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What Is the Difference Between a Psychopath and a Sociopath?

There is no official difference between a psychopath and a sociopath; symptoms of either one usually surface by the age of 15 and can include cruelty to animals.
Histrionic personality disorder characteristics are often seen in psychopathic and sociopathic behaviors.
Anti-psychotic medications may be prescribed to treat psychopathy and sociopathy.
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  • Revised By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 22 July 2014
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There is no official definition of the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath, and some say that the terms are largely interchangeable. In fact, the The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists both psychopathy and sociopathy under the heading of Antisocial Personalities. Both psychopaths and sociopaths engage in similar actions and tend to have similar characteristics. The idea of psychopathy is older than that of sociopathy, and has a more defined means of diagnosis. Some differentiate between these conditions based on their proposed causes, but others disagree with this method, as the causes of both conditions are not definitively known. Additionally, both of these conditions are generally considered to be different from psychosis and Anti-Social Personality Disorder (ASPD), though these terms are sometimes associated with them.

Characteristics

Both a psychopath and a sociopath have a complete disregard for the feelings and rights of others. This often surfaces by age 15 and may be accompanied by cruelty to animals. These traits are distinct and repetitive, creating a pattern of misbehavior that goes beyond normal adolescent mischief. Both fail to feel remorse or guilt. They appear to lack a conscience and are completely self-serving. They routinely disregard rules, social mores and laws, and don't care about putting themselves or others at risk.

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There's a lot of debate about the presentation of a psychopath versus a sociopath. Some people say that a psychopath is extremely well-organized, secretive, and manipulative, while a sociopath is disorganized, unable to pass for "normal," and messier in his or her crimes. Others say the exact opposite. People may try to differentiate between a psychopath and a sociopath based on his or her ability to feel compassion, saying that a psychopath feels no compassion for anyone at all, while a sociopath might feel compassion for his or her family members or friends. There is no consensus on these distinctions, however, and since individual psychopaths and sociopaths have distinct personalities, the behavior of one person diagnosed as one or the other might differ entirely from someone else with a similar diagnosis.

Diagnosing

There is no widely accepted set of diagnostic criteria for sociopathy, so it's typically diagnosed using the criteria for psychopathy. Psychopathy is commonly diagnosed using the Hare Psychopathy Checklist - Revised (PCL-R). It is divided into two factors: "aggressive narcissism," and "socially deviant lifestyle." Factor one includes characteristics like a lack of empathy, failure to accept responsibility for one's actions, and an over-inflated sense of self-worth, among other things. Factor two includes things like continuously leeching off of other people, being easily bored and impulsive, and lacking long-term goals. There are other characteristics that don't fit in either factor, like sexual promiscuity and having many short marriages.

There are other proposed models for diagnosing this condition, including the Cooke and Michie model, which contains three axes of behavior — Arrogant and Deceitful Interpersonal Style, Deficient Affective Experience and Impulsive and Irresponsible Behavioural Style. Some people also use the DSM-IV's list of traits for ASPD to diagnose psychopathy. This includes four criteria, including a disregard for other's rights, being at least 18, having a conduct disorder since before being 15, and not having another disorder that can cause the same symptoms. Others disagree with this means of diagnosing, since ASPD is not strictly the same disorder. The character traits associated with both a psychopath and a sociopath also tend to overlap with the DSM-IV's criteria for narcissism and histrionic personality disorder, so tests for these conditions may also be used in diagnosing.

Proposed Causes

Some separate psychopathy and sociopathy based on their proposed causes. For instance, some people say that a person is a psychopath if he or she developed psychopathic characteristics primarily because of a genetic predisposition, and a sociopath if he or she developed the characteristics primarily in response to environmental factors, like abuse. Others say that they're both just different ways of describing ASPD. This method of differentiating between a psychopath and a sociopath is sometimes criticized, since the causes of psychopathy, sociopathy, and ASPD are not entirely clear, and are likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Psychopathy and Sociopathy versus Psychosis and ASPD

People often confuse the idea of psychosis with psychopathy or sociopathy, or think that all psychopaths are psychotic. These disorders are actually very different, and rarely overlap. Someone who is psychotic tends to lose touch with reality, usually to the point of having hallucinations or delusions. Psychopaths and sociopaths are usually very grounded in reality — they understand what they're doing and the consequences of their actions, but they don't care. A psychopath or a sociopath might kill someone's dog because he or she wans to cause emotional trauma to the owner; someone who is psychotic might kill the dog because he or she thought it was robot sent to take over the world.

Both the DSM and the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD) list both terms as synonyms for ASPD, but the terms are generally not interchangeable. ASPD is a much broader diagnosis than psychopathy, and is primarily focused on behavior, rather than characteristics or neurological differences. Though some consider both psychopathy and sociopathy as subtypes of ASPD, others claim that they are very different conditions.

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Discuss this Article

anon949087
Post 301

They have been able to prove for decades now if one has the brain function of a psychopath. They can do this by pet scans, MRI scans and there are genetic markers to check for levels of empathy etc. So why haven't we been given access to this by the medical, psychological, and biological community? There are probably many reasons but the biggest one is that it would have proven that these same communities have been wrong about many things and since we've based many of our laws and beliefs on these same theories, they would have had to denounce some of their most vocal experts as wrong and many of the recommendations they made as dangerous. It could have opened the floodgates of hell and people could've sued and gotten people fired etc.

So instead, they've kept much of their study on the genetics of psychopathy quiet, but more and more the information is getting out. The "experts" are trying like hell to pretend it's not as bad as it seems saying that we can find a cure and we need to cater to these people so that they won't be murderers. Notice that there are no advocates for education and protection for non-psychopaths. Nope. Non-psychopaths are expected and in some cases told (demanded) to do more, give more, be more understanding and patient and if you are a parent of one of these monsters, you will alternately be blamed for the behaviors of the psychopathic child or berated for not being perfect. Never mind that they can now do screening in the womb or genetic testing of the potential parents to see if they carry the genetic material to create one of these monsters or are one themselves. And they could have MRIs/pet scans available so that you could find out if your potential partner is a psychopath. But instead, you will more than likely only find out these truths after years of abuse and devastation. You will be sidetracked and kept busy with many bogus labels for their affliction such as passive-aggressive and borderline. The list is long and gets longer every day.

