Sociopathy (Psychopathy)

A mental disorder characterized by Antisocial Personality Disorder, lack of empathy and the concern for self.

Asked in Mental Health, Psychology, Sociopathy (Psychopathy)

How can you tell if someone is a pathological liar?

User Avatar
Pathological liars - or "mythomaniacs" - are people who engage in objectively puposeless story telling behavior. The stories they tell are not the products of delusions and serve no external purpose other than to inflate the value of the teller in the eyes of the listener. The actual existence of mythomania separate from other diagnoses as a symptom set is a controversial topic in the mental health field. The symptom set for Mythomania is strictly limited: 1) The subject is not delusional and the stories they tell are at least technically plausible. If the subject is actually delusional, a diagnosis of a condition with psychotic features is more appropriate. 2) The tendency to construct such stories is non-transient, and long lasting. The story telling behavior is an actual personality trail. 3) The tendency is clearly non-situational and the subjects motives are objectively internal. The stories are not lies told from fear, or to cover a long pattern of misconduct (spousal abusers and confidence tricksters for instance are not mythomaniacs although they often construct elaborate webs of lies for years to cover their abuse or trick their victims. Such lies are situational and objectively external. The abuser is attempting to evade punishment). 4) The stories tend to present the teller in an extremely positive light, but otherwise provide no material benefit to the teller. The story may suggest that the teller is intensely brave, wealthy or may know many famous people, but the teller derives no benefit from fostering this belief, other than people believing the story. The term is often misused to refer to those suffering from histrionic personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder. The following comments basically reflect a pathological liar who has the characteristics of histrionic personality disorder. Some Characteristics : Exaggerates things that are ridiculous. One-upping. Whatever you do, this person can do it better. You will never top them in their own mind, because they have a concerted need to be better than everyone else. This also applies to being right. If you try to confront an individual like this, no matter how lovingly and well-intentioned you might be - this will probably not be effective. It's threatening their fantasy of themselves, so they would rather argue with you and bring out the sharp knives than admit that there's anything wrong with them. They "construct" a reality around themselves. They don't value the truth, especially if they don't see it as hurting anyone. If you call them on a lie and they are backed into a corner, they will act very defensively and say ugly things (most likely but depends on personality), but they may eventually start to act like, "Well, what's the difference? You're making a big deal out of nothing!" (again, to refocus the conversation to your wrongdoing instead of theirs). Because these people don't value honesty, a lot of times they will not value loyalty. So watch what you tell them. They will not only tell others, but they will embellish to make you look worse. Their loyalty is fleeting, and because they are insecure people, they will find solace in confiding to whomever is in their favor at the moment. They may be somewhat of a hypochondriac. This can come in especially useful when caught in a lie, for example, they can claim that they have been sick, or that there's some mysteriously "illness" that has them all stressed out. It's another excuse tool for their behavior. Obviously, they will contradict what they say. This will become very clear over time. They usually aren't smart enough to keep track of so many lies (who would be?). Another Wiki s contributor adds: They lie about even the smallest things. For example, saying "I brushed my teeth today," when they didn't. They add exaggerations to every sentence. They change their story all the time. They act very defensively when you question their statements. They believe what they say is true, when everyone else knows it isn't. An alternate 'checklist': Lies when it is very easy to tell the truth. Lies to get sympathy, to look better, to save their butt, etc. Fools people at first but once they get to know him, no one believes anything they ever say. May have a personality disorder. Extremely manipulative. Has been caught in lies repeatedly. Never fesses up to the lies. Is a legend in their own mind. More opinions and input from Wiki s contributors: I have found a few differences in pathological liar and a "slime ball" liar. Pathological liars cannot tell that they are lying; they actually believe the lie as soon as it comes out of their mouth. They lie about unimportant things that don't really matter to anyone. This can be caused by mental defect but isn't always. Slime-ball liars lie about things that make them look better or embellish to get attention. They also lie to keep their butts out of trouble and to get what they want. Here are things to ask yourself: How could this many things happen to one person? Would believe these stories if someone else told you? Think back to the beginning: you had red flags and alarms going off in you head. Learn to trust your instincts. It is very hard to tell when one is a pathological liar. Some people just are liars and lie to lie because they can and they don't care about getting caught and aware that you know they have lied. These people care not about lying, it's no big deal. It's like "ok, so what? I lied". The pathological liar on the other hand, IS aware that they are lying BUT will go to extremes to make you believe that they are truthful. They appear to believe their own lies BUT in truth, they know their lies are just that, lies. But because their efforts are constantly backing up their lies, it appears to us that they actually believe their lies, when we eventually do find out about them and then we tend to feel sorry for these people. Then they have an excuse, "I am sick, I don't know why I lie, I believed what I was saying etc." The only truth was the fact that they don't know why they lie. Other than that it's crap. It is true that most of them have an extremely low sense of self worth and are continuously trying to make themselves feel better about THEMSELVES and this is one reason they lie. It is about them but the lies are not always set up with the purpose to hurt some one else; it's that these people feel so low about themselves they need to create ANYTHING different from the ugly reality they feel about themselves so they lie about even the most tiniest little thing. The people closest to them get sucked into these lies which sometimes start as something very trivial and then turn into something that can turn everyone involved worlds upside down and inside out. Unmasking the pathological liar is an easier task when the pathological liar is no more than a casual acquaintence to the "un-masker." Close relationships provide camouflage for the pathological liar, and intimacy provides a heavily-fortressed breeding ground. Other indicators: 1) Rage attacks after they realize you're questioning their lies. 2) Distraction techniques, e.g. hanging up the phone when you catch them in lie, playing word games, or even just running out of the room. After using the distraction technique, or rage attack, or sometimes both, they will pretend that nothing ever happened. They re-write history, so it never did happen in their minds. Normal people do it too, but these people take it to the extreme. From "Go Ask Alice": Lies are unplanned and impulsive. Behavior is repeated over a long period of time. Lies don't seem to exist for any external reason. Behavior may not always be a conscious act. Lies are admitted, changed, and/or adapted if a false story is challenged. From Andrea Broadbent "The Truth about Truman": To begin, the definition of pathological actually means abnormal or grossly atypical. Therefore, a pathological liar prevaricates more frequently than the average person or tells more abnormal lies. In most cases, pathological liars tell lies that are "unplanned and impulsive" (Hausman). These lies are usually very emotional stories that tend to serve no purpose except to impress people (Ford 133). As of now, psychiatrists are unsure whether or not pathological liars are fully capable of realizing if and when they are lying, so detecting whether or not a person is a pathological liar is a very difficult task (Hausman). By looking at the list of conditions commonly connected with people considered to be pathological liars, psychiatrists are better able to determine whether or not a person might actually have the disorder. Some main qualities linked with pathological liars include dysfunctional family origin, family lying patterns, anomalies of sexual life, frequent substance abuse, and a great capacity for language. From Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D. "Psychological Honesty": Even a pathological liar carries deep in his heart a desire for goodness and honesty and yet, because of painful emotional wounds, believes that the world never has, and never will, recognize his pain. And so, to hide that pain from himself, he uses all the lies he can concoct to hurl at the world as he runs in fear from his own goodness. For me, the first indication has been that I hear them tell different things to different people and they can't all be right, because they directly contradict each other! And I am able to prove it. If you can prove over and over again that things someone is telling you are outright false, then you have a pathological liar on your hands. With the Internet, it is now easier than ever to "fact-check" even the most mundane things. I think pathological liars often lose track of all of the lies they tell different people and it will eventually catch up with them.
Asked in Sociopathy (Psychopathy)

How do you know if someone is a sociopath?

