From a reader who identifies with sociopathy:
I was home schooled in a very religious household (my father was a senior pastor at a church in our town), and was never the centre of attention in any group of friends, and even after I eventually went to a public high school, I always preferred to remain on the outside. People in general never really interested me in a long term way, and my ability to maintain friendships has always been held back by the fact that as soon as someone is no longer nearby, I find it much easier to move on to a new friend than to try to maintain any form of long distance communication. There really is no reward in that for me. I suppose that all of that is to say that I never really thought much about the differences that I noticed between myself and others.When I was about 13, one of my best friends father died. It was a chainsaw accident, the blade kicked back while he was cutting brush and cut most of the way through his neck. His wife was the one who found him. It was the first major outpouring of grief that I had ever had to witness, and I think it was the first time that I realized that I would have to put on a show to avoid being though of as heartless. I wasn't very good at it, but I used the oldest excuse: I'm in shock, I'll process my emotions later.Shortly thereafter, I took a trip to Africa and watched people live the worst life possible and felt no sympathy for them. I could only feel disdain for them. I saw it as their fault that they could not pick themselves up, that they wasted what little they had on worthless shit like cell phones. I attributed these feelings to the antimalarial drug I was taking, mefloquine, which has been known to have unpredictable psychological effects.At this point, of course, none of this seemed odd to me. It occurred to me that everyone must be doing something like this. After all, people always talk about everyone wearing masks. Maybe I am not so different?Near the end of high school, I began to notice some other oddities about myself. Before then, I had never thought of myself as a manipulative person. As I thought about my interactions with people, however, I realized that, while I never was popular, I couldn't remember any time where I had a conversation or argument where I had not gotten what I wanted. People always had a favourable impression of me. It wasn't that I was trying to manipulate people specifically, it was just that I would decide what I wanted to happen, start talking to them, and it would happen. More recently (I am now 23), I have taken to more conscious exercise of this skill, making a game out of attempting to elicit certain responses from the people around me.I also began having episodes which I would describe as "rage breaks" in an otherwise completely calm persona. It didn't take much, but it took a very specific type of incident, and I would lose control for short bursts of time. Minor incidents usually involved someone's assertion that they were more important or more powerful than I was. More major incidents were usually stemmed from a similar cause but involved physical aggression towards me as well. My responses in those times ranged from insults to throwing someone through a door.