Start researching this subject and you will find many articles on the chromosomal, genetic, neurons etc. studies they have done. One I found especially interesting was written about by Jonah Lehrer on the differences between those born as psychopaths and those made into psychopaths through accidents or surgery. The ones born as psychopaths must manipulate and be harmful to others. Those made into psychopaths are simply incapable of feeling certain things. It's really important, this distinction, don't you think?

It's just a matter of time before people start taking this to the courtroom. That it hasn't been made more public is a testament to how badly we've bought the lie of psychology and how strong the lie is. The only place that I've found the whole hard truth is surprisingly, in the Bible. Not the crap preached by the psychopaths in the pulpit, not the mealy-mouthed Jesus who only loves and doesn't say a harsh word, but in The Bible itself.

Jesus addresses psychopaths directly in John 8:43-45. Psychopaths do not live in reality. Their entire way of thinking is only about themselves. Their brains are wired this way, and they truly believe they are the only thing of importance or alive for that matter, on this earth. They are absolutely and utterly selfish and they love what they are. Start reading the Psalms where those who have a conscience bring their cares to God and you will find over and over and over that this evil has been around since the beginning of time. Then read about Cain and Korah's rebellion against Moses and you may start to get a glimpse of the true nature and incurability of psychopathy.

The thing that's different about how the Bible addresses psychopathy and how the psychological community does is that these people are held responsible for themselves (in the Bible) but those in the psychological world who try to invoke our empathy for the psychopath, insist it is not their fault. So how can this be? How can a person with a conscience possibly blame the psychopath himself when they were clearly born this way? Well, it took me a long time because I was thoroughly indoctrinated in the ways of the world by both the church and the world, so I came to the truth of this understanding very reluctantly and with much disbelief. Isaiah 66:3 says "These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations" and once you know all the truth and horror about psychopaths, you will find that this verse is 100 percent true. Psychopaths love what they are as they believe they are god. (The God Complex is another name that used to be used to identify them.)

You know what though? I no longer care why or how or what if or all the other philosophical crap that keeps us spinning around like insane people. All I care about is those who are still in vulnerable positions due to the lies they've been forced to believe by the liars of this world -- those with a conscience who are being raised by and with people who are truly evil, who are unwittingly giving birth to people who will never love and must harm others. There are those who are lied to and told that with enough love and understanding and perfection, they can turn a demon into a snuggle bunny. The one consolation I have is that it appears as though there are fewer and fewer of these people being born. (Those with a conscience.) Why does this comfort me? Because as a person with a conscience, I can put myself in other people's positions, (psychopaths can never do this), and I'm so glad there are fewer and fewer people who can so deeply feel the pain and hurt and then when they search for help, get thrown back in to the fray by "experts" who tell them to give more of themselves and do more. It appears as though we've once again took for granted and so depleted another of our "natural" resources. Not only do we still deny that people are born without a conscience, but we blame those who do have one, on top of it. Let's hope we as a human race wake up before it's too late, but if you need truth and comfort that doesn't pretend that it's not as absolutely horrendous as it is, turn again to the Bible to see that God once again was thinking of people like us and told us the truth about these times, in 2 Timothy 3:1-8.

There's a reason people still seek out truth through God's word despite all of the evil done by evil people in the "name" of God, and that's because when you search the holy scriptures with a need for the truth, God is there and he is faithful to reveal his truth to you. There's truth and love and power in his word so just look for yourself. Don't be afraid of offending God by seeking him or invoking his wrath as many of us have been manipulated into believing will happen to us if we aren't perfect. That's just another way to keep us afraid (and remember, psychopaths don't process the emotion of fear but they love to induce this feeling in others in order to control them), and the fact that you can feel fear means that you have a chance to know God. Psychopaths have chosen their own way. Let them revel in it.

Last thing. The Bible says that "Perfect love drives out *what?*" Do you know the answer? You'd think it would be that perfect love, (which is from God himself as he is the only perfect thing), would drive out hate or anger or evil etc. But do you know what the answer is? From 1 John 4:18 "But perfect love drives out fear." Guess what? In order for God to be able to prove to you that He can drive out fear through his perfect love, you must first have the ability to feel fear. You are blessed if you can feel fear, as this is a good thing as it can provide protection and let you know you are in danger. Psychopaths do not feel fear, not in any significant way and never on behalf of others. So again, take all this to him, if he can't handle it, he isn't much of a "God" is he? Pour it all out to him, all of it. Don't hold back and don't pretend it's not as horrible as it is.

Spend yourself on God, and if you need the right words to use, look to the Psalms as many of God's favorites had the same problems as you and God loved them and us enough to write it down.

anon942262
Post 300

I can't believe how many misconceptions there are.

The terms 'Psycho'-path and 'Socio'-path refer to whether the disorder was present in the brain at birth or conditioned through upbringing.

The outcome is Anti-Social Personality, which is why the terms are interchangeable, though specifically refers to origin of the disorder.

anon942260
Post 299

The difference between a Psycopathy and Sociopathy is based on the nature/nurture origin of the disorder.

A psychopath was born a psychopath whereas a sociopath is created by the environment they were raised in.

anon936651
Post 298

A lot of whining in the comments. Where can I talk to more psychopaths? I've actually never had that idea until reading this article and these comments. Well this could get interesting.

P.S. You are already living in a world ruled by these scum, but don't worry -- the ones in power are very good at keeping the rest of us out of power. It's why they are pushing labels like psychopath and sociopath onto those of us capable of doing what it takes to survive in a world where God does not actually exist and survival is not a guarantee, no matter what you have been conditioned to believe.

