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Are you/have you known anyone who's a sociopath?

AlwaysCurious

AlwaysCurious

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I'm just thinking about this again in part because I just binge watched The Sopranos. I used to have an obsessive fascination with them because I read this book in college (this was a long time ago) called "The Sociopath Next Door".

Personally, I have seen people behave in a low-empathy or anti-social way on numerous occasions, people very regularly don't show empathy or compassion for other people. For this reason, I'm skeptical of the disorder as a form of illness. From documentaries and other online research, it seems like there are some individuals who have a severely reduced emotional capacity, for example a lot of serial killers just want to feel something because they are so miserable, so engaging in a form of sadism is worth it to them. I don't know if anyone i've known has been a sociopath but yes I've seen people act in highly manipulative and sadistic ways, this includes myself. I also think "sociopaths" or "psychopaths" are in part a product of the criminal justice system: there are certain types of behaviors seen as irredeemable or "sick", and also people who engage in criminal activity expose themselves to a range of behaviors that isolate them from "normal" people.
 
Lone_wanderer

Lone_wanderer

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My mum was a narcissist, my step dad most definitely a violent sociopath. A lot of people I met when I used drugs were most definitely so.
 
MildlyIrritated

MildlyIrritated

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A truly repugnant human being wrapped around a veneer of "perfection".
 
AlwaysCurious

AlwaysCurious

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A lot of people I met when I used drugs were most definitely so.
overall still an interesting subject matter to me, your response in terms of it being related to drug users tells me it's a learned habit of behaviors from being in environments that have little love or genuine concern...this is not to say it's good to feel sorry for sociopaths as that's dangerous, but i do think that understanding them is very important if we want to live in a world without them.
 
MollyBloom

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My mother is a narc and on my previous work place one colleague who had set up all my colleagues against me, was a sociopath too.
 
jajingna

jajingna

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Hard to say for sure, but perhaps a few characters I met years ago would qualify for some sort of Personality disorder.
 
S

SugarAndRainbows

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Hi! :D
I am diagnosed with ASPD (AntiSocial Personality Disorder) and have psychopathic traits. Might not be exactly what you mean but I think I am close enough.

I'm just thinking about this again
I couldn't really find a question to answer in your post so I'll pick up on the "thinking" part and post some of my thoughts in response. :)

I'm skeptical of the disorder as a form of illness
Psychopathy is an established area of study commonly recognised by most if not all professionals (but not as a diagnostic term. You can not be diagnosed with psychopathy). The closest diagnose is ASPD which is not an "illness" per se but rather a personality disorder. Many, but not all, psychopaths and sociopaths (also known as Factor 2 psychopathy) also fit the criteria for ASPD. You can not be "cured" from ASPD but we can learn to control certain behaviour and not act on all impulses.

a lot of serial killers just want to feel something because they are so miserable
If the serial killer is a psychopath (and here I am talking about Factor 1 psychopathy) they do not feel miserable. Not all serial killers are psychopaths though and people with empathy and remorse can definitely kill people as well, and they would probably feel miserable.

engaging in a form of sadism is worth it to them
Engaging in sadistic acts of violence is probably not a result of feeling miserable in the case of a psychopath. I love revenge and sometimes fantasises about it, I feel great if I can totally dominate and control a person who wronged me so that could be one reason. Another could be curiosity actually, I did the whole killing animals as a kid and it was not in an act of strong emotions but rather curiosity. A third reason could be to attack the chronic boredom that we feel, it is very hard to find something that tickles that particular itch, and once you have found something you get accustomed to it and you don't get the same thrill from it so you need a "stronger fix".

I also think "sociopaths" or "psychopaths" are in part a product of the criminal justice system
Professionals don't agree as far as I understand. Most science points to psychopaths brains working differently. Now, looking at ASPD (most closely related to Sociopathy or Factor 2 psychopathy) you can get the diagnosis even if you feel remorse and have empathy! This is because the diagnosis criteria is so heavily focused on behaviour, and you don't need to fulfill ALL criteria to get the diagnosis. This is, in my opinion, a weakness with the diagnostic tool. But anyway, back to the topic. :) ASPD requires you to have had a Conduct Disorder (or that you should have gotten one if you were examined) before the age of 15. It is more likely that sociopathy is a result of an abusive environment rather than a tackle with the criminal justice system (even though that probably happened in youth as well. I did have a few talks with the police at least).

people who engage in criminal activity expose themselves to a range of behaviors that isolate them from "normal" people
I agree with this exact statement that I quoted but I don't know if the meaning was different given the surrounding context that I yanked it out off. Not a native english speaker so I might have misunderstood some stuff. :)

Feel free to DM me with any questions you might have. I'll be keeping an eye on this thread as well, seems a little bit interesting. :)
 
AlwaysCurious

AlwaysCurious

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Thanks for the first hand perspective SugarAndRainbows, my comment on the criminal justice system has more to do with the fact that sociopaths are often associated with illegal activities, whereas legal activities with anti-social implications (activities that harm) are usually called something else, but understanding that i don't know is the reason I am asking. I never assume people are just inherently bad but clearly if someone does something, or a series of things, it would be natural to want to avoid them.
 
