Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Female sociopaths and BPD (part 1)

A reader asks:
I was wondering whether you knew of any information available on female Sociopaths. I would love to try and find at least some small amount of collected data out there. I read a few articles written in the past on the subject and thought the content was very interesting. My interest is that I'm a Male to Female Transwoman who is of the belief and "diagnosis" that I am Sociopathic. I exhibit typically female sociopathic traits whilst still harboring some male traits and am lately trying to define or examine myself more, and in doing so I would like to take reference to "classic" cases of the past and present. My questions would simply be what do you usually see? are they murderous? are the power hungry? do they have children? how have they been "caught/discovered"? and what was the consequence if they were?
Another reader had asked a similar question recently about the relationship between sociopathy and BPD.
I ran across your blog during one of my researches, and was pleased with what I found. For once, something doesn't seem so foreign. I think I may be a sociopath. Not that it bothers me- it doesn't. But, I'd recently taken an interest in criminology and after doing so much research and what not on these 'disorders', I seem to have an uncanny similarity that meets the criteria. Before that, however, my guess is I probably would have never even realized my 'condition'. So, perhaps these studies were an outlet of some kind; maybe even a way to better understand. Myself, particularly.

They say that adolescents before the age of 18 don't qualify for the diagnosis criteria, but instead, those that hold potential are usually at some point diagnosed with O.D.D, AD/HD assuming they were forced in to therapy. Key word: forced. I, too, was diagnosed with O.D.D (and AD/HD) before the age of 18, most of which started at the age of 15- though I won't go so far as to say I didn't have those behaviours before then. I very much did. I was also forced in to therapy. I never complied, and the manic episodes I do have of convincing myself I'm in need of it are quickly dismissed. I go through a spell of, "I'm pretty sure I may need help", and once everything's over, I'm back to the mind set of, "I don't need nor want anyone's help." So, I never get it.

I have tortured animals (no, I'm not trying to sound like some serial killer-in-the-making here, I'm just getting everything off of my chest. Trust me, it's long over due), given I've never actually killed any bigger than your average domestic house cat, but I'm pretty sure it started somewhere around the age of 6 or 7. It started off as frogs, baby birds, to the point where I was- in my mind- harmlessly sneaking fish out of my best friend's fish tank, and my neighbor's, and 'experimenting' with them. Frogs, lizards, rodents, birds... baby birds I'd find in nests around the yard. Basically, what ever creature was around. It gradually escalated to even my own cat at the time, and then one of the puppies of my neighbour's dog. I never felt bad about it- no shame, guilt, etc. And still to this day do not. I grew up fatherless, and around the age these 'symptoms' started becoming more and more apparent, I spent majority of my teenage years in and out of lock up for mostly truancy, with a few cases of assult and even fewer cases of vandalism. However, the time spent in these facilities, I constantly lied and manipulated my way through therapy- from exaggerating my 'conditions' to actually acting out the 'good behaviour' that was expected of me, in which case, I knew I'd get an early release. If not an early release, I most certainly knew I wouldn't have to spend any more time in these facilities than what I was initially set to do. As hard as it was to keep my temper in check- which has been described on several occasions as a 'ticking time bomb'- I passed with flying colours for the sole purpose I simply wanted to return back to the comforts and freedom of my own home.

My mother, however, would always be able to see through this, of course. She was always there to witness my behaviour where as these therapists, these doctors, they only saw the facade I put off to get myself out. So, when ever I was confronted with these issues- what ever they may be regarding my behaviour at home- I'd either lie, talk my way out of it, or admit to it and follow it up with the whole "I genuinely want help, I don't want to feel like this anymore" sentiment. After wards, I'd continue my 'good girl' act and voila, all was well.