Question: these mental breaks every three to six months. How do I avoid them? They really mess up plans and are what make that long term planning impossible.

anon357194
Post 297

I do want help. Is there any medication? I suffer from delusions and lack of motivation. Can someone offer advice?

anon350345
Post 296

I checked out this site because I was very, very disturbed by my daughter's ex-boyfriend. (Thank God above for their break-up!) He was so disturbing in so many ways, and completely and utterly exasperating on a thousand and one levels.

I have never, ever met anyone like him. He was so egocentric and could never, ever see anyone's side but his own. He literally would take whatever situation and twist it always to his side, and make my daughter feel guilty and angry constantly. He was not capable of empathy and often said he wanted to be a "hit man" and that it would be "cool to assassinate people". He was not joking. He meant it, and said he wanted to become an FBI profile agent -- and not so he could help solve vicious crimes and help others be safe. Rather, he wanted that type of job so that he could learn to control others, and be able "to read their thoughts and control people."

What was so frustrating was that it took a year and a half for her to be rid of him. He was a master at manipulation. Every time she was going to break up with him, he would weasel his way into her staying with him. He told her one day that he could "now trust her". When asked why, he replied, "Well, I have known you long enough now that I know your secrets and if you ever betrayed me I could blackmail you." How romantic, huh?

anon346969
Post 295

Criminologists define psychopathy and sociopathy as two different character types.

Psychologists and psychiatrists define psychopathy and sociopathy as interchangeable terms that mean the exact same thing.

Arrogant psychopaths and malignant narcissists define psychopathy as more exalted and powerful sounding than sociopathy, so that's why everyone's confused.

Psychotics are the worst people to mess with. Their crimes are full of unbalanced emotional passion and periods of zero empathy. There's a ping-pong effect of zero empathy to way too much, all under the guise of madness and delusions. They will paint the walls with blood, then shed tears for the victims, only to explode back into rage and divide the parts into millions of pieces, before kissing the body parts with an apology of

"Why did you make me do this?"

anon326756
Post 293

Psychopaths are loners. Sociopath (socio/social) network their crimes. A hit man is an example of a psychopath. A crime boss would be a good example of a sociopath. Thomas Monson and Mitt Romney are excellent examples of sociopaths and are regarded highly for this feature in their satanic character for the work they do for the LDS.

Razza
Post 290

I agree that meat eating is socio/psychopathic in some way, because it shows no empathy or remorse for the animals who have suffered just to satisfy someone's taste addiction, because many studies show that a vegetarian diet is actually the healthiest, so there is no real need to eat meat, or dairy or even eggs.

I think true empathy would not exclude other beings, just because they are not human beings. Some 99 percent of the animals we usually eat are not even threatening to humans.

To feel nothing for the torture, kidnapping and suffering these poor beings go through, is to me truly socio/psychopathic and the people who do it with a clear or not clear conscience are really closet socio/psychopaths.

anon305685
Post 288

"Meat is the cause of psychopathy and sociopathy."

Thanks for the laugh!

anon297872
Post 287

It seems to me that those who say sociopathy and psychopathy are the same thing tells me that they haven't really read about either in depth. For me, they are both different, but only by slight factors. With that, both terms are very general in definition. Try other articles and definitely look into some books. I've been researching for an English paper for the last week and I've discovered some interesting things.

anon288152
Post 286

There's a lot of people saying completely opposite things about the difference between psychopaths and sociopaths.

I don't think it's uncommon to consider whether you were one or not, but if you actually were one, you wouldn't care either way. You don't have to be a psychopath to want to rape or kill or even just be a horrible person, mentally.

This page pretty much said, it's hard to define the difference but the two aren't interchangeable. That isn't helpful at all.

anon287189
Post 285

There is no difference, really.

anon285906
Post 284

@dgillrn1951: Try and focus the questions on inducing emotional responses. They should not have to be harmful questions, but if he cannot answer deeply emotional questions, then it may help convict him.

anon285904
Post 283

Be careful here. What you may think is the truth may not actually be the truth. More often than not, just because you're providing information doesn't mean it's accurate information.

Taking responsibility and not making excuses is a great way to avoid being one or either, and staying clean and sober prevents you from having harmful emotional outbursts. I eat all sorts of things to satisfy my needs/wants but I refuse to use and I refuse to believe a load of crap.

anon284693
Post 282

I don't know if I've psychopathic or sociopathic qualities. Friends call me "psycho". From my side, I try my best to care for others, still I get to hear that I'm selfish. And surprisingly for me, I don't know why I've no feelings for others even though I try to have such feelings. I'm disorganized which makes me think myself a sociopath.

anon279278
Post 281

I tend to think of psychopaths as the mastermind (since they are unfeeling), and the sociopaths as the reckless energy-filled one that serves them.

anon276661
Post 280

Wow, so many posts I cannot even read them. Just for those who might read this, the main problem is what is going on in their heads. You cannot simply describe it by some obvious symptoms because you will mistake it and pretend, as many here do, that your ex is psycho, but he probably was not -- at least not in the medical sense.

The problem is really with what is going on inside their heads and that is one of those places researchers cannot reach, or maybe they don’t need to because they might be terrified, However, I do think even psychopaths have compassion at times, as well as love and feelings. It’s just their other things dominate over it.

In fact, I think they turn to cruelty because they think they cannot reach others’ love, but it is not only this. As someone who worked here with psychopaths said, they are truly scary, but do not always they pose a thread to you. On the contrary, normal, properly behaving people may, by intention or without knowing, can cause you harm and it is because they think “it’s not a big deal,” while at the same time, psychopaths very well understand pain and cruelty and may be very careful not to hurt others. But of course later, they may get to other points. However, they may be very caring, sometimes.

The problem with psychopaths and sociopaths and with psychopathic behaviors (because I think they could be momentum for some people) is that for some reason, they feel a betrayal of their love, that they have been betrayed. That is the scariest point for a psychopath to reach, and that is when he starts to show his dangerous traits. It may range from a huge scandal to various methods of revenge.

