Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The similarities in personality disorders

I thought this was an interesting analogy about how vultures who are vultures and storks who look like vultures came to look and act so much alike:

What is perhaps most remarkable, however, is not that New and Old World vultures may not be related but that two possibly unrelated groups of birds have come to look so alike. They differ externally only in the longer and functional hind toe of the Old World vultures and the open nostrils (you can see right through from one side to the other) of the New World vultures.

This similarity is the result of a process called convergent evolution. It’s the selective pressures of the lifestyle that shape an animal, not the shape of an animal that dictates the lifestyle — given sufficient time, that is. So when different animal groups share the same ecological niche independently of one another there is a tendency for them to reinvent the wheel, finding the same solutions to the same challenges and ultimately coming to look very much alike.

Could this explain the similarities between narcissists and sociopaths too? Between borderlines and sociopaths? Could it be that sociopaths actually are on the autism spectrum but just look like vultures (personality disorders) because they've developed to react to different things?


  1. No. It's not possible. Sociopaths are vultures and that's the end of it.

    1. Perhaps you feel like left overs after what a Sociopath has done to you.

      Besides, Eagles would be more precise.

    2. Just saw the movie The Little Prince, wow. It seems to me a fox is a fox, a beautiful flower is a beautiful flower, a snake is a snake. a little prince is a little prince.

      Is their some overlap in these 'characters'? Probably,yes, but their are also some stark differences. Can these differences be altered with effort, therapy, education, desire? Good question. I believe if one has a STRONG desire to change, and the effort is sustained over many, many years, change is most certainly possible. But one must be careful. In times of stress, difficulties, one will be susceptible to going back to their 'true' nature. One must really desire the change.

      That being said, it seems to me their is also quite a bit of overlap in these personalities... but also some stark differences.

    3. Regardless what the sociopath did to me, I'm so fucking strong, it only made me wiser and stronger. And that sociopath is in a pretty fucked up position themselves. But hopefully they will become wiser and stronger too.

    4. I never knew bitterness translated into wiser and stronger. So wise as to make such a generalized statement based on personal vulnerability and weakness?

    5. "finding the same solutions to the same challenges and ultimately coming to look very much alike." "it's the selective pressures of the lifestyle that shape an animal."

      It seems through one's life experience one 'adapts' to what one is forced to adapt to.(through childhood, pressures from work, society, etc.) it's certainly possibly to adapt sociopathic behaviors if one's been exposed to much abuse. What other choice is there?

    6. With the constant desensitization of society, and a slew of new disorders within the past 20+ years, those of which has overlapping diagnostic criteria, it's possible it's some weird evolution of humans. If you can call it evolution...

      BPD,NPD, and some on the spectrum share ASPD (AntiSocial Personality Disorder) as another subtype. So yes it's possible.
      Look at Lanza, perfect example for the HFA/Autism category.
      Of course it's a highly controversial topic, yet it should be addressed and i'm glad it was brought up.

    7. Socios are just cats, you narcissists go ahead call yourselves eagles, lions, whatever makes you feel good!


  2. Animals DO NOT evolve. They are created by Jesus Christ and
    God The Father.
    The reason for wickedness and misfortune in the world, is because
    Almighty God SUPERINTENDS (oversees) it.
    Why does that maniac on the roof top kill 13, and then the gun jams
    and he is taken out? His intent is to kill hundreds. He stops at 13.
    It was time for the 13 to go. Not 14, 15, or 16. Their time will come
    None of us has any long range immunity. If God would not spare His
    own Son while He was here, He might not spare us.

    1. There is no God you fool. Go believe in that crap like the weak sheep you are, afraid of death so you invent heaven. blah blah

    2. You think you are doing us a favor spilling this crap all over the screen? Your GOD (if he is, which I doubt) shows all the traits of a sociopath, arbitrary and disinterested, even creates a SATAN to beef up the fun, watching you weaklings roll on your knees and piss all over yourselves like ingratiating dogs you are. He gets bored for sensation he hits JAPAN with a tsunami and quake, loving the GODZILLAness of it all.You think you are gonna make some converts? If your GOD made us this way maybe he has big plans for us, which included laughing our asses off at your weak insecure fools, you are dog food waiting to happen!