User Avatar
Here is a list of ways to identify a sociopath. This list is from "Profile of a Sociopath." Is is a pretty good list of sociopathic indicators. Glibness/superficial charm Manipulative and cunning Grandiose sense of self Pathological lying Lack of remorse, shame or guilt Shallow emotions Incapacity for love Need for stimulation Callousness/lack of empathy Poor behavioral controls/impulsive nature Early behavior problems/juvenile delinquency Irresponsibility/unreliability Promiscuous sexual behavior/infidelity Lack of realistic life plan/parasitic lifestyle Criminal or entrepreneurial versatility Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them Authoritarian Secretive Paranoid Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired Conventional appearance Goal of enslavement of their victim(s) Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim's affirmation (respect, gratitude and love) Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim Incapable of real human attachment to another Unable to feel remorse or guilt Narcissism, grandiosity (self-importance not based on achievements) May state readily that their goal is to rule the world (Obviously, in order to be a sociopath a person doesn't have to exhibit anything like all the above. Usually, the lack of a conscience, the manipulation of others, dishonesty and the inability to love and/or have lasting and profound personal relations and cruelty are key symptoms and often much more revealing than having been in trouble with the courts.) More input and personal anecdotes from other Wiki s contributors to help you know if someone is a sociopath: First, you'll know a sociopath from the description/list posted above here. Also, as another poster wrote, get a book on sociopaths and it will help you beyond belief. Even a book or article on controlling personalities or borderline personalities will help you. Once you can identify the pattern you will begin to "see the light." Sociopaths are charming at first and may seem charming and normal to everyone around them. But they have an almost scary need for control. They will isolate you from friends and family and you will be tangled in your web before you know it. The key characteristics of a sociopath include: (1) having no conscience, (2) inability to treat others as human beings, with feelings and rights and (3) inability to learn from experience, from life. One result of this last is gross immaturity, though it may be hidden unless one knows the person well. A sociopath behaves as if he/she were the only person in the whole world and as if everyone else just existed for their benefit and had no existence in their own right. (4) Sociopaths treat other people as toys and hanker after the power to control and hurt their "nearest and dearest." (5) Many are monumentally self-important: They may pretend to be millionaires, when in reality they are sliding towards financial disaster. (6) Habitual dishonesty. He will charm his way into your life and heart, then take complete advantage of you - your emotions, your finances, your intellect. He will make you think you are the crazy one. Your friends will see right through him. He will isolate you from your friends and possibly your family. He cannot hold a job and will probably commit crimes - theft, fraud, forgery, and spend time in jail or prison. He will abuse drugs or alcohol. He may abuse you. My mother is a sociopath, and from all accounts, has been since she was a very young child. She's caused non-stop turmoil in our family, through three generations, and is a charming and frightening menace. I'm the only one to have gotten any counseling on the issue, and the only child so far not to be controlled by mental problems resulting from our upbringing. As such, I'm the "parent" as far as anybody in our family is concerned, and the dumping ground for complaints about her shocking awful hurtful behavior. I can recognize she never had any kind of "close" relationship with her father, but it pales in comparison to the way she treated and treats my siblings and myself. Her bad choices in male companionship have contributed to our family grief, but clearly aren't her fault. The book The Sociopath Next Door saved me thousands of dollars in therapy! It is very difficult to recognize a sociopath but in a nutshell, a sociopath is a parasite. There is no help because a sociopath does not want to be helped. A sociopath will attract you with his charm and bring you to his side, then he will toy with you, lie and show no remorse. Sometimes there will be a fake smile in his face while he engages in his malicious ways. When confronted, he will deny any responsibility, then back away from you and blame you for whatever wrong he did. What is worse, everybody will believe him because he is able to gain sympathy in a cunning and calculating way. My nephew is a sociopath. Growing up he would torture my cat, throwing lighted matches into her bed while she was resting. He would break and hide my mother's belongings and lie about it. One day, she caught him hiding the broken pieces of a porcelain figurine with the other missing objects. He lied to his parents accusing her of hitting him. He came to live with me when he started college. For six months I worked hard trying to make him feel at home. I helped him with his college work, and to get a job. For months I was lied and manipulated. I defended him when his boss accused him of lacking respect and attendance. I believed him when I accused of starting fights, drinking and smoking pot in campus. I even offered to pay for a week's vacation once the semester was over to celebrate his good grades, or at least the good grades he made me believe on. At last I found out he had quit college, had no job and had spent the vacation money. He just turned twenty years old. When I told him that he needed to keep a job and/or study if he wanted to stay with me he moved in with his current girlfriend and told everybody, including my family, that I had thrown him out of my house. Unfortunately they believe him. When I confronted him about his lies he smiled and said nothing. I have known just one sociopath, and he is among the top 10 people from my 72 years whom I won't forget. Al briefly changed everything in my family's life and my small business circle with his great charm, his earnest persuasiveness, his expert lies, his scheming manipulations, and finally his very destructive victory. He was an evil guy, but I have to admire his great skill in sculpting his world to suit his plans and fulfill his wishes. I'm not sure why I want to write this story. Maybe it's just to get it out of my system after all of these forty years. But it might perhaps contribute to the overall understanding of sociopathic behavior. I'm a little concerned that some people may be labeling everyone who has treated them badly as a "sociopath." Here are some examples of sociopathic behavior: 1. A member of the family develops a nose bleed. The sociopath's first reaction: :How dare you bleed on my carpet?" 2. Husband faints in wife's presence. Her sociopathic reaction as she steps over his body: "Hell! That means I'll have to collect the kids from school today." 3. Mother makes singularly vile false allegations, such as rape, against her own son and calls the police. When the police point out there's no evidence to support her accusation, she says, "But I feel just oh-so-violated," as if that constituted evidence. 4. Teenage daughter is diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia. When the psychiatrist orders inpatient treatment at a mental hospital with a special unit for teenagers, the sociopathic mother tries to prevent her going to hospital. When the father takes their daughter to the mental hospital, the mother threatens to abduct her! She tries to phone her daughter in hospital daily and subjects her to emotional blackmail. A number of mind-controlling cult leaders may exhibit many of the behavioral characteristics of a sociopath - an outstanding ability to charm and seduce followers. Since they appear apparently normal, they are not easily recognizable as deviant or disturbed. Although only a trained professional can make a diagnosis of whether or not someone is a sociopath, it is important to be able to recognize the personality type in order to avoid further abuse. I am kind of one... just so y'all know, it's not so much fun being one either. I read that sentence up there, "Incapable of real human attachment to another." I don't even know what that is, I see it, I approximate it... It's like being outside a door looking through a dirty window and watching re-runs of people I've seen in love or with children or with friends, and scratching, sometimes banging at the glass to get in and... nothing. I'm fond of people in every sense of the word, their little quirks and habits, the way they see life, except if they went away it wouldn't bother me much other than finding someone else to be fond of. I don't have friends; I only date military men because they're OK with only having a girlfriend for a couple months and I tell them in advance I won't wait for them... I don't know what else to do to limit the damage I inflict on others just as a result of them knowing me, short of moving to the mountains... but I still move between 2-5 times a year :( it's kind of hard walking around knowing I'll never have what i see making other people so happy and running when i can tell someone is getting close just because i don't want to hurt them more later down the road... I'd like it a lot to settle down, i WANT to be able to feel more with people, but it's hard to miss what you never had. i want what i THINK it would feel like... it'd be easy to give in and let someone stay because I'm so lonely... but hey, I've written enough, just know i try to be a responsible little sociopath, i won't ever get married or have kids, i practice safe sex, i won't stay in one city for long... everything you all take for granted i will never let myself have just because i WANT to take it for granted. being like this won't go away so hopefully i can limit the amount of hate thrown my way by limiting my interaction with people, i don't know what else to do. and you all might not believe this, but i am sorry, hopefully i can speak for the other people who have damaged your lives. 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. A sociopath does not have to be a person that is constantly in and out of jail, failing in being able to keep a job, nor constantly being broke. Sociopath's can be wealthy, have a great history in the work place and have never had any run in with the police. What they do have is the ability to manipulate each situation to where nothing is their fault. They are quick to give praise to someone, but use that as another way to draw them further under their control. They truly have no capacity to believe that anything they have ever done is wrong - even when caught in a bold faced lie. They don't pre-plan their "sociopathness" and how it will effect what they want - sociopath's are naturally that way. They are the way they are - to everyone in their lives - from when they were a child, throughout their entire lives. They do not have the ability to change the way they are. They may "mellow" as they age, but their need to have control over others, the need to be impulsive, their feelings that, even in lying, they never do anything wrong, and their ability to charm everyone they think they need to charm, does not leave them as they age. It's also very hard for someone involved with a sociopath to be able to see what they know is happening, even after catching the sociopath in the lies and manipulation. It's incredibly hard to decide to leave a sociopath, as well as stay away from that sociopath. The American Medical Association and American Psychological Society does not recognize any patient as a sociopath. A patient that would be called a sociopath in the vernacular most likely suffer from Antisocial Personality Disorder. So, ask yourself. Is he/she scatterbrained and flighty? Does he have trouble in concentrating on more than one thing at a time, to the point that he can endanger his safety or that of others? Does he fly into a rage at the slightest thing? Is he controlling and manipulative? Does he "have to" get rough to have sex? Does he lie a lot, or, if not, at least does he twist and slant the truth and leave out crucial details? Even if it's "yes" to most of these things, it could be something else. Numerous websites on the Internet will tell you that research using brain scanning technology has recently revealed that the brain of a psychopath functions and processes information differently. Are you involved with a psychopath (extreme sociopath)? You may not know because they can be very charming and friendly and can appear to be altruistic, until you get close and inevitably they do something threatening or immoral and then you must set limits that disappoint them. The near-constant state of frustration and dissatisfaction felt by a true psychopath is the source of not only their rages but those eerie, on-and-off-like-a-faucet tears. (Yes, tears are seen even in some men, though of course still more common in children and women.) But, don't assume anyone is a psychopath based only on the person's apparent attitude and behavior. It is far more complex than that, including factors in the pattern of the person's life and many other characteristics. Please don't go around assuming or calling someone a psychopath just because he/she may have some of the warning signs. Get a professional opinion from a qualified mental health professional if you think you are involved with a psychopath. And then ask what to do, not only for the psychopath but for yourself, because being involved with a psychopath is risky. Also: Bizarre brain waves from some parts of the brain and none from some other parts; epileptic seizures (usually grand mal); speech impediments caused by a chaotic way of storing information in the brain; low blood-pressure (hypotension); bradycardia (low heart rate); pseudoneurolepsy (falling asleep suddenly); a type of night-blindness caused by constriction of the pupils; sleep apnea; sleepwalking (somnambulism); other sleep disturbances; migraine or cluster-headaches with visual 'auras'; varying degrees of incontinence; lethargy OR wild excitement; unexpected sexual arousal; loss of sense of taste or smell; trouble with depth perception; inability to recognize facial expressions; inability to concentrate on more than one thing at a time; occasional inability to concentrate on anything at all; certain types of muscle spasticity or non-responsive reflexes associated with a peripheral neuropathy if present. Many people without ASPD can have any of these problems; without the key psychiatric markers for ASPD, these physical manifestations alone CANNOT be used as evidence of the diagnosis. (For example, Borderline Personality Disorder, which is in most ways the opposite of ASPD, can cause hyperalertness and very fast talking, behavior that also resembles that of a sociopath in a temporary state of excitement.) The general rule is that the autonomic nervous system of people with some Axis II personality disorders does not respond normally; in BPD the sympathetic nervous system (Fight-or-Flight) is overreactive; in ASPD it is usually (though not always) underreactive. Most of the physical problems a sociopath exhibits are neurologically based. They do not have the ability to change the way they are. They may "mellow" as they age, or burn out, but their need to have control over others, the need to be impulsive, their feelings that, even in lying, they never do anything wrong, and their ability to charm everyone they think they need to charm, does not leave them as they age. It's also very hard for someone involved with a sociopath to be able to see what they know is happening, even after catching the sociopath in the lies and manipulation. It's incredibly hard to decide to leave a sociopath, as well as stay away from that sociopath. One of the reasons for the above is that people can sense that the sociopath needs something, and they keep trying to give it and the sociopath/psychopath keeps trying to take it. But the sociopath cannot truly take in that healing energy of human contact. So, the sociopath becomes frustrated and instead looks to take unfair advantage. And the caregiver may give until it does him/her damage. This won't help anyone: leave therapy to the professionals. Mentally ill people, no matter how much trouble they cause, are sick, not possessed. And, yes, some psychopaths do terrible things, forfeiting their lives in the process. But most of them do not kill. They are, however, bitter and rageful, and often cause deep emotional suffering for others. The BEHAVIOR is evil, however the people are just what they are. Psychopaths/Sociopaths are the way they are because, from birth onward, the brain of a sociopath stores learning information in a random, chaotic way instead of in the usual designated places in the cerebral cortex. Part of this involves lack of crucial neurotransmitters, but as of yet no one knows whether this lack is caused BY the brain abnormality or is the cause OF it. It's probably the former. Another probable cause is the chronic under-arousal of the cerebral cortex of a true psychopath. Since their information -- including emotional information -- is scattered all over both brain hemispheres, it takes too long for the brain to retrieve and process information, and the entire process of socialization becomes so ponderous that ultimately it fails. (See the book "Without Conscience" by Robert Hare, PhD.) Since the entire cerebral cortex of a sociopath is almost never at a normal level of alertness (their waking brain waves resemble the waves of a normal person in a light sleep, alpha waves), this may be the crucial deficiency that cripples the developing child's ability to develop many aspects of the human mind. As the child grows, some of the basic mental and emotional skills the rest of the world takes so for granted never develop, and crucial among these is the thing called conscience. That one never develops at all. Some people may envy the apparent calm of a sociopath, but their existence is misery. They cannot connect with other human beings, and as babies they are so uncomfortable being held that they fight to wriggle free of all but the most basic necessary contact. Their heartbroken parents often blame themselves or the child, never knowing that what is really wrong with the child is in his or her brain. Under the almost somnolent calm sociopaths project is a constant sense of restlessness and lack of crucial fulfillment that is in truth nothing other than the basic need all people have to receive stimulation and support from others. But a sociopath has no way of receiving this even if it's offered. The endless frustration of this, and a discomfort that they are utterly incapable of articulating or even really understanding, is the source of much of their chronic anger and aggression. Plus, since they grow up in constant conflict with authority, they are most often bitterly angry and sometimes violent adults, brittle and combative under a thin veneer of charm. Offer friendship, they appear to respond, but quickly discover that they can get nothing from it; they see the obvious pleasure of other people in such contact with each other, and they often seek to "even it up" by stealing what they can -- material goods, or even human lives. They are constantly told how "bad" they are, and by adulthood, most of them believe it. And behave accordingly. Sociopaths rarely feel true happiness. If they do, it is usually in the condition that some kind of intervention -- such as one of the small number of medications made for other conditions that may also help somewhat with theirs -- has taken place, and it will be fleeting. For all their frantic racing around, they are really very dead inside, and this is tragic beyond description. 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 true hope for these incomplete people. The key lies in awakening the cerebral cortex of 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. 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. 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.
Asked in Narcissism, Sociopathy (Psychopathy), The Difference Between