And this feeling of betrayal may be caused by small things that are not obvious to others, and of course, jealousy. Also, I am not sure they don’t have delusions. They are realistic but I think they also have some perverted reality which may mix with hallucinations. They fantasize (as someone admitted here) about causing pain to women, raping, etc. and their fantasies are very clear, but I don’t think this is unchangeable. I think it can get worse, but can also be improved. I think all people get their feelings hurt just by trying to cope in some normal ways, while psychopaths and sociopaths and their reactions are closer to hurting someone else.

Also, I think their hallucinated reality is very much mixed with the true reality and that is why they lie so well. I think it could be a development issue here since most of people learn not to lie and fantasize too much after a certain age. It is probably that their fantasized reality feels more comfortable to them, and it could be that they haven’t received enough love or attention while being young but also it might be the case of rejecting such love and attention.

However, I don’t think one meets a psychopath very often. In fact, I think this is very rare. --Chapla

anon276544
Post 279

I know I am a sociopath. I can't recall ever loving anyone. The only emotions I feel are anger, hate, happiness and boredom. Last month I saw a woman have a heart attack and I had to stop myself from smiling. I take great pleasure in watching other people in pain. I dream of raping and torturing women almost every night. The only reason I haven't acted out my fantasies is the possibility of jail time.

anon260898
Post 277

Why do all the comments here take the article so seriously?

anon258184
Post 276

Okay. Where to start? Firstly, I truly believe the terms do nothing further than categorise an individual in the direction of pharmaceutical or psychological treatments which offer nothing further, so why do so many of you peruse definitions over understanding? You definitely have me curious on that one.

Secondly, I wasn't sure what to write or even if my input into this diatribe would offer any real reward, but I have always been a sucker for a challenge, so here goes: In the real world feelings or correct feelings, responses are problematic. As you feel joy while within your group setting, someone will respond with an overabundance of joy, while some are much more reserved, and this is their dilemma. It's not the feeling, socialisation or ability to keep you engrossed in them; it’s their ability to respond or react to what you feel or think right here right now. Maybe it's a cool reserve, an outlandish display or a little dialogue but nothing more, nothing heartfelt.

If I honestly, intrinsically don’t feel the same way as you, am I crazy? Or just more realistically and rationally insulated?

As a psych professor explained to me, the problem with “pop culture” is it refers you to examples of serial killers, rapists and child murders, but by their own definition, these are the losers or less socially adapt within their sub-culture, meaning, at the other end of the spectrum there are highly functioning members of every society who harbour those with “the self-centred motive to empathise for profit or reward.”

I never make any reference to any religion, good or evil, as this becomes imbecilic through any eyes. Just ask a slave trader in 1710 or ask a Nazi concentration camp guard and it is always relative to the subjective whims of the individual faced with a pacific task or dilemma at hand, and as such, universal concepts of good and evil in a shared cultural environment soon become a thing of the past.

Finally, to those who believe they are and want to get themselves tested, they are not. Those who who like to scare others are just pathetic and those who want to hurt everyone without reward or benefit do sound like cattle to me. Those who question the act of asking any question in the privacy of your own home are too simple for words.

I would like to thank Post 105 for the one really insightful comment on this site beyond the myriad of breakup ramblings, moanings or trollings; “it's funny to notice psychopathy only presents as a problem to the system when the psychopath in question isn't part of the machine.”

anon251706
Post 274

Please check the sexopathy checklist to determine if someone you know is a sexopath (otherwise known as sexual psychopath).

anon239387
Post 272

Meat is the cause of psychopathy and sociopathy.

We are frugivores and a small percentage of folivores (tender non-bitter leaves) when fruit isn't available.

Check out Robert Morse ND.

anon236523
Post 270

I am just going to go by what the DSM 4 says and let you armchair doctors discuss uneducated silliness amongst yourselves.

MrZhawq
Post 269

To Editor:

Thank you for your response. I'm aware that it isn't possible to get completely around a subject such as this within the limits of 500 words, and I I didn't mean to come across as if I expected anything like that.

I do however think it is important to make sure to be as clear as possible so as to not by mistake mislead the reader...I acknowledge that my minority represent a serious issue in present day society and I have decided to turn my personal table, so to speak, and am trying to use my character traits, and my knowledge, constructively. This is what leads me to be serious about the information available about psychopathy.

If you, or your authors, are interested it shall be my pleasure to refer you to more in depth and relevant information on psychopathy and related conditions.

Thank you for an inspirational website.

MrZhawq
Post 268

I appreciate your attempt to describe the differences between psychopaths and sociopaths, but I'm afraid you didn't quite cut it. You only gave a vague, tentative description of one of the trends -- a trend that doesn't originate from the professional researchers or clinicians, but from layman observers.

You have ended up with something that describes traits both minorities can present and thereby you have failed to reach your goal.

Personally, I have chosen Robert Hare's description as it to me seems to be the more practically functional one.

If you - and your readers - are interested in learning more about how this all looks from the view point of someone who has the psychopathy diagnosis, but who (dare I say) is also fairly well educated in the matter, though still learning, look up Psychopathic Writings.

I would like to also address the poster before me:

I have been diagnosed with psychopathy, but I do not fit your description of a psychopath. I fit your description of yourself - a sociopath.

In my eyes, you are most likely a psychopath.

Sociopaths differ from us in that they have mores, or codes, and often identify with a social minority or group (neo-nazi, f.x. - it can be anything, really). Sociopaths can be extremely loyal to what they identify with.

A typical example of the codex or moral of a sociopath is the prison code "We don't condone or accept pedophiles!" -- stuff like that.

I was a little surprised at your statement: "We have no social awareness". I think we do; we just do not have emotional attachment to any of it. But I think it's probably just a matter of description. Still, our social awareness and knack for psychology makes it generally very easy for us to "fit in" with a social group when and if we choose.

Moderator's reply: Thank you for visiting wiseGEEK and for contributing to the discussion. Unfortunately, it is impossible to address all the subtleties and facets of two such broad psychological topics in 300-500 words.