  3. The DSM V made the unpopular decision to get rid of 5 personality disorders, among them, narcissism. The rationale was that many of these traits exist in multiple disorders. It's not that narcissism is considered not to exist, but that it exists as part of another disorder.

    In layman's terms that means that now you can't just be diagnosed as a self centered asshole. Now clinicians must specify a particular flavor of self centered asshole to ensure that insurance companies will cover the cost of psychotherapy. I won't get into the giant debate surrounding this because it's not my fight, but I do think the choice to change the personality disorder classification system underscores the point of this blog post.

    Personality disordered individuals are not "well adjusted" members of society. What does this mean? It means that even if they are high functioning, a disproportionate number of individuals who interact with them find them to be more than quirky or irritating. They are destructive- often for reasons beyond their conscious control.

    A degree of egocentricity that the disordered individual is usually blind to pervades all of the personality disorders. There is little recognition that they interpersonal difficulties that follow egocentric behavior are consequences of disordered behavior. Bridges are burned and this pattern leads to much pain for some disordered individuals because they really can't understand why and feel like victims.

    The problem lies in not properly connecting the dots between cause (behavior) and effect (loss). The reason is that behaving selfishly tends to be more satisfying in the short term than taking it on the chin. Cluster B Personality Disordered individuals (these are the ones that make society particularly mad) tend to be exploitative. But here's the thing: they like operating the way they do and think it's the "right" way to do things. So there's very little motivation to change the narcissism at the heart of the personality disorder because feeling entitled, grandiose, and untroubled by emotions is far more comfortable than examining cause and effect of behavior that leaves a mess for other people to clean up.

    To that end, I'm not sure that the PD's look so similar has to do with converging evolution. Rather, I think basic personality structures (on a genetic level) interact with higher than average narcissistic defenses in a young child (often necessitated by environmental hardships) and create a self absorbed person who externalizes their pain by acting out their internal conflicts in a way that restores their emotional equilibrium at the expense of society.

    All personality disorders share some degree of overdeveloped narcissism as a way to manage emotional equilibrium. That narcissism allows a perfectly intelligent person to act in a way that is in their perceived self interest but hurts the people around them.

    1. Machemp, would you agree with strong desire, sustained effort, and hard work, people with disordered personalities can improve their quality of life, which improves the quality of life for those around them? You can see with recovering alcoholics and drug-addicts that work a recovery program, their are HUGE changes in their lives. Their lives make a 360 change. I would think people with personality disorders could have that kind of success, if they truly desired it.

      My understanding of sociopathy is that they really don't have a desire to change? is that correct? Do some of them want to change? We are all unique snowflakes with some similarities. I guess each individual is on their own path, and has to decide what's important to them and what they want.

    2. Maybe this will help you understand a little more, it's somewhat relevant to what your asking

      - http://www.addictionsandrecovery.org/is-addiction-a-disease.htm .

      - http://blogs.plos.org/mindthebrain/2012/11/12/why-addiction-is-not-a-brain-disease/

      With S/Ps a large part of it is to do with the wiring of the brain. As you may have read in previous articles/posts etc. Addicts, while they may be predisposed to substance abuse, they are much more susceptible to change, because they want too. So to answer your question in part, it is largely subjective to the person and their motivation and will. We do not want to change as there is nothing wrong with us. Except the boredom.

    3. thanks, I'll check it out.

    4. So a sociopath who's an alcoholic or drug-addict doesn't have a chance? What if the sociopath said they wanted to change? it was probably a lie. Come to think of it, when they said it several times, it didn't sound genuine or authentic. And they haven't changed. So it most likely was a lie. So much for wanting them to change. Maybe it's just a dream/fantasy for those who love them and would like them to change.