What is the difference between a narcissist and a sociopath?

User Avatar
Narcissism, in modern psychology refers to an abnormal affection of one's own image or one's own personality. Narcissism is characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance and superiority. A sociopath suffers from an antisocial personality disorder which is defined by the APA (American Psychological Association) as ''a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood''. However, the term ''sociopath'' is highly controversial since the word literally means ''destroying society'' or ''destroyed by the society'' and thus it's an derogatory term not used anymore. All in all, both terms are used in psychology to refer to certain personalities, albeit it denotes different types of psychological phenomenons, or issues if you will.
Asked in Mental Health, Sociopathy (Psychopathy)

What is the difference between a conman and a sociopath or is there one and can someone be an addict with some characteristics and not be a sociopath?

User Avatar
You are talking about 3 distinct but overlapping things here: 1. Sociopath- This is a psychiatric diagnosis of a person with documented medically/psychiatrically diagnosable sociopathic behavior. Sociopaths behave without remorse or caring for other people. Serial Killers are often sociopaths- they have no feelings toward other humans and do not feel guilty about what they do. But many sociopaths are CEOs of companies, politicians, etc. Often the reason a person becomes a sociopath is that they were abused as children and learned not to care for or trust other humans (as a defense mechanism perhaps). They may have learned that trusting or caring for other people only leads to pain and thus they view these emotions as weakness. They put themselves first always. 2. Drug addicts or other addicts- Addiction is not neccesarily associated with psychopathy/sociopathic behaviors. Those addicted may engage in sociopathic behavior because their need for the drug or whatever is so strong that the needs of others are diminished in comparison to anyone else's needs. Due to brain damage or imbalances caused by drugs or unhealthy lifestyle, they may suffer from psychosis (various types of conditions where the mind is malfunctioning). Some addicts may be sociopaths. However, the addict deep down often feels ashamed of what they have done and wish that they were not addicts. 3. Con men- people who lie and decieve in order to steal money, property, or labor from another person. Con men often show little or no remorse, and are smug or proud of their actions, and often unrepentant (ie. Bernie Madoff). Con men would seem likely to be sociopaths, but again this would require a diagnosis. However some con men eventually feel guilty for what they have done and thus may have some other disorder or personality trait (antisocial, oppositional-defiant, etc) behind their behaviors. Making sense of all three: use a "Venn Diagram" So, all three of these areas are circles, and the circles overlap in the middle to form a clover. A person might fit into 1 or 2 circles, or even 3 (in the very middle of the clover). The person in all three circles would be a "sociopathic, addicted, con man"! Drawing it out this way is called a "Venn Diagram", one good way of representing the categories you've listed in your question. It gives you a visual picture of where an individual could land within the framework illustrated in the diagram. Think of somebody who has been in trouble like Amy Winehouse, Tiger Woods, Bernie Madoff or Justin Beiber, decide if they belong on the diagram at all, then try to pick a point on the diagram where you would place them if they do belong on there.
Asked in Adjectives and Articles, Sociopathy (Psychopathy)

What words can be used to describe a sociopath?

User Avatar
Antisocial Cunning Manipulative Narcissistic Narcissist Remorseless Soulless Unconscionable (without conscience) Beyond that, check the links listed below.
Asked in Mental Health, Sociopathy (Psychopathy)

What is a sociopath?

User Avatar
Antisocial Personality Disorder is also known as psychopathy or sociopathy. Individuals with this disorder have little regard for the feeling and welfare of others. As a clinical diagnosis it is usually limited to those over age 18. It can be diagnosed in younger people if the they commit isolated antisocial acts and do not show signs of another mental disorder. Antisocial Personality Disorder is chronic, beginning in adolescence and continuing throughout adulthood. There are ten general symptoms: not learning from experience no sense of responsibility inability to form meaningful relationships inability to control impulses lack of moral sense chronically antisocial behavior no change in behavior after punishment emotional immaturity lack of guilt self-centeredness People with this disorder may exhibit criminal behavior. They perhaps do not work. If they do work, they are frequently absent or may quit suddenly. They do not consider other people's wishes, welfare or rights. They can be manipulative and may lie to gain personal pleasure or profit. They may default on loans, fail to provide child support, or fail to care for their dependents adequately. High risk sexual behavior and substance abuse are common. Impulsiveness, failure to plan ahead, aggressiveness, irritability, irresponsibility, and a reckless disregard for their own safety and the safety of others are traits of the antisocial personality. Socioeconomic status, gender, and genetic factors play a role. Males are more likely to be antisocial than females. Those from lower socioeconomic groups are more susceptible. A family history of the disorder puts one at higher risk. There are many theories about the cause of Antisocial Personality Disorder including experiencing neglectful parenting as a child, low levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, and belief that antisocial behavior is justified because of difficult circumstances. Psychotherapy, group therapy, and family therapy are common treatments. The effects of medical treatment are inconclusive. Unfortunately, most people with Antisocial Personality Disorder reject treatment. Therefore, recovery rates are low. Here is a very different, minority perspective from someone who believes himself to be a sociopath:"Sociopath" is a misleading word: it implies a disorder, something wrong and unnatural with the person, and this couldn't be further from the truth. We, the people you refer to as sociopaths, have nothing wrong with us. We are necessary for the survival and sucess of the human species. Though we are found disporportionatly in prisons we are found with even greater frequency in your governments, your corporations, your military. Who else but someone devoid of concience could order thousands of soldiers to die, regardless of how noble the cause? Who can fire hundreds of workers to save a company from bankrupcy and then go to sleep that night? Who can so elegantly tell the lies that must be told, to protect the very people to whom the lies are told? It takes one of us to make those calls, the calls that the rest of humanity cannot make. It is no coincidence that our lack of guilt comes with abnormally high intelligence and charisma; we are born to lead, all our traits support this conclusion. We are born knowing it, and the rest of you know it when you see us. Its why you elect us, follow us, and gives your lives by our command. And yet a distressing number of us become the very thing you fear us all to be; criminals and abusers. This creates a cycle of ignorance, as all the "sociopaths" identified by the news are killers or wife-beaters, and so we identify this collection of gifts as evil, as pathological, and thus those of us in our proper roles feel the need to disguise ourselves for fear of being labeled evil. A simmilar cycle of ignorance has kept homosexuals oppressed for decades; homosexualty has been associated with childmolesters and perverts, drug use and desease, and it was called "evil" for this. We are not evil, you simply do not recognise the good ones as the same phenomena. Google "Sociopath" and all you find is ways to recover from contact with a sociopath, information advising you to run from relationsships with sociopaths, and misinformation that will claim that "sociopaths cannot feel love" or that we "cannot think of others as human beings" or that we are "parasitic". It is very distressing to discover, for a child who has always known that he was different, that he is a monster... that he is doomed to live a loveless life and become a criminal, that he will never be able to hold a job or raise a family. Indeed, one must wonder how often one of us discoveres what he is and buys into the paranoid misinformation and simply does what he is expected to do. Your question: "What is a sociopath?" is answered thusly: a sociopath is one of your potential leaders, labeled by the paranoid masses as something sick and evil, and is left no alternative but an evil path. "Sociopath" is a negative label which only serves to further alienate people who simply need to be allowed to embrace their gifts. Getting rid of this misleading term should be the first step towards fully understanding who we are and the role we play in this world. Comment on last answer The notion that all sociopaths are very clever is a myth. Many are failures who make others suffer for their inadequacies. Most sociopaths are profoundly chaotic types. It's a myth that sociopaths are born leaders. Instead of providing leadership, they treat others as their playthings, just as a bully or sadist does. A true leader has emotional maturity and earns respect. Fear isn't respect: the notion that the two are the same is pathetic. One cannot respect people who are incapable accept responsibility for their actions and constantly pretend to be victims when they are perpetrators.
Asked in Sociopathy (Psychopathy)

Can a person stop being a sociopath?

User Avatar
people can't help being a sociopath. they can hide symptoms, but that is about all they can do.
Asked in Narcissism, Definitions, Sociopathy (Psychopathy), The Difference Between

What is the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath?

