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I'm not sure how to approach this. Could I be a sociopath?

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Old 09-30-2010, 06:26 AM   #1
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I'm not sure how to approach this. Could I be a sociopath?

I'm a 20 year old female, I study, I'm hardworking, intelligent and live a fairly comfortable life.
Comfortable yes, but I do have a rocky past. I grew up with my single mom, and my gran and grandpa. My mom went through a variety of boyfriends, many whom were extremely unstable (she had to get restraining orders for one guy, the other shot himself in the head with his own gun). My mom was addicted to pain tablets for the majority of my childhood and my gran was my mother figure. My gran was also frequently verbally and physically abused by my grandpa, along with me. I suffer from anxiety and have been diagnosed with clinical depression, possibly due to a combination of the above factors that have molded me. I've been on several antidepressants.

But this is not my issue. I think I may have a more severe psychiatric disorder. As a result of my past maybe, I have lost touch with my emotions, and I can safely say I do not feel. I can easily pretend to feel, that's no problem. I learned to do so by copying those around me. It's almost like an art that I've studied and perfected. People describe me as extremely friendly and a bit shy. I struggle to understand why people get excited or happy about various things.
I'm very materialistic and selfish, maybe because I grew up as an only child.
I often envision murder, not during a fit of rage or a bout of depression or anything, I'll be talking to someone or listening to them and then just zone out and imagine it. I am manipulative, and I lie constantly. My mother is always accusing me of manipulating her emotionally to get what I want. I lie. As a child I wet the bed and we had this dog who had cancer in her paw and I used to hurt her constantly. I've read up on these signs and have discovered that they are classic traits of a sociopath. The thing is, I know its uncommon in females.
Perhaps I just have years of pent up rage and this is how I've adapted. I don't think I'm capable of killing, or that I'd get to that point. And I know if i were a true sociopath, I would never have seeked help as this is not true to their habits as they are pretty self absorbed individuals. Also, a sociopath would never suspect him or herself of being one, such is the extent of their fantasies. But then again, I'm pretty naive about this. Any advice?

Last edited by Mod-S4; 04-23-2011 at 10:21 PM.

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Old 09-30-2010, 06:46 PM   #2
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Re: I'm not sure how to approach this. Could I be a sociopath?

Hello Melizzer,
Welcome to the health board. The question you posted about being a possible sociopath is very interesting. I have been reading about sociopath and also narcissists. A lot of the symptoms are overlapping. More men than women seem to be diagnosed with these disorders. From what I have read, it is still not known if either of these disorders are genetic or caused by childhood issues.

On rare occations sociopaths do seek guidance from a therapist. Have you ever thought about getting a psychiatric evaluation?? This may help answer your question officially. Also, I recently purchased a really excellent book at Barnes/Noble "The Sociopath Next Door".

From you post, I can tell that you are an in intelligent young woman. I hope you will continue to let us know your thots and how things progress.
TBI (1989) Zonogran 400mg
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Last edited by Mod-S4; 04-23-2011 at 10:21 PM.

Old 10-04-2010, 09:19 AM   #3
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Re: I'm not sure how to approach this. Could I be a sociopath?

Sounds like a therapist could help sort it out best

Could also be Anti-social personality disorder or psychopathy, but more details would be needed.

As odd as it might sound...ever watch the TV show dexter?

It's about a self-aware sociopath trying to deal with it(although he does murder bad people).

Old 10-04-2010, 11:51 AM   #4
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Re: I'm not sure how to approach this. Could I be a sociopath?

From what I've read, ww1989, circumstances surrounding childhood can help mould a potential sociopath or psychopath, but I'm pretty sure there's a strong genetic factor too. Here's a quote I found :"Some people have had horrific, terrible backgrounds and have been subject to the most appalling child abuse, but haven't grown up, evolved or developed into being psychopaths. Some people have been brought up in very loving, affectionate, pleasant and affluent upbringings and have become psychopaths. However, an individual raised in the former background is more likely to be a psychopath than the psychopath raised in the latter."