    5. Come to think of of it, a couple times it did seem genuine.Like their in pain and don't like it either, but have no choice about the matter? They were born that way, just like someone is born with a heart defect?

      More questions than answers it seems. Interesting discussion.

    6. @ 8 am- I think you answered your own question to me- my take is- yes, they are capable of change. The issue is: is there desire to change to act as a catalyst to the change?

      ME was only ready to engage in self examination when she connected the dots between her actions and her pattern of "blowing up" every two-three years. She recognizes that some of her her life goals (for example- marrying and having a family) are not served by the 2-3 year life implosion scenario.
      I highly doubt that she feels excessive guilt about her own previous actions, but she does seem to understand that many of her current difficulties are related to past choices.
      She does seen to have strong attachments to her family (and perhaps a few friends) and has an interest in maintaining those relationships. Her "EQ" is unusually high for a sociopath in her willingness to see herself in relationship to those she cares about and firmly grasp where the disconnect happens when her relationships break instead of just labeling the other side crazy.
      Perhaps it is her doggedly analytical nature that forces her to get to the bottom of the mystery of how to function better on an interpersonal level.

      ME is not a textbook psychopath because she seems significant more interested in long range planning. While she has referenced impulsive behavior, I suspect that her new conclusions about the effect of her behaviors on her long term success in relationships now inform her decision making process. It's no longer as simple as "if it feels good, do it".

      Many people have suggested that she's narcissistic but not sociopathic but I think I agree she's more sociopathic. She isn't terribly interested in making people like her, even as she does seem to enjoy being in the spotlight. She enjoys being an attractive woman and will likely continue to play that card, but she is the rare beautiful woman who will likely surrender to age without much grief because she simply sees her beauty as a current resource that is a means to an end, not a central part of her identity.

      What strikes me as consistent with sociopathy in terms of motivation is that ME consistently indicates her desire for power. Any good political strategist can tell you that to know yourself is essential in coming prepared to any battle. ME seems to use this blog both as a means of self exploration and as a forum for self justification and/or creating a public persona with social capital. There is no doubt in my mind that SW is only the beginning for her.

      ME's life as it is reflected in this blog is a case study of a sociopath in the process of personal transformation. She is self reporting an experience that is pretty much uncharted territory. I do see a bit of idealism and altruism as she tries to translate her experience into empath terms to help clear up stereotypes that lead to other sociopaths (esp child sociopaths) suffering unfair stigma. At the risk of sounding like a suck up, I respect ME for this. While I don't doubt that she has multiple motivations for her actions, it can't be denied that she has done something brave by making herself vulnerable to fierce judgment/persecution in the interest of furthering the cause of helping sociopaths be less marginalized. Say what you will about her dark side, but that's pretty noble. Most people wouldn't do that.

      The complex interaction of the dark and light within ME illustrate an important point. She's not the evil robot who is a slave to evil that pop culture tells us sociopaths are. Rather- she is a person with multiple motivations who has the power to proactively shape her future. In short, she is as fully human as any empath. She's a credit to her "kind".

    7. Actually none of the personality disorders were removed from the revised version of the DSM.

    8. I misspoke- thank you for the clarification. What I was referring to was the hotly contested battle surrounding the PD's. My understanding was that originally narcissistic and histrionic personalities were not included in the original drafts of the DSM V because there was a push to move towards a more dimensional model of diagnosis.
      It may vary according to the state regulations, but my understanding was that the were not scrapped (still included) after the outcry by clinicians having to deal with billing- essentially they would have to re-diagnosesome in order to ensure insurance reimbursement.

      I'm not a clinician and follow this more from the research angle but I would be curious to hear what your thoughts were regarding the dimensional approach to PD diagnosis. I know there was a lot of controversy.

    9. It made my head spin :) Like many, I had a difficult time understanding it. Although my push towards seeing more of the complexities in humans made me more receptive to it than others.