User Avatar
There is a lot of debate about whether there is a meaningful difference between sociopaths and psychopaths. The DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by psychologists) lists both under the heading of Anti-social Personality Disorder, and there are different schools of thought on whether they should be treated as distinct. Psychopaths and sociopaths both apparently lack a conscience. Both will engage in behavior that harms others with no feeling of guilt or remorse, and rarely consider the risks to others implicit in their actions. They have an intellectual understanding of pro-social emotions, but seem to feel no emotional bonds with others. The result is that they can seem like perfectly decent and reasonable human beings in most situations, but can take bizarrely inappropriate actions to satisfy perceived insults, fantasies, or mere whims. Those psychologists who make a distinction between the two usually do so on the basis of organization. Sociopaths are seen as disorganized and rash, making extreme responses to normal situations. They lack impulse control. Psychopaths, by contrast, are highly organized, often secretly planning out and fantasizing about their acts in great detail before actually committing them, and sometimes manipulating people around them. Here are other opinions from the WikiAnswers community: Some claim that the terms are interchangeable, and others claim that Sociopaths can function in society and psychopaths cannot, or the other way around. According to the Princeton dictionary, they are synonyms of each other. Although the Psychological process of denial of Conscience within the MIND of a sociopath and a psychopath is the same dynamic [Esoteric processes], the particular Fate Karma of the individual determines which behavioral expression one engages in, and it is these behavioral expressions that modern mental health focus on and label as either sociopathic or psychopathic. Some argue the sociopath to be less organized in his or her demeanor, nervous and easily agitated - someone likely living on the fringes of society, without solid or consistent economic support. A sociopath is more likely to spontaneously act out in inappropriate ways without thinking through the consequences. Some argue that the psychopath tends to be extremely organized, secretive and manipulative. The outer personality is often charismatic and charming, hiding the real person beneath. Though psychopaths do not feel for others, they can mimic behaviors that make them appear normal. Upon meeting, one would have more of a tendency to trust a psychopath than a sociopath. cause of the organized personality of the psychopath, he or she might have a tendency to be better educated than the average sociopath, who probably lacks the attentive skills to excel in school. While psychopaths can fly under the radar of society, many maintaining families and steady work, a sociopath more often lacks the skills and drive for mimicking normal behavior, making "seemingly healthy" relationships and a stable home less likely. From a criminal standpoint, a sociopath's crimes are typically disorganized and spontaneous, while the psychopath's crimes are well planned out. For this reason, psychopaths are harder to catch than sociopaths, as the sociopath is more apt to leave ample evidence in his or her explosions of violence. A psychopath thinks 2+2=5 rather than 2+2=4. A sociopath knows 2+2=4, but hates to admit it. There is no difference between a psychopath and a sociopath. The original term was psychopath but mental health professions were concerned that the public may confuse psychotic with psychopath. Psychopaths are generally not psychotic but the terms sound similar. Psychopaths are not suffering from psychosis. In order to avoid confusion, the term sociopaths was created to replace psychopath. The is no difference between the characteristics of a psychopath and a sociopath. Psychopaths are born (Disorganized Episodic Aggression) and sociopaths are made (Organized Sociopathic Hatred) Sociopath: Egocentricity; Callousness; Impulsivity; Conscience defect; Exaggerated sexuality; Excessive boasting; Risk taking; Inability to resist temptation; Antagonistic, deprecating attitude toward the opposite sex; Lack of interest in bonding with a mate Psychopath: Glib and superficial charm; Grandiose sense of self-worth; Need for stimulation; Pathological lying; Conning and manipulativeness; Lack of remorse or guilt; Shallow affect; Callousness and lack of empathy; Parasitic lifestyle; Poor behavioral controls; Promiscuous sexual behavior; Early behavior problems; Lack of realistic, long-term goals; Impulsivity; Irresponsibility; Failure to accept responsibility for own actions; Many short-term marital relationships; Juvenile delinquency; Revocation of conditional release; Criminal versatility A psychopath is born that way. Antisocial Personality Disorder and Sociopaths are made through the environment. ALL psychopaths have an antisocial personality and may have traits of the "sociopath" as well BUT not all antisocial personalities are psychopaths! Both sociopaths and psychopaths are the common terms for someone who has Antisocial Personality Disorder, there is no technical distinction between these two terms because neither of them is official. However psychopaths are traditionally thought of as more physically violent, where as sociopaths are manipulative and deceitful. This is a politically charged topic in academic circles, and there has been a lot of debate- but, in general, nothing. Most academics use the terms interchangeably, with sociopath being the preferred term for sociologists/criminologists and psychopath the preferred term for psychologists. Some people use sociopath to mean a mild form of psychopath (i.e. someone who displays the behavioral traits but who lacks the emotional callousness). Some use sociopath to distinguish between those who were born psychopaths and those who were made into psychopaths by life experiences. Others use the term proto-psychopath to describe the latter group. Due to the confusion between psychopathy and psychosis, sociopath became the preferred term for a while, but leading researchers in the field still use psychopath. Psychopaths are loners that kill because their minds tell them to because they're influenced by their thinking and behavioral patterns. Sociopaths kill because they don't see reality in all that's around them; and what they see makes them display the persona, and the personality of a pathological liar, conceal their true identity, or disassociate from people, places and things. A sociopath seems to be more influenced by society, and less influenced, by their thinking patterns, and psychological behavior. The differences between a psychopath and a sociopath are there, many believe the two are synonymous. A sociopath is generally very charming and charismatic, as well as very manipulating. They are devious and underhanded before being violent. A psychopath is unpredictable and generally has no warning signs before becoming violent.
Asked in Narcissism, Sociopathy (Psychopathy), Self-Esteem

Can you manipulate a narcissist?

