Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Irish journalist request

From an Irish journalist:

I'm an Irish freelance journalist, working primarily for The Irish Times newspaper and the Huffington Post. I'm looking for Irish sociopaths or people with antisocial personality disorder, whether diagnosed or self-diagnosed, to talk about their life, how they behave, how they have come to understand themselves, and so on. I'm happy to conduct interviews anonymously and to tread carefully so as not to identify any interviewees. Feel free to contact me: petemcguire@gmail.com I would hope to do get moving on this by early May if possible. Discretion assured.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Sexual intimacy issues

From a reader:

I would like to know if any of your readers or yourself have ever come across an issue like the one I am having. I am a 34 year old female sociopath. I know I'm good looking and I know I can get just about anyone I want in to bed with me. That's never been an issue. I am also gay and sadomasochist. I have been in several relationships over the years but I have never been faithful in any of them. I have a high sex drive and that is one of the reasons I have always cheated on my partners. I have never felt bad about it either. I am now in a new relationship and from the start I told her I was a sociopath. It felt good to tell her, and she didn't run screaming from me. All she asks is that I keep my navigation on at all times. I can understand that since I did divulge all my past indiscretions to her from the get go. Here's the thing, I believe I actually do love her. That scares the shit out of me. I know how I am and I do not want to hurt her. I am also nervous when it comes to having sex with her. I freeze up. That has never happened to me before and it pisses me off. I let her in and told her things about myself and my past that 99% of the population would lock me away for. I know what kind of person I am and I am well aware of the bad things I have done in the past. I also know what I am capable of doing in the future. She knows this too now. Emotions are not my strong suit. I can pull anything off, aside from crying. I do not know if I am having these intimacy issues with her because I let her in. Whenever I "feel" things I can't explain or figure out I tend to bury it and run away. What are your thoughts on all of this?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sociopath movies or books?

From a reader:

I just wanted you to know how influential your book was on me. It was brilliant, I could not put it down. I found that a lot of what I have been told about sociopaths is wrong, but I suppose I've only been informed by ignorant people. I honestly don't understand why people are so intimidated by you all. I don't find sociopaths intimidating at all....

     I kept finding myself biting my tongue during lectures in psychology class because they just did not really have much of a clue what they were talking about. I even got into a heated debate with my history teacher after he casually walked by, snatched your book of my desk and after reading the back of the book proceeded to tell me that sociopaths are simply crazy people and that their lives will only end up in trouble. That there's no way someone like that could live in our society without committing a crime sooner or later, and that they should all be 'locked up'. 

     I gave him my refutation using quite a lot of information out of your book, but he just came back with a bunch of nonsense that had nothing to do with the debate at hand. However, everyone saw him as the winner because they're too ignorant to understand half the crap he was spitting out. 

     Anyway, I wrote to you because your book has given me a miniscule epiphany at the mere age of 16. I am fascinated by your perspective on sociopathy and psychopathy. I find myself no longer really wanting to know what the professionals have to say, but wanting to hear from the actual psychopaths or sociopaths perpective. How they veiw their mental illness and what their opinions on it are. Would you happen to have any book recommendations? Movie recommendations? 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sociopath?

From a reader:

Confessions of A Sociopath, documenting your experience as a high-functioning sociopath, was an absolute delight to read. While I could relate to a large degree with your account, I am still on the fence about whether I fit the sociopathic classification and in writing to you, I’d like to gain some insight on my personal situation.

A bit of background: I’m 17, female, and an atheist who belongs to a conservative South Asian country. I identify as a Right-leaning Libertarian. I have a dysfunctional relationship with both parents. My father is an abusive sociopath (has a criminal record, is violent, glib, charming, Don Juan-esque in his heyday, hypocritical, possesses no empathy or remorse, is a pathological liar) and my mother exhibits signs of Stockholm Syndrome. I find myself unable to sympathise with her situation, often mocking and deriding her weakness for a man who treats her like trash. Vitriol flows seamlessly from my tongue at the slightest provocation. My father has been emotionally and physical abusive towards me, threatened by what he observed as a ‘fierce obstinacy’ in my persona since I was 7 years old. I learnt to cope, and it stopped mattering when I was 14, which lead me to hypothesize that perhaps sociopathy is an adaptation to adversity. However, I wouldn’t deny that there isn’t residual anger, bloodlust or a desire for revenge.