    10. It is quite a paradigm shift. Because I've never done clinical work I don't feel it's my place to say whether the dimensional model is better or worse. As an observer and a writer, however, I find it to be helpful as I try to think about applying psychological insights on personality disorders to real life.
      Perhaps the greatest strength of the dimensional approach (in my mind) is the necessary shift away from binary thinking- as in- someone has a disorder or they don't. It also is helpful for me as I explore pathological patterns within family systems (I am currently working on a project that explores the effects of fundamentalist Christianity child rearing practices on personality). Dysfunctional patterns of relating issue from authority figures with very different disordered thinking.
      While I understand the need to keep the old classification for billing purposes, I agreed with the committee's original plan to eliminate the histrionic and narcissistic disorders (while adding the PD not otherwise specified classification).
      What we do know about personality disorders is that patients who manifest them have distorted world views that motivate them to act in ways that are destructive to those around them. They possess a sort of willful ignorance/determination to view the world in a way that does not threaten a constructed self. Blame is externalized (with the possible exception of dependent personalities) so that pathological behavior can be self justified.
      A colleague has called me "Jane Goodall to the Jesus freaks"- which is a funny designation, but apt in a way. Where clinicians are able to deconstruct an individual experience through talk therapy, I see the way religious fundamentalist communities operate as a system, and see an overall pattern of blaming and scapegoating that is not limited to a single personality disorder. There are also degrees of intensity with which these behaviors are manifested, and roles that different members seem to fill.

      One observation is that when there is a change within the power structure of the group (a leader falls from grace, usually) there is a reorganization of roles. Someone who might've appeared to be dependent suddenly seems more borderline and someone who seemed merely narcissistic becomes deeply paranoid. It seems that changing circumstances impact the manifestation of personality disorders.

      I wish I had a more thorough understanding of clinical experience of treated patients with personality disorders to understand the mechanisms that cause these apparent shifts. That is why the dimensional model of personality disorders strikes me as having some promise.

      I'm curious- what are you researching?

    11. I respect her doggedly analytical nature and her pro-activeness in bettering quality of life for those with personality disorders, and specifically educating others on sociopathy and 'showing' sociopaths (and others) their are other options if one so chooses. This is a very helpful tool for many of us to grow and understand.

    12. Histrionic personality disorder should be removed because almost no one receives that diagnosis. I supported the removal of narcissism because it is over used in our culture. Right now others are calling individuals who post videos on youtube of themselves, or pictures on facebook, or doctors and lawyers who blog, narcissism. Now all of a sudden everyone is an expert on mental illness, and feel they can accurately diagnose others. People wanted access to this information. They wanted to know what psychologists know about others, but I sometimes feel psychologists should have disseminated this information more responsibly Numerous psychologists are self-diagnosed narcissists. After encountering it so many times, I started to ask them why they thought they had narcissism. They would say things like "because I wanted to go to grad school”, or "because I wanted to be an influential person". Sometimes psychologists get so hung up on pathologizing everything that they pathologize things that shouldn't be. Most children are encouraged to grow up and go to college, or to become an influential person. I thought these were all good things. I started to become furious with the diagnosis, and was glad its removal was proposed. I've only ever really encountered a handful of truly pathological narcissists. Perhaps the psychologists who see themselves as being narcissistic really are. Perhaps some of these personality disorders should be conceptualized differently. In NPD, BPD, and ASPD, these individuals tend to be attracted to power, and generally are not overly submissive to others. Many of them are more comfortable being in an authoritative position, and they all have traits that benefit them in maneuvering through so social classes. It's no coincidence that the professional world is full of these 3 personality types.

