If it really were the case that "[s]ince there is no ability, there is no choice" one would expect some legal systems to allow sociopaths to plead diminished responsibility for crimes. However, as far as I'm aware, they are held fully accountable for their actions.Responsible for actionsA sociopath may be as capable of empathy as a blind man is of sight. A blind man can't tell red from green, certainly, but a sociopath can tell right from wrong, even if he must be taught to distinguish between them by learning the real and unpleasant consequences that might befall him for engaging in bad behavior. A sociopath still has to make a conscious decision to act badly.
But even though it is a decision, it's always made with no input at all from the part of the brain from which most people receive information while processing emotion. If in the future, neuroscience can find a way to wake up this strangely silent area of the brain of a true sociopath, this all can change. The area is in the cerebral cortex and sends out abnormal or depleted brain waves on EEGs of sociopaths.
The mere fact that some scientists know that much 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 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 benefitting 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 patterns of brain impulses they suffer. Talk therapy added to this must be specially geared to the sociopath or it'll make the problem worse. And some people believe that sociopaths who are not at the most severe end of the spectrum of their illness can respond to some degree to sensitivity training. This might not, however, work as well with sociopaths who are abuse survivors.
In any case, once the type of neurosurgery that could help correct this has become possible, intervention of a sort that may fix some of what is broken in their brains someplace, this science will take a gigantic leap ahead!
And that will help everyone, not just those who are sociopaths.
A good therapist can prevent you from victimizing him/her without victimizing you in the process. And recent studies made by neurosurgeons and other medical experts have finally begun to pinpoint the things that go awry in the brain that are part of what causes sociopathy. In some cases, such medications as Depakote, Topamax, and even Lithium are being prescribed, and although some individual therapists prescribe Ativan and the like, much more research needs to be done there on ultimate benefit of drug treatment. It is already known that drug treatment must be augmented by a very structured and positive-oriented talk therapy.
Sociopaths can get somewhere in talk therapy if the clinician is self-confident and relaxed, firm but never authoritarian or self-important. It must not ever become an ego-contest. Once the process gets far enough along so that the sociopath is actually able to feel even a tiny flicker of genuine happiness, that is an impetus that will grow stronger if the process continues to move forward.
But a sociopath seeking this must be warned that at some point quite well along in the process of therapy, there will be an interval in which all the newly developing strength is called upon to endure very deep and long-buried pain. Sticking to it through that takes a very strong will.
The therapist must repeatedly remind the patient that the process will also reward him or her with better and better feelings, ultimately becoming its own reward: that terrible emptiness called 'boredom' being replaced by feeling, both painful and joyous.
In cases where brain damage is too severe to permit of this on its own, new developments in technology in the next decades will bring implantable devices that may be able to be used in the brain, along with other means including synthetic replacement neurotransmitters, to carry nerve impulses along paths formerly silent and unused in the sociopath's brain. Although such devices would have to be used with extreme care to avoid causing violent convulsive seizures, some of the anti-convulsant medications that are already being prescribed to sociopaths in test trials could possibly prevent this unwelcome side-effect.
In the present, therapy is hard to come by for anybody not extremely wealthy, and for sociopaths, many of whom are unable to work, it is even that much harder to find help. But it exists. And, looking at some observations posted at other similar questions by others, one can see that a very popular opinion is that sociopaths, psychopaths, are all "evil" and undeserving of help!
One very important point, therefore, is that, most certainly, no one helps sociopaths by repeatedly calling them 'evil'! That kind of response cannot possibly help anyone. A sociopath before treatment cannot trust anyone and must learn the fundaments of trust and interaction between people. No one who is persuaded to believe that he or she is just plain bad can sustain any hope for change. It becomes a vicious cycle: the sociopath, being told he or she is evil and cannot be helped, gives up, and in frustration and anger lashes out again at people, and in response to that, people say that their original point is proven.
