Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Victim of sociopathy?

A reader wonders:
I was wondering if you were also a sociopath...and if you are, then perhaps you too also live in such a lonely inner world. I find it hard to live life without the pleasures it has to offer, but I find that I am also subject to various addictions...So I wonder, how do you cope? Do you find yourself hinting at how you really are, as a way to "express yourself"?...If not, then how do you express yourself? How do you counter that terrible lonely feeling?

...and if you are not, then why do you share so much information about this malady?...or should I say, gift.
My response:
I actually have a lot of friends and family members. I have at least five who I consider very close. They all know who i am and are fine with it. I guess I am blessed to be a relatively good judge of character that way. But you're right, when I told them, it was all hints at first. Sometimes I wonder how much they actually believe what I tell them, but it's nice to have someone to talk to anyway. But loneliness is the worst. I work very hard at charming my friends and family, maintaining the relationship in ways that come easy to me (money, gifts, flattery) so I don't end up being lonely.

I am also subject to various addictions. That is the problem with being a sociopath. We're so impressionable and have so many needs, it is hard not to be completely self destructive.

I think the focus of the literature on sociopathy to date has been on the victims and what it feels like to be a victim of a sociopath. Very little has been written about what it feels like to be a victim of sociopathy -- to be a sociopath. That's why I initially started writing. I keep writing because I get such positive response from both sociopaths and friends/enemies of sociopaths alike. Plus it is a good way for me personally to keep track of who I am and where I am going. It forces me to confront myself on an almost daily basis.

66 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I experience a lot of the same loneliness as the reader. Unfortunately I have yet to find anyone to share this with. Most of my "close friends" are just distractions to keep me from noticing how truly isolated I am. Then they come to me for emotional support, the support any good friend should know how to give, and I hate them for reminding me how little I feel for them and I hate myself for not being able to care about what their problems are. Sometimes I can even recognize that it's an event that will cause great pain and suffering for them and I still can't bring myself to offer the empathy that others give.

    However, I must admit this blog and a few others sites have helped. And yes, you may add that to your narcissistic spank bank.

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  3. The "struggle with the apparent meaninglessness of life and the use of diversion to escape from boredom." has been referred to as existential pain. Dostoevsky, Kafka, Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus, even the Buddha have covered much of this ground. You might discover something useful there. You might find Nietzsche, Sartre, and Camus easier. Compassion figures more heavily in the other works.

    --lurker

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  4. Curiously, I don’t suffer from a whole lot of loneliness. Thank the maker for small favors, like being born an introvert. Sure, I’ve got friends and family. But I don’t need any of them, per se. I used to think I did, but I know better now.

    I hear what you’re saying about being a ‘victim of sociopathy’ ME. People who vilify those of us who don’t have much of a conscience forget that we didn’t choose to be that way. There are drawbacks to everything, consciencelessness included. Even so, I refuse to see myself as a victim. It doesn’t serve me to think of myself that way. It’s disempowering. Better to make the best of it in my not so humble opinion. Turn the ‘drawbacks’ into something useful I say. Why not?

    Lurker, you impressed me with your reading suggestions. If I could subscribe to any particular philosophy, existentialism would be it. All of the names you mention have something useful to say, Buddha included. And if I could be religious, I’d be into Zen Buddhism, sans compassion.

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  5. "Buddhism, sans compassion". LOL. That could be a quote of the day.

    Why not Laveyan satanism, minus the ESP stuff?

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  6. I am the one who sent the author of this blog that e-mail.

    No, I don't consider this a malady...and so no, I don't consider myself a victim of sociopathy. I consider myself someone who was simply born in the wrong era. My lonesome is merely an illusion and a necessisity, for if I were not a lone then I would not be doing my job.

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  7. Anonymous said, "...I would not be doing my job."

    Which is what, out of curiosity?

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  8. Are you in the military then?

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  9. Not necessarly, my friend.

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  10. Then pardon my french, but what the hell are you talking about?

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  11. Lurker and BD

    Bear in mind that existentialism ( the literary genre) ,and I have thoroughly read all of those authors ( theyre awesome), is essentially about always having a choice in your own fate/life and taking responsibility for your own actions, whatever they may be and living with authenticity. Unfortunately especially Dostoyevski's novels are often 'misread'. Its very much ( intended to be) a novel about guilt and the purpose of guilt in society. Although I would imagine a sociopath could miss that layer in the novel since it has so much going on? Im not sure here. Maybe other people can fill that in who have read it aswell?