User Avatar
ANSWER: I lived with my N for 6 months in HIS home. He told me I needed to move because someone else was moving in. I found a place of my own. The morning of my move, he didnt believe me that i was REALLY moving. The next day, he showed up at my new place and hasnt left MY residence in 6 months. I let him use me for warmth all winter, fed him, washed his clothes and paid for nights out. Last week, I said to him "GAME OVER. ONE NARCISSIST TO ANOTHER, YOU THINK THIS APARTMENT IS REAL?" "WELL, ITS NOT!!! I BOUGHT A HOUSE ELSEWHERE AND THIS IS JUST FOR KICKS!" The look on his face was priceless. I told him "I ALWAYS TOLD YOU, ANYTHING YOU CAN DO, I CAN DO BETTER" He believes i am an N too (for the record, I am NOT) I just needed im out of my life. I havent heard from him in just over a week. It feels great. His mind is racing and it is HIM that is looking back and questioning where did HE go wrong, and how could he have not seen it. Yes you can and its rather easy to do so playing on their ego. I think we wonder if this is possible...if we can get them back for the sake of revenge and healing and ultimately understanding. I think that to others these people are transformative. You meet them at a certain point in your life and they will change you. You determine if it is for the better or for the worse. At first you try to figure out what the problem is and how to resolve it. Why does this person behave this way -- much the way we try to figure out how to prevent a tragedy once one has occurred. I think if you reach the point of arguing and you argue back you may have a difficult time manipulating. When I met the one I knew, one of the first things I said to him is, "I am using you". At some point later he told me that I was the most intelligent person he'd ever met. I think in general my life has been made better in knowing him and I think it has helped me understand some elements in my self that are closed off from emotion. Somebody who uses you also gives you power over them, and the more they use you the more power they give you ... think about it. A very simple example is that if someone uses you as a meal ticket they have also given you total control over their financial welfare. They are dependent upon you not to see that aspect. As long as you are used you are useful, and as long as you are useful you have considerable power at your disposal, if you choose to use it to manipulate. HOWEVER, should you choose to manipulate anyone, particularly for self gratification? If you start to manipulate as a way of life what kind of person will you become? I am tempted to say: What does it profit a man if he gains a whole host of Narcissists, but loses his soul. I considered manipulation only an option once I discovered he was an N 'and' I felt I was in danger certainly emotionally/psychologically but also physically. I needed to get my life's belongings from him and move out of town easily and safely. So basically, I didn't ruffle any feathers. I never let on to the seriousness of the situation (for me), I didn't truly express how awful he was making me feel, and I kept my true opinions to myself. This worked. But that's the furthest I took it and it was in the form of self defense. Otherwise, I would caution everyone here to think very carefully about learning how to manipulate. As honest and truly good hearted of a person I am, when I did even the the most minor of manipulation (above), I still had a taste of what you can gain from manipulation and how it could become addicting, or at least a bad habit. I made a conscience decision (as I have many times throughout my life) to 'be different' than my abusers. Becoming in 'any' way like them makes us no different. For me, I choose the higher road and strive for something better. I KNOW for a fact if I were to manipulate, I would feel terrible about myself, I would lose self-respect and in the end, it would only bring me unhappiness for the person I've become and those that have been hurt in the wake of my poor choices. There is TOO much suffering in this world. We can only control US and can choose not to contribute to the already alarming degrees of suffering on this earth. Every day you do not cause harm, you are actively reducing the amount of suffering and pain in the world. That is a great way to end your day - knowing you have made a difference toward making this world a better place and leaving a legacy (because it is contagious) of goodness rather than that which can only lead to pain and agony (either within yourself or in the heart and soul of another). Again, an N is easy to manipulate but so were each of us who got involved with one and how did that make us feel? "Paying it forward" in this case only perpetuates the very thing that caused our greatest suffering and the need for a site like this in the first place. Leaving the N and moving on to love and live, is the best legacy each of us can leave. I say this to myself as much as I say it to you. Best wishes, AlwaysLearning I don't think this question was actually really answered directly, so allow me to put my 2 cents here. I think a n can be manipulated to an extent, but they are VERY VERY DISCERNING and QUICK, so I wouldn't advise you trying to DUPE them. They catch on very swiftly to your attempts at "beating them at their own game" and the "what's good for the goose, is good for the gander" will get your goose COOKED IN SHORT ORDER! I'm in the process of trying to 'get back at' my ex N and have had to go through some pretty elaborate planning to get this going. I can't even begin to explain the 4 months of madness I experienced with this person. I have been able to manipulate her verbally to meet up with me for dinner, but I think she knows I'm up to something. It might be impossible. Oh my goodness yes you can manipulate a narcissist as long as you don?t allow him to know that you know he is one. Depending on what it is you want from him will depend on how you play out the scenario. A narcissist loves to help, be of assistance, and show his power, because he thinks that the end result will win him loads and loads of admiration and adornment and it will give him a reason to be able to ask you for something in return. Not that you have to gratify him by any means you can always say, ?something has come up?, ?I threw it away?, ?I can?t seem to find it?. You get my point. I was married to a narcissist for 9 years before he walked out the door in pursuit of having sex with as many women as he could charm the pants off of. The dear man ended up with genital herpes, and a yeast infection all over his face. He called me Princess until the day he left than I became a witch. He is so cute when he gets all angry and foul because he doesn?t realize he is his own worst enemy. I don?t get angry with him, or yell or scream nor do I compliment him or sooth him I just stand with a smile on my face and stare. I know I sound really horrible, but really I?m not it?s more like being at a sideshow. I get all sorts of things from him just by playing out the scenario to fit what ever it is I want. Need some more help just ask. Remember the narcissists life is a drama waiting to be played out. Yes, I have many more questions. I am married to a bad one apparently. I would love to talk to you more to compare notes, gain some insight as I am just finding out about this although Im not quite sure how to contact you. I am new to this site. I am desperately trying to learn how to deal with him. thanks! Yes, it seems possible to manipulate an " N" as long as you do not let them know you are on to them. Mine would go to great lengths to show his abilities. It seems such a waste of an otherwise brilliant mind. Also, as stated by others, they are clever and fast, so be careful if you choose to step into this water. Yes, I think it is possible to manipulate a narcissist. Narcissists are clever, but fools. Self-denial of reality and their problems makes them fools. Fearless and often stupid selfish transparent fools. They become very caught up in the pursuit of obtaining something from you. They sometimes get entangled in their own dependency and lies. A con-artist rides on the bet he can run his game on a mark. He rides it out to the end. A narcissist is clever, but remember he does not see himself or others fully...so yes, it'd be possible to use his very pride to string him along to get what you want. Sometimes, you just can't help but resort to using their tactics to protect yourself. Don't make it easy for them to keep taking. If someone started physically attacking you, you would be justified in using force to defend yourself. A narcissist attacks usually attacks in sneaky, nonphysical manners; therefore you must defend yourself appropriately. If manipulation works, so be it; he certainly doesn't give his behavior toward you a second thought. Look at manipulation of a narcissist as emotional self defense. Narcissists are "abuse controlled". They lack a sense of self worth. They are controlled by the "judges" in the room, or by the people who judge others on some self worth measuring stick. So, first, to manipulate a narcissist, give them a personal compliment that starts with "You are ..." that shows you measure people's self worth. Example: "Oh wow, I can't believe you figured that out. You are so smart." Or, you can ridicule others with the narcissist and imply that he is better than other people. The narcissist's self worht will start to rise. These are "pleasure nuggets" for a narcissist. After you've hooked the narcissist with a "pleasure nugget", deliver them a very covert underhanded nugget of pain. Give them an abusive comment that is so subtle, underhanded, unexpected, or humerous that they can't fight back. Like, "oh, you're married? Who's the unlucky woman?" Or, just do it through body language and look down your nose at them or snort with smart-assness at something they say that is a little ridiculous. The more subtly you do this, the more effective it is. Then, the narcissist will play the "rat game" for you. If you give a rat a piece of good food when it pushes a lever, it will keep pushing that lever even if the lever starts delivering it surges of pain. The narcissists will try harder and harder to get you to deliver another "pleasure nugget". And, they won't mess with you as much because they'll be too scared that you'll fight back. I was (and am still kinda) involved with a narcissist of the cruellest kind. My experience of manipulation was not very successful cause this guy was clever, scaringly so...BUT...you can sucessfully manipulate a narcissist when you detatch yourself from them emotionally. I say this because when the narcissist finds out about the deceipt be prepared for the heave-ho. You can also only manipulate them when they are requiring something from you, eg, your love, awe etc. If they don't want anything from you then you are as good as thrown on the rubbish tip and you wont even get to say 'boo', let alone manipulate them. Narcissists are the greatest discarders of other people so you really need to have some impact on their lives, no matter how small. Remember a narcissist will only be foolishly manipulated if he thinks he has control over you...he is not interested in anyone or anything he cannot control; hence not many narcissists like cats but are ok with dogs. But don't be a dog. If you are with one of these parasites think about leaving them because trust me they will leave you, physically. Emotionally they were never ever really there anyway. I say YES. The only way to really do it is to no longer be caught up in the illusion. By that time you might not want to take the time. It was part of my personal weening process. It seems against my value system and I am not necessarily proud of being able to figure out this kind of process...but it did help me get away from him. So I needed to do what ever it took to detach& accept reality, more to the point his reality. I myself tested out a mechanical like word process. I yelled when I was suposed to yell just so that I could storm off and get back home to my own bed.All the things that he knows are good ways of pushing buttons, I just smiled and seemed interested in rather than aposed to. I also tried on an old role that at one time was natural to me not super imposed and that was to act as a child, slightly demanding yet playful. It was funny just watching him have to acess the new info and work with it. This usually brought up anger, surprize surprize. it really didn't matter what I did. I could do the same thinngs and get all smiles and cheers one scene and absolute disdain the next. It got boring. Nothing was really happening. Eather way it is a lot of work. The one thing I did not want to do is really become so hateful/self consumed that I would actually enjoy the process of manipulation. That did not happen. I really just got tired & bored of the routine, cycles and at some point dis apointment was in the past and experiencing something real, truly connective and wonderful was on my desire list for things to do with my energy. Another thing, the manipulation is in my mind. he will never know about it because he is blind to his actions. I found out that my N was an N at the same time his best friend did. We compared notes and found out that this N was manipulating, isolating and playing us both. We decided to get rid of him, so together we concocted a plan that dealt him seveal irreversible 'blows'. We orchestrated the scenerio (without breaking any laws) and he didn't even know i was involved. It was important that he did not know of my involvement because he was violent yet his exfriend was not scared of him. His friend has some juicy dirt on him so he won't go after him, he'll likely just move on. So far, the manipulation has taken 4 months and is finally winding down. I have the desired distance to become 'detatched' from him so I don't get drawn back in. We did get back at him and turned one of his own games on him. It worked and hopefully he will just move on. My advice is not to go out and seek to manipulate or get revenge on an N, but allow yourself to get good and angry, it's part of the healing process and get out of the relationship without delay. If you have the opportunity and the support, by all means, plan your attack and make sure you make no mistakes. N's are clever and it truly amazed me how suspicious they are. The can see what you are doing if they are not involved (this N's mother - also an N - recognized one of my manovers and called me on it, it's like she had xray vision into my soul! Very scary. She was not involved in the revenge-chase away plot but I'm sure she has coached him to get rid of me and my his exfriend. It was like writing a screen play, every detail, timing and angle had to be worked out. We are both Non's and it was so exhausting. I can only imagine the energy the Narcissit exudes on a daily basis trying to create a world of their own vision. Been there, but don't recommend it unless it's to truly save, protect or mfg. a way to get the N out of your life. Be careful and it's best doing it with another non that has discovered the same N's deceptions. Yes, definitely, I think narcissists have been the victim of other narcissists at some point during their young life, and got hurt. They learned to detect other narcissists and avoid them... that is how they became narcissists themselves.... I don't think any narcissists want to be narcissists, i mean... at least they probably want to have a taste of what it is on the other side, to really feel.. and to let yourself go... but they scared and at the least hitch theyll get back in their shield. So why don't yall people try to find a way of helping them instead of finding ways of being cruel to them. This talk doesnt really encourage them to change. I think you can manipulate a narcissist.. If you are a potential source of narcissistic supply the more leverage you have I suppose.. These answers are all super helpful. I recently had my first experience with an N that I was conscious of (though I think I'd been exposed to them quite a bit as a child), and it was super super painful. He's still trying to paint me as a horrible person, for instance telling me "I hope you are more in touch with reality now" in a really patronizing way, as though I were the one with all the problems.. hehe the ironies run deep in our interactions. I want to address that second most recent answer, about why don't we find a way of helping them instead of being cruel. What I want to say to that is that many many people do try to help narcissists, all the time. At least, that is my impression. For instance, I gave hours and hours of my time to my recent N buddy.. doing spiritual and energy work with the guy, and counseling him on his past etc etc. In fact it was even working for a little bit, and he would kind of calm down.. but then, he would come up against the wall of his own incompetence (usually on some minor technical matter, he claimed to be able to do "everything" so it wasn't hard for these failures to crop up), and the tables would then turn viciously and suddenly. Faced with the task of avoiding his own imperfection, he would start to attack my sense-of-self & self-esteem in meaner ways than ever. And I agree, that most of them probably don't want to be this way, however for now I am still doubtful as to whether they can be helped just by a friend or lover. Maybe in a more formal rehab program though I don't think those exist yet for N's (pity!). At this point, I am still in the anger/healing phase.. and the part that upsets me the most is that I gave him all kinds of opportunities and new contacts throughout our friendship and now I fear he is trying his hardest to turn those people against me... because, he knows that I have seen through his lies, but some of them are still duped cuz its still such a recent interaction (someone with mainly only 'new' friends is a BIG red flag for that person being a narcissist by the way!!). Luckily, as someone else mentioned, N's really are their own worst enemy. There's not a lot you have to do other than get away from them because they are going to sabotage any of the new stuff that they falsely create around themselves. Like I say, right now I'm still really really angry.. but I hope that someday I can forgive and wish the best for this poor N soul who is not really feeling any human companionship and love. Also I hope that I will be safe as I interact with him over the coming month, since he is part of an organization now that I am involved in (and where I originally introduced him, sigh). Any advice on how to handle N's within an organizational structure is much appreciated!! Like, how much should I tell to whom? I'd love to be honest with my colleagues about what this N is truly like (and warn them frankly!), but I'm concerned they are still wrapped up in the false tale the N has spun and wouldn't believe me. ANSWER I'm really glad to find this discussion. I was with my N for 17 years, and what I have seen is that his disorder has grown much worse over time. It appeared as depression or uncertainty in the beginning. I see now that there was manipulation going on the whole time, but it wasn't until ten years into our time that things became so overt. And I of course tried everything, not understanding what I was dealing with. It seemed perhaps like addiction or early childhood stuff (which it is) , but he never stayed with any therapy. Now it is over and in this last year I have had to face the devastation of losing all I thought was real with him, as well as all that WAS real: the connections with his family and home, the history of our children growing up together...so many threads. He has ruptured all of it. I say YES, an N can be manipulated, and I also agree that they have no trust, are almost paranoid if they feel they are being controlled. But it is also true I think that in their self-absorption they can't see when they are being "worked" in certain situations. As part of my detachment and attempt to self-heal, I have instigated spending time with him doing things we always did, so that I could look at it all through a different lens. It is a risky way to deal with it, but it worked for me. I was almost conducting and experiment so that I could see how he acts and reacts without my emotional attachment to wanting him to be "with" me. I saw that he was completely willing for me to be the "other woman" in his new relationship. Rather than cheating ON me he would be willing to cheat WITH me. If I presented things to his advantage and made sure nothing was threatening, if I made myself seem slightly needy and very harmless, he let down his guard and I could get him to do as I wished. I didn't want anything harmful towards him. I wanted to get my power back , I wanted to be able to spend time with his family in his hometown, to honor the sincerity and honesty of my relationships with all of them and with him, too. He had the real thing from me, but tragically, REAL is the one thing he doesn't grasp. So my question is: Anyone have thoughts on how to deal with this? The world we hared is and was precious to me. Is it possible to maintain my connection? It seems the only way to do it IS through manipulation. His mother is very old and frail and has no influence on the situation. His brothers are somewhat distant, they know there is something wrong, but don't really engage with him about it. His life is so compartmentalized that no one sees the whole picture but me and a psychiatrist or two. I'm playing this by ear, and appreciate any feedback. ANSWER: In one way, this question is fundamentally flawed; the very sickness of a narcissist revolves around their viewing you as merely an extension of themselves or a means to their furtherance of their inordinate self-interest. Primarily, any desire to further engage with the N is undoubtedly giving acknowledgement to a relationship which has already been tainted by their loathing. However; no matter how desirable it may be to cease all contact with such immediately, obviously in the case of work colleagues, family and loved ones, a different approach may be required. On the matter of return manipulation, I would say that unless during the course of your negating the N's power they inadvertently assist you (taking the utmost care to not be duped), then the safest bet is to vote with your feet. A fully blown N (with NPD) is not worth the time taken to attempt to divide out any genuine friendship they may intend towards you, put simply they cannot afford the luxury of friendship when their own self-interest is so all consuming as to be positively dangerous. Such separation will undoubtedly be accompanied by a degree of fear, but a person so emotionally stunted is in fact, very ill and needs help, honest and treatment. Also; it is possible to mistake someone's actions as narcissistic, when in fact they are not. Discernment, making the decision to defer judgement and a more thorough investigation may be required to ascertain the level of culpability and actual level of disorder. Ask yourself: How can it be that something so closely related to something as simple as selfishness can be so overlooked, misunderstood and subject to frequent abuse ? Are we not taught that such is wrong from a small child ? Often ? And do not even evil parents teach their children so ? Where is the line to be drawn between being a charismatic individual. A person with flair, strong-minded, independent, not afraid to take the lead ? We are but one of billions of people on the planet. However important we are each in God's eyes, yet there is no reason to suppose that we are fundamentally more important that anybody else. If a person truly wants to be an individual, let them do so in their pursuit of righteousness. In this particular selfishness, God is sure to bless you. If that requires you to make money, raise a family, fight or take flight from your enemies, then so be it. Only when we allow ourselves the freedom to pursue the right can we become something which can truly benefit the human race (whether they accept it or not...). The mistake narcissists make is that they are making an argument for whether it be in our/their interest to be self-serving. But the real question is; in what way is being separate/joined to others leading to genuine righteousness, repentance and an approved relationship with The Creator ?
Asked in Sociopathy (Psychopathy), US Army, US Marine Corps