I haven't 'grown out' of this stage, if growing out of it were genetically even possible. It wasn't too terribly long ago I was doing other 'misdeeds' that would most certainly qualify as grounds for arrest. Again, it feels like a normal, every day part of my life, even though, no, I don't go out every day and commit acts that, if I were caught, would land me some time. It just feels that way. On another note, it's impossible- for me at least- to get attached to someone, or anything for that matter. The one time I thought I was in love was powered more so by greed than true feelings, and while at the time I thought I felt so strongly about this guy, I took an intense satisfaction out of hurting him. Whether that was cheating, lying, or just harmlessly flirting with an enemy or a close friend of his just to hear him cry later on the phone. Of course, I never admitted that to him. He'd have left me high and dry had he known the true motive behind it. It was a very violent romance. He shared a lot of 'sociopathic' traits, as well, so that only added to the turbulence.

Inevitably, I become mildly sadistic to those friends I do keep close, but I charm them, I flatter them and you'd be quite surprised; my personality is award winning, though feigned. I have an intense desire to be loved, and though I don't and will never go out of my way to intentionally please someone, I get one of the biggest satisfactions out of hearing those three words; "I love you", and knowing that on my behalf, the feelings will never be reciprocated. And then, once I do hear them, I almost immediately become bored. The spark fades, the challenge dies. There's no thrill. I go clubbing on a weekend basis, sometimes on weekdays. Every time I'm out, I make a note to drink, even those days I say beforehand, "I'm not going to drink tonight." I mostly blame a very poor impulse control, and the alcohol makes it easier to mingle because otherwise, I become disinterested and aggravated with the people around me. My drunk personality is quite the opposite; I'm usually very relaxed, I get along and my sense of humour is not of your typical females. I'll crack jokes about subjects that commonly, you'd only hear from men. People down here aren't used to that, so it gets me in 'good' with everyone, including the staff members. Which, ultimately benefits me. I can't complain about that. Alternatively, I'm very prone to bouts of an insatiable aggression; I'll jump at the opportunity to kick someone's head in, even if they're minuscule by someone elses standards. But, I reason and rationalize, twist and misconstrue the story just because if people actually knew what was really going on, that'd defeat my entire image.

They say sociopaths very seldomly feel embarrassment, which in my case, is true. I very seldomly feel it, but when I do, it isn't in drastic measures where I'll run out of the room and go cry about it at night and wallow in self-hatred. It's more along the lines of, "Goddamnit, I can't believe that just happened... oh well." Only temporary. By the time I wake up from my drunken stupor, my 'embarrassments' are actually rather funny and I'm ready for a round two. It's just a setback.

So, all in all, that's me in a nutshell. Granted, I was never actually diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder, but instead, borderline personality disorder. Now, this brings me to another conclusion; BPD's live in remorse (at least from what I know of), their entire psyche is a clusterfuck of emotion. I, however, feel the exact opposite- like an emotional vacancy. It's so easy to walk out and put on a smile for everyone, but the minute I'm home and the door is closed, that smile quickly fades. Yes, I also know sociopaths, apparently, aren't introverted, and though I may do a lot of analyzing in general, I never actually analyze myself; I KNOW what I'm doing, I KNOW what I'm saying, I just don't give a fuck. But, while I know what I'm doing, I haven't the slightest clue who I am. I've always just thought of myself as 'here', as if I were looking down from the sky, watching the world beneath me. Like some sort of celestial entity, though I'm not delusional enough to actually believe I AM some kind of celestial entity. That's just silly. Though, now that I mention it, I don't actually believe sociopaths can't be at least somewhat introspective. After all, Edmund Kemper knew exactly what he was. ;)

29 comments:

  1. I read that men exhibiting symptoms that would lead to a diagnosis of BPD in women are often diagnosed with ASPD instead; once can infer that women exhibiting what in men would be called classic sociopathic symptoms have been mistaken as Borderline. This points toward laziness and prejudice on the part of disgnosticians rather than an actual gender difference in likeliness to develop each personality disorder or how the symptoms are expressed. If it's not caused by intense feelings of inadequacy and fears of abandonment then it's not BPD, period.