    13. Blame is often externalized by people who have these disorders, but some of them are very introspective, and recognize so much of this comes from within. The author of this blog is obviously very introspective. Ted Bundy was also very introspective. He had a bachelors degree in psychology, and spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out why he was the way that he was. He was also very articulate which helped others gain insight into the psychopathic mindset. During his last interview he described his psychopthy as being episodic. He claims that he had a full range of emotion when he wasn’t in these episodes. The psychiatrist who interviewed him believed him, but others thought he was intentionally being deceptive. Perhaps any emotion experienced by him felt like he had a “full range of emotion”. About a year ago, I spoke with someone who had been diagnosed with ASPD by a military psychologist, and was ultimately discharged from the military because of his behaviors. He had quite a predilection for weaponry and had a lot of violent fantasies. He was very introspective as well, and also had a bachelors degree in psychology. He said he recognized from early on that he was different from others, and wanted to better understand why. With that said, of course, I’ve certainly seen many people with these disorders blame society, and others for feeling the way that they do.

      In regards to your comment about changing circumstances impacting the way personality disorders manifest themselves, isn’t it appropriate to experience a psychological reaction to change? Does it really need to be classified? This is one of my concerns with many psychologists. They tend to be uninterested in seeing all of the complexities in humans. The human mind has a need to organize and classify things in to different groups. This is where stereotyping comes from. The narcissist isn’t temporarily developing an entirely different personality disorder, they are simply experiencing an appropriate psychological response to changes in the environment which can be stressful.

      You ask what I am researching. I’m not sure what you mean. Research has a certain connotation in the field of psychology. It may have been acceptable at one point to consider observing human behavior “research”, but now psychologists are only interested in the objective data. To do this, one would have to design a study, acquire permission from participants to volunteer, participants would need to sign a consent form, I would need to collect data and analyze it, and so forth and so on. If you are asking why I read this blog along with some of the comments is because since starting college I have been interested in the similarities and differences between sociopathy and borderline personality disorder. I wouldn’t necessarily refer to it as research, but would probably say something along the lines of “based on my observations…..”.

    14. That's a great area to explore. In my work with battered women I've learned that Borderline men often are misdiagnosed as AsPD because they manifest behaviors that are different from the typical female borderline (which serves as a sort of template). There's an organization called "Common Purpose" (similar to EMERGE- Lundy Bancroft's group) whose director has been kind enough to share many of his insights with me to help with a series of articles I did a while back. In his estimation, only a small minority of the men should be classified as psychopaths. Most struggled with emotional literacy and culturally based misogyny. He pointed out that while batterers were almost always manipulative and self centered, it was more common for them to have "too many feelings" (borderline) than too few (AsPD).

    15. It actually has nothing to do with their behaviors manifesting themselves differently because they tend to be similar in my experience with people with bpd. In fact, in my experience, the women were more dangerous, and for the most part the ones who threatened violence tended to be women. The reason bpd men receive the aspd diagnosis has to do with gender stereotyping. It's not entirely uncommon for sociopathic women to be labeled with borderline (look at Jodi Arias), and borderline men to be diagnosed with aspd. It's because there is still a belief that women tend to be more emotional than men.

    16. Here's an article you might like. It talks about how in the field of psychology it was once believed the ratio of women with bpd compared to men was 4 to 1 because of gender bias, but we now know it's about 50/50. It also talks about how bpd men receive the aspd diagnosis.


    17. Male BPD sufferers tend to get labeled ASPD because they are more likely to act out rather than internalize their emotional storms. Do women also act out? Absolutely. But it's really important to understand that while there are many domestic violence situations where both parties physically assault each other or the woman initiates the conflict, the overwhelming majority of domestic violence victims are female.
      Male and female borderlines are both a menace to society, but the violence committed by a man is often considered to be more "normal" because of gender stereotypes. Because there is often as size and strength difference, men usually "win" in conflicts like these. If you look at data from emergency rooms, there is far more catastrophic male on female violence being perpetrated.
      Jodi Arias makes the news in a way she wouldn't if she'd been the victim, not the perpetrator. Even if the ratio is 50/50 (as you and others state- I believe correctly) there still needs to be an acknowledgment that males with BPD tend to inflict more physical damage on their female partners than female BPD sufferers do on their partners. Does that mean that male victims of BPD partners don't exist? Absolutely not. Just that male BPD abusers have a size/weight advantage that allows them to be more of a physical threat.
      Very often- a BPD woman has her rage storm neutralized by a partner and she gets labeled crazy but the situation ends without violence. Sadly, a BPD man's rage storm tends to be harder for a partner to manage. The rage storm gets acted out rather than neutralized in far more cases where the BPD partner is male, which is why national data reflects far more documented male on female violence that ends in medical treatment. The gender difference is less about the internal motivations and more about the capacity to do physical damage. That's why male BPD looks more violent and female BPD looks more histrionic to an outside observer.
      Once again- I'm not a clinician, just an observer of domestic violence trends on both state and national levels. Male on female violence is more of a problem than female on male violence.