Is it smart to get into a relationship with a sociopath?

User Avatar
A relationship with a sociopath will GUARANTEE serious problems in you life. I'm not talking about minor stuff, I'm talking about life altering, negative stuff that can possibly end your life. Sociopaths are unpredictable and generally dangerous. RUN! Move away and change your name if necessary. ALSO: Sociopaths are the way they are because, from birth onward, the brain of a sociopath stores learning information in a random, chaotic way instead of in the usual designated places in the cerebral cortex. Part of this involves lack of crucial neurotransmitters, but as of yet no one knows whether this lack is caused BY the brain abnormality or is the cause OF it. It's probably the former. Since their information -- including emotional information -- is scattered all over both brain hemispheres, it takes too long for the brain to retrieve and process information, and the entire process of socialization becomes so ponderous that ultimately it fails. (See the book "Without Conscience" by Robert Hare, PhD.) Since the entire cerebral cortex of a sociopath is almost never at a normal level of alertness (their waking brain waves resemble the waves of a normal person in a light sleep, alpha waves), this may be the crucial deficiency that cripples the developing child's ability to develop many aspects of the human mind. As the child grows, some of the basic mental and emotional skills the rest of the world takes so for granted never develop, and crucial among these is the thing called conscience. That one never develops at all. Some people may envy the apparent calm of a sociopath, but their existence is misery. They cannot connect with other human beings, and as babies they are so uncomfortable being held that they fight to wriggle free of all but the most basic necessary contact. Their heartbroken parents often blame themselves or the child, never knowing that what is really wrong with the child is in his or her brain. Under the almost somnolent calm sociopaths project is a constant sense of restlessness and unfulfillment that is nothing other than the basic need all people have to receive stimulation and support from others. But a sociopath has no way of receiving this even if it's offered. The endless frustration of this, and a discomfort that they are utterly incapable of articulating or even really understanding, is the source of much of their chronic anger and aggression. Plus, since they grow up in constant conflict with authority, they are most often bitterly angry and sometimes violent adults, brittle and combatative under a thin veneer of charm. Offered friendship, they appear to respond, but quickly discover that they can get nothing from it; they see the obvious pleasure of other people in such contact with each other, and they often seek to "even it up" by stealing what they can -- material goods, or even human lives. They are constantly told how "bad" they are, and by adulthood, most of them believe it. And behave accordingly. Sociopaths rarely feel true happiness. If they do, it is usually in the condition that some kind of intervention -- such as one of the small number of medications made for other conditions that may also help somewhat with theirs -- has taken place, and it will be fleeting. For all their frantic racing around, they are really very dead inside, and this is tragic beyond description. Imagine spending your entire life trying to get your brain to wake up! And failing. Thousands of times. 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. The matter of missing neurotransmitters in a sociopath is, of course, another problem. Would "waking up" the cerebral cortex eventually stimulate production of these? Or would they have to be synthesized? Only time will tell. *** Hi, I have been through a relationship with a sociopath. I can tell you from experience it is a painful ride if you plan to help them or otherwise speaking-change them. One that requires hope, faith, preserverance and love. There are mainy risks involved to be a relationship with sociopaths as they are easily triggered by paranoia and other factors that can influence their behaviour. It is very difficult to help them but not impossible. As charming they may seem sociopaths will manipulate you, play mind games and hurt you in unimaginable ways. You will become a victim. A victim of turmoil that they can gain control over. For anyone who has the heart to put themself in vulnerability the best way to get close to them without getting hurt is to intellectually outsmart them. To be as unpredictable as possible and must not be easily taken advantage of. I can tell you they're not evil people. They are consumed by hate. They wish to eradicate "weak" humans, anyone who are considered less of importance in society. They also have high ambitions to pursue power to "rule" the world. Nevertheless, they're dangerous and are capable of anything. They need people who can withstand the harsh natures of them. People like me who are wiling to get hurt and yet still learn to get back up. As little remorse they appear to be, they do have a part of them that wants help. BUT I WARN YOU, the relationship can become a cycle. You would most likely find yourself confused. Please take this advice. I am a fifteen year old girl. Young as I am, I have learnt a lot. And from what i have told you, I hope you do too.
Asked in Sociopathy (Psychopathy)

Do sociopaths kill people?

User Avatar
not always but depending on how their emotions go on and so and what their mebtal state is maybe they could
Asked in Sociopathy (Psychopathy)

How can you help a sociopath?

User Avatar
Here is some advice and input: * The best way to help a sociopath: If you are married to one give him/her an ultimatum of either getting help or ending it (the relationship). Hopefully, you have support from family and friends that will help you through this. As you are probably aware, a sociopath believes their own lies and does not think that they are a problem. They think everyone else is the problem. If you have any children, then the best thing you can do for them is get out of the relationship, especially if your partner has no interest in going for therapy. I did and still have four children, and my biggest mistake was believing that things were going to get better, and I kept trying harder and harder. My two teens have many problems now and are both in therapy. My 15 year-old especially has no respect for me and thinks that I am the liar because, as you might know, the sociopath can be very manipulative. I also have been going for therapy, and my therapist told me that in order for a sociopath to get help they need to go for A LOT of intensive therapy sessions, and they have to want to get help. Most of the time they do not get help because they do not think they have a problem. My exhusband tells me that he just has issues with me he doesn't need to get help. "I am the crazy one." I have heard it all. No matter what your situation is at this moment I was there to I have four children two that have autism. If you partner is not willing to go and get help GET OUT! Do whatever you have to do especially if you have children. You don't want them to grow up to become like your partner and repeat the cycle. There are a lot of resources out there check them out if you don't have a support system. Its been about 2 years now I don't have much contact with my ex, and I have never felt better. It's like being let out of prison! I promise you will feel the same way. Maybe not at first, but you will. Life is too short to spend it with someone that treats you badly, and you will discover life is wonderful and fun and you won't look at a new day dreadfully as you once did. My suggestion is to tell them to get help if they are sincere, and if they do it then great! It's going to take a while. Remember, they did not become that way in a day, but if they don't want to get help, then GET OUT! * Most "experts" say that there is no help for a sociopath. They are born that way and will die that way. It is best to avoid them. * You cannot help a sociopath. They are incurable, manipulative and inherently evil. My only advice is this: -Avoid them at all costs. Even if it is family involved. -Set some rules. Tell family members that you want nothing to do with their issues and that you dont want to hear about her. When they start fighting amongst themselves just stay out of it. Completely! -Hope to God that whomever is with her will wake up and see what they are involved with. This will take some time, but rest assured that a true sociopath will eventually destroy her own marriage. Their life goes in cycles. You my friend, are unfortunatly just a temporary rest stop on their lifelong road to destruction. * I know there must be some way to have at least some improvement. I am bipolar and my medication helps me but doesn't fix me. Nothing will ever take my disease away. And I imagine that it is the same way for people who are sociopaths. * The book "The SocioPath Next Door" did wonders for me. * Sociopaths are taught at a very young age that they are close to worthless. They believe this and they then reject love and don't really understand it. They say, no no no I really don't deserve your love, I'll even prove it and then they do something horrible like lie or cheat or leave you. It has been said numerous times that the patient has to want treatment. That is probably the first and most difficult hurdle. But with enough love and faith and preserverence, I think you can help them. * Even psychologists must assess their patients in a scientific, controlled manner to have any hope in attaining accuracy. Our society should keep self-help books to rule our own actions and cease trying to apply limited, contextual information to label and control others for our own advantage. * Sociopaths, though born that way, are people too. To avoid an entire group of people is absurd. That's like saying, "Since these people have dark skin, everyone should completely avert themselves from them." I am a moderate sociopath, and though part of me doesn't want to change, another does. Many times it is really entertaining to see how stupid people can be, especially when they're so gullible as to believe every word that mellifluously flows from my lips. Yes, I am parasitic, but even so, there are some people I would like to stop hurting. I can't find any websites that can provide a way to help my sociopathy. Maybe people like you should stop your self-victimisation and start trying to actually help people like me! I knew I was a sociopath before the age of ten but have only recently had it officially diagnosed. I am eighteen years old now, and I have been lying and destroying others' sanity for a long time. So, please post some helpful tidbits that might help sociopaths resist the sweet urges we get when we encounter weak human beings. When you cut us, do we not bleed? When you kill us, do we not die? Do you honestly think that you're being lied to and manipulated when we sincerely ask for help. Listen to yourselves! This is the internet; ergo, you're safe from our fortified mental grasp. * I don't think there's enough support on the internet for the children of sociopaths. Lots of adult women are dating and marrying them. Not so many kids are trying to detach from them. I would like to change that.
Asked in Sociopathy (Psychopathy)

What does sociopath mean?

