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Sociopathy (Psychopathy)

Are there any treatment centers where sociopaths can get help?

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2008-05-08 14:37:33
2008-05-08 14:37:33

== == In most cases, a sociopath is NOT treatable. They think they are just fine, it is the REST of the world that is out of step with THEM. The best that can be dome with them is to warehouse them, in locked wards to protect society from their violence. Drugs will help to control their acts but only if they TAKE them. Except for one thing: the mere fact that some scientists know as much as they now do about the brain of a sociopath means that solving the problem is no longer an impossible and obscure wish -- it's moving within the realm of concrete possibility.

As soon as fairly large numbers of sociopaths begin to be treated in a way that actually helps them, that corrects as much as possible the chaos of misdirected signals in their confused and disorganized brains, and then a form of therapy that in addition to that, by necessity, teaches them to cope with the resulting maelstrom of emotion and impression that was formerly impossible, so that they can put it in order and start to develop the heretofore dormant and silent segments of their brains and better use those formerly mixed-up areas where no recognizable order ruled, THEN THE OTHERS MAY BEGIN TO NOTICE WHAT IS GOING ON...and they will know at least this much: instead of "the kiss of death," a diagnosis of ASPD (the DSM-IV way of saying sociopathy or psychopathy) will lead someplace; that there will be things done that actually make a difference.

Crippled as they are neurologically, sociopaths are yet shrewd, and they're always looking out for themselves in a way similar to that of a loner predator. Seeing others like them actually benefiting from treatment will have to start persuading them that there's something to gain in going for help after all. Not being rejected or met with "We can't help you; you're evil incarnate," or the equivalent thinly disguised in euphemistic psychology jargon; NOT being met with a situation where they'd have to substitute symptoms of an "acceptable" illness in place of those they bear in secret -- that would almost certainly, if gradually, have an effect: if a sociopath can clearly see a benefit coming from admitting his or her real situation, there's nothing to stop him or her from doing just that.

It's already started to happen, if in a tiny, barely perceptible trickle.

Right now, all science has at the ready for them is to use various types of preexisting medication given in attempts to counteract the chaotic way the brain of a sociopath functions. That and types of talk therapy carefully altered to avoid the pitfalls that have in the past caused regular therapies to make sociopaths worse instead of better. But the more that scientists such as Robert Hare and his colleagues delve into and experiment with the new types of brain scans and learning what makes sociopaths tick like human bombs, the more likely that it becomes with each passing year that a means will soon be isolated to defuse those bombs.

The primary source of a sociopath's infamous rage is frustration, of a sort so alien and so extreme that almost no one else can understand what it means. Once they start getting taken seriously, that frustration, and the wild rage it provokes, will lessen, and since it is a primary source of the constant distrust that makes regular therapy fail sociopaths, the defusing of that rage and its maddening causes will be a huge step in the right direction.

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