    18. I actually worked with BPD for awhile, and where I agree with you that men who engage in physical violence have an advantage because of size, women with bpd threaten violence quite a bit. Whether they will carry it out or not is a different story. In a professional setting I was never threatened by male bpd's ( not to say it doesn't happen because almost every mental health professional that has worked with bpd has been threatened), but I was threatened, or violence was suggested, quite a few times by women with bpd. There are quite a few bpd advocates that get really angry if you mention bpd and violence because they feel it perpetuates stigma. They ask mental health professionals to just show compassion towards bpd. They're not fooling anyone that has ever worked with bpd.Not all people with bpd will engage in violence just like not all sociopaths will engage in violence, but my take on it is instead of being scared of talking about it, being worried it will perpetuate stigma, and sweeping it under the rug, why don't we talk about treatment instead.

  4. So it's like saying that sociopaths are at the core "harmless" storks but because of the circumstances that they faced or experienced overtime developed coping tools/mechanisms that made them to act and look like vultures. For these "storks" to realize their original identity or real self then, they need to be removed from the same experiences and situations that they shared with "vultures."

    On the flip side, it is also possible for "vultures" to become more "stork"-like if they had the same experiences and conditions with the latter, right? People with PDs provided with positive or favorable experiences in their lives can become relatively harmless autistics. Or should the more appropriate term be pseudo-"autistics"?

    In the end I think the foremost that needs to be resolved before moving forward in this discussion (if at all attainable or possible) is, which is of higher order or which is of the first order, autism or sociopathy (or other PDs)?

  5. Continuation...

    Or in truth, these two are totally different and distinct conditions or modalities altogether?

    1. "The Science of Evil" (Baron-Cohen 2011) answers this question well. The gist seems to be- there is a morally neutral state of being that does not include experienced empathy that is consistent with an autistic personally. The sociopath, however, is not morally neutral because a level of scheming and malice overlay a brain that doesn't feel empathy. It's the interaction between the malice/scheming and the lack of behavioral controls that are imposed by experienced empathy that make a sociopath far more of a menace to society than an autistic person might be.

  6. I think that the owner of the blog has already claimed that she is herself morally neutral, by definition one who does not have a fixed distinction between what is right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable. To her and other sociopaths, what constitutes an act to be right or wrong is dependent on the situation or condition; more often it's about if it would cause/generate more personal gain or not. An act maybe moral in one case, but if applied to a different situation it is not. To them everyday living is like going to war...everything can be fair game. The difference and commonality between normal people and them is the extent or degree to which they perceive something to be good or bad. In larger context, scale or model (or in exceptional cases), I think both group's perception about morality (i.e., penalties or punishment as provided by law) would not split off or vary that much, but on a more personal level, the gap is considerably wide, as to sociopaths it's me first and to "hell" (excuse my choice of word) with the rest.

    1. Another case in point, say for example a massive calamity struck leaving the majority displaced, stealing or looting of stores for sustenance maybe justified if there are not other feasible options available or even if there are it cannot be immediately executed. I think both sociopaths and normal people, even those who claim to be morally upright would in a way condone this.

      But for sociopaths it goes even further, (not insulting the intelligence of people here) to them stealing for fun, for kicks or personal gain (even if there are options or alternatives available) is okay. Nothing wrong there. And that's when the difference start to become apparent.

    2. Based on what I have read about sociopathy, I think a sociopath would not hesitate stealing something even from a disadvantaged person or someone in a disadvantaged state (i.e, homeless person, disabled, infirm, elderly).

    3. Easy prey for the scavengers.

    4. Anon 12:53 - It's a natural state of indifference, than malevolence.

  7. Interesting question. I'm not really sure. Psychopathy and autism seems to have a strong biological base (as opposed to an environmental or social cause). But many of the other personality disorders are believed to have biological vulnerabilities involved as well.

    What all of the personalty disorders have in commons, from a psychoanalytic point of view, is that the person's emotional and social experiences are organized around a central theme or preoccupation.

    Schizoid - Fear of closeness vs. longing for closeness
    Paranoid - Attacking vs. being attacked by humiliating others
    Psychopathic - Manipulating vs. being manipulated
    Narcissistic - Inflation vs. deflation of self-esteem


    So what defines a personality disorder is not the presence of absence of a specific trait (like grandiosity or manipulativeness), but rather a set of experiences organized around the issue of say, self-esteem in the case of a narcissist.

    Narcissists are often deeply ashamed of themselves and envious of others (one extreme), but will outwardly behave in a demeaning and grandiose fashion. Paranoids will at times be deeply mistrusting of others, and other others times be pathologically trusting of say...a charismatic cult leader. Schizoids will shrink from closeness, but at times be incredibly sensitive and authentic in an interaction with another. For every extreme trait there is also an opposite extreme.

    Focusing just on a trait like demandingness or callousness misses the point.

  8. I think M.E's latest tweet is kind of interesting. I do have to question it though. It seems I recall reading in her article that she purchased a house for a friend, and that she donates 10% of her income to charity (although this is probably for tithing). These would be altruistic acts.

  9. good post tonight ME. enjoyed the blog post and comments posted.

  10. ME, you were killing me for a while. I was really starting to doubt your intellect and sociopathy. But you've made an amazing come back. You've absolutely hit the nail on the head with this one.

    I do believe that sociopaths are neurologically related to aspies-- as you've mentioned, I'd argue that they really are on the autism spectrum. Higher functioning, of course, in addition to being sort of a savant. I'd argue that sociopaths are, to a degree, "born that way", where as personality disorders (particularly Cluster B's...I'm really going to miss the DSM-IV) are formed. Essentially, personality disorders are a result of the collective imprint on the brain that creates neurological changes, where as aspies and sociopaths have a gene for it. However, unlike aspies, I'd argue that sociopathy can have a latent onset, perhaps a stressful event with some sort of an oppositional defiant prodrome period--much like in the way that schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders have a latent onset (usually college-ish) but tend to have a schizoid or schizotypal prodrome phase.

    What an epiphany. This would amount to some really, really interesting research. Thanks for initiating discussion on this topic. I really am awesome. I just killed this. ME, you were killing me for a while. I was really starting to doubt your intellect and sociopathy. But you've made an amazing come back. You've absolutely hit the nail on the head with this one.

    I do believe that sociopaths are neurologically related to aspies-- as you've mentioned, I'd argue that they really are on the autism spectrum. Higher functioning, of course, in addition to being sort of a savant. I'd argue that sociopaths are, to a degree, "born that way", where as personality disorders (particularly Cluster B's...I'm really going to miss the DSM-IV) are formed. Essentially, personality disorders are a result of the collective imprint on the brain that creates neurological changes, where as aspies and sociopaths have a gene for it. However, unlike aspies, I'd argue that sociopathy can have a latent onset, perhaps a stressful event with some sort of an oppositional defiant prodrome period--much like in the way that schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders have a latent onset (usually college-ish) but tend to have a schizoid or schizotypal prodrome phase.

    What an epiphany. This would amount to some really, really interesting research. Thanks for initiating discussion on this topic. I really am awesome. I just killed this.


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