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Answered 2007-07-25 06:02:59

You need to bring in professional psychological help. Don't try to go this alone. You can't. You need to involve an experienced therapist.

There are stories of people diagnosed as sociopaths who did improve to some degree, with the most ceaseless and diligent help. But since the vast majority of this huge body of people (there are more than three hundred million sociopaths on Earth) cannot get that kind of attention, they turn to abusing those they envy, and often to crime.

It is certainly vengeance: "If I can't have any of this, why should you?" This is the real reason sociopaths lash out at strong and kind people. No matter what they say, they know that inside, they are always empty and damaged beyond repair.

Only in neuroscience is there hope for these incomplete people. The key lies in awakening the brain, which is risky because sociopaths are much more prone to seizures than the rest of the population, and that -- an uncontrolled blast of electrical discharge spreading through the brain and causing violent convulsions -- is likely to be the first response from brain pathways that, after years or even decades of silence, are suddenly flooded with impulses. But if the devices of neurosurgeons can be tweaked to avoid this shock, and all else related to this idea is workable, it's feasible that small electronic devices planted in the brain (these already exist, but are not yet being used for mental illness) could open up a closed connection.

That leaves us with the problem of whether a lifetime of scattered information can ever be set into order. Probably the best that could be hoped for would be a kind of retraining -- like what is now done with stroke survivors and head injury patients -- that would be both intensive and compensatory.

One of the things that would be necessary would be to try to socialize the person whose congenital birth defect made such a thing completely impossible before.

Whatever intervention is used, be it drugs or computer chips or what have you, it would probably -- I'd say certainly -- be excruciating for the patient at first. With no knowledge of how to cope with the emotions the rest of the world has been dealing with all their lives, the recovering sociopath would be rendered as vulnerable as a baby. Which makes sense, because some of the most basic aspects of the human mind would be developing from the primordial stasis in which they had remained since birth!

A person thus treated would never be fully normal, but the human brain is amazing in the way it adapts and continues to develop all through life.

And given the utterly joyless and meaningless existence a sociopath leads, any improvement is better than none.

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