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  12. Existentialism, the philosophy, is also about dealing with angst and despair and so on. Facing up to it, coming to terms with it, through as you mention, embracing responsibility, living authentically, etc. Lurker appears to have been responding to the pain part of the post and you’re in essence responding with existentialism’s proposed cures for said pain. My response in turn was about nothing more than the pleasure I found in existentialist thought.

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  13. DB

    Could you explain the pleasure? I mean what attracts you in it. What enlightens you or what entertains or maybe reaffirms you, etc?

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  14. Disney:

    I used the word “found” in my last comment because I no longer find much pleasure in philosophy. It was interesting to be sure and there are loads of very smart people doing interesting theoretical work in that field. In the end, however, I think a lot of it amounts to little more than very educated sounding bullshit. Existentialism at least had the distinction of being honest. Some of the existentialist philosophers were theist, some were atheist, but they all, in one way or the other, centered their work around the individual. I liked that. I liked the fact that the writers invited their readers to face themselves, their lives and the world around them with unblinking courage. Even if doing so meant you went thru a phase of disorienting disillusionment upon discovering that the world didn’t work the way your parents and your society told you it did. Even, and perhaps especially, if doing so meant that you had to face the void that exists both within and without. I appreciated the honesty. Ruthless self honesty is still a radical proposition among humans. Self honesty and seeing that the individual's subjectivity was an excellent starting place are the two things I liked about existentialism.

    Now though, of all of man’s various schools of thought, I’d have to say that science is the most reliable and quite obviously the most effective, so I no longer put much stock in philosophy unless it’s directly informed by the latest findings in, say, evolution or neuroscience or biology.

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  15. DB

    Love science? Didnt you say you didnt believe in labels? Well, science loves to label. Science is looking for ways to undeviate the deviating brain of sociopaths.

    Anything can be picked apart. People do what works for them. For the majority it is understanding once's conscience and living by it. Sociopaths cant cling to that.

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  16. Victim of sociopathy?
    Is that a blanket statement?

    If a sociopath doesn't enjoy his lifestyle and struggles to reform, I can accept him as a victim; however, I'll never see a sociopath who enjoys his antics too much to even consider stopping as anything other than an asshole.

    Which are you, M.E.?
    Sometimes you talk objectively about your strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes you talk about sociopathy as if it's some kind of superpower. Now, you're talking about the "victims" of sociopathy, which implies it's more trouble than it's worth.

    Really, M.E., where do you stand?
    Other than trying to make sociopaths likable and/or acceptable, I mean.

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  17. Um… what? Disney you usually make sense, or at least try to, but your last comment sounds more like an emotional blurt.

    First, I didn’t say I love science, I said science appears to be the only school of thought that reliably produces knowledge that works in the real world, time after time.

    Second, I never said I didn’t believe in labels. In fact, I’ve argued here on this comment board that labeling is useful, just to a limited degree, especially when it comes to human personality traits.

    Third, one of the things that impress me about science as an enterprise is that it sometimes produces ‘truths’ with implications that we humans don’t like. Your comment about science “undeviating the deviating sociopathic brain”, if it were true (and it isn’t), would in no way change my respect for it as a reliable method for gathering accurate information about the world. Liking something neither validates nor invalidates that thing.

    Lastly, your comment about the majority means… what, exactly? Even if what you said about the majority wanting to understand their conscience was true (and again, it isn’t), so what? I take zero personal guidance from the whims of the masses. You don’t either (unless you were lying in your previous comments on another thread), so your last comment was weird.

    Having a bad day love?

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  18. DB

    Its ok if you dont always understand me or interpret me wrong. Who cares.

    But yeah we had a discussion on here months back ( I posted a link to a site) about research that was done, cant remember exactly, but they found something to treat sociopathy and they would be researching it further, it was all over newssites. Thats what I meant with undeviating the deviating brain.

    And youre right, you have said that labels are sometimes useful. At the same time you also stress constantly how labeling ( or whatever terms used) is pointless since things simply are the way they are. I agree with both stances.

    I think youre having a bad day cause you seem to be so afraid of being misunderstood or that people quote or paraphrase you wrong. Have you ever been called a 'purist' in your life?

    I now expect nothing less of you than a predictably unpredictable response.

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  19. Disney:

    I’ve also posted comments about the implications for “treating” (i.e. eradicating) sociopathy, whatever that actually means, and how the conscience bound would rise up in protest once the implications of these “treatments” for them became apparent. See ‘A Clockwork Orange’ for a humorous take on this very topic. I’m sure all sorts of research is being done. No doubt. There’s also no doubt that this research won’t become the sociopath-kryptonite that some commenters here and elsewhere wish for. Well, at least not anytime very soon.

