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Does a sociopath have any real lasting feelings of rationality or does it keep getting worse as time goes by?

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2009-12-12 06:27:09

Answer

Sociopathy is a mental illness misunderstood by most thanks to

misinformation from the media. A sociopath is someone who suffers

from Anti-social Personality Disorder, which means that they do not

feel normal human emotions; they lack remorse, shame or guilt; and

their emotions are shallow.

To answer your question, they are extremely rational, but

without feeling. If you want someone completely gone, it is

rational to kill them, isn't it? Yet it is human empathy which

dictates to us that this is wrong. A sociopath is uncontrolled by

human emotion, and any appearance of this is a facade with an

ulterior motive.

This condition is not curable, as you cannot force someone to

'feel' something, and it is a chronic condition that neither gets

better nor worse. For more information on sociopathy do a web

search. I find google most helpful. www.google.com


If you are a sociopath, you probably are resistant to the idea of

change.


Robert Hare, PhD., says that the personality of a sociopath

(psychopath) is essentially set in stone, so to speak, by

adulthood, and incredibly hard to change.


But some keep trying to help them; giving up is not an option.

Sociopaths cause too much trouble.


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' or 'static' 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.


Yes, of course sociopaths arouse great anger in people; one must

take care of oneself and make steps so as not to allow oneself to

be victimized. But HATRED is another issue: if hate takes you

over, you become that much more like the sociopath.


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.




On the other hand sociopathology doesn't really exist. You might as

well be asking if Transformers have "real" feelings. Why? Because

both are just things created by human's imaginations. While touted

as science, "mental illness" has never been proven to exist. Cancer

is an illness. AIDS is an illness. One can objectively test for

their presence. There is no objective way to test for mental

illness. It can only be diagnosed through subjective means, either

by self-diagnosis or through a doctor's subjective evaluation of a

patient's own admissions or behavior. Most children could be

considered sociopaths given the criteria in the DSM.



So in essence there is no answer to your question. If you want to

be sure though, ask someone to answer your question without citing

the DSM. By the way do you know the method by which new "mental

illnesses" are added into the DSM. A vote. Effectively that is all

that is needed. I doubt that the bubonic plague needed to be voted

into existence. That's funny though, because if mental illness

exists then the sheer number of people ailing from it should

qualify as an pandemic of sorts.



Here's something that reads much better than what I just

wrote:



The most fundamental criticism of the DSM concerns the construct

validity and reliability of its diagnostic categories and criteria.

Although increasingly standardized, critics argue that the DSM's

claim of an empirical foundation is overstated. A reliance on

operational definitions necessitates that intuitive concepts such

as depression be operationally defined before they can be used in

scientific investigation. Such definitions are used as a follow up

to a conceptual definition, in which the specific concept is

defined as a measurable occurrence. John Stuart Mill pointed out

the dangers of believing anything that could be given a name must

refer to a thing and Stephan Jay Gould and others have criticized

psychologists for doing just that. A committed operationalist would

respond that speculation about the thing in itself, or noumenon,

should be resisted as meaningless, and would comment only on

phenomena using operationally defined terms and tables of

operationally defined measurements. This line of criticism has also

appeared in non-specialist venues. In 1997, Harper's Magazine

published an essay, ostensibly a book review of the DSM-IV, that

criticized the lack of hard science and the proliferation of

disorders. The language of the DSM was described as "simultaneously

precise and vague", and the manual itself compared to "a militia's

Web page, insofar as it constitutes an alternative reality under

siege," and a "fertilizer bomb" against hard science.


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