Thank you again for visiting the site and sharing your thoughts.

anon230247
Post 267

These are statements that are detrimental to the actual fact about people going about their daily routines and yet without these types of questions, it would be hard for a psychotherapist to come up with some kind of answers when this started as a somehow figment of imagination yet only in it's creativity. Does not fit normal but only logical standards by playing it safe. It's what they call brainwashing techniques, no doubt.

anon229928
Post 265

This article is utterly pointless, even more so than the comments. For starters, the article is almost entirely wrong about what sociopathy and psychopathy even are. I really feel dumber just from reading all this nonsense.

Now for the comments. Almost every comment has fallen into one of two categories: false claims or trolling. Trolling is all over the comments: "socio/psychopaths" trolling "sheep", norms trolling would-be socio/psychopaths, and even worse, people trolling the trollers for being trolls. Sorry about the excessive use of internet gibberish just then.

False claims. Everyone says they are, or have known, a socio/psychopath. A lot of the kid cases do appear to have a disorder, as opposed to just being unruly. Those who put everyone on here down and say they are bad parents, or that their kids aren't messed up, they just want attention are discrediting these people's concerns, and even worse, are discrediting sociopaths' beautiful work.

All of this said, let's get to the meat and potatoes of this post that most won't read unless they are as bored as I am.

If you believe any one act or behavioral pattern makes your case for someone being a socio/psychopath, you are wrong.

If you believe your are a socio/psychopath, but acknowledge that your behavior is "wrong," "immoral" or that you need help for your "problem," you are wrong.

The truth is, neither have remorse, both think they are faultless, and neither would ever ask for, or seek, help for their "disorder."

Case in point: I am a sociopath. I'm not saying this as a cry for help, since I am perfect. I'm not saying this for "praise" or attention because I will likely never read the potential comments to this. I am stating it, quite simply, so that I can show what bit of qualification I have for speaking on behalf of my fellow sociopaths.

Sociopathy, in itself, is a complete absence of social awareness. We lack empathy and any other form of sincere connection to other human beings (trust me, I've tried - just to see what it was like). This causes us to be manipulative and abusive toward our victims, as we simply don't comprehend they are people, too. We have absolutely no regard for authority or morality or any of that nonsense norms waste their time with. This causes us to routinely, but smartly, break the law. We break laws like murder and rape without batting an eye, because we don't care about the victim and believe we will get away with our crimes.

Which means, very clearly, that you are not a sociopath if you regret anything that was pleasurable or profitable for you. Yes, no matter how "bad" your action may or may not be. We do, however, possess regret. It just isn't the same form of regret that norms have. Sociopaths regret failed endeavors.

For example, I very much regret when I have the perfect victim then make a bad judgment call and get them to run away (sometimes literally). The key difference between sociopath regret and norm regret is that norms regret hurting someone, or breaking the law, where as sociopaths only regret failing.

As for psychopaths, they have similar behavior patterns, but a completely contrasting mentality. Psychopaths believe they are doing what is right. Sociopaths simply don't care about right or wrong. Again, I don't know much about psychopathy (as concrete), so I will focus on sociopaths.

It is understandable that everyone compares sociopaths and psychopaths to each other, because the ignorant masses don't even realize there is a difference. That is because we are so much alike in our behavior. However, if you were given a day in the mind of a psychopath, and a day in the mind of a sociopath, you would very easily distinguish the differences between them.

Sociopaths, in the eyes of psychopaths, are soulless monsters in need of damnation. After all, psychopaths believe their evil is good, whereas they would surely realize that a sociopath's evil is simply that.

Sociopaths, on the other hand, view psychopaths as defective cattle, which they are. Lacking a desire for good against evil (sociopathy), makes you detached. Believing evil deeds to be good (psychopathy), makes you stupid.

I'm sure the rivalry and distaste for the opposing side is very similar to the Blood and Cribs conflict, and all gang rivalry. Both sides think the other one deserves to die, while both sides do, in fact, deserve to die, and both sides are willing to pull the trigger.

anon225847
Post 263

anon214165

Post 261

She may be acting out for other reasons. Some kids are harder to raise than others. The stuff at 6 and 11 could have been normal "bratty" behavior, but sexual promiscuity at age 13 sounds like a cry for help. She might need therapy or medication, or both. Are you and your spouse still together? Does she have any siblings. Maybe some family counseling for all? Even if she is not a true psycopath or sociopath, you're right to not just ignore it. I don't think someone this troubled would "outgrow" it without treatment.

anon225647
Post 262

The worst part of these people is how they play to be sickly sweet/ perfectly dominating figures. They are just rabid. They don't win anything because they don't know what they are winning. They just like herding sheep over cliffs. Not because they are misanthropes, but because they are that greedy and self focused. It's really really sad. Most people think psychopaths are "amazing people". It's so laughable.

anon214165
Post 261

I'm worried my daughter might be a sociopath or a psychopath, but I'm not sure which one.

When she was six, she got caught at school burning another child's hand. She said she didn't know it would hurt the other child and claimed she was just curious and wouldn't do it again. Then at 11 she got caught tricking a little boy into beating up other kids, and she told the teachers she didn't do it, but when at home I asked her and she told me it entertained her to watch them get hurt and watch the little boy do whatever she told him to do.

She's now 13 and has a large group of other children that listen to everything she says. I've caught her having sex with men much older then her, and stealing from people. I've also overheard her trying to convince her peers to steal for her or take drugs and take part in other dangerous activities.

Last year she even accused a man of raping her. He got off because there was no evidence, but she later told me he got on her nerves so she falsely accused him.

She doesn't make attachments with anyone or anything. even when she was very young (around two and three) she wouldn't make friends and wouldn't become attached to her toys.

I love my daughter with all my heart but I don't want her to hurt people.

Can someone please help me?

anon213784
Post 260

Actually, there is some evidence that there are brain changes where the person displays the characteristics of psychopathy, which suggest it is a disease, not moral option. These findings suggest that that there may ultimately be a treatment for psychopathy.

