Saturday, June 1, 2013

Dr. Sociopath

From a reader:

i just read your book, and it made clear to me many things i have been considering for some time. i am not exactly sure why i am writing to you. well, that's not true. i am interested in your impressions. i hope you respond.

i am a trauma surgeon, and have been practicing for many years now. you mentioned another book in yours, in which it was stated that surgeons could be high-functioning sociopaths. i have read that book, and it struck a chord when i read it. i care nothing about the patients i treat. i treat disease entities, not people. i do it for the intellectual challenge, and for the high that i derive from having to make multiple instantaneous decisions that i must act on, that have life and death implications. i am good at what i do, and i think that part of the reason for that is that i do it dispassionately. and quite frankly, i dont care about the outcome, other than the fact that i do not want to be criticized at a morbidity and mortality conference.

i can do ungodly things to humans, and feel nothing. at the same time, i am incapable of harming animals. from my reading, that goes against the grain in regard to the usual descriptions of a sociopath.

outside of my professional life, i have never harmed anyone, but i could. i love knives, and have quite an interest in knife fighting. i occasionally carry one, and there is no question in my mind that i could use it with deadly effect, given the right circumstances. i live in the a metropolitan area, and occasionally ride the tube. i have thought on numerous occasions, while sitting in a car, that i am the most dangerous person in that car and no one has the remotest clue of that. to look at me, all anyone would see would be a quiet man, obviously athletic and physically strong, but from all other outward appearances minding his own business and a threat to no one. if they only knew.

please do not get the impression from this that i have the desire to harm anyone. i do not. i know that i could, however, and i derive strength from that. i know that you understand.
i am divorced, but am presently married to a woman i have been in a relationship with for many years. i do love her, and would not want to harm her in any way. that being said, i have had many, many sexual partners (in the hundreds) that she knows nothing about. many of them have been prostitutes, but many were not. over the past few years or so, i have had many adventures with transexuals. i am not attracted to men in the least. it is the very visible sexual excitement, characterized by the presence of an erection, that excites me. that cant  be faked, and it is a real turn on for me, but only if the person looks like a woman. go figure.

i have a handful of children, all grown. i am not as close to them as i wish. i have one grand child.

i am a risk taker in other parts of my life as well. i have traded commodities for many years, and not very successfully. i have convinced myself many times that i have finally figured it out, only to be beaten once again by my own greed, and to once again have my trading account wiped out. i have no plans to stop. on a related issue, i do not like to gamble. i used to live and work in a resort/gambling mecca, and i never got the bug.
i have taken a couple of  the sociopath tests for purposes of self-diagnosis, and i dont seem to qualify. after reading your book though, there isnt much doubt in my mind.

i am in a position of authority where i work, but am not and have never been a bully. i despise bullies. i have had quite a number of positions, and have had my contract not renewed on a couple of occasions, for reasons that quite frankly i could not understand. i was very good at what i did, and had the results to prove it. i was not good at playing the political game, however, and i think that was in large part for my downfall. i have had some of that in this new position too. i need this job, so i am trying to be more aware of what is going on around me.

someone once identified me as a very sick, and dangerous individual, capable of practically anything. over that time, i have never harmed anyone and have tried to live my life as best i could. i continued to pursue some of my "activities" but in every other way, was a respected member of society, and a loving companion and father.

i have always had questions about myself. your book as helped answer them. when i started this note to you, i had planned to ask you your impressions. i suppose i really do not need to do that anymore...i have answered my own questions. i dont feel bad though. i consider my sociopathy a strength. it has helped me to deal with some very difficult situations. it also affords me the security that i have other, perhaps less admirable strengths that i can draw on, should the need ever arise.


44 comments:

  1. First. (I had to.)

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    1. I thought about it... Then I realized that would just me as lame a thing to do as the reader who reviewed M.E.'s terrible book above ^

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  2. "i had planned to ask you your impressions. i suppose i really do not need to do that anymore...i have answered my own questions. i dont feel bad though. i consider my sociopathy a strength."