    The perspective of this transwoman is interesting - she says she identifies with "typical female sociopathic traits." As a woman, I identify more with the "male" traits (history similar to the second letter-writer-- diagnosed with ODD as a kid etc.) but I'm not transsexual. The stereotypical image of the female sociopath as succuba seems, like many descriptions of women by men in our society, to stem from an assumption that women are the "sex class" as well as fears of female sexuality on the parts of the men writing about them.

    Also, I've noticed that a woman with sociopathic traits will attract men with BPD traits like moths to a flame.

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  2. I, however, feel the exact opposite- like an emotional vacancy. It's so easy to walk out and put on a smile for everyone, but the minute I'm home and the door is closed, that smile quickly fades.

    I resonated with this statement. That whole mask thing...

    I don't know a lot about BPD. It'll be interesting to hear more about it and how it relates to female sociopathy. Even though I am getting tired of all these labels.

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  3. The second person displays clear macdonald triad signs in animal experimentation but the bpd diagnosis isnt going to be entirely untrue because there is a definite self centration in the relationships. Essentially the person in the second letter does in spite of saying they are not a serial killer in the making have infact shown a distinct profile of a mixed towards disorganised serial killer but the noted "emotional vacancy" is consistent with unipolar depression and the episodes of wanting help were misstated as manic because in a manic phase a person is more likely to act without consideration of consequence whereas a sociopath will premeditate the consequence ls of their actions but not care due to the lack of empathy aforementioned. I may continue this evaluation later if anyone wants me to

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  4. It would appear that it all comes down to motivation. On the surface it seems that the ASPD and the BPD manifest similar behaviours but the reasons for these behaviours are entirely different.

    I have been diagnosed with EUPD (basically the European definition of BPD)and can identify with a lot of what the second part of the post was saying about how they behave. However (and it's a big 'however') I can go through long periods of feeling nothing at all, no guilt, remorse, no motivation other that alleviating boredom and then the world suddenly crashes in on me and the guilt is catastophic. I then pay penance, which involves utter self abasement, self mutilation, complete denial of my own needs, breaking my back to help and please people.

    This pattern has been evident for my entire life and I would 'experiment' with animals as a child, not so much to cause pain, but for a desire to 'see how they work'. On the other hand I would go to extreme lengths to stop the suffering of animals eg - walking out into traffic because there was a cat stuck in the road, getting bitten when trying to break up dog fights and suchlike.

    I believe this all come down to a split that occured in my personality due to some pretty severe abuse. I swing from 'emotional mind' to 'rational mind' - when emotional I feel so much, my empathy is enormous to the degree that it is useless, I can't help anybody because I am the same as them, I 'feel' exactly what they are feeling. When rational I am a raving bitch! I have effectively become abuser and victim.

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    1. Im similar but opposite. Also a fucked up family background.

      When rationall, im an iceberg and nothing bothers me or is even worth the slightest trouble. When emotional, I just hate psychos who won't leave me alone, and I love to fight the shit out of them. Most of them drops out after the typical "verbal offending game", so most often I would have to go against 2 or more opponents. Because these mini-pscyhos are generally calculating pussies.
      Btw, western society is one big pscyho too.

      Delete
    2. I feeling came to my mind. Everyday psychos being mostly about no hatred. Some really bad ones a lot about repressed hatred. Although they actually could be an internal turmoil BPD. The BPD male is something in between. "Minor" blow outs now and then, due to emotions, but generally a quite nice fellow.

      Maybe a consider a BPD more as a "leave me the fuck alone" personality. While the psycho is more the "sorry cannot do that. Trouble has come looking for you", type

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  5. Unipolar depression. Wouldn't that imply low self-esteem somewhere? Correct me if I'm wrong. In any case, low self-esteem is definitely NOT one of my many traits. I don't vary from feelings of adequacy to low self-worth like I've seen most of these 'labels' insinuate. So, you may want to consult the books again, but, by all means, do continue. I'm interested to know what your conclusion boils down to.