In my childhood, I was a sensitive, precocious and well-adjusted kid with one caveat: I liked squeezing babies deliberately to constrict their breathing. I enjoyed hearing their tortured wails. I had these violent impulses at the age of 10. This phase lasted about two years, until my parents brought me a puppy whom I genuinely loved. I hardly ever meet him now. I started stealing small bottles of shampoo and odd little trinkets from shops, although I stopped when my mother told me that was wrong behaviour. I knowingly stole only once afterwards; on an impulse I picked up coins of different currencies. I was much more intelligent than my peer group (I tested in the low-150s on the Stanford-Binet scale at 14, although I’m well aware that IQ is pseudo-scientific charlatanry) and thus was alienated, but being alone didn’t bother me. I did well in school, but I never aimed for top of the class because it wasn’t worth the extra effort. I find myself inexorably drawn to the depraved and the macabre, watching the Serbian Film for its extreme depictions of rape and necrophilia. I am highly sarcastic, ambitious, well-read and a reckless procrastinator. I have an ambiguous sexual identity; bisexuality is the closest equivalent to my sexual orientation but I can turn it on and off like a switch. My peers find me intimidating; I can silence them with a cold stare and take charge in most situations. I have trouble controlling my temper and heartily enjoy intense arguments/verbal jousts. I have sadistic and highly taboo sexual fantasies. In the few physical altercations I have been involved in, I have always been absolutely cold, calmly using my nails as pincers and slapping at opportune moments. I degrade my opponent in every way I can, regardless of who it is, when provoked; I am not merciful in breaking someone down. I do not have a fear response. My family often quips that my emotional detachment and composure in high-pressure situations makes me suitable for fields like Espionage, Neurosurgery or Trial Law. I do have a high opinion of myself and indulge in the odd flight of fancy but my rational bent of mind safeguards me from delusional thinking. I discarded my first romantic partner after dating him for more than a year when he wasn’t meeting my sexual needs. I find myself fascinated by the exploits of Marquis de Sade and Lord Byron; by accounts and memoirs of serial killers and volatile criminals. My peers tease me by calling me ‘ice princess’; I roll my eyes at the juvenility of the moniker but I find myself vaguely in agreement. I don’t follow a strict moral/ethical framework, but I also don’t fully submit to the pleasure principle- I do not knowingly hurt people, unless circumstances necessitate toughness or they provoke me. I have a very sexually charged presence, and I know just how to push all the right buttons when it comes to men- but I do not manipulate people outside the realm of seduction, although I can cry at will and have used that to my advantage in a few isolated instances. I do not have trouble transitioning from sex siren into an image of temerity and docility if the situation demands it; I do not cede control if I can help it, and feel violated when compelled to. I have near-zero levels of romantic jealousy. I’m also quite attuned to my environment and vacillate between a lack of, and a profound connection with, my body.

My argument against sociopathy would be that I’m often blunt and straightforward, rather than cunning and manipulative. My lying cannot be considered a statistical anomaly. I can form meaningful relationships with other people, but I find it easy to sever contact if their behaviour repulses me. I am currently in a relationship with a man I love very much and am very sexually attracted to. What I feel for him in terms of emotional intensity and depth is what stops me from classifying myself as a sociopath. I did seduce another man outside this relationship, but I did not cheat and came clean about the explicit conversations we’d been having because I couldn’t betray my boyfriend. His happiness was more important than my acting on a vague, capricious impulse. He forgave my transgression, and I severed all contact with the other bloke, who continues to follow me around like a lovestruck puppy. Did I feel guilt? It was more like a series of mechanical decisions, a crude cost-benefit analysis so to speak, rather than actual guilt. But the important thing to keep in mind here is that I came clean. That is what necessitated the cost-benefit analysis in the first place. I suppose I did feel vaguely remorseful. I see my current partner as an extension of myself- and have been involved in a physical altercation to protect him from harm.

I have no history of criminal behaviour. I scored a 21 on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist. I don’t cry except while watching movies or listening to beautiful music. Fictional portrayals move me more than actual troubles. Perhaps it’s the mundanity in real life that turns me off.

So, where would you class me? 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sociopaths on Television: iZombie

At the recommendation of a twitter follower, I watched an episode of iZombie with a strong sociopath plot feature. The show's protagonist is a former heart surgery resident turned crime fighting zombie who eats brains of victims of crime in order to regain some of their memories, and as a side effect takes on some of their habits or abilities. For instance, in the pilot episode she acquires kleptomania. In the third episode, The Exterminator, she becomes sociopathic after eating the brains of a sociopath hit man.

The show was interesting enough to watch. I felt like they did a good job showing the bright parts of sociopathy a little (clear headed and ballsy when she needed to be). I think the premise of the show in general highlights the vast differences that there can be between different brains, that we all are really special snowflakes wandering around with such oddities rattling around in our heads, some with labels of diagnosis and some without. Whether we were pre-programmed that way or somehow had a hand in acquiring that programming, it is still programming -- hard wired and hard to get over.

The episode is available on Hulu for who knows how long -- here.
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