    Maybe you should still have asked, because I would be so quick to call you a sociopath. You're weird for sure, but a sociopath?

    First, the tests. It's easy to self-diagnose yourself a sociopath when you're not one, but the opposite is quite difficult. Then the political game, sociopaths love to play it and are very good at it. And finally, a sociopath wouldn't be so "full of love" when speaking of his family.

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  3. I didn't know there were trauma surgeons without pinkies. For the love of fuck, reach for that shift key and capitalize a word once in a while.

    Besides that, he comes across as cold and intelligent. I'm no sociopath, but I'm acutely aware of politics and other people's perception of me. I don't like the game, but it's the kind you lose if you refuse to play.

    I also care more about how my productivity is perceived by my peers and superiors, rather than being productive. For this reason, I need to be kicked every once in a while to get started, but I'll always level out somewhere that people find acceptable. My last boss saw this and booted my ass up to the top. I finished my PhD program first in a class of 25, even though I was a year behind everyone else. Left to my own devices, I'd have fucked off and ended up in the middle of the pack.

    Also, I will never admit to a fascination with very feminine transexuals. Never. I hope I'm never invited to a meeting in Thailand, that would be awful.

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    1. i want to hear more about this business of shifting with your pinky.

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    2. Like a good sociopath he did a quick mental cost-benefit analysis to determine the utility regarding the extra seconds spent using the shift key and pleasing the likes of you. As you can see from the results your grammar-nazi sensitivities weren't worth the extra effort required.

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  4. That was one of the most amazing letters I ever read. ME's book was worth just that, if that was all it did.

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    1. And, what was that, Ms Monica? Helping a sexually deviant surgeon understand himself better?

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  5. Surgeon from God knows whereJune 1, 2013 at 5:31 AM

    "i am divorced, but am presently married'

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  6. Howdy from your cousin on Schizoid Isle (sparsely populated by demand).

    The surgeon clearly has sociopathic tendencies, but I would be surprised if he were ever diagnosed as a full-blown sociopath.

    Socipathy is common among surgeons, and I've known one who definitely qualifies, but in addition to traits others have listed, I would add his inability to hurt animals. To be honest, I had to scan the opening scene of M.E.'s book (the one with the opposum); it made me ill. Unfortunately, this disregard for animals is pervasive among sociopaths.

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    1. can you give us a little spoiler?

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    2. I think schizoids are more interesting and better off than sociopaths.

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  7. One thing amazes me about people with children. They constantly bitch and moan about how awful a mom or dad or both they had, but you don't see them moaning about their role in the suffering they caused in their children.

    Monica is a great example of that. 99% of her posts are about how awful her mom was. Do you hear sorrow and taking responsibility in any shape or form in what led her son to commit suicide? Not even 1%.

    This is the way people preserve the self, I suppose. Evil is outside, any evil that is inside is easily justifiable by outside. A person over 40 is utter failure if she or he is still stuck in bitching and moaning about parents to outside world.

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    1. But i recall there are posts from Monica telling she was a weak person to her son, Didn't She say flat out she felt like a bad mother?

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    2. Yes, once or twice. She keeps saying she is here to heal from her mom's influences. You don't hear her worrying about grief, feeling guilty about what happened to her son on and on, do you? I mean, hey, if she is to be fixated on one thing why not loss if her child as opposed to not having had a good mother?

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    3. if she is to be fixated on one thing why not loss if her child as opposed to not having had a good mother
      You not particularly bright, are you? This is not grief counselling place, and there are people here who jerk off to see someone in pain.

      ANd how long do y o u think s h e should "fixate" on the excruciating pain of the loss of a child? Her child is dead ....gone forever....

      She hates herself for the loss of her child. DOnt you think it would better serve her to get her lousy mother's critical voice off her fucking back? Hasn't she suffered enough without that bitch's yammering on about how bad Monica is? DOesn't she need to feel better? You are an imbecile.