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  6. One other thing I neglected to add was empathy. Unlike the person above me, 'empathy' doesn't have it's own on/off switch because it's simply never there. About half a year ago, my sister's ex-boyfriend held her at gun point, and while, I guess, any 'normal' person (by normal, I'm going by societies standards) would have probably felt angry and/or hurt, I felt nothing. Nothing evil, nothing good. Just nothing. I more or less thought, "Wow, how irresponsible of him." But, mostly because there were children present during the situation. One of many examples I could give you, but that one seemed the most significant.

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    1. I don't believe you.

      I suspect your mind did a quick evalution of the situation. You turned off the self-pitiness switch to get an accurate evalution. Then probably felt he was just trying to bullshit you and knew the best option was to just stay calm.

      Rethinking the episode, you prefer to consider yourself being dead calm all the time. But you weren't. Noone is. There is always this very brief moment of evaluation.

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  7. However (and it's a big 'however') I can go through long periods of feeling nothing at all, no guilt, remorse, no motivation other that alleviating boredom and then the world suddenly crashes in on me and the guilt is catastophic.

    How long do these periods typically last, Anonymous?

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  8. I just read that really fast, and then went back and realized how long it was..WTH? Maybe the way it's confined makes it look longer

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  9. BPD mimics bipolar disorder very closely. As far as it being associated with ASPD this is the first I have heard of it. There is no similarities between the two... however in a world where the diagnosis of ASPD can keep you from doing somethings like... getting a crypto or other high risk security clearances.. which means pretty much your hopes and dreams of working in the pentagon are dashed if you have this disorder... it's probably best that they hand out BPD diagnosis rather than ASPD because no one cares about BPD. Just another ratty nut job cutting herself in the corner with razor blades crying about how badly her childhood sucked or how she was raped when she was two and she just ... can't ... stop... the ... nightmares.

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  10. Which is why I stick with my initial idea; MAYBE BPD would be applicable if I had feelings of inadequacy, fear of abandonment and low self-worth. However, since those very vital traits are obviously absent (other than the self-mutilation, of course, but I've made it pretty clear I didn't/don't hate myself), the diagnosis seems just a little far-fetched. My childhood? I've moved on. Anyone else?

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  11. I am not trying to punish myself for sh*t nor am I confused... I think this is probably what sets a person who is antisocial apart from a BPD. BPDs seem as though they seem really confused and extremely disorganized. As for childhood trauma that's not something I think of so much as trauma. I think of it more as it was a character builder.

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    1. It is mostly the same shit.
      One day, if you haven't done something too bad to think about, you'll sit down and reflect over your life. What made you become who you are etc. How childhood affected you both ways. It still had its affect and made you "different". Those moment of clarity you may very well feel that you are a BPD. If you decide to change something in your life, change a reaction pattern or whatever, because it doesn't "feel right". Well, then you have become a BPD over night :)

      Complex PTSD is a better, but more useless, diagnosis. It just doesnt do the labeling-trick very well. It can be so much and so little. Society dont care about you in general. Some inbetween persons you meet, might care a little above the average, but in general, they just want to know if you are dangerous to them in particular. And for that, easy labels are what they need

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  12. @no one

    These periods can last from a few weeks to a few years. I must say, however, that as I've got older I have learned to integrate the two to some extent. I suppose it makes me wonder:- could a 'bona fide' sociopath wake up one day and feel remorse, does this ever happen? As for 'another ratty nut job cutting herself in the corner....' that made me laugh. Do you have any idea how incredibly vengeful and 'outward acting' somebody with BPD can be? It's not always about self harm, it can often be about making the pain inside transfer itself to other people - 'I'm not going to feel this I'm going to give it to you instead' and they can be pretty good at doing this!

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    1. It would depend of the amount of shit he has done.

      It is hard to justify for instance taking part of the torturing and crap IS is now executing. The only emotional choice of realization would probably be suicide. They have crossed a border. Kind of no return. They need to continue.

      That is the trick many kid-soldiers in Africa has been exposed to.
      Blindfolded told that they would have to fire a gun against a person. And afterwards, seeing that it was their own parents or some other close to them. The leaders will make them feel that they have crossed the point of no return. Its shitty and fucked up. Yet it works.

