Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Diagnosis sociopath: origins

(cont.)
As previously stated, the psychopathy construct has a long history with changing personality patterns and clinical characteristics, dating back through the past two centuries.

Phillipe Pinel is generally credited with recognizing psychopathy as a specific mental disorder. Pinel advocated for appropriate, moral treatment rather than cruel interventions (e.g., bloodletting, cold baths) as the preferred method of intervention for the psychiatrically ill (Pinel, 1801/1962). Pinel’s contributions occurred in France shortly after the French Revolution. Prior to this time, France was ruled by a strict class structure and sanity was judged by the Old Testament of the Bible. In 1801, Pinel observed that some of his patients engaged in impulsive acts, had episodes of extreme violence, and caused self-harm. He noted that these individuals were able to comprehend the irrationality of what they were doing. There was no evidence of what is now considered psychosis, and their reasoning abilities did not appear to be impaired. He described these men as suffering from manie sans délire (insanity without delirium). As Pinel explained, “I was not a little surprised to find many maniacs who at no period gave evidence of any lesion of understanding, but who were under the dominion of instinctive and abstract fury, as if the faculties of affect alone had sustained injury” (p. 9). His observations were very controversial during this era, especially because a low intellect and symptoms of psychosis were the typical criteria for identifying mental illness (Stevens, 1993).

In the early 1800s, Benjamin Rush, an American psychiatrist, also documented confusing cases that were described by clarity of thought along with moral depravity in behavior. However, Rush (1812) went beyond Pinel’s more affectively based description and maintained that moral derangement was either a birth defect or was caused by disease. Rush believed this condition was primarily congenital. As he stated, “There is probably an original defective organization in those parts of the body which are preoccupied by the moral faculties of the mind”. In addition, Rush held that “it is the business of medicine to aid both religion and law, in preventing and curing their moral alienation of the mind”. The American psychiatrist maintained that the lack of morality was primarily hereditary, yet unstable environments were largely responsible for fostering its growth. Rush further claimed that offenders with mental defects were best treated in medical rather than custodial institutions. Benjamin Rush is recognized as one of the first to begin what has since become a long-standing practice of social condemnation toward individuals labeled psychopathic.

26 comments:

  1. Interesting. I wonder what the criteria was back then to determine that someone's deviant moral character qualified as a psychiatric illness. I'm sure that there was some recognition that some people are just mean spirited assholes with little concern for others but are not necessary personality disordered or mentally ill. It must have been a confusing time back then trying to sort through good vs evil; religion vs science. I think in modern times many people believe that what we originally attributed to evil or the "devil" has actually been forms of mental illness. I guess the big question will be once we have it all figured out, does evil really exist and if so, how? I don't think of behavior related to sociopathology/psychopathology as evil per se because there is a scientific explanation. Although, affected people know right from wrong and can stop themselves from committing the evil act, so maybe it is evil. Just some thoughts.
    Zan

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sorry ME, but I'm bored.............

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Zan, are you a girl or a boy ?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think for most sociopaths, reading this is too much commitment to sitting in one place for 5 minutes. And most of us likely found the big words frustrating. Lol

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dan,
    I'm Zan, the WOman...lol

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm glad to know your a woman Zan. So am I. I enjoyed the blog too. I think, my opinion here, it all comes down to brain chemistry, learned behaviors and how children are raised. Most of the time the damage is underway before adulthood. With that said, I don't know how much brain chemistry in S people can be altered with meds...so I think more of the latter two can be worked with...and that can help rewire the brain. But it takes a village to raise a child and setting good examples for kids are not is the top of every parents list. And of course boys and girls have different needs.

    This isn't just for sociopaths either. Our experiences and perceptions of the world can create problems for us that surface with different faces.

    There are S people too who know who and what they are and are not bothered by disfunction. Or they just can't see themselves as needing any help. So the rest of us end up having to get it..lol.

    ReplyDelete
  7. There are S people too who know who and what they are and are not bothered by disfunction. Or they just can't see themselves as needing any help. So the rest of us end up having to get it..lol.

    Or, your emotional "problems" from interacting with "dysfunctional" people are self fabrications, and because of your reluctance to realize this, find ways to blame others instead.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous,
    Have you had any involvement with a sociopathic person(s)? How did it affect you?

    Ishtar-

    "Or, your emotional "problems" from interacting with "dysfunctional" people are self fabrications, and because of your reluctance to realize this, find ways to blame others instead.


    Of course you would think they are self fabrications. How would a person who does not have the full range of emotions have any clue what "emotional problems" a dysfunctional person leaves on someone that is considered emotionally healthy.


    The sociopath and the empath have a different makeup. Would it not be more beneficial if you simply took the word of the person who has what you don't and vice versa? I suppose that you are not interested in "getting along". I guess that's why it is referred to as antisocial personality disorder.

    As anonymous intimated, it kind of leaves us empaths "holding the bag" so to speak.
    Zan

    ReplyDelete
  9. Zan,

    You would be surprised at how many practicing Buddhists would agree with my statement, despite me being agnostic.