User Avatar
Sociopath is person with a mental disease. They don't follow the rules or moral of a society. They have a complete disregard for the feelings and rights of others. They don't feel remorse or guilt of their actions. They tend to be disorganized in his or her demeanor,nervous and easily agitated. They tend to spontaneously act out without thinking about the consequences of their actions. They are dangeourus to others and themselves. They need a lot treatment.
Asked in Sociopathy (Psychopathy)

When does your sense of taste work best?

User Avatar
When you eat or drink something.
Asked in Parenting and Children, Sociopathy (Psychopathy)

How do you treat a teenage sociopath?

User Avatar
The parent must recognize and seek help for the child, usually on recommendation of teachers and other professionals in the school system. This cannot be diagnosed by an untrained person. One specialist is Dr. Robert Hare of Canada; he has developed a specialized type of therapy that will help child psychopaths (sociopaths) veer off the destructive path and have the best life the illness allows! Arguably, he is the ONLY one who knows how to train therapists to deal with sociopaths, and has a special type of therapy developed for children with this devastating mental illness. See his BOOK, "Without Conscience," available at online bookshops, and you'll be able to understand much more. Here are three very different opinions from FAQ Farmers: * Be careful that you are not confusing social anxiety with sociopathy. Social Anxiety is technically classified as a disorder, but think of it like a symptom. Don't try to get rid of the social anxiety. Find out what is causing it before you try to overcome it. * "Sociopath" is a misleading word: it implies a disorder, something wrong and unnatural with the person, and this couldn't be further from the truth. We, the people you refer to as sociopaths, have nothing wrong with us. (That, while arguably true from a sociopath's perspective, does not mean one should not do something about the situation. "Sociopaths" can be quite damaging to those around them). Just as science understands that epilepsy is not demonic possession, that people with dissociative conditions are not harboring ghosts or devils in their bodies, and that depression is not a "deadly sin," it would and will be able to prove that sociopathy happens for a reason and that it can be dealt with. Sociopaths do very bad things. But branding them all "pure evil" isn't going to help anyone. It's just more hate.
Asked in Africa, Adjectives and Articles, Sociopathy (Psychopathy)

What should you do if you show 17 out of the 20 characteristics that describe a sociopath?

User Avatar
Self-Diagnosing as a Sociopath Here is input an advice: You should stop diagnosing yourself and get someone who is qualified to do it. It is very difficult to judge yourself on characteristics you've read. Let someone else who is qualified do that. The other poster is absolutely correct. Don't diagnose yourself! If you go under most diseases on the internet all of us could fit under most of them with the symptoms that are given. It is best to see your doctor and let him/her decide. I agree with the first two posts. I wonder if you are trying to diagnose yourself because of something you read here or because of someone you hurt or someone close to you who suggested that you are a sociopath. A sociopath self-diagnosing, realizing there's a problem and getting help is rare. Whatever the case, reading a description of mental illness online is not like reading your horoscope or a personality profile. You really have the potential to do serious damage to yourself or to people who love you. If you are really trying to get help and actually proceed in getting help not only to help yourself but others around you, then I commend you. But please DO IT. I commend the first three people who posted; never diagnose yourself with a mental or physical illness; seek professional help. That said, there is essential information about the subject of sociopathy that will help you understand it more, especially if you or someone you know do/does end up diagnosed with this bizarre and rather unique condition that is as common as one in twenty-five people... 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. Sociopaths do not usually "seem crazy" to casual observers; they are in a way 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. His test, the PCL-R, has not 20 but 24 points, and a score of 18 or more indicates the person is a psychopath. The test MUST be given by a professional mental health practitioner or researcher. Hare says that sociopaths can be helped but not cured. So, some believe all sociopaths to be totally beyond all help. 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. Being born with a genetic marker that, for reasons neuroscientists don't yet know, causes the cerebral cortex to process information in a chaotic way, and to miss much of the emotional information that would normally shape the growing child's mind and start the process of socialization. Robert Hare (see his book, "Without Conscience") worked with existing EEG and brain-scan (PET scan?) technology to show that sociopaths do not process emotional information the way other people do. It is believed that in childhood, a born sociopath learns to direct such input through other routes in the cerebral cortex, but as of yet no one knows what blocks the impulses and signals from following their normal route. Cortical underarousal, underactive sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system, and brain waves while awake (on EEG) that resemble the alpha-waves of light sleep, are all common or universal symptoms of primary psychopaths. In addition, more and more research shows that psychopaths lack the neurotransmitter Oxytocin (secreted by the pituitary gland) and often have only half as much Vasopressin (antidiuretic hormone) as most people do. Abnormalities are thus not confined to the cerebral cortex; they can be found in the cingulate gyrus and the entire limbic system as well. ANYTHING THAT AFFECTS NEUROLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE FETUS CAN POSSIBLY CAUSE THESE DEFICIENCIES. In addition to this, a child's brain develops exponentially after birth, and early development requires physical contact and stimulation in order to form the basis for interpersonal bonding; secondary psychopaths are thought to have lacked this; refers to Reactive Attachment Disorder too. 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 (other than me!) -- Sociopaths, though born that way, are people too. To avoid an entire group of people is absurd. That's like saying, "Since these people have dark skin, everyone should completely avert themselves from them." I am a moderate sociopath, and though part of me doesn't want to change, another does. Many times it is really entertaining to see how stupid people can be, especially when they're so gullible as to believe every word that mellifluously flows from my lips. Yes, I am parasitic, but even so, there are some people I would like to stop hurting. I can't find any websites that can provide a way to help my sociopathy. Maybe people like you should stop your self-victimisation and start trying to actually help people like me! I knew I was a sociopath before the age of ten but have only recently had it officially diagnosed. I am eighteen years old now, and I have been lying and destroying others' sanity for a long time. So, please post some helpful tidbits that might help sociopaths resist the sweet urges we get when we encounter weak human beings. When you cut us, do we not bleed? When you kill us, do we not die? Do you honestly think that you're being lied to and manipulated when we sincerely ask for help. Listen to yourselves! This is the internet; ergo, you're safe from our fortified mental grasp. 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. umm... i kind of am one... just so y'all know, it's not so much fun being one either. i read that sentence up there, "Incapable of real human attachment to another." i don't even know what that is, i see it, i approximate it... it's like being outside a door looking through a dirty window and watching re-runs of people I've seen in love or with children or with friends, and scratching, sometimes banging at the glass to get in and... nothing. I'm fond of people in every sense of the word, their little quirks and habits, the way they see life, except if they went away it wouldn't bother me much other than finding someone else to be fond of. i don't have friends, i only date military men because they're ok with only having a girlfriend for a couple months and i tell them in advance i won't wait for them... i don't know what else to do to limit the damage i inflict on others just as a result of them knowing me, short of moving to the mountains... but i still move between 2-5 times a year :( it's kind of hard walking around knowing I'll never have what i see making other people so happy and running when i can tell someone is getting close just because i don't want to hurt them more later down the road... i'd like it a lot to settle down, i WANT to be able to feel more with people, but it's hard to miss what you never had. i want what i THINK it would feel like... it'd be easy to give in and let someone stay because I'm so lonely... but hey, I've written enough, just know i try to be a responsible little sociopath, i won't ever get married or have kids, i practice safe sex, i won't stay in one city for long... everything you all take for granted i will never let myself have just because i WANT to take it for granted. being like this won't go away so hopefully i can limit the amount of hate thrown my way by limiting my interaction with people, i don't know what else to do. and you all might not believe this, but i am sorry, hopefully i can speak for the other people who have damaged your lives. Comment: The above testimony is clearly not indicative of a sociopath because she seems to make efforts to keep from harming others, even if it doesn't benefit herself. One of the things that would be necessary in the attempted recovery of a sociopath using neurosurgery or medication would be to then try to socialize the person whose congenital birth defect made such a thing completely impossible before. Sociopaths cannot be "resocialized" because they were never socialized to begin with; the parts of the brain that handle that did not develop at all in the sociopath. 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. The matter of missing neurotransmitters in a sociopath is, of course, another problem. Would "waking up" the cerebral cortex eventually stimulate production of these? Or would they have to be synthesized? Only time will tell. If you are a sociopath, like me, go out and wreck someones life, vandalism an expensive car, do something that ordinary morality would consider WRONG. Then think about what you have done. If you feel no guilt, no remorse, nothing, the you are a sociopath. Now, go to a therapist, and actually try to help them help yourself. I know that my therapist has helped me immensely. SabrinaSingularity with several additional other writers. Suggestion: Better to sign in; better to be a name rather than a number. ___________________________________________ That's 85% common characteristics... Did you know mice have about 30,000 genes, as do humans. Of that, 85% of their DNA sequencing are the same. I don't think that a human and a mouse are very similar. Nor do I believe 17 out of 20 characteristics(85%), make you a sociopath. http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/12/05/MN153329.DTL&type=science ___________________________________________________________
Asked in Sociopathy (Psychopathy)

If you are the mother of a sociopath what should you do?