The main reason sociopaths don't usually seek help is that they can't trust, rather than that they like being as they are. Plus, they can often sense exactly what sort of a response any call for help on their part is most likely to elicit from professionals and lay folk alike. Sociopaths are not breezing along in paradise. It isn't all a game. It's a truly miserable existence. And it can be made better. It may not be "curable" yet, but it most certainly isn't as hopeless as so many people say. There is therefore nothing to be gained and much to be lost when therapists and lay folk try to ostracize sociopaths from the human race entirely! Sensationalism and superstition will only prevent progress.
This was written on another question on the same essential topic as this one, by a self-confessed sociopath who was officially diagnosed (other than me!) --
The essay that follows was written in another answer by another self-admitted sociopath, who actually might not be a sociopath. Still another person added the brief comment to that effect after her tragic essay.
Comment: The above testimony is clearly not indicative of a sociopath because they seem to make efforts to keep from harming others, even if it doesn't benefit themselves.
I have a friend who told me he never had feelings or felt amotion he wasnt necessarily mean to people but would manipulate people for his own benefit but he said he always loved me and my bro and we always made him happy i feel like just treating him as a equal and being nice to him has given him feelings i tripped on acid with him and since then he said he started feeling feelings and emotions and treats people alot better now i hope its true either way he thinks he does and is doing good so never give up hope!
cruel, savage, vicious, ruthless, callous, sadistic, heartless, inhuman
They enjoy it!
Brutal justice is brutal justice...Brutal: A brutal act or person is cruel or violentJustice: The fairness in the way that people are treated
The Assyrian soldiers were cruel because the Chaldeans were taken over by the Assyrians and the Chaldeans were highly upset with Assyria and they were very brutal and cruel when they were at war.
This is a description which can be described as propaganda. An examination of all the armies of the ancient world would attact the description 'brutal and cruel'. Similarly an examination of al the armies of the mediaeval world would attact the description 'brutal and cruel'. Similarly an examination of al the armies of the modern world would attact the description 'brutal and cruel' is you wanted to denigrate any of them to suit a particular agenda. War is 'brutal and cruel'.
The word brutal is an adjective. It means to be violent or cruel.
If someone is barbaric then that means they are cruel or brutal.
Savage , cruel, harsh.
It depends from which perspective you look at it. In ancient warfare terms or in modern terms, warfare is brutal and cruel. In pre-modern terms, with no Geneva convention, all armies killed, enslaved and pillageded as it suited them. The opponents and successors of the Assyrians were all brutal and cruel.
Brutal Meaning and DefinitionOf or pertaining to a brute; as, brutal nature.Like a brute; savage; cruel; inhuman; brutish; unfeeling; merciless; gross; as, brutal manners.
Cruel, Emotionless, Hurtful, Hard-Hearted, Pitiless, Callous, Unconcerned, Inhuman, Inhumane, Unkind, Unfeeling, Unsympathetic, Brutal, Cold, Merciless, Ruthless and Cold-Blooded. isn't that what I said in the first place no need to change it
The correct spelling is "brutal" (harsh or cruel).
Sadistic, cruel, callous, schadenfreudist.
they can include unfeeling, insensitive, callous, cruel, cold-hearted, pitiless and other such words
Savage, cruel or inhuman mental agitation
inhuman, ruthless, brutal, sadistic, unnatural, wicked
harsh, brutal, severe
Aggresive Cruel Brutal Sadistic Vicious Firece
ferocious, wild, dangerous, cruel, savage, brutal, aggressive, menacing
it shows slavery as a cruel and brutal system ;)
cruel, brutal, inhuman, ruthless, heartless
The correct spelling of the adjective is brutal(beast-like, violent, cruel).
If you're talking about the the process of creating extra tissue, write "callus formation." If you're describing the tissue itself, you might write "callous formation," but typically you would just use the word "callus." "Callous" is also an adjective that means something akin to cruel.
ruthless, merciless, pitiless, cruel, heartless, hard-hearted, cold-hearted, cold-blooded, harsh, callous, unmerciful, unforgiving, uncaring, unsympathetic, uncharitable; remorseless, unbending, inflexible, implacable; brutal, inhuman, inhumane, barbarous, barbaric, savage, sadistic, vicious.
According to Google's definition search:Savagely cruel; exceedingly brutal.Primitive; unsophisticated.