Funny you should mention it, motorhead. I do watch Dexter, never really thought about the fact that he is self aware of his sociopathy though. Interesting.

I will mention this to my therapist. Perhaps she can organize some sort of psychological evaluation. I suppose that's the only way one can know for sure.
My only fear is that this will affect my studies. If one is a diagnosed sociopath, or if my is found to have dominant sociopathic traits, will others (my school) see this as a possible hamper to my ability to doctor others?

I'll see where I can purchase that book as well, it looks helpful. Thank you for the welcome. It's wonderful to have some supportive correspondence , albeit be it virtual.

Old 10-11-2010, 01:47 AM   #5
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Re: I'm not sure how to approach this. Could I be a sociopath?

You don't feel?
Do you have nightmares?
If you don't feel, when was the last time you did feel?
Is your memory ok?

Old 10-11-2010, 02:20 PM   #6
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Re: I'm not sure how to approach this. Could I be a sociopath?

Nightmares? None that I'm aware of, no. I sleep normally throughout the night.

I definitely can't say for sure when the last time I felt was, but it must have been between the ages 11-13? Well, it's the last time I cried at least. I don't know, it's pretty complicated. It's been a long process/journey that has borught me to where I am today.
You know, it's interesting you ask about my memory. My short term memory is quite bad, I struggle to remember certain things that might have just occured. I'm fine with memorizing study notes and things though. Interesting questions, why do you ask?

Old 10-12-2010, 07:13 PM   #7
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Re: I'm not sure how to approach this. Could I be a sociopath?

Hi Melizzer - A few things:

I don't know that psychopathy is less common in females, or just underdiagnosed. Men psychopaths tend to be more violent, which probably results in them being diagnosed more, but it doesn't mean there are more of them. You probably understand the issue of under or overdiagnosis from your medical studies.

I think it is really great that you are exploring this about yourself. There could be other things that could be causing you to "not feel anything." However, the history of wetting the bed and intentionally hurting animals is very concerning. How long have you been in therapy? You should definitely ask your therapist about this. HOWEVER, many therapists are not adequately trained in identifying true psychopathy? Many people drop the word "psychopath" and "sociopath" but don't really understand the true explanation of these terms and their impact on the person affected.

The other thing that is important is that your mental health records are confidential. If you do receive a diagnosis of anti-social personality disorder and this information gets out, this probably would affect your ability to get a job as a doctor. Antisocial personality disorder is NOT the same thing as being a sociopath, but it is the closest diagnosis we have to psychopathy. There is no official diagnosis or diagnostic code for "psychopath." Now, the only way anyone will ever know your mental health diagnosis is in (a) you tell them or (b) they get a hold of your mental health records. It is illegal for employers (or anyone else for that matter) to get access to your medical or mental health records. However, if the information does get out, it could be very harmful for you. For that reason, I would advise you to know talk about this with your therapist and don't ever authorize the release of your mental health records to anyone.

The final thing is that even if you are diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder (but honestly I don't think you will), your insurance might not pay for treatment because most medical professionals don't think this disorder is treatable. In other words, traditional psychotherapy tends to be totally ineffective in treating antisocial personality disorder. The reason I don't think you would have this diagnosis, is because you were previously diagnosed with depression. It would be a bit unusual for someone to meet the qualifications of depression (which includes sadness) and also be a psychopath. Does that make sense? It's possible that your depression did not include sadness, but that too would be unusual.

Anyway, I hope this helps and I wish you the best. Good luck in your search for understanding yourself better. It's a long and sometimes painful process, but I think you are taking a good step toward this by questioning the nature of your personality.

Old 10-15-2010, 03:43 AM   #8
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Re: I'm not sure how to approach this. Could I be a sociopath?

Hey Toonces.
I've been in therapy for two years now...but we've only been dealing with the "depression," that I have, and issues around my mother. We haven't explored anything else. It's just so frustrating because I want to put a name to whatever's wrong with me and deal with it from there. Everything is so wishy washy and general, if you know what I mean. I want a specific diagnosis, and specific treatment, so that i can continue with my life from there.