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  8. you're being harsh don't you think? it's too easy to judge. bitching and moaning may be tiresome but bitching and moaning is better than avoidance and pretence. even being stuck in it is better than being stuck in avoidance. i guess the difference is between running on a mouse wheel getting nowhere and cowering is a corner with your face to the wall insisting you're happy. i'd rather be on the mouse wheel.

    i am over 40, and have a father who won't leave his apartment or open the door for anyone but immediate family. he won't even order a pizza. he doesn't want to deal with the world in any way. so we have to do it or live with the reality that he may not have food. he will go hungry rather than go shopping. i don't understand avoidance in general, and hermits in particular. the bitching and moaning is because. i. just. don't. understand.

    actually i'm thinking it's just a personality type, not illness. and one that isn't prevalent because people who don't like to interact with others may be less likely to pass on their genes.

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    1. I'm not being harsh at all. I am only pointng out the fact that she could have been focusing on her sadness about her son, instead it's all about herself and her mom. I mean, we don't hear her saying she woke up again with the sadness of having lost her son ever, instead i's the dog that was not kept, it's the mother this and that.

      This is not specific to Monica by the way. This is the truth just about every parent. She just is the one we know and have observed over time. This is not apersonal attack to her at all.

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    2. As for your father. Clearly the guy is sick and it's your duty to take care of him. Bitching about practical matters is not the same as bitching about psychological damage the guy might have cause you in the past. You can always poison him if he is eating whatever you give him. I just throw that thought over there for you to stop bitching about taking care of your father in case you are. I'm not familiar with your posts.

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    3. "people who don't like to interact with others may be less likely to pass on their genes."

      Aren't you technically a living contradiction of what you just said?

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    4. @Anon
      I don't talk about my son on here because of the nastiness level of people such as you. Thanks, Zoe <3

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    5. @andy

      yeah but i said less likely. and i don't have children so there. in a way i feel as if i've already put in my time, since we the kids always had to be the mature ones.

      @anon

      not sick. likely high functioning autism. but i wonder if all these different disorders are just personality variants. anyway to give the poor guy a break he'222s over 80 so sitting inside to some degree is normal, but not 24/7.

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    6. zoe said: "i'm thinking it's just a personality type, not illness. and one that isn't prevalent because people who don't like to interact with others may be less likely to pass on their genes>"

      Welcome to Planet Schizoid. Or Schizoid Isle. Or maybe Avoidant Corner. Depends if your dad is fearful of (Avoidant PD) or uninterested in(Schizoid) social interaction. Or he could be depressed. Or have early dementia or Parkinson's or who knows what else. Or Asperger's--could be that. So hard to tell remotely.

      Personality style merges with personality disorder at the extreme end of the spectrum. So hard to tell where he stands. Whatever the case, it sounds like life with him is not easy.

      It is likely that many schizoids do not reproduce. I am one such schizoid.

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    7. if they don't interact it's unlikely they will be fornicating enough to pass on genes.

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  9. It is hard to follow the blog+comments when someone doesn't have a "full internet life"...

    So Andy is fat and all his sociopathic attitudes come from that. What a release. The so called spaths are in its basis just too selfcentered people.

    I didn't fall for a spath, Quasi, I fell for the role he played who happened to have a heart. When I saw it was a fake heart, my romatic interest in him ceased completely. And now that he has blown up stupidly his life even my interest for justice has faded, probably because I prefer immolation to interventionism.

    At the beginning there was pain, then novelty and curiosity, an interest in retributive justice, now he just looks too stupidly self-centered to realise who he really is and which are his real problems.

    Jessi




    Jessi

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    1. Why Jessi, I had no idea you ever had any romantic interest in me. What you wrote is somewhat important to you, given that it's fairly well written and without errors. Also, you wrote it in a word processor and pasted it here, which is why there's a double signature.

      I missed you <3

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    2. Hahaha. I was lying in my bed with my ipad. I tried to write it slowly since I was sleepy and was probably going to make lots of errors. I was done, but then I rewrote something, and didn't see the signature anymore so I signed again.

      You know I was talking about my spath.

