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Food for thought: I am fishead movie

It’s an ambitious project—attempting to explain psychopaths in global leadership positions, a possible cause of what looks like psychopathic behavior, and what to do about it all. This is the documentary film, I am <fishead(, produced and directed by Misha Votruba and Vaclav Dejcmar.

Here’s a clip, featuring Dr. Robert Hare, the guru of psychopathy:

Corporate psychopaths

Fishead is divided into three parts. Part 1 is about psychopaths, specifically corporate psychopaths, who are blamed for the global financial meltdown that began in 2008. This is probably true, although the only individual named is Bernie Madoff.

The authors of Snakes in Suits, Dr. Robert Hare and Dr. Paul Babiak, explain psychopathy, and how psychopaths in business claw and backstab their way to the top of organizations. Hare and Babiak certainly know their stuff, and you’ll recognize their descriptions of psychopathic behavior.

But then Hare and Babiak start talking about the difference between psychopaths and sociopaths. This is a matter of debate and disagreement in the mental health field, so essentially they are expressing their opinions and preferences, not fact. Hare mentions that the film Reservoir Dogs highlights the difference between psychopaths and sociopaths—apparently one kills because he has to and another kills because he likes it. But Hare didn’t specify which was which, and I wasn’t sure. My contention, of course, is that from the point of view of the dead guy, it doesn’t matter.

Antidepressants

Part 2 of Fishead goes off in a different direction. It’s about “happy pills”—antidepressants. As you watch, you may wonder if the filmmakers are claiming that antidepressants cause psychopathy, but they don’t quite go that far. Here’s what they write:

The second part of the film touches on how, for a small number of people, overuse of antidepressants can result in behaviors that appear to mimic some psychopathic features. Although overuse of these medications will not produce psychopathy, they may stifle emotion and decrease the user’s ability to feel empathy.

Actually, I think the real problem with antidepressants may not be that it makes users behave in sociopathic ways, but rather, antidepressants enable victims to tolerate sociopathic behavior in others.

For example, in my upcoming book, Red Flags of Lovefraud, I have a chapter on protecting yourself from predators. In the Internet survey that Lovefraud conducted last year, we asked if people involved in romantic relationships with sociopaths had an intuition or gut feeling early on that something was wrong. A whopping 71 percent of respondents answered yes. And 40 percent ignored their intuition.

Why? One woman explained:

I ignored it because I loved him. After a time he convinced me there was something wrong with ME and convinced me to go on antidepressants. The drugs mellowed me and I lost that feeling.

I’ve heard stories like this one many times—sociopaths are causing distress and to cope with it, the victims go on drugs. This can be the problem with antidepressants. We are upset because something is WRONG! If we no longer feel upset, we don’t try to change what is WRONG!

Change

The third part of the documentary asks the question, “So what do we do about all of this?”

Fishead talks about the work of Dr. Stanley Milgram, who conducted numerous famous experiments showing that most people will administer electric shocks to others, even though they know the person is being hurt, if they are directed to do it by someone in authority. But it points out an interesting experiment that is not as well known. Dr. Milgram also found that if the experiment subjects first saw someone refuse to administer the shocks, they were much more likely to refuse as well.

The point is that when people stand up to authority, or evil, it gives others the courage to stand up as well. In fact, the filmmakers say it only takes 5 percent of the people in a group to behave differently for the entire group to be influenced.

Food for thought

I am <fishead( is a well-made film. Artistically, it has an art-house feel to it, with stark backdrops for the guest expert interviews and clever animation. And, the film is narrated by the actor Peter Coyote.

Although I don’t agree with all the points, the film does a good job of drawing attention to what is probably the biggest hidden problem facing our society: the outsized damage caused by psychopaths (sociopaths). And it challenges us: What are we going to do about it?

For more about the movie, visit the website: Fisheadmovie.com.

You can watch the movie on the Internet—the length is 1 hour, 17 minutes. Just click the “where to see” link, and email the producers to get your free password.

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81 Comments on "Food for thought: I am fishead movie"

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  1. callmeathena says:

    Oxy I almost think we should have our own library associated with this site. We all chip in $3, buy the damn book, ship it from person to person.

    Too difficult to manage, I know, but wow, I have learned so damn much via Barbara and so many other authors.

    I was telling skylar that I just finished the 1982 movie “FRANCES”, it’s about a true story of the actress FRANCES FARMER, and how fucked up her mother was, and how it impacted this girl.

    I learned so much. It was my story, minus broadway.

    Athena

  2. DUPED NO MORE! says:

    skylar says:

    Dupey,
    I thought it was love also, but it was really a trauma bond, a type of addiction. Those of us who were raised by abusive parents, tend to fall into this trap.