User Avatar
== == == == And if you possibly can, find someone trained by Dr. Robert Hare of Canada; he has developed a specialized type of therapy that will help child psychopaths (sociopaths) veer off the destructive path and have the best life the illness allows! Arguably, he is the ONLY one who knows how to train therapists to deal with sociopaths, and has a special type of therapy developed for children with this devastating mental illness. See his BOOK, "Without Conscience," available at online bookshops, and you'll be able to understand much more. Has the child been professionally diagnosed as a sociopath? Or is this your personal opinion? If he or she has been diagnosed by a mental health care professional, I find it hard to believe they wouldn't have recommended some form of treatment. ANSWER I think a good idea would be to read bullyonline http://www.bullyonline.org/related/family.htm More info: Sociopaths are the way they are because, from birth onward, the brain of a sociopath stores learning information in a random, chaotic way instead of in the usual designated places in the cerebral cortex. Part of this involves lack of crucial neurotransmitters, but as of yet no one knows whether this lack is caused BY the brain abnormality or is the cause OF it. It's probably the former. Since their information -- including emotional information -- is scattered all over both brain hemispheres, it takes too long for the brain to retrieve and process information, and the entire process of socialization becomes so ponderous that ultimately it fails. (See the book "Without Conscience" by Robert Hare, PhD.) Since the entire cerebral cortex of a sociopath is almost never at a normal level of alertness (their waking brain waves resemble the waves of a normal person in a light sleep, alpha waves), this may be the crucial deficiency that cripples the developing child's ability to develop many aspects of the human mind. As the child grows, some of the basic mental and emotional skills the rest of the world takes so for granted never develop, and crucial among these is the thing called conscience. That one never develops at all. Some people may envy the apparent calm of a sociopath, but their existence is misery. They cannot connect with other human beings, and as babies they are so uncomfortable being held that they fight to wriggle free of all but the most basic necessary contact. Their heartbroken parents often blame themselves or the child, never knowing that what is really wrong with the child is in his or her brain. Under the almost somnolent calm sociopaths project is a constant sense of restlessness and unfulfillment that is nothing other than the basic need all people have to receive stimulation and support from others. But a sociopath has no way of receiving this even if it's offered. The endless frustration of this, and a discomfort that they are utterly incapable of articulating or even really understanding, is the source of much of their chronic anger and aggression. Plus, since they grow up in constant conflict with authority, they are most often bitterly angry and sometimes violent adults, brittle and combatative under a thin veneer of charm. Offered friendship, they appear to respond, but quickly discover that they can get nothing from it; they see the obvious pleasure of other people in such contact with each other, and they often seek to "even it up" by stealing what they can -- material goods, or even human lives. They are constantly told how "bad" they are, and by adulthood, most of them believe it. And behave accordingly. Sociopaths rarely feel true happiness. If they do, it is usually in the condition that some kind of intervention -- such as one of the small number of medications made for other conditions that may also help somewhat with theirs -- has taken place, and it will be fleeting. For all their frantic racing around, they are really very dead inside, and this is tragic beyond description. Imagine spending your entire life trying to get your brain to wake up! And failing. Thousands of times. 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. The matter of missing neurotransmitters in a sociopath is, of course, another problem. Would "waking up" the cerebral cortex eventually stimulate production of these? Or would they have to be synthesized? Only time will tell. Just as science understands that epilepsy is not demonic possession, that people with dissociative conditions are not harboring ghosts or devils in their bodies, and that depression is not a "deadly sin," it would and will be able to prove that sociopathy happens for a reason and that it can be dealt with. Sociopaths do very bad things. But branding them all "pure evil" isn't going to help anyone. It's just more hate. I have commented elsewhere that the human brain is the greatest new frontier in many ways. (Although I certainly have no lack of interest in space.) Sociopaths, along with other "hopeless cases" like people with Alzheimer's disease, Down's syndrome, Asperger's, ADD, ADHD, autism, and the schizophrenias, along with more common disorders such as depression and addiction, and so on, are a mystery, but scientists have a way of hammering away at mysteries until they unravel them, and, be assured, they are well on their way to the core of this one. NEW INFORMATION: It is now known that it can be diagnosed in childhood, since the underlying brain dysfunction is present at birth. It was up until very recently believed that children cannot be diagnosed as psychopaths; the newest research, recently published, says that it starts in the womb. The condition is inborn and, so far, incurable. But neuroscience will almost certainly be able to develop some way of compensating for and even partially correcting this terrible condition with the use of computer chips and other artificial implants in the brain, and as well a certain type of specialized inpatient therapy geared to awakening as much as is possible in the person as soon as the condition is diagnosed. One of the problems with anything wrong with one's central nervous system is that if it's severe and pervasive enough, it can interfere with the autonomic and peripheral nervous systems as well. In psychopaths, such maladies as what was once called neurasthenia (a state of unnatural sedation) or epilepsy (seizure disorders) are far more frequent than in the general population. Many people who are not psychopaths have some of the more than 100 forms of peripheral neuropathy, but some of these may be more common in psychopaths. The autonomic nervous system, which prepares the body for emergencies (fight-or-flight) is erratic and inefficient in a psychopath, which can, in some situations, lead to fatal accidents; human beings have adrenaline for a reason, and the sympathetic nervous system of a true psychopath is sluggish and cannot sustain arousal for long. (In Borderline Personality Disorder, the problem is the opposite: the sympathetic nervous system responds too easily, too strongly, and way too often!) Aside from this is the fact that a true psychopath has an extremely peculiar brainwave pattern: while awake, their brain waves most resemble a hybrid of normal waking brain waves and alpha-level sleep waves. And they often tend to sleep deeply. Emotionally, they are cold, detached, distant, and yet deeply resentful of normal people. They know they're missing something, and often spend most of their typically short, tragic lives avenging themselves on others for what they cannot ever enjoy. So they are not truly emotionless, but they do not love, do not know true joy, and are hostile and destructive. This ISN'T the work of the Devil; it's Nature gone horribly awry. ANYTHING THAT CAN DAMAGE THE DEVELOPING NERVOUS-SYSTEM IN A FETUS OR VERY YOUNG CHILD CAN CAUSE OR SEVERELY EXACERBATE THIS CONDITION. THAT INCLUDES STREET DRUGS, ALCOHOL, and even SMOKING!!! It also includes some medications; check with your obstetrician before taking anything at all during your pregnancy! During delivery, using a forceps to grasp the baby's head should be avoided if at all possible. Any touching of the area over the FONTANEL (soft spot on top of the baby's head) must be done with caution until the fontanel has closed. Any head injury that causes dizziness -- even without loss of consciousness -- should be treated as a medical emergency. And another thing: NEVER SHAKE YOUR BABY!!! NO MATTER WHAT!
Asked in Sociopathy (Psychopathy)

How can a sociopath summon tears as a manipulative tactic?

User Avatar
The near-constant state of frustration and dissatisfaction felt by a true psychopath is the source of not only their rages but those eerie, on-and-off-like-a-faucet tears. (Yes, tears are seen even in some men, though of course still more common in children and women.)
Asked in Narcissism, Sociopathy (Psychopathy), Emotions

Can someone become a psychopath after birth?

User Avatar
That depends, you can become an psychopath if you have within a short time killed allot of people and afterwards seen no regret in it, this is "common" in military district, but what you can do is developing an structure which will might even have better goods than an psychopath i.e. instead of having the tools as an psychopath and make nothing good about it, you can use it instead for situations such as in wars, bulling, boss-management and even every day common life in order to protect you and your friends/family.
Asked in Sociopathy (Psychopathy), Cigarettes, Space Aliens

What causes a person to be a sociopath?

User Avatar
Sociopathy/Psychopathy would be defined as a syndrome with strong behavioral features of impulsivity and fearlessness and a strong interpersonal domain comprised of aggressive social relations, manipulation, rebelliousness, self-centeredness, and a tendency to externalize blame. One twin study suggests that psychopathy has a strong genetic component. The study demonstrates that children with anti-social behavior can be classified into two groups: those who were also callous acquired their behavior by genetic influences, and those who were not callous acquired it from their environment "The amygdala is crucial for stimulus-reinforcement learning and responding to emotional expressions, particularly fearful expressions that, as reinforcers, are important initiators of stimulus-reinforcement learning. Moreover, the amygdala is involved in the formation of both stimulus-punishment and stimulus-reward associations. Individuals with psychopathy show impairment in stimulus-reinforcement learning (whether punishment or reward based)and responding to fearful and sad expressions. It is argued that this impairment drives much of the syndrome of psychopathy. There is a strong genetic link and much evidence to support the idea that psychopathy is passed down and is biological. Psychopaths don't have the same physiological responses to fear that constrain the behaviour of normal people, such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, dry mouth, trembling and muscle tension. Psychopaths don't have physiological responses to emotionally charged words such as "love" and "death" the way regular people do, suggesting that they process emotional stimuli differently. When one identical twin is psychopathic, the other is more likely to be psychopathic than those in the general population. Adoption studies indicate that children can inherit psychopathic traits from a psychopathic parent even when they are raised by different parents. When compared to non-psychopaths, differences have been found in a number of brain chemicals among psychopaths. They are often reported as having an evil stare, sometimes with eyes that appear black rather then colored
Asked in Sociopathy (Psychopathy)

How do you deal with a female sociopath?

User Avatar
Just because she is "female" doesnt mean anything. A sociopath is a sociopath and the only way to "deal" with them is to stay as far away as possible.
Asked in Relationships, Sociopathy (Psychopathy), Comanche Indians

Do sociopaths usually marry?

User Avatar
Yes. They marry because they are parasites. They want ultimate control of others and marrying provides them some insurance of that control. They want to sponge off others emotionally, financially...any way they can. They will often tell you that you are their "soul mate" and they will want to move in with you. They talk about marriage very quickly...usually within the first few dates. Sociopaths are not the serial killers we think they are. They look like you and I. But they do great harm to others psychologically, emotionally and often financially (although this is not always their goal). There are many unexplained suicides left in the wake of a sociopath. They literally make other people think they're crazy. It is important that people learn what sociopathy means. We have a growing epidemic in our culture and the estimate, unless it's gone up, is that 1 in 25 people are sociopathic. If you're dating someone who lies, who cheats, who has no regard or empathy for you, it is important to look up sociopathy. Criminal backgrounds, checking for aliases, learning about their past...it's all very important. Sociopaths are very good at deceiving people to think they're upright, decent people. They often volunteer and are "pillars of their community". Underneath the facade they are monsters. If you are in an intimate relationship with one you may have already seen the "mask" crack to reveal the abusive people that they are (usually men). Silent treatment, emotional manipulation, gaslighting are all tools they use. They want you to feel guilty and accountable for what they do and to make you think you have problems if you don't do what they want. They can be very covert in their tactics and it doesn't mean that they aren't abusing you. You need to understand ambient and covert abuse. Abuse is not just physically or verbally hurting another. It is any method used to control, confuse, belittle another person. To strip one of their self-esteem. Do sociopaths marry? Yes. They can't stand to be alone. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.