    Who really is the "dysfunctional" one here: the person who allows their emotions to hinder them from progress and success or the one who can move beyond them? The time you spend [selfishly] crying over shit could be time spent doing something worthwhile, such as helping people who are really suffering, like abused animals and starving children, wouldn't you as a "normal" person agree?

    ReplyDelete
  10. the best one imo is the one that takes their emotions and helps people who are really suffering, like whoever they may be in a given way, normally

    ReplyDelete
  11. Zan, Ishtar knows my situation...I guess I should have a code name here..my middle name is Grace. I have a, or used to have, b/f who is a sociopath. His ex-wife warned me endlessly and I didn't listen cause I didn't understand and even if I did the charming was underway and I wouldn't have changed my mind...he was wonderful and interesting. I love to stargaze and talk about the cosmos. It’s a very lonely hobby and he sunk right into with me. The next week gone. You know the stories.

    Anyway he owes me money and it keeps me hanging on. If I were even somewhat emotionally healthy I wouldn't have been involved with him in the first place and I certainly wouldn't care about the money and just let go of him. But I'm not at that point yet. So I hang on. As of last night he threatens suicide because no one loves him and he owes so much money to people..bla bla. Then today he's good and going to send some money and wants to chat with me later.

    The truth is that Ishtar is right. The problem is that some people just can't function with intellect and some feelings are addictive…even bad ones. So logic goes in one ear and out the other. I'm trying to bring up my intelligence over my emotions. Don't know if I can do it...I'm obsessed with this man...and he knows it and knows how to keep it going and I let him. See it's on me because he is who he is and will not change. And why should he…I’m sitting here trying to get help and he’s out ridding his motorcycle enjoying the weather.
    Grace

    ReplyDelete
  12. and iknow i'm a bad speller.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ishtar,
    I like what your saying and agree with part of it. The part that I believe that you are not understanding from my perspective is the pain not only from the the deed of a sociopath, but from the loss of the person. It is very difficult because you come to know the person in one way but find out that the person you thought you knew never existed. It is normal to go through a grieving period, very much the same as when a person dies. In fact, I feel that it is worse because the person is still walking around and might as well be a stranger, because they essentially are. One who has had that experience is left feeling as though they were invaded, "soul raped". Since you do not experience bonding, you cannot know the deep pain of grief and loss. of course there comes a point where an individual has to move on and helping others is a great way to begin a new life. It is funny that you mention Budism. My ex was a Buddist. I believe that many sociopaths use the Buddist philosophy to cover up or justify their lack of empathy. There really is a place for that philosophy but I believe that it is meant more in the sense of co-dependency. In other words if you see someone suffering, for instance because of the loss of say a husband or wife either through death or divorce, one should not take on that person's feelings to a degree where it paralyzes them from being of any value in that situation. I don't think it means that humans do not experience pain and suffering over a loss. That is not what is meant by "don't take it on".

    Grace,
    It sounds like you are in a rough place. I agree that a person can remain stuck in such a place if they do not use their logic and intelligence to move past the situation. The important thing is to remain aware of your actions and do not allow your feelings to dictate your behavior. That is what keeps us stuck. I don't know how much money you are talking about, but, sometimes for the sake of your sanity it is better to cut your losses and simply get away. Often we can use the thing, in this case money, as a way of staying connected. I can't deny that I have done that. It wasn't with money but with something else. I can't remember now what it was. I had to get real honest with myself. I don't know what it is that causes us to have such a hard time cutting the last connecting rope. I am still connected to my ex in a very vague way by some website that we are both on. It tells me nothing more than he still exists, yet everytime I think about cutting that cord, I can't do it. I wish I knew why. It is because of emotions like this that I sometimes think the socios have the better deal!
    Zan

    ReplyDelete
  14. It is very difficult because you come to know the person in one way but find out that the person you thought you knew never existed.

    Zan, that's just what happened and in a short period of time. And yes I'm stuck right now.

    He owes me a grand.
    Grace

    ReplyDelete
  15. Grace,
    How are you coping with this? I had such a hard time realizing that the person that I loved never existed. I still long for that guy sometimes. I often wonder if I ran into him on the street would I recognize his new demeanor,you know the new personality he has taken on for his new lady. I would be so tempted to go up to him like old times, say his name with excitement in my voice and give him a huge hug but then I would realize that I am hugging a stranger. The very weird thing to me is that he would be a stranger to me but he knows me better than almost anyone. VERY creepy! My heart goes out to you Grace. Socio's, can you give Grace any advice about how to get her money back? Grace, do you want him back?
    Zan

    ReplyDelete
  16. Zan, it's hard to cope. Every time my cell goes off I hope it's him but it never is. I contacted him a few times to discuss money..and he hasn't sent any yet but he keeps telling me he will. If I try to talk about anything else he says he needs to go. So it doesn't matter if I want him back he doesn't want me. Or he could be playing games with me. I will not ask him to try to get back either. So I obsess over him instead. And I can't help but think he knows this and yes I think he knows me better then I know myself. That was part of his plan..he assessed my needs, and I was very needy, then he became what I needed. After that his texts went from "I love you baby girl" to "I'm very busy now ttyl". And this happened the next day after sex. How obvious is that?!! It was very extreme. And we are not talking about a teenager either he's in his forties.

