Press Release (ePRNews.com) - PALO ALTO, Calif. - Feb 10, 2021 - Today marks the launch of PSYCHOPATHY IS (www.psychopathyis.org), a new online platform designed to lead a truthful, trusted national conversation around a disorder that afflicts an estimated one in 100 people—and affects millions more.
Characterized by fearlessness, difficulty inhibiting behaviors, and a severe lack of empathy and remorse, psychopathy is as common as autism and twice as common as schizophrenia, anorexia, or bipolar disorder. But unlike those illnesses, psychopathy’s “severe emotional detachment” is easily concealed. And the violent associations we have with the term “psychopath” make it easy to stigmatize a disorder few understand. PSYCHOPATHY IS co-founders Dr. Abigail Marsh and Lisa Michael are committed to changing that.
A pioneer in researching the neurodevelopment of psychopathy, and a 30-year veteran of San Francisco Bay Area’s public schools respectively, Marsh and Michael were keenly aware of psychopathy’s impact on parents—including the fear of violence at the hands of their child and the shame that comes with the deep-rooted belief that badly behaved children are the product of bad parenting.
A variety of factors—including the possibility of finding more easily detectable signs in early childhood and concerns over a costly prison system in which 25% of its population is afflicted—make this a critical moment in the disorder’s history. And PSYCHOPATHY IS makes the most of it.
The site’s multiple points of engagement—which include science-based screening tests & treatment options, a knowledge test, and the first-ever crowd-sourced database of local providers & programs repeatedly emphasize that, “Yes, Psychopathy is treatable.” Marsh says, “While there’s a variety of ways to improve symptoms, there’s still much to be done.”
Like Autism Speaks —which helped erase the stigma surrounding autism—PSYCHOPATHY IS aims to provide hope, ensure stories are heard, and advocate for more research support to develop new, more targeted ways to treat a disorder that affects all of us.
Abigail Marsh is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Georgetown University. She received her PhD in Social Psychology from Harvard University in 2004 and conducted some of the first research aimed at understanding the neurodevelopment of psychopathy at the National Institute of Mental Health from 2004-2008. Marsh’s research on the development of prosocial emotions has been covered by PBS, NPR, The Washington Post, The Economist, and The Wall Street Journal. She is the author of the award-winning book The Fear Factor and numerous scholarly publications.
Lisa Michael is a Physics teacher at Summit Denali High School in Sunnyvale, CA and has taught Advanced Placement Physics for over 30 years. She has been an investor and property manager for 21 years. She has a BS from Cornell University in Materials Science and Engineering and an MS and MA from Stanford University in Materials Science and Engineering as well as Education, respectively. Extensive mental health problems experienced by multiple generations of her family inspired Lisa’s involvement with the Psychopathy community.