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  10. My dad is an example of a parent who spends all of his time thinking about his own childhood and his own parents. As I was growing up, I always heard about how domineering his mother was to his father and the kids. He spent his adult years while his own kids were growing up trying to redo his childhood by getting together with his brother and doing things like playing catch and going on a canoe trip. Meanwhile his own kids were being ignored and his lack of interest in them plus his overall negative opinion of women in general caused issues for his own kids. Why can't people acknowledge their past but also be sure that they're not repeating their parents' mistakes or causing new problems for their own children?

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    1. this may seem harsh but not everyone should be a parent. it should be an earned privilege, not a right.

      and there should be parenting school and licensing. it would be a better world.

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    2. my dad is the same too. he was/is consumed by the past. i mean he tries and he asks us about our lives, but it's an effort, not natural and then he slides back into self-obsession. it's great that he puts in the effort but it's not a connection. or it's the connection you have with very distant relatives.. more formality than familiarity.

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    3. I had a decent childhood although I was molested during most of it. I am less angry over the abuse than I am over the lack of compassion and love I received from my parents. But because of them, I am a very compassionate parent who gives overloads of love. I feel like I could have been fucked up but I didn't want to be. Yeah I'm a weirdo in a lot of other ways but I refuse to let my daughter down. Its a choice. Some people choose themselves and their past rather than their children and their future.

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  11. There are other things. Im self absored n have thought about hittung people when mad everyone does.I care about examining my students as TA and coming up with research ideas based upon their behaviors. All this doesnt make you a sociopath.
    P.s. I am studying, masters in psychology.
    There are many things that are similar.

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  12. I feel people on here make this stuff because they are actually attention cravers

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  13. Damn skippy we are attention cravers. Attention is the base reward system and motive for most if not all forms of communication. Attention is our first opiate. We all live by means of context and contrast to one another. Anyway, that surgeon just sounds like a run of the mill prick. There was nothing particularly compelling about his tale. However I do share his sentiment that I would quicker harm a human than an animal. Whatever.

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  14. Thanks for posting, as a highly sensitive person I believe that personality types are a spectrum., I am fascinated with this site, in particular those who have traits I can identify with, loving of animals/ being a faithful partner. that said 95% I accept but do not exhibit as a trait. I agree sociopaths are very valuable. I would be a wreck as a surgeon. other peoples pain is my weakness. I am glad you exist. and for the record, I too am fascinated by transexuals.

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  15. I should also say, I am glad you exist because I understand how sociopaths operate, no judgement..I have experienced a sociopath in my life for many years. I learned a great deal. I was fascinated by him as he was so different from me. I enjoyed his perspective..I am uber highly sensitive, a passionate interest in psychology I have worked with children in care. been a family support worker and counsellor. I also have an interest in science. though as a dyslexic I am hopeless at maths. could not pursue science as a career. My point is I am interested in fact. FACT. you do a really important job I cannot do.FACT. I have done a job you would be hopeless at. we are both IMPORTANT. I exist for other Hsp's in the world processing life. and you exist to help us in our pain. My mother is terminally ill and relies on you. thanks for being a sociopath who loves animals and transexuals...I get it!

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  16. Any of the community who do not understand, how I understand you, read 'lord of the flies' personality is a cyclical spectrum in my opinion.


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    1. I don't think the trauma surgeon is a sociopath, I think he's just stressed out and probably mildly depressed. The fact that he is 'not interested in playing the political game' strikes me as being the key phrase he has used to diferentiate himself from a sociopath. Most people who have high-powered careers are very interested in interpersonal politics, whether they would like to admit to it or not. No-one becomes sucessful without networking and getting to know the 'right' people. That's what makes me think he is probably depressed, which would also explain his lack of empathy for his patients. He has empathy for animals- so therefore he does have empathy- fullstop. Animals are not related to his profession, so he allows himself to feel for them. When it comes to his job, he just switches off his feelings and relies on his intellect. I know plenty of doctors who are like that. But the best doctors are the ones who allow themsleves to show empathy.

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  17. We all have empathy, I think it has to do with the subconscious's ability to mimic. And thats all it is.. Its for survival purposes.

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