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Lacking empathy/fearing sociopathy

Samsara81

Samsara81

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I suppose this statement is conflicting.

I’ve been on therapy since 16 years, I’ve been on intensive Body therapy, CBT and currently Trauma therapy due to DDNOS.

My mother was experiencing violence while she was preganant with me, Igrew up in a abusive household, we moved frequently, I was left at different places, experienced sexual abuse, was kept hostage as a child, grew up in catholic boarding schools with nuns.. etc. Where there were Punishments like kneeling down for hours or cleaning floors as a child.

I grew up with a mentally ill caregiver, and I was also socially incapacitated as a young adult, when I needed to become independent, earn a living, find friends and Do what other young people in their early twenties usually do.

For me it was about hours of therapy, psychiatric hospitals, psychiatrists etc. Now I’m a 40 year old woman, I’m married. My husband has mentioned that he loves me although he believes that I have sociopathic traits. I’ve decided not to have children as I am unable to build any deep attachment to another human being.

I’ve spoken about this with my therapist, who doesn’t think this is the case, but does mention that I lack empathy. If people cry I do console them, but I don’t feel much, I try to be kind, I offer kind words, because these are the skills I’ve internalized. I don’t care much for babies, animals or anything which people might consider as „cute“. I can come off kind, but if I really need to survive I canals harm anyone and I don’t care.

Im realizing that internally I’m quite one dimensional, I lack the inner capacity to profoundly feel connected to someone else. I suppose this is a beautiful thing, it’s this inner abundance I’m missing. Well empathy being on a spectrum, I’m learning and analyzing.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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I think it is natural that you would have shut down certain parts of your self to survive.

Maybe you feel you have survived so much, others can cope on their own too.

Have you ever had a pet? Could you try and see?
 
2

2Much2Feel

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I suppose this statement is conflicting.

I’ve been on therapy since 16 years, I’ve been on intensive Body therapy, CBT and currently Trauma therapy due to DDNOS.

My mother was experiencing violence while she was preganant with me, Igrew up in a abusive household, we moved frequently, I was left at different places, experienced sexual abuse, was kept hostage as a child, grew up in catholic boarding schools with nuns.. etc. Where there were Punishments like kneeling down for hours or cleaning floors as a child.

I grew up with a mentally ill caregiver, and I was also socially incapacitated as a young adult, when I needed to become independent, earn a living, find friends and Do what other young people in their early twenties usually do.

For me it was about hours of therapy, psychiatric hospitals, psychiatrists etc. Now I’m a 40 year old woman, I’m married. My husband has mentioned that he loves me although he believes that I have sociopathic traits. I’ve decided not to have children as I am unable to build any deep attachment to another human being.

I’ve spoken about this with my therapist, who doesn’t think this is the case, but does mention that I lack empathy. If people cry I do console them, but I don’t feel much, I try to be kind, I offer kind words, because these are the skills I’ve internalized. I don’t care much for babies, animals or anything which people might consider as „cute“. I can come off kind, but if I really need to survive I canals harm anyone and I don’t care.

Im realizing that internally I’m quite one dimensional, I lack the inner capacity to profoundly feel connected to someone else. I suppose this is a beautiful thing, it’s this inner abundance I’m missing. Well empathy being on a spectrum, I’m learning and analyzing.
Welcome to the forum, @Samsara81. Think you'll find it helpful here, as I know there are others who can relate to what you're describing. Best of luck to you. xx
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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I think it is natural that you would have shut down certain parts of your self to survive.

Maybe you feel you have survived so much, others can cope on their own too.

Have you ever had a pet? Could you try and see?
I strongly believe if I had not grown up with my beautiful cats who I loved so much from as long as I can remember, and also my mum, I would probably be a full blown sociopath.
 
Samsara81

Samsara81

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think it is natural that you would have shut down certain parts of your self to survive.
There might be a neurological Basis (In my case) For the lack of empathy. In order to get results on that I need psychiatric evaluation.
I don’t have a Risk taking behavior, I’m not impulsive and sensation seeking.. so some of the key traits are missing.
 
T E_90

T E_90

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Very hard and sad backstory, not surprised you have problems, dealing with all the aftermath of your traumas.