My therapist did one day throw the term BPD into one of our sessions, which I believe means Borderline Personality Disorder. Maybe that fits better, I don't know. To be honest, sociopaths and narcissists were the only types of people I had heard of when it comes to mental health. I have like no knowledge on any other disorders.

Thanks for the information and advice concerning my future career, wasn't aware of any of it. I'll be sure to factor that in with any decisions I make. And I'm definitely going to keep exploring myself, I need answers. Keep well.

Old 10-18-2010, 07:03 PM   #9
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Re: I'm not sure how to approach this. Could I be a sociopath?

Don't accept the BPD thing from your therapist. Nothing you've posted suggests BPD to me. I think sometimes therapists get frustrated if a patient doesn't get better right away and they start throwing out "personality disorder" as an option. I have a close friend who's mental health issues have been very resistant to treatment, and her therapist suggested BPD to her and it is not accurate at all. Good luck. Keep searching for answers. You are still pretty young but it is very promising that you are searching in depth for more information about your personality.

Old 12-12-2010, 07:50 PM   #10
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Re: I'm not sure how to approach this. Could I be a sociopath?

a sociopath may very well know what they are they just don't care, they do not worry about emotions that they are not capable of feeling. They don't care and life really is just about their needs and desires. The big thing about sociopathy is that they do not have they ability of feeling empathy. Yes some may seek help but for most part they are not that interested in those around them so why fix it.

I would look up ptsd. there are a lot of psych issues that cause people to shut down, shutting your emotions off to protect yourself is entirely different than not being able to feel them at all. the fact that you are posing this question says you worry about yourself and your effect on others. so you have the capacity for emotion, seek out a counselor to deal with your childhood so that maybe you can get help and have fulfilling attachments and relationships.

Old 12-12-2010, 09:47 PM   #11
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Re: I'm not sure how to approach this. Could I be a sociopath?

I agree most with Braccine. I had a fairly abusive childhood, and have live with totally damped-down emotions. You may or may not have sociopathic tendencies, and the bottom-line question here is what do you want to do about this? Some thoughts about what may be going on: Deadening of the emotions is often about repressing anger, which is laid down with some pretty hurtful feelings/memories. You remember the incidents. but the emotional freight is separated from them for your own protection. Therapy aims to reunite the two, the memory and the accompanying emotion so you can deal with it from the adult perspective. Convincing your poor injured psyche that this a good thing is not so easy; it will resist anything that may cause that to happen. The near-sociopathic mindset that comes out of this fear is like a huge plaster cast for the soul. Protective, but not allowing any healthy growth or fulfilment. If you feel that any of this relates to you, then I would say you are not truly sociopathic. The foundation of a sociopath is that they are perfectly fine, it is all the other losers in the world who need "help". Keep working, Sera
PS..As Dexter progressed it is revealed that he is not a true psychopath, but that his evil adoptive father (who clearly was) has programmed him to believe that he is one. It is starting to peel off leaving him with terrible anger and shame which he doesn't like at all.

Old 03-23-2011, 09:51 PM   #12
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Re: I'm not sure how to approach this. Could I be a sociopath?

I have done a lot of reading and research on sociopaths, as well as, antisocial personality disorder. Though it is less common for women to be diagnosed as sociopaths that does not mean that they don't exist. In fact, there are some psychologists who believe that while men are more likely to be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, women are more likely to be diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder, and there is a theory that suggests that the two disorders just display either more masculine characteristics or more feminine characteristics.

Also, there are a lot of arguments about the Axis II disorders in the DSM-IV-TR, which is part of why the new DSM's release has been delayed.

You do display many possible signs of a sociopath, however, I recommend that you seek a more formal evaluation that would better assess your issues because there are quite a few disorders that have similar diagnostic criteria.

Last edited by Mod-S4; 03-24-2011 at 06:16 PM.

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