Simon Barn-Cohen suggest the origins of psychopathy are probably both genetic and environmental, and in some cases, a combination of the two. This doesn't make them any less callous, truthful, honest, or less deceitful or dangerous. Or less difficult or deal with in a criminal sense.

anon207796
Post 259

@anon142088 Post 210: Just like physical training will allow you to sculpt your body, personal conditioning can be used to mold your psyche however you please.

anon207784
Post 258

@anon71991 Post 117: Your closing line incited some amused laughter there. What gets me is not so much the feeling of self-satisfaction you seem to enjoy, but the fact that it is based in frivolous and pointless pranks.

For the same reason that I don't need to divulge anything about myself for this to ring true, you know as well as I do that your aptitude could go to so much better purposes.

Motivated by your own zeal, perhaps even operating under the guise of the Free World, you could, in the long run, cause real damage to so many more, and target prey of which you could proudly display the heads on your wall, with near uniform commendation on your accomplishments.

Instead, you fetter around with co-workers in said lab, wasting your time and sabotaging your own efforts like with your Bart Simpson-esque hijinks, tying shoelaces and pounding your chest after the fact because nobody else will.

Stop playing games with savants and take up a real challenge. As it is, these acts invoke the same sort of acknowledgment a petulant child gets when he seeks the approval of his superiors. An analogy that also adequately represents the balance between you and me.

anon207781
Post 257

@anon153068 Post 226: "Who talks like that?"

The emotionally damaged. I'm inclined to bring in autism, but the degree of frustration and diffidence that goes into that sort of hermetic and pseudopsychotic behaviour can have a wide array of origins.

anon203311
Post 256

Not to belittle your experiences here people, but it seems like most of the stories I read about "psychopaths" and "sociopaths" actually present the symptoms and behaviours of people with borderline personality disorder, not psychopathy/sociopathy. Look this up.

anon198003
Post 255

First, most of the issues described here have nothing to do with psychopaths, and even less with sociopaths. These are just cases of regular and boring human behaviour driven by idiotistic emotions such as petty, hate-based revenge, which is, in fact, very similar to conscience. In the case of conscience, you just take revenge on yourself for not adhering to your own system of not less pathetic collective values that include an emotional dependency standard as well.

The author of the article, on the other hand, either has absolutely no clue about sociopaths, or is so unimaginative that he or she tries to create some background for his or her little thesis designed to stand out of the crowd desperately, and failing. The lack of real intellectual value to it is such that one can almost smell it, makes it counterproductive and ridiculous.

First of all, it is precisely the other way around: it is exactly sociopaths who are often very intelligent, much more often highly educated than psychopaths, are not only able to understand and be aware of, but explicitly very good at miming emotions, including regret, remorse, conscience, even complex concepts of empathy.

Psychopaths are often following a form of internal constraint, compulsion, system of beliefs, in essence not having remorse because they believe that what they do and act upon is right. To put this into (a rather trivial and fashionable) perspective, a psychopath may well be deeply submerged in guilt for disappointing grandpa, while perfectly fine with skinning young women alive on a regular basis.

Sociopaths in turn, have absolutely no internal constraint whatsoever, no regret, no remorse. They perceive any and all human conscience or its symptoms as pure utility.

Often very manipulative, and if intelligent enough, able to learn to mime emotionally apt, conscience-projected behaviour, no system is able to diagnose them, as it is not their mental disability, but that of the rest of the collective cattle. Most people have a problem resembling in fact obsessive-compulsive disorder very closely, by not being able to control their urge to conform to some sort of imaginary collective ideal for some emotional masturbation opportunity in exchange. Truly pathetic in the eye of the sociopath, but a great advantage at the same time.

Most of the regular cattle are seen as simply being capable less than them. For a sociopath, to put it this way, collateral damage has absolutely no effect on sleeping patterns. For a sociopath, a psychopath is an abomination, with little or no utility in it. Psychopaths are difficult to use, unless for special problems requiring a tool of dubious and limited controllability, preferably disposed of after use as soon as possible. One of the most effective and amusing methods is actually to get the cattle to imprison or hospitalise the psychopath, and watch them expose the specimen to various griefs while adhering to their greatly valued conscience, paying all the attention to being humane, while forgetting what it means to be human.

For a sociopath, a psychopath is closer to the cattle than they think; it is just an exaggerated, overloaded, and often oversensitized version.

anon185683
Post 254

I've dealt with psychopathic types of people. Actually i don't think it's a disorder or misbehavior. it's dangerous, yet one of many common behavior patterns. What annoys me is while some types of people try to understand them and rationalize their behavior, they don’t give a crap about what others think. And there’s nothing you can change in them. They're incapable of change. Maybe because they are led by their unconscious. But it seems like these who want to be or must be psychopaths have adaptable personalities. So it's just like some are designed to act, and others to react.

But still better, stay away. Those are unlucky who are affected by them They are just time-wasting heaps of crap with overrated egos, programmed to destroy everything and everyone, including themselves.

anon178876
Post 253

Ive got a question. if a woman marries a sociopathic man and becomes pregnant with twins is it possible for only one child to be sociopathic?

anon178455
Post 252

@anon5898 post #4: There is no way you're a psychopath. A psychopath would not ever "feel like a bad person" because they have no conscience or compassion.

anon178446
Post 251

@236: There is nothing you can do except separate yourself from her immediately and forever. If you ignore her long enough she'll find a new victim.

In the short term, you'll just have to endure the damage she has caused, and let your friends make up their own minds.

You can suggest to them that she's an actual psychopath, but don't go on about it because you'll just end up sounding crazy and psychopaths are more persuasive anyway. And if it gets back to her that you're exposing her for who she really is, she will only retaliate.

Just endure it and eventually it will be insignificant to your life. You may lose some friends but you'll also end up with a greater portion of "true" friends.

anon178178
Post 250

In response to 247: Anti-social personality disorders aren't curable. These people are incapable of caring for others, of loving others, and likely, of truly understanding what it is like to be loved. Despite how often destructive these people are, if anything, they are to be pitied.