    ‘Afraid of being misunderstood’ is a mischaracterization. I’m misunderstood quite often in my offline life and that’s just fine and dandy with me. And I’ve been called a variety of things, but purist has never been one of them. It’s just that when I come on here I like having semi-decent discussions, and to my way of thinking the only way that can happen is if everyone is clear on what everyone else is talking about.

    As to your last comment, I don’t even know what you’re talking about anymore. If I wanted to have a nonsensical discussion with an irrational woman I’d still be married. lol You can do better.

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  20. DB

    Loosen up will you. I understand you just fine, as a matter of fact I view things quite similar as you.

    I did really enjoy this sentence:
    "‘Afraid of being misunderstood’ is a mischaracterization"...lol

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  21. Oh Disney! We've got to have one of those high brow fights, you know, the kind where we exchange petty insults using really big words and intellectual sounding phrases and what not, especially now that Dirty Harriot is no longer here to draw fire to herself. Apparently at least one person was looking forward to a knock down drag out...

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  22. I'm a firm believer that arguments are a healthy part of any relationship. I've got your best interest at heart, Daniel.

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  23. Wait... you've got a heart?

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  24. Today I do, and there's plenty of room in there for you and Disney both. You can think of it like a cage... a cage where you two can duke it out to your hearts' content. I'm leasing this thing though, and it's pretty damn expensive, so please accept my generosity before I go broke.

    The things I do for you people...
    *sniff*

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  25. DB ( and PP)

    Hehe. The problem is that English is my third language and thus I cant be the wordsmith you would need me to be in such a fight. But the good news is, you can!

    I was in the library the other day ( not for the books, I have them right here) and I observed this guy sitting behind the computer checking seductively dressed women out. I was just mesmerized by the huge discrepancy of the market value of the man and woman. The pictures of a reasonably beautiful woman on the computer and the man sitting behind it. Apart from the fact he was at last 20 yrs older than the woman, he wore no socks, his feet were not taken care of, his hair was disgusting etc But the most astounding thing was; I was able to observe him close for quite a while and he never even looked up, either having no shame or being too caught up in whatever he was doing scrolling through the pics on some webchat/myspace like thing.

    Imagination really is a crazy thing. In order to even communicate with any person on here I have a mental pic of PP aswell as DB. Neither are like the man in the library.

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  26. Peter Pan said, "The things I do for you people...*sniff*"

    It aint easy being cheesy. (I'm probably the only one who remembers those commercials...)

    And Disney, I confess. I am actually 27, I have no friends, I live in my mother's basement, when I'm not commenting here I play World of Warcraft... CONSTANTLY... And I weigh 350 pounds. Yeah I know. It's sexy. I get that all the time.

    (Ok, did any of those references mean anything to you? What a waste of sarcasm if they didn't.)

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  27. I had no idea Daniel, your comments now take on some whole new meaning.

    HAHAHAHA!

    I sure hope you aren't serious, I don't think I could piss myself laughing twice!

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  28. DB

    I know youre chubby. And you have a mirror next to your computer nonetheless.

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  29. I weigh 170 lbs, play eve online about 3 times a week, and I'm actually pretty good looking. I'm going on a pretty strenuous hike this Sunday. I'm so happy fall is finally here. Oh, how I've missed the view from the summit. There's nothing quite like looking out over the horizon after conquering a mountain. :)

    And Daniel... I'd google it, but that would feel like cheating. I guess I'll just have to miss out.

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  30. Anon: I’m serious. Deadly serious. What, you gotta a problem with fat dudes?

    Disney: You’re psychic! How’d you know about the mirror?!? I mean, how else am I going to pop my zits?

    PP: What’s a little cheating between sociopaths, narcissists, multiples, super smarties, vampires, just plain wannabes and other odd and delusional friends?

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  31. Daniel, you're a fat, geeked out, dweller with no social life?

    Damn, if that was my situation I guess I'd come out and say that too...I mean that's like rock bottom of self realization. When that is your life and you’re actually cool with it, fuck those fuckers who say shit. Your intelligence and insight on here is as clear as can be so I could give a shit what you look like.

    Then again…AH HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    No. But for real, if you are telling the truth, then I salute you for your honesty and if you’re lying, I still salute you!

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  32. DB and PP

    I personally dont trust people who dont lie and cheat a little.

    On another note, does anyone know what policy Apple has on Iphone's that stop working altogether after having bought em only a few weeks before?

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  34. Oh Daniel, I don't think I could live with myself if I cheated. I mean really, how pathetic would that be? Daniel! Daniel! Like me!
    I get the reference! I only had to search the internet for the answer!

    Disney, then you better be cautious around me, because I never lie.

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  35. You people are fucking idiots. It's no wonder the Author doesn't bother responding to you shitheads. You fight amongst yourselves over the pettiest of things and you still try and pretend you're intelligent by asking "would-be" intelligent questions? What makes you think your pathetic primitive minds would dare to grasp our complicated concepts?

    You argue over misspelled words? (In another blog post) Of what issue is a misspelled word when you still grasp the point? You helpless idiot...

    The Author shows great perseverance in educating you about our "sickness". Beats me why, the regular commenters of this blog are nothing but simpletons.

    The author uses this as nothing but an outlet for it's self-expression. You fuckheads are the same as what mold is to bread.

    While you dipshits fight amongst yourselves for reasons you don't even know, we're snickering at you from the corners.

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  36. Oh, we're snickering at ourselves, my friend. You need to learn to loosen up a bit, bubba. All this dark sociopath superiority bullshit's gotta get old at some point, yeah? Do you ever get out and have fun, or do you just sit here lurking in the shadows waiting for the right moment to STRIKE? "I am the all powerful sociopath... bwahahaha!" What a life. =P

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  37. anon

    "our complicated concepts" WOW

    Get a grip.

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  38. Yeah, get a grip buddy! Just who do you think you are? UKan? C'mon buddy, there can be only 1, and you're far too lame to fill his shoes. Everybody, show this guy just how silly he is.

    Rape him!
    Rape him like he raped me!

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  39. Peter, every time I start to have faith in you, you disappoint me. I feel sorry for your parents.

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  40. That's the thanks I get for sitting in your corner? The nerve!

    Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry. I cuss a lot and make anonymous insults over the internet.

    So you better watch out unless you want to be subjected to such gut-wrenching horrors.

    You only get one warning, fucko!

    (that's just a taste of the obscenely wicked things to come if you continue to defy me!)

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  41. Listen you crazy piece of trash, you're about as threatening as my garden hose. All I have to do is turn you on, and you flap around wildly, spewing your verbal diarrhea all over me and anyone stupid enough to listen. You're a joke, Peter. You're my personal joke. I don't want you in my corner. I want you to talk some more about how smart you are, so I can piss in your face and watch you flail around like a manic narcissist with down syndrome. Sit and think about that for a minute, Peter. That's what you look like when you talk. If I weren't so disgusted by you, I might even pity you. I want you to go hide in the shadows where you belong.

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  42. Haha! I'm sorry, were you under the impression that I take you seriously?

    Okay, okay. Let's start over and see if I can do any better.

    Dude, your antics are getting old. People can smell you from a mile away, and the quality of your posts has been degrading steadily.

    When you stopped tearing into people so much, it was really a mixed blessing. I was disappointed that I wouldn't get to read such viscerally amazing flames, but the shit was really starting to get old.

    The problem is that your posts have no substance. The conversations people here are usually filled with unique thoughts and views, and sometimes even some valuable insight. You were unfortunately detracting from that--with stale material none-the-less.

    If you want to flame me, be my guest. It's nothing anybody hasn't read before, and if it suits you, please, go right ahead and keep nipping at my heels while everyone gets bored and waits for some new material.

    Alternatively, you could join in the discussions and give us some of your own opinions... perhaps more than one liners. Nobody here is going to tear into you like you do to everyone else. I think I speak for everyone when I say I'd love to hear your thoughts, not just some dumbed-down opinion, about some of the things M.E. talks about. You were on the right track for a while, but then you reverted back to this shit.

    No hard feelings, bubba bear.

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  43. Ukan

    Im just wondering how you could miss the fact that PP wasnt even trying to be threatening a little bit..(and Im serious)

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  44. I think UKan is boring, but...

    HAHAHA! This one is great:

    "I want you to talk some more about how smart you are, so I can piss in your face and watch you flail around like a manic narcissist with down syndrome."

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  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  46. Glad youre back dirty. Some of us do appreciate ya...Not daft since you always make him look like a little penis sucker..

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  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  48. Dont like small cocksNovember 15, 2009 at 4:42 PM

    First of all, dirty probably skimmed past your pathetic comment and second, its a good hobby for me just as long as its not your small cock I'm bobbing on. Thanks!

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  49. Dirty, I thought we were friends. Why is everyone turning on me?

    This is so depressing.

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  50. Is it so hard to believe that I like all of you? You're amazing people. It's only natural to want amazing people to like you, isn't it?

    Please, let's drop this hostility. It's completely unnecessary.

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  51. I just wanted to ask for an opinion. I've had several relationships, all of which I thought I was victimized. But when I recently started researching narcissistic personality disorders and sociopathy to figure out why my ex dumped me because I was sure he was either of the two, I realized most of the traits in siciopathy and narcissism were mine. I'm a bit shocked right now and I'm not very sure if I'm paranoid

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  52. Dear author of this blog,

    I have been looking through your posts (admittedly not very thoroughly) trying to find out whether or not you have been diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder. You claim that the majority of psychological literature focuses on the victim rather than the sociopath. I would have to agree, but it's not for lack of trying on the part of the psychologists. The problem with writing about ASPD is that the only way to gain insight into the experience of being a sociopath is to talk to a sociopath. You can imagine how many sociopaths are jumping up and down to talk about their feelings for hours on end. Most of the literature, therefore, comes from sociopaths who have been placed (read: forced) into therapy and see it as a waste of time, and spend a good deal of time lying to/manipulating the therapist. There are some therapists who won't even work with ASPD's, and with good reason, I think. It's not a web you want to get caught in.

    You claim, however, to keep this blog because "it is a good way for me personally to keep track of who I am and where I am going. It forces me to confront myself on an almost daily basis." If you are a) actually afflicted with ASPD and b) truly a navel-gazing sociopath, why not approach a psychologist who specializes in ASPD and say, "Hey, look. I have no empathy and enjoy others' pain. Seems like I might be a sociopath. I'd like to know more about myself. You'd like to know more about what it's like to be me. Let's explore this, shall we?" Could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, if you are capable of that kind of thing.

    I'm not sure that this idea would even work, to be honest, but it seems like it's worth a try. I'm not a doctor, I'm not a sociopath, just someone who has taken a couple of courses and is interested in the subject. I would imagine that any researcher would jump at the chance to interview a sociopath who actually wanted to be interviewed and was willing to give honest answers. Because the question we all really want to ask, and no one seems to have an answer to--not Shakespeare's Iago, not the Green River Killer--is why? Have you always been this way, or did something happen that changed you fundamentally? I would also be interested in your take on David Foster Wallace's "Brief Interview with Hideous Men," (the book, NOT the film!) in particular, the final interview in which the subject recounts an anecdote told to him about an encounter with a psychopath. Granted, it's fiction, but a very interesting take on what makes a sociopath.

    http://www.radiolab.org/2012/jan/09/why-be-bad/



    --Interested

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    Replies
    1. I ask you, why, would a sociopath jump at the chance
      to go into therapy or to be interviewed by a professional? Do you want honest heartfelt answers,
      also? I think you need to do your own research or acquire more education to receive your answers.

      Your statement is so arrogant and self serving.

      Delete
    2. Dear Anonymous,

      I can certainly understand why a sociopath would be reluctant to go into therapy in the traditional sense, but what I am proposing here is different from therapy in that its purpose is not to help the patient "get better." Sociopaths, by and large (from the research I have done), don't improve. They are what they are, and that's that.

      Perhaps you are referring to the tendency of sociopaths to do, well, bad things. Yes, that is true. But there are lots of different kinds of bad things. Some sociopaths kill hookers. Some steal cable. There is a spectrum. Obviously, I would not expect the hooker killers to go within a ten mile radius of a therapist's office. But a therapist is only required by law to report you if he knows you are about to do harm to yourself or others. So don't tell him. Problem solved.

      As to "arrogant and self-serving,"...well, maybe. I was responding to a complaint that "very little has been written about what it feels like...to be a sociopath," but I would like to know more. And if I am arrogant and self-serving, wouldn't that put me in good company here?

      Yours truly,

      Interested

      Delete
    3. Yes, you will fit in quite well, here.

      Not Interested

      Delete
    4. I guess you have never heard the saying, "The first
      liar doesn't have a chance." haha

      Delete
  53. Ah, found it in its entirety! The (rather long) fictional interview that features an anectdote about an encounter with a psychopath, from "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men." Fascinating. What's your take?

    http://www.theparisreview.org/fiction/1225/brief-interviews-with-hideous-men-david-foster-wallace

    --Interested

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  54. More people need to be on http://sociopath-community.com/

    !!! it used to be connected to this blog but was disconnected over a year ago. We need fresh blood and lots of interesting things have happened recently (relates to kiwifar.ms drama: https://archive.is/M2tXa) that will go down in the forum's history! Be sure to check out http://www.psychforums.com/antisocial-personality/ too, as some of its regulars are regulars on SC too!

    Goddamn ME refused to reconnect the blog to the forum so we SC goers will just have to spam advertisements for the forum in the comments section. ;)

    ReplyDelete

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