    Even though Ishtar is rough he/she has been helpful and so have you.
    This man has a violent past and he has guns..so I don't want to piss him off in anyway. So there's really nothing I can do.
    Grace

    ReplyDelete
  17. Grace,
    What I learned as I went through it is that obsession is normal to a degree. We obsess to process what has happened. Are you seeing a therapist? I had a wonderful therapist that gave me techniques to help with the obsession. She helped to understand my "triggors" which led to my obsessions. Also, knowledge is power. I learned so much, not only about the pathology of narcissists and sociopaths but also about myself through the whole ordeal. I learned that I had traits that attracted that type of person to me. There were things about me that I had to look at that simply blew my mind because I had no clue that I had issues too. I thought I was doing great and had it all together, finally! I have made some serious changes and and am still trying to change. It is a work in progress! I try to never say never, but I don't think I will ever get wrapped up with a sociopath or narcissist again. I think I could recognize one blindfolded with ear plugs in...lol! I don't know what your financial situation is like, but, if you had 1 grand to lend, then you are doing better than many, including me. Do you think it would be wise to consider just chalking it up to experience and letting it go? Think of it as paying 1 grand to keep your sanity and save yourself. It's not worth it! Your sanity and contentment is. Do you think it's possible that maybe subconsciously your using the money to stay connected?
    Zan

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you Zan!!
    Yes I'm seeing a therapist and I am becoming aware of my issues...and it's not pretty!! I do have traits to attract certain types. In time I will work it out.

    I didn't have the cash to give him so he used my card. When I gave him the card he was all lovey dovey with me so I thought we would be together and he would pay it off. But I'm sure under that it was a way to keep him. And I suspect his motives were the same but he goes about it very different than I do. I will only last so long with this and eventually let go. I was thinking if he wants to pay just give him the cc comp. address and there would be no reason to communicate with me. If I see the statements come in with no payments then I will pay it. But I could of course just start paying without expecting him to. That's what I think will happen. I'm sure any other way is my way of trying to munipulate him and Ishtar pointed out I wouldn't be very good at it with this man and I will just get more sick with it.

    I will keep you posted...thank you again.
    Grace

    ReplyDelete
  19. Your welcome, Grace. Hang in there. You will get through this and be a stronger, wiser woman because of it!
    Zan

    ReplyDelete
  20. Today I saw the bright side of my ex socio. He texted me and is sending me some money. I'm keeping my distance and not showing any anger towards him. And I'm truly not as angry as I was. But I'm not easy going with him either...just trying to keep a balance. I hope he pulls through with the money. I wonder where this is going now. Because the last time he got nice he wanted to be with me again. I'm not going to do it though if it comes to that. I have too much to work on with myself. At this rate it will take him a few months to pay off his debt to me. So I have to be strong! I wonder when the darkside will appear again.
    Grace

    ReplyDelete
  21. Grace,
    Definitely keep your distance. Move on with your life. Don't be fooled by his "good side" because that is more evil than than the dark side that you can see. He has an agenda. Just get away and consider yourself lucky. If he happens to leave some money for you in his attempts to manipulate you, the that is a bonus, but don't agree to see him. You would have to start all over again in your attempts to get over him.
    Zan

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yes..of course your right Zan the good side is more evil than the dark..oh but how he is so good at it and it feels so good. But I don't want to go through this again! And I won't hear from him again until he decides to pay more. But keep a look out for me in case he contacts me and it's not about money. I won't reply until I run it by someone..cause I don't trust myself yet. thank you!!
    Grace

    ReplyDelete
  23. Grace,
    Hmmmm...do I ever know that good feeling. We have to learn to generate our own good feelings and not look outward for them. Because we seek those kind of good feelings from others rather than our own self fulfilled good feelings, we become vulnerable to people such as the one you are trying to get away from. That is my expereince anyway. You sound like you know what you are doing. Definitely run anything you say by another objective person. If he catches you off guard and no one is around, tell him you are busy and can't talk at that moment. Don't let him draw you in! Good luck.
    Zan

    ReplyDelete
  24. Zan, that's my plan. I'll just tell him I'm working because if I tell him something like I'm busy or can't talk without a reason he will punish me by not responding later and not sending money. One time I told him I was busy and when I finally got back to him he told me he has important things to do too and that was one of things that started the end. Know what I'm saying?
    Grace

    ReplyDelete

Comments on posts over 14 days are SPAM filtered and may not show up right away or at all.

Join Amazon Prime - Watch Over 40,000 Movies

.

Comments are unmoderated. Blog owner is not responsible for third party content. By leaving comments on the blog, commenters give license to the blog owner to reprint attributed comments in any form.