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  13. "Do you have any idea how incredibly vengeful and 'outward acting' somebody with BPD can be?"

    I'll vouch for that.

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  14. I have no idea, go, shoot, how much

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  15. jeez, i thought i had bits of bpd but judging by what's written here, i'm kinda glad my therapist said i don't. my emotions are intense, oftentimes i am clouded, (i'm confident that's the depression), 'i don't know' a common refrain, frequently can see things from both perspectives that it feels like self-annihilation. (but i like that openness, it's rare after all). however, fundamentally, i am a highly sensitive person (HSP) - ie. the opposite of a sociopath. i do have five of the eight traits for bpd, but none of the emotional blackmail and thank god, none of the rage. i do share one of the big things with bpd - inconsistent sense of self. it's crazy, imagine looking in the mirror one minute thinking you look fine, then only five minutes later doing the same only to hate what you see. i have a theory that body dysmorphia (pretty exclusively) happens in those with bpd. so this is a reflection of the fluctuating emotions that are happening inside. why are they fluctuating so so much?
    also, they studied the brains of those with body dysmorphia and saw that their visual processing is focused on detail, rather than the whole, so obsessions follow. in their perception, the details scream out to them.
    why do i add this on a blog about sociopathy? cos i have, too bad. :)

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    1. They have invented subtypes :)

      You sound more like a "resigned borderliner". Internal turmoil and meaningless of life, but somehow not acting out a lot. The cost for not acting out is ,IMO, periods of depression

      Delete
  16. apart from animal torture, which I hate, the rest of this described me. And I am female and have been diagnosed as a Sociopath.

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  17. Yes, I had a psychology professor who thought the 2 personalities where just male and female versions of each other. I think the confusion arises for 2 reasons:

    1. ASPD is actually 2 or more disorders. On one side is the psychopath who is devoid of emapthy and other reactions. They have no reason to follow the rules. On the other side of the coin is people who commit anti-social behavior out of passion. The second group came from abusive families, and probably learned that following the rules wasn't the way to survive. There is probably some overlap of this type with BPD.

    2. People with BPD can often under intense pain forget about the harm that their actions could inflict on others. This could appear as a lack of empathy. However, afterwards they'll feel guilty, but they'll repeat what they've done because they don't any other way of dealing with things. Additionally, things like theft and violence can be used to regulate emotions.

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  18. A true sociopath is someone who goes out of their way to appear above all normal. It's more likely the sweetest most normal person you know than someone who is like a jerk.

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  19. I am a Diagnosed Female Sociopath. I have other diagnosis but that is the only one that is relevant. The only reason I am posting here is Because I think that all of you are hillarious. I have been searching the net all damn day looking for some type of positive text that I could use to explain to someone else about me. Lets face it, im a Sociopath...most people think im lying, manipulative, or going to kill them in their sleep. This forum however allowed me to see that I'm not alone in being proud of who I am and not hiding my ability/disability from others. I have been married for 13yrs, he will say I'm manipulative but loyal. I feel that the best way to live the life that you are handed is to build it around what you are comfortable with.

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  20. In terms of sociopathy, my doc told me i had "symptoms" very early on when i lied a lot to him not that i dont now. After a few years they diagnosed me with depression , narcissism , and GAD while showing many signs of BPD(before 18y/o). Although i can never lie to my councilor quite that well because i am extremely emotional and have developed an attachment to her. Also since she is very keen on identifying my physical discrepancies when lying. I am a little hurt to hear the rage on people with BPD because im very certain i have it. I understand the rage and murderous fantasies which dont go away and constantly force me to question my own morality. At the end of the day im too passionate to give a shit about the consequences. In my lifetime ive probably envisioned killing my parents multiple times though i was never abused severely. I do love my parents i dont really know why and i have never been able to tell them that. And when the one blogger above mentioned phases of extreme emotion and then switching to phases of harsh rationality, my mind went boom. literally from hysterical laughter to a general understanding and sense of happiness knowing i wasnt the only one.