    —————————-

    I SO AGREE WITH YOU!!!
    I kept on wondering how I could say I still loved him when I know I don’t. I KNOW how I feel about his ugliness and there is no way I can ‘love’ that. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. It was the dynamic of that ‘trauma bond’. ABSOLUTELY. A GAZILLION PERCENT, my Dear skylar. A type of ‘addiction’. Yes.

    I have been learning and learning and learning and yes, you are absolutely right. I have 8 months under my belt now, NC, and I can see it.

    *hugs skylar*
    Happy Sunday going on Monday to you…

    Dupey

  3. DUPED NO MORE! says:

    KatyDid: hence the emotion: “I love and hate” at the same time.
    Cog Diss; hm? Oh yes, the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place now. Cementing and solidifying themselves.

    Have a good evening, Katy….
    Dupey

  4. KatyDid says:

    We all have our own feelings don’t we.

    The relationship I had with my mother was one of love. There was MUCH about her that I loved. I know it was not reciprocated but that does not diminish MY feelings.
    The relationship SHE had with me was one of fear.

    Lord know what it would have been had she lived. But she died when I was a young woman. So I’ve carried that feeling. The good part is that I did not let her dominating fearful nature rule my life. I put a boundry on it. And in doing so, I empowered myself. She was my model for all FAMILY relationships and my ANTI model for what kind of parent I became. I kept the good, and had NO guilt whatsoever to reject the controlling abusive fear mongering harridan. No cog dis with my mom. Maybe that’s why I did not have a trauma bond with my parents. Neither had any power over me. Well, that was the gift of being neglected… so some sad things can be good in the long run! (my poor sister was trauma bonded and ya know what, she’s just like my mother! Demanding, controlling and SCARY. ANd horrid to her grown pathetic son.) I resolved that relationship long before I married, and that was part of the reason I thought myself ready to marry. Little did I understand that my now X! husband had NOT resolved his mommy/daddy issues. ANd NIGHTMARES insued! MIL and FIL from HELL!!

  5. Ox Drover says:

    Athena, yea, that is so true, I do wish we had a “lending library” here at LF…the way I afford books is that I order them off of B&N or Amazon used…usually for a few bucks plus shipping. I also buy books at garage sales, Salvation army, Good will, and borrow books from friends. I confess I am a “book-a-holic” and that is getting really bad as I have 10 ft of shelf space of unread books and I keep on buying more or taking them from friends–here, you must read this book! LOL A friend of my son’s and mine came by and spent the weekend with us and brought each of us a book for our “christmas” present and then loaned us others he had with him, so DUH! I ended up with another 6 inches to add to my unread bookshelf. LOL

    Since I hacked up my ankle on Friday the 13th though I’ve been able to catch up on some things that I can do sitting down or on crutches! Did some scanning for my genealogy club and read some too. “Cooked” by sitting on a stool and giving orders to the guys! Well, yawning now so think I will take it easy and get ready for bed a bit early! G’nite!

  6. New Beginning says:

    Oxy, what did you do to your ankle?

    Should I send you a book or two? ;-) I love books too and could hang out in a Barnes and Noble ALL day and be as happy as a pig rolling around in the mud.

  7. littlewhitehorse says:

    I understand the abusive altruism all too well. My sister-after distance and observation,I have come to the conclusion that she had HPD.

    After a bout of abusive behaviour towards someone she buys them presents the next day to make up. She feels like a good person and of course the rest of the family murmer to themselves ‘perhaps she is not that bad-see she really has a good heart underneath’. Then she waltzes off knowing that she can do this over and over again.

    It just amazes me that I am the only one that can see this. She even does it with her own children.

    Trying to point out to my family this dynamic is pointless.

    It just goes on and on.

    I just keep my distance and if she has a go at me and gives me my pressie I give her it back and I am seen as the unforgiving bad one.

    Whew!!!

    xxx

  8. Ox Drover says:

    Little white horse,

    That love you one minute/hate you the next/do something nice the next minute, and all is okay…..is a typical PD way of doing things, doesn’t matter if it is psychopathic PD or Borderline PD or Histrionic PD, it is PD and there is no way to fight it except GET AWAY and NO CONTACT! A personality disorder is always going to be a personality disorder.

    Dr. Barbara Oakley is a wonderful researcher and writer, I can’t wait for her next book “Pathological Altruism” to come down in price (it is $50 now and was released in december last year) and I read the book she wrote about her sister who is a PD and another woman who appeared to be an Altruistic person but was in fact a PD…Oakley holds your attention! Riviting! Insightful!

  9. skylar says:

    Little white horse,
    That is how spath hooked me in the beginning. It’s called the whipsaw and they use it to trauma bond us. He would rage and rail, then apologize with flowers. Over and over and over for years. How could I not forgive him? Your family members are trauma bonded to her so they think she’s a good person. The present after the abuse makes you feel like you’re back on the pedestal.

    Our only hope is to educate enough people about this form of abuse that it becomes instantly recognizable. I’m thinking we should publish pamphets and leave them on the bus….

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