In my line of work, I've dealt with several sociopaths, not psychopaths, by my own diagnosis. When you truly understand what these people are, the parts of them that are missing, it is difficult to see them as human beings. Of course they are, but you almost get a sense that they are somehow different, like the difference between wolves and dogs.

Anyway, what I mean to say is that there is no cure for these people. Twelve-step programs wouldn’t work because these people feel no guilt. They can murder someone, a child say, and as long as they don’t get in trouble and they either enjoyed themselves or benefited from it they won’t feel bad about it. A 12-step program wouldn’t work because the only motivation you could ever give them to stop some sort of behaviour is if it no longer benefited them in some way.

That’s why you find some sociopaths and psychopaths leading entirely normal lives, with families and steady jobs, etc. They pretend to be normal because they know that’s what they have to do to succeed or not get into trouble.

anon178093
Post 249

Poster 192: As much as I agree with you about psycho/sociopaths not needing to verify themselves on a website, you've demonstrated a severe lack of insight by attacking bipolar and borderlines. Maybe you should research those conditions while you're attempting to educate yourself on the internet.

anon177211
Post 248

My sister is a sociopath. From a very early age, she would manipulate people (other kids, grown-ups), lie and steal, this behavior was never checked or rectified, if anything it was actually encouraged since she got good grades in school, she could do anything she wanted, it got to a point where she would start fights with me and I'd be the one being hit by our father (after hitting me, he would apologize to me and tell me that he knew I hadn't started the fight, but he just couldn't hit her!), that's how easily she manipulated others.

Now she's an adult and she basically operates on two modes: when faced with a decision, she thinks "will I get caught if I do this, will there be consequences?", if the answer is "yes" she holds back, if the answer is "no", she goes ahead and does what she needs to meet her needs. Contrary to what the article says, she is not living on the fringe of society and is able to maintain relationships and a job -- until others realize her true nature, that is, but that usually takes a few years. However, she lacks the self-control that I think is typical of the psychopath, as she can often get very anxious and loses control when things don't quite go her way. This is a very dangerous person who needs to control and subjugate others around her, to feel good about herself. My life benefited nothing from her presence, so I cut all contact with her a few years back. But she still routinely tries to put relatives against me. I have told my father a few times, that he has raised a sociopath, he goes silent and refuses to give me any sort of answer, he knows it's true. You can't cure a sociopath. Thanks for reading this.

anon176440
Post 247

My 2 cents: A person can change only if they really want to change. Having some kind of belief system helps, or, what in Alcoholics Anonymous teachings is called a "higher power". The first step is "admitting the problem". It's part of all 12 step programs.

anon173532
Post 246

Re: comment 244: Actually, the Ancient Greek word pathos is more correctly defined as "suffering". In modern literary usage, it indeed refers to a more general emotion.

Within a clinical/medical context, the affix "path" always refers to disease; for example, pathology (pathos + logia) is the study of disease.

RichardD
Post 244

I always found those terms misleading to begin with. The root of them both is "path" from the Greek word 'pathos' meaning "feeling," hence our terms "sympathy," meaning "same feeling" and "empathy," meaning "feeling within", as emotions.

Thus, if psychopaths and sociopaths have no feelings -- meaning internally as far as emotions -- then they don't have any feelings for or against society.

As I stated in another article post pertaining to antisocial behavior, I was given that label by a Social Security attorney for allegedly assaulting my mother during an argument! So supposedly, just because I didn't get along well with her, I am an antisocial sociopath who hates society? The all the husbands who regularly beat their wives and kids and all the wives who murder their husbands and/or children must also be sociopaths! That is definitely not acceptable behavior to society!

anon165656
Post 241

I worked for four years with psychopathic offenders on probation and/or parole. I carried a caseload of 35 to 45 at any given time. Our rule of thumb is "Cold, Cunning, Calculated" in every encounter. To me, the sociopath and the psychopath share common behaviors but it is the "3 C's" that separate them.

I attended a training related to psychopathic criminals in the community some time ago. I was at a workshop called "Charming the Snake". I immediately thought "wow, this one will teach me ways to 'work' the psychopath to my advantage.” The opening of the workshop began with "how many of you thought this was about how to manipulate a psychopath?" or words to that effect. At that, the presenter said "I'm sorry but "Charming" is the name of the snake." This proved itself to be true over and over again as I worked with this population. They walk among us and you surely know someone who is, you just don't know who they are. Be careful out there!

anon163191
Post 238

To those self-diagnosed psychopaths/sociopaths:

You actually had to type 'psychopath or sociopath' into your search engine to reach this page. But information on something like depression - a much more commonly-occurring psychological 'disorder' - would have told you straight away that not experiencing empathy, feeling anger, and being completely immune to the suffering of others is just a symptom of a psyche not yet capable of dealing with issues that we all experience at one time or another.

Depression (and similar psychological conditions) means, as the name suggests, that feelings are depressed: they are either lower than 'normal' or are experienced less intensely, causing a 'numb' feeling.

If you can't feel, it's most likely because you're just not able to deal with your feelings. The fact that you're writing a comment on a site like this suggests that you do indeed have feelings, but you just don't yet know how to cope with them or understand them.

Get some help, see a shrink, suck it up, whatever, but being melodramatic and self-indulgent by labeling yourselves 'psychopathic.' It is just another symptom of a lack of self esteem and the kind of self-obsessed and self-deprecating nature of depression.

In short, if you wrote a comment here, you're not a psychopath, you're just sad. Literally. Find something to cheer you up.

anon162430
Post 237

Just read the article. And I can't help but notice I display traits that are found in both a sociopath and a psychopath. But I'm fine because I know I feel compassion at times, albeit rarely.

anon162300
Post 236

I have a major problem. Someone needs to help me.please. anyone. my best friend is a psychopath and i am not even kidding you. she is out to get me and is defaming my character and if anyone wants to know what she's doing, I'll tell you if you can help me out.

anon158576
Post 231

Okay, to those of you just making of people who are saying they are antisocial or know someone who is, stop. Maybe they have an issue, maybe not. But so far none of you have claimed to be professional psychologists, and therefore it makes your opinion just that, not a diagnoses of "you're not a crazy psycho, just a loser who needs a life".