S

SugarAndRainbows

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No problem, I think it is important to get more information out there from the ones living it because when I read about the topic I can't relate to most of it. :)

Yes, sociopaths often do have criminal behaviour and drug use and as you say anti-social behaviour. But if the criminal behaviour, drug use and anti-social behaviour could be reduced or completely stopped, would a sociopath still need to be avoided? Therapy for psychopaths and sociopaths with the most success has been on reducing the negative behaviour. They are still unable to feel empathy and remorse but they can act in a way that doesn't hurt society as much.
What I'm after is that assholes should be avoided, sociopaths or not. If you are in a relationship with someone who hurts you it doesn't matter if they would fit the sociopathic profile or not, you are in danger and need to get out.

One reason, and maybe this is what you are really after, is that the potential for extreme actions of any kind are obviously higher when dealing with a sociopath or a psychopath and as a way of risk mitigation contact could be avoided. No solution no matter how extreme is ever completely off the table, there is never a zero risk of anything when dealing with us I think.

:D
 
J

Jigglypuff Fan

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I have known someone who definitely was a sociopath looking back. He was a kid I had to play with for several years and I eventually dreaded having to spend time around him. The backstory of how I met the kid and why I had to play with him begins with the crazy woman that helped raise me. She had met these two women, a mom and her daughter, somehow and the mother owned a beauty salon in a town about a thirty minute drive from where I lived. The crazy lady would take my sister and me to get our hair cut at this salon. Eventually we were invited to a Sunday dinner at their house which was a short drive from the salon. The daughter had a son two or three years younger than me and I was told to play with him while the adults did their own thing. My sister stayed with us the first couple of times but then the mom began teaching my sister how to cook some stuff and my sister eventually began helping make dinner. The daughter was in her 20s and was nice but something always seemed off with her as she always seemed tired. I later heard that she had died of a drug overdose. Anyway the kid seemed normal at first and then after a year, he began to change in a bad way.

The first time I can recall him scaring me and doing something pretty sociopathic was when he literally tore a stuffed dragon about two feet tall apart with a pocketknife. I remember him saying that he was going to do it and I said that I didn’t think it was a good idea but he did it anyway. I remember standing there in shock and unable to move as I saw him rip the toy apart and stabbed it with the knife. His mom then came in and saw the mess and acted very strangely. She was actually annoyed by the mess and not really angry or even horrified that her son had just used a pocketknife to rip apart a toy. She just said, “Oh look what you did! That was a gift and you just ruined it.” This was when I was eight and he was six.

This kid would also force me to do whatever he wanted to do by threatening not letting me do anything at his house if I refused. Remember I couldn’t just leave his house and walk home. I had to stay out of the adults’ way. So he made me walk with him to his aunt’s house one day and when we got back, we were both punished for it but no one had ever asked me why I did it. I did it because he had threatened to make sure I couldn’t do anything in his house if I didn’t comply and that included watching tv or playing video games. He did this to me all the time even when he came to my house. I eventually told another friend about how bossy this kid was and the crazy lady overheard me and punished me without ever asking me why I called the other kid bossy. He also had no boundaries for privacy and would kick open the bathroom door just for fun if you were in it. I dreaded having to spend the night and needing to shower at his house. A few time he did this to me I actually screamed because he scared me. This kid even threw this really nice locket that electronically played Let Me Call You Sweetheart And had this nice picture of him with his mom into a neighbor’s Bush where it got lost. He did that just for laughs. At some point the crazy lady got mad at the daughter and stopped being friends and I never had to see this kid again which made me happy.
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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Yep, I have ASPD. Actually, BPD with high sociopathic traits.
 
Bluejay7500

Bluejay7500

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Don’t think I have those but I do have a pretty violent fight or flight response. I think it’s hard to get diagnosed this way no? I mean those are just actors.
 
T

turnitoffandonagain_again

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Pretty sure I grew up around at least one.
 
S

Simple2021

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somewhere
I'm just thinking about this again in part because I just binge watched The Sopranos. I used to have an obsessive fascination with them because I read this book in college (this was a long time ago) called "The Sociopath Next Door".

Personally, I have seen people behave in a low-empathy or anti-social way on numerous occasions, people very regularly don't show empathy or compassion for other people. For this reason, I'm skeptical of the disorder as a form of illness. From documentaries and other online research, it seems like there are some individuals who have a severely reduced emotional capacity, for example a lot of serial killers just want to feel something because they are so miserable, so engaging in a form of sadism is worth it to them. I don't know if anyone i've known has been a sociopath but yes I've seen people act in highly manipulative and sadistic ways, this includes myself. I also think "sociopaths" or "psychopaths" are in part a product of the criminal justice system: there are certain types of behaviors seen as irredeemable or "sick", and also people who engage in criminal activity expose themselves to a range of behaviors that isolate them from "normal" people.
Hello,

I'm a sociopath and willing to answer any questions you might have
 
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