingly so. Small for his age, verging upon emaciated. I was under the impression that the medication had done it.
Or are people speculating that he had that condition based on this barfly’s analysis.
Burning oneself sounds like a variation on ‘cutting’, which people do to lessen psychic pain.
I just happened to watch an old “Criminal Minds” episode over the weekend. It was from 2011, but was eerily similar to this recent shooting, with the bad guy (”unsub”) not feeling pain. also the outcast, loner, etc. I was thinking “if a dumb TV show can profile these guys, too bad we can’t do it in real life and get them help”:
Back at police HQ, the team presents its theory to the team: the original killer had a silent partner, someone so inconsequential in the high-school social scene that he would have never stood out. “This unsub was the outcast that the outcasts rejected,” Reid explains....
Later that night, the team finds Jerry has been beaten to death in the high school hallway. “This unsub doesn’t feel pain,” Reid theorizes, noting that the mystery man punched through a glass display case BEFORE savagely beating Jerry.
Hotch theorizes that the unsub never developed a sense of empathy because he has never felt pain. [Reid then explained some medical condition]...
So the unsub, already an outcast in high school, is super angry that he survived only to be shunned again...
CUT to the restaurant, where a bomb EXPLODES. Sure enough, Robert soon emerges to confront the special survivor clique that has gathered for a dinner.... Moments later, Emily, Hotch and Derek enter the restaurant to find Robert holding a gun to a woman’s head. “Before tonight, they didn’t know my name!” Robert rages....