To those of you claiming to be antisocial or knowing one, don't ask about it on a website like this where answers will come from casual viewers. Seek a psychologist or psychiatrist. If you're giving a story of how cruel you are, is it to prove a point to yourself or to others or to just try and speak from experience?

I may have missed something, but haven't read anyone giving credentials. Except maybe someone saying there was a formal diagnoses. I'm a psychology student but still have a lot to learn, I'm no where close to being qualified to say any of you have a disorder or not. So what makes you think you are? (if you can correct me, I would love for you to do so.)

anon158448
Post 230

Nicely said 192. Extremely interesting article.

anon154732
Post 228

I couldn't agree more than with 192 (Especially about 191). How could you lot honestly be this stupid? It astounds me that any of you could possibly believe you are Sociopaths/Psychopaths, Trust me, if you feel the need to vindicate your insanity online, on a site like this! then you aren't even close to being a Sociopath/Psychopath.

anon154676
Post 227

Very helpful article. I spontaneously decided to look into the differences between today after thinking about one of my favorite shows, "Criminal Minds". Watching it I was always curious about what the difference between all these personality types are.

anon153068
Post 226

This site is hilarious. There are women all over the internet claiming their exes are psychos, obviously because things didn't work out.

What's funnier is the people claiming they are psychos. I forget the name of the site, but I once read an article where a bunch of self diagnosed psychopaths were going on calling people sheep, calling themselves wolves, saying crap like, oh yeah, we're the wolves and we make those sheep entertain us at will. LOL. Who talks like that?

It's so bizarre. These people obviously don't leave their computers and wouldn't have the slightest clue on how to socialize with people, let alone manipulate them. Oh and if you're typing a long post, save it. Nobody reads all that crap.

anon152638
Post 225

The comments on this page from people writing long stories of their life and how tragic it is really need to get a life. i agree with #192: you people are going to extreme lengths to get attention. you want attention so much? Try stepping out of your house and actually socialize with people.

By going out of your way to find these sites and post extremely unnecessary posts, you're only showing how pathetic you are. If you're so sure you're a psychopath or sociopath, try going to an actual doctor. Trust me-- they know what they are talking about. Which is much less than what i can say for most of you and they will probably diagnose you with some personality disorder or at the least the extreme need for attention with a tendency to be annoying.

I came to this site for legitimate research. It's extremely hard to find comments with actual questions and answers and such pertaining to the topic. If you want to express your so-called "problem" do it on some other site. I promise you'll get more response and tick fewer people off when they are trying to do actual research or get legit information.

anon152133
Post 224

It never seemed logical to me that such a label as psychopathic or sociopathic fits anyone perfectly. I'm sure there are individuals with very pronounced psychopathic/sociopathic traits-- most notably the famous killers and dictators we all know. But I'd expect the entire human race to exhibit some of these qualities *some* of the time. It's all a matter of severity, and the measure of our animal sides occurs in degrees.

anon150462
Post 220

I have been aware of random behaviors that most people were sickened by as a child, but I was a child, it was always like that, to me they probably didn’t think I knew better, did I?

I did many horrible, horrible things to animals and people and places alike when young (will leave respectfully unsaid) but the thing was, after a couple years, I came to realise that my entire life consisted of me being antisocial, isolated, and self-hating. So many people liked me and wanted to be with me or around me like a friend. I didn’t know why. They said I had a heart of gold. I was extremely respectful, never any drugs, maybe a little bit of alcohol, and always seemed to have a mood that was never real.

Many, many times I had thought that I could be mentally insane -- a psychopath, a sociopath even, disturbed. I didn’t entirely know. The thoughts and actions that ran through my mind constantly were playing, but to any other normal person, it would most likely be sickening, disturbing, frightening, but no one has ever been able to see that side of me, but when I saw a guy on the bridge about a year ago, getting ready to jump, I got very confused and questionable about myself.

I sat and watched. I wanted him to just drop so bad. I wanted to see someone die. I wanted to see his blood splatter in a chaotic mess on the pavement in front of me from far below and was actually getting rather mad that he wasn’t, not at him, but at everyone else who was stopping him and cheering on him to bring him over the edge. I was grinning so vilely and uncontrollably, so I had been trying to research for a while. It always seemed to be so dead on, but a mix of either/or, then I read the last paragraph of this article.

The question is, I do know I have many severely dark sides to me. It makes me feel slightly nervous, that I actually enjoy the dark thoughts that play in my head almost like a lusting fetish. I don’t want to be this way, but inside it feels like I really, really, really want to, so now that this information has helped me this much. may I ask someone about resources I can get so that I could find help? If even at all possible? Any resources or whatnot would help a great deal. thank you.

anon147937
Post 219

Re: 217 Certainly. The real wife of the psychopath is the one who testifies in court how normal he was. Kind, considerate and generous to the friends and family. He tithes. How could I have known?

anon147800
Post 218

Psychopathy is not as rare as one would think. Approximately 1 in 100 is defined as a psychopath, according to research. Psychopaths are not simply those who slice and dice but persons who are both apathetic and display socially deviant behaviour. I have studied pscyhopathy in university.

anon147392
Post 217

There are about fifty posts here with people claiming their husband/wife or girlfriend/boyfriend is a psychopath.

Let me explain something to you: True psychopathy is a very rare condition. If you were to believe the posts above, every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the world has it. It is not psychopathy if your boyfriend or husband cheats on you. It's not psychopathy if your wife manipulates you. True psychopaths do not show outward signs of being different -- until they strike. Ted Bundy was a true psychopath. He fitted in everywhere he went. Was charming. Manipulative. And none of his victims knew anