Friday, January 29, 2010

Manic depression and sociopathy (part 1)

A reader writes:
Been reading your blog, sociopaths have a pretty interesting take on life. I noticed you did interviews with empaths and some people with mental disorders. I used the search function and couldn't find your take on manic depressives/bipolar people. I myself am manic depressive and although it seems completely counter intuitive it feels like there are some similarities with things sociopaths go through (or at least I think there are similarities, I could be way off base). For example, at certain times I have the ability to completely shut off and my emotions and either feel nothing or next to nothing. My husband finds this troubling when after an argument and he's bawling his eyes out and I just stare at him blankly. This also occurs when I'm severely depressed, but when I reach those stages I don't feel pain anymore, it's just being completely numb, lacking energy or any motivation. Nothing seems worth the effort and it's not because I feel sorry for myself, there's no rationalizing it, complete and utter apathy. This usually occurs in a cycle, like a sin curve (my emotional states that is).

Then comes the idea of masks, I think you may have touched on it but my memory is spotty. When I am manic I can play any role, playing with people, mind games and the such is incredibly appealing. When I am near depression but not all the way there as I've mentioned below I've developed the ability to completely hide myself from others. I can be out getting ice cream with my daughter while we're sitting across from each other at a picnic table look straight into her eyes and smile while wishing for a hot bath with razor blades. I suppose in my eyes (again I could be wrong) it's that we're achieving the same ends in this case, although our motivations are completely different, or maybe not.

Of course when I'm near 0 on a sin curve, I'll call that "normal" I function more or less like your average person should. (cont.)

29 comments:

  1. I'd like to hear some more about this. This sounds remarkably similar to my own experiences.

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  2. Forgive me a more general comment:

    Fascinating site. You are actually recruiting sociopaths - did you realize this? You are not working for your own immediate advancement, you are working for advancement of your type. The eventual result will be a meta-state created which is more favorable to sociopaths generally - it may happen well after your ability to enjoy it. (Sociopathy can be learned, and on this site, you teach it.) It resonates all through the site, even in the challenges and scorn heaped upon "wanna-be" sociopaths, like denying entrance to an exclusive nightclub. The glorification of it too, such as in the "featured comment".

    I am not holier than thou. This post is from a narcissist/schizoid who has often worried he too is a sociopath (I have empathy I think, but medication blunts emotions.)

    All the best, thanks for an interesting site.

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  3. i'd like to hear more too. i have mood swings but i don't think of them as who i am as much as where i am.

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  4. I have mood swings, but not on the bipolar scale. I have a friend who seriously suffers from Manic Depression, and she really does suffer. Her moods are fantastical and beautiful; her depressions deliciously deeep and rich, her manias phantasmagorical and fabulous. In depression, she is plagued by thoughts of suicide and murder; and they scare her.My woman, the borderline, is exactly the same. In fact, hilariously enough, she was told that after further assessment, she may be bipolar after all. Her reaction? "Thank fuck I don't have a personality disorder. I don't want to be like... like... you know, like that cunt I'm in love with.. we can only afford one of us!"
    I know we're different, because when I get those thoughts I am not scared of their content, I am slightly concerned at my delight of them.
    SLIGHTLY.
    But I do delight in them. Perhaps I know I won't act on them, I don't know. My thoughts of violence and such are as visceral as a school-boy's immature dreams of sex. Grubby, childish, unreal and ever so slightly worrying. ;)

    I have a girlfriend now though so it's fine...

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  5. Father Dearest your friend’s mood swings sound very different from mine. Mine are swings in energy level, rather than emotional swings. The emotions are more intense when I’m high energy, everything is, but they’re not all over the place, hardly wild. I cycle through the low and high moods pretty much every day, crashing in the evening, and only really have to watch it between January and March when I can get stuck in a sort of manic mode, which means racing thoughts. They can be a real pain after a day or two if I have to focus on whatever I’m not focused on. It’s like constantly having to rein in a herd of wild horses.

    I did have a full blown manic episode once when I pushed too far and went with the craziness, not knowing what was waiting for me on the other side. My thoughts got speeded up to the point where I could no longer process the information coming in or prioritize it. I couldn’t make sense of the world at all, everything was equally loud, vibrant, shouting, leaping out at me. However, while the world seemed to fall apart, turn crazy, I still felt the same, emotionally and intellectually. Still me. The experience wasn’t scary, as much as trippy, and exhausting, like a really intense drug trip. The only emotional fall out afterward was accepting that I had experienced “mental illness”, and lost control to some degree. But if there was some safe and legitimate way to do it, I would go there again. It was very insightful.

    In the case of your friend’s mood swings they seem emotional swings as well as a change in mood level. I wonder if suppressing unresolved emotions, or experiencing an escalation of unresolved emotional conflicts, works to exacerbate mood disorders? Or maybe the idea that emotions are something we can’t control but must go with?

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  6. and I wonder if there is even a difference between bipolar and borderline? they seem so similar.

    or is borderline disorder where you experience emotional volatility without change in mood elevation? where you go from joy to rage without any obvious reason?

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    Replies
    1. Borderline Personalities know what they are doing and their issues are more emotional and are based solely on relationship statuses and those emotions are often short lived and manipulative. My mom had it and she was always that way.

      In my case, when manic, I start feeling like I am possessed by something and often times I become very callous, uncaring and often feel like it is no big deal. I have complete apathy when I am "depressed", just don't care about anything. When I am "normal" I tend to go through the the I'm sorry routine but most often, I feel like they deserved it. I am secure with my identity and could care less about my self image and am secure with myself. Sometimes, I get on the I'm god trips or think I everyone is in love with me. Also, mine last a long time too and come out of nowhere. A lot of times I laugh about those I felt deserved it too.

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  7. I experienced that too except mine was an "evil" trip and was terrifying. I can remember everything. I really believe that at least with some of it, I was seeing some real stuff out of normal perception.

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  8. The creation of the mega-state that is more favorable to sociopaths generally?

    Um, look at mega-state America. It is very, very favorable to sociopaths. This site is just a cog in that state wheel, inadvertently or not.

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  9. Anonymous said, "The creation of the mega-state that is more favorable to sociopaths generally? Um, look at mega-state America. It is very, very favorable to sociopaths."

    Welcome to the jungle baby! ;-)

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  10. Exactly.

    Join the lions or get eaten by the wolves.

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  11. "The creation of the mega-state that is more favorable to sociopaths generally?

    Um, look at mega-state America. It is very, very favorable to sociopaths. This site is just a cog in that state wheel, inadvertently or not."

    Only because of changes made to the system by sociopaths.

    But I would suggest these changes are counter productive to sociopaths. If the whole of a society plays by sociopathic rules, the sociopath loses his advantage. The only winner would be the small group of sociopaths at the very top, who would not hesitate, for advantage, to cannibalize their own lower down. Hence you are better to have a moral society to maintain your individual advantage, and not to cancel this advantage out.

    Ie, you would be better off not to recruit others into sociopathy, but to remain unseen, with the constriction of moral laws to minimize harm that can be done to you by bigger sharks than you.

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  12. Thinking consequences through is not the S's strong point. And this works as long as anonymity is maintained. The s must remain hidden, for unlike bp or bpd or whatever, the witch hunt for many has not gone out of style. I highly doubt you could recruit others into sociopathy. Maybe into criminal and cold hearted behavior, especially the confused and abused and not particularly bright, but at the expense of the "converts" non sociopathic nature. I bet most non socios are here because they are fascinated by the possibility of a lack of conscience and empathy, maybe a little horrified, as it seems unfathomable. I think others are just lonely and trying to identify, confusing emotional blunting and alienation with S and are looking for love in all the wrong places.

    Interesting older article on sociopathy:

    http://www.bbsonline.org/Preprints/OldArchive/bbs.mealey.html

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  13. yeeeaahhh...it's sort of sociopath-lite here isn't it really. This is how creative middleclassed normals would be if they were sociopathic. Or how they Or maybe it's how sociopaths imagine they'd be if they were creative middleclass normals imagining they were sociopaths. We definitely need some rubber vampire fangs and fake blood....oh and some mood music too. What fun it all is.

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  14. Aspie:

    Based on what you have written earlier, you yourself do not identify as a sociopath.

    I take this to mean you are also talking about yourself in your comment above?

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  15. no, definitely not an S

    yes, I was close to someone whom I believe was an s and am/was curious about this way of being

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  16. I experienced that too except mine was an "evil" trip and was terrifying. I can remember everything. I really believe that at least with some of it, I was seeing some real stuff out of normal perception.

    Me too. A break with reality is also a break with the normal way of perceiving so potentially you could pick up on things that in a normal state get filtered out, things that the senses input but that we have no way to anchor to our reality map and put into a context that would conform to our expectations of reality. We’d have to “blank” out such input, but in a psychotic state you might not be able to.

    I can remember everything too, vividly. When people claim they don’t remember it, that their memory of the experience is foggy, it makes me wonder if they’re lying to cover their embarrassment or if maybe their experience was different somehow and there are different types of manic episodes. Mine wasn’t an “evil” trip or terrifying, although there were terrifying moments. But I was too busy trying to make sense of it all to focus on the terror. From my perspective the world suddenly had turned inside out. Looking back, the overall experience was an extension, rapidly magnified, of where I was mentally before the episode, which was dabbling in the metaphysical.

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  17. Same as me. I was dabbling in something sort of metaphysical before it happened too (more than once). My interest in "it" was because I was trying to let's just say improve myself, get less tense, and this "study" helps with that. I think I had a somewhat brutal guide but still... it was my fault. I got obsessed with it and that coupled with excessive use of a popular stimulant and not the best sleep schedule sent me on my way.

    In my state I experienced paranoia, extreme joy, racing thoughts etc but most of it was just like being in one long "night terror" that wouldn't end. I had some bad thoughts at points too early in it. It took everything I had not to act on them. I had a tiny core of sanity that I held on to with my nails. It was very small. If I had to give one word to describe my experience it would be war. All out non stop relentless war. I felt that I was fighting something powerfully diabolical. And a lot of the trip had this satanic evil theme (maybe a refection of a rigid moral code in psychosis, I don't know).

    In addition, I felt that the "study" was a huge secret part of society, and that there were different bandwidths you could see depending on how "present" you were and I thought I was tapping into them at times. Also, it seemed words spoken could arrange themselves into messages, and some other people could understand them too and seemed to interact with them. I think some of this was just psychosis but some of it I'm not so sure. I remember when it started the first time. I was staying at a house in the countryside at the time and heard a huge roar and I looked everywhere for the source freaking out. It was a tiny jetliner 10,000's of feet above but it sounded like it was right next to me. My senses where hypersensitive and were crossing over into each other. Tones sounded infinitely rich with colors and overtones and undertones a whole life in them. It seemed like I could slow certain things down and could see how people moved and from where. I noticed some people had different eyes. If it was a hallucination, it was a very consistent hallucination. I remember crying a lot. Mostly because I felt I was having all these powerful insights and terrifying realizations.

    I think I'm kind of lucky I survived but I did learn my lesson. One beneficial thing I think I got from it was that it did show me big time that I have certain limitations and that I am not "above" intense suffering or a ruinous ending. It was humbling. As intense as it was, and as much as I can remember it, I don't really connect with it if you know what I mean. It seems very distant from me, like it is something that cannot happen again to me, as long as I take care of myself.

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  18. neither of you have learned anything, because you are mincing around on a website that glorifies sociopathy. Would you hang around on a paedophile site if you once had the misfortune to cross paths with a nonce? The world is full of freaks and freakshows, and that is the only lesson to be learned from a site that glorifies sociopathy. You won't find a way to spot a sociopath from reading here,
    this place is not about the reality. This place is about Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt from "Interview with the vampire". Why not visit next a site for people who want to glorify rape? Maybe you'll learn something new there too. After that try necrophillia or cannabilism.

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  19. Well without wanting to sound facetious anon above, why are you "hanging" around on a sociopath site and taking the time to comment?

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  20. ***SARCASM ALERT!!!***

    To respond to the inquiring soul above, it's because the other anon in question is in denial about her almost crushing desire to fuck vampires, werewolves, sociopaths and their wannabe admirers. Why else do people who hate the subject matter of a website and think all of the commenters of that website are fools/evil/charlatans/or just plain delusional even bother to take time out of their busy schedules to leave a comment on said website?

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  21. That was my inquiring soul lol,
    Thank you for the clarification

    Tink :)

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  22. If I had to give one word to describe my experience it would be war. All out non stop relentless war. I felt that I was fighting something powerfully diabolical. And a lot of the trip had this satanic evil theme (maybe a refection of a rigid moral code in psychosis, I don't know

    Me too. A lot of what you describe is similar to what I experienced, which was the feeling that there was some presence out there, some war between good and evil, and also some weirdness with some people’s eyes. It was as if when my thoughts were falling apart my mind was grasping at clichés, ignorance, religious beliefs, whatever flotsam and jetsam was left in its quickly depleting bag of tricks, in its struggle to make sense of the world. Sort of a lesson in there for all you extreme feeling types.

    Having said all that, there are things I can’t explain. And memories too, so vivid that they seem more than the imaginary creations of a frantic mind.

    I love this comment: I had a tiny core of sanity that I held on to with my nails. It was very small.

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  23. Thanks for your comments zoe.

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  24. neither of you have learned anything, because you are mincing around on a website that glorifies sociopathy. Would you hang around on a paedophile site if you once had the misfortune to cross paths with a nonce? The world is full of freaks and freakshows, and that is the only lesson to be learned from a site that glorifies sociopathy. You won't find a way to spot a sociopath from reading here,
    this place is not about the reality. This place is about Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt from "Interview with the vampire". Why not visit next a site for people who want to glorify rape? Maybe you'll learn something new there too. After that try necrophillia or cannabilism.


    Wouldn't you rather we were on here than out fleecing your women out of all their cash and fucking your teenage sons and daughters?
    Because that's all we do, ever.

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  25. Hey I'm new here. I have bipolar disorder and I also have experienced a major psychotic episode. I've prevented others with medecine, but have teetered. Fucking trippy shit, cause it's tempting not too..

    I can remember lots of things but I can't recall whether or not there was empathy. I did, however, look at my world as a private one, wherein I thought I had special powers. If any of you really are the real deal, I'd be curious to know if any of you feel "special" or invincible. Because I literally thought the world was at my feet. Completely delusional. Is this experience similar to any of the bonified sociopaths here?

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  26. Something happens to me sometes... I get a kind of waterfall of what sounds like a hundred people whispering over each other. It is like I am in an echoey chamber and a hundred people have agreed to whisper, but each still wants to be heard, so it's a kind of whispering shouting. It keeps getting louder and more intense, as if th masses are growing, but I am perfectly stable and calm. I feel like my heart slows and my breathing slows and I feel the sounds of those people with such clarity, but until today I never understood a single word. I'm 20 now and its been happening for maybe 10 or 15 years so kinda as long as I can remember. It can last from under a minute to maybe like ten mins... And it can happen more than once a day or stay dormant for one or two months... This is not the only problem I have I strongly suspect OCD and possible S and possible bipolar (never went to a psych (my family are super traditional and don't really believe in psychiatry or at least they dont think it could ever happen under their roof)) if someone has similar experience I would sure appreciate some enlightenment...

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  27. Don't feed the psyco's.

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  28. When 2 people in the previous comments mentioned that episodes of evil thoughts, or feelings like they were tempted to do violent things, saying it was after a "metaphysical" experience, did they mean they were dabbling in the occult? I believe this is an important distinction to make; it could save a lot of grief for people who're considering doing this... I know of several friends who've dabbled in the occult (summoning 'helpers' who weren't good, let's just say) and one became tormented by evil voices, etc. and a physical presence slamming him on the bed

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