I had traumas too, all my childhood and teen years has been a nightmare, but I don't remember much, most of my bad memories has been replaced with nicer ones, according to my friends, family and psychiatrist.
This, though, have left results on me apparently, since I had problems of stealing and scaring my peers from the age of 8 years old, and tried to kill my cat.
I remember my need for control, the anger and the frustration, and at the time, those were the only thing where I could vent on.
In my teen had more behaviours problems, alcohol problems, anger and impulsivity, and it's getting worse. Moreover I can't help lying compulsively, and I lack empathy for anyone (except for animals).
I do have a diagnosis from the psychiatrist for it,
but that doesn't change a f* for me honestly.
I'm working on my past to understand my behaviour, anger and unusual urges.
We are the results of our upbringing.

I get your not wanting children, not everyone can/want have them anyway, for different reasons. I'm just not interested in children as, like you, I'm unable to bond, but also wouldn't know how to avoid this child to end up with the same abuses I've had.

I agree with @Tawny , your outcome is possibly a way of your brain to shut down from the things that could harm you, delude you,.. a form of self defense of your brain.
Maybe a psychiatrist could give you some help as a start.
 
H

Hokiepokie

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Nov 17, 2021
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8
Location
South Carolina
I suppose this statement is conflicting.

I’ve been on therapy since 16 years, I’ve been on intensive Body therapy, CBT and currently Trauma therapy due to DDNOS.

My mother was experiencing violence while she was preganant with me, Igrew up in a abusive household, we moved frequently, I was left at different places, experienced sexual abuse, was kept hostage as a child, grew up in catholic boarding schools with nuns.. etc. Where there were Punishments like kneeling down for hours or cleaning floors as a child.

I grew up with a mentally ill caregiver, and I was also socially incapacitated as a young adult, when I needed to become independent, earn a living, find friends and Do what other young people in their early twenties usually do.

For me it was about hours of therapy, psychiatric hospitals, psychiatrists etc. Now I’m a 40 year old woman, I’m married. My husband has mentioned that he loves me although he believes that I have sociopathic traits. I’ve decided not to have children as I am unable to build any deep attachment to another human being.

I’ve spoken about this with my therapist, who doesn’t think this is the case, but does mention that I lack empathy. If people cry I do console them, but I don’t feel much, I try to be kind, I offer kind words, because these are the skills I’ve internalized. I don’t care much for babies, animals or anything which people might consider as „cute“. I can come off kind, but if I really need to survive I canals harm anyone and I don’t care.

Im realizing that internally I’m quite one dimensional, I lack the inner capacity to profoundly feel connected to someone else. I suppose this is a beautiful thing, it’s this inner abundance I’m missing. Well empathy being on a spectrum, I’m learning and analyzing.
People who have been through trauma score dramatically lower on empathy tests. That's an unfortunate side effect of trauma. You shut down certain areas emotionally and empathy is often one of them because Trauma raises Cortisol levels and Cortisol levels are associated with low empathy. The other thing is this, you have typed a message out of concern about what you might be (a sociopath). By typing or making this thread, it shows a concern at least on some level or another. It shows an anxiety level. High Anxiety and sociopathy for the most part, don't go hand in hand. Could you have sociopathic traits? Sure. I bet you do with all that trauma. Remember this, sociopathy and psychopathy is a continuum. There is no ALL or NONE, you either are or your aren't. In the media, in the interviews on You Tube, in Hollywood, it's always, "he or she is either a sociopath or not." It doesn't work like that. It's a continuum and some have more sociopathic or psychopathic traits than others, but having these traits doesn't make you a "pure sociopath."

I submit this to you. Work you butt off in the therapy and apply yourself and get your anxiety levels down, which will then lower your Cortisol levels, which then dramatically opens up the empathy side of the equation. Remember this as well, psychopaths and sociopaths DO have empathy. You read that correct. They do have empathy. The keyword is some. They have dramatically LESS empathy than non psychopaths or sociopaths, but again, Hollywood and the good ole FBI Profilers who are wanting to be dramatic will say, "these people just have no empathy." Those are false statements. Yes, the pure psychopath who scores a 40 out of 40 on the PCLR would be someone with zero empathy. There are a fraction, I repeat, a fraction of people in the world that score 40 out of 40. Perhaps, less than 10 in the world. It's that rare. The flip side, people who aren't sociopaths and psychopaths also range in empathy. Some people have much more or much less than others.
 

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