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  21. The one thing i will say is that if i do have BPD then controlling those urges is only one part of the problem. The other half with BPD is understanding it since being consciously aware of these thoughts are mentally provocative and intrusive at times. As a result, when i was a kid i was convinced i was an evil piece of shit not fit as a human being. Apparently studying the anatomy of insects through razorblades in elementary school is deviant. i never knew that but other people sure thought it was. to this day i have a strong ability to lie without remorse for the most part unless i have a strong attachment to the situation, event, or person. However, when i get home and my fake ass smile wears off i usually punch a couple holes in the wall , self harm(in my teens), and have an "addictive personality". While i still strive to be clean i dont know if i ever will be because dulling the emotions prevents me from doing things i never want to do. Thing is, my mind and thoughts have always felt more real than reality itself haha. And also i died of laughter when someone mentioned ppl with BOD are attracted to ASPD like nightlights and campfires. Its fucking true. In my own perspective its because we, or at least I, acknowledge my current state of being and mind and wish to have someone who can soothe my intense emotion. I am very keen and pride myself in reading people. I was very unsociable as a child and spent most of my life studying the foreign environment of seemingly normal people thus my ability to blend in with all groups by the time i reached high school. I feel like a chameleon but one that is conscious and stimulated negatively by my ability to do so. I am very self conscious, especially for a guy, and am rather jumpy (anxiety im assuming). I dont even know why im really blogging here but i just wanted my honest opinion for once expressed. If anyone else has better suggestions to coping with my unstable ego that would help. I am very open to logic so as long as im interested. I also become bored very easily. aside from being on two polar ends of logic and emotion, i also feel that i am torn between being anxious/paranoid(changing phones/sims/ always wearing my brim low/skipping court) and being profoundly bored as fuck to the point that i become very sadistic. I had a sadistic phase and i really dont wish to talk about it here. i do not doubt i caused severe trauma on someone completely unaffiliated with me for shits and giggles. i feel remorse sometimes and other times i rationalize the event. At the end of the day no one was crippled (physically) or killed. But i remember that moment like last night every day. it was so calm and serene when i look back at it i convince myself im a sociopath although im clearly very emotional. Regardless i have a very unstable sense of self and am constantly depressed. Just reading the posts on this blog however makes me feel comfortable and not so foreign for once in my life though. its like 6 am and i havent slept in two days, not rare since ive had insomnia since my early childhood(scared as shit of the dark and anything not visible or noticeable to my sensory organs). Probably should sleep but the more i read the more intense my desire to understand more becomes. Nostalgic to my youth when i would spend nights finishing books. never used bookmarks since if i liked a book i would go through it twice in a night. and if i didnt then... well lets just say bonfires were the light of my teens because they were always beautiful in my eyes. no i am not an arsonist but fire just makes me tingle in a warm kinda way. anyways im ranting because my body is tired and thus my writing today is all the fucking over the place aha. my apologies but i hope this provides some insight on someone BPD and not ASPD. (male 20y/o, suburban enviro, middleclass fam) (im the anon above :) i just rant enough to max out the word limit on this blog )

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    1. Nice post.

      Depression may be the cost of not acting out.
      How can one realize the lack of purpose and meaning in life. How can one realize how manipulative most people are, and get away with most things. And yet, put restrictions on one self, despite of "knowing" by logic and by experience how the "world" goes, without feeling depressed ? I can't. In the past I used to comfort myself by pretending my friends where a lot better and above the normality of friendship. Some of them were. But in the end, does it really matter ? I still don't know. And thinking about it makes me "wiser", but generally not more optimistic. It is related to the phenomena of "depression and realism". Depressed people tend to percieve the world more as it actually is. They don't (attribution error) so easily attribute a good outcome to their own personality and efforts. And they don't blame the rest of the world so easily for shitty outcomes.

      So normal people, are not really normal at all. They just fit better into the machinery that western societies have become.

      Delete
    2. Of course a normal person is more normal. What I meant to say was that it is normal to be more deluted and schizophrenic. It just happens to be more constant and more beneficial for the system, so it is not worth fixing.

      Delete

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