I'm going to publish the responses from our questioning reader in roughly the same time sequence that I received them and responded so you can get an idea of his thought process, which may be very familiar to a lot of you:
One other diagnosis I'm considering is Aspergers Syndrome. Everything I said in my last email is true, but I lack the ability to blend in socially that I've read most sociopaths have. I'm oblivious to non-verbal communication, and there are many quirks that set me apart from those you might consider normal. I may simply share the emotional detachment, and a few other traits, with sociopaths.
Honestly, I'm very confused. I would see a professional, but I have a problem with authority figures even though I find myself seeking some kind of validation. I'm not sure I could be honest with doctor, even if I tried--even if I thought I was being honest. As I said, looking into myself isn't something I'm very good at.
About being a sociopath... do you experience no emotions at all? This isn't how life feels to me. It feels to me like my emotions are filtered to the point of being beyond my comprehension, like an engine silently powering all of the logical mechanisms in my personality. To be honest with you, I didn't even recognize them until a phase of drug abuse cracked my ego. Coincidentally, it was the first time I realized I could be wrong and recognized that rationally, I wasn't the smartest person on the planet.
Anyway, that was several years ago, and I've come to recognize the existence of my emotions, but I can't embrace or express them because they're quite terrifying. They're very primitive... very simple and extremely powerful. To me, this doesn't really fit with what I've read about sociopaths. It seems like it may be a) an autism spectrum disorder or b) some kind of developmental disability. I find it hard to believe that a true sociopath could be made aware of his own feelings through drug abuse, though I suppose anything is possible. What's your take on this?
Thank you for your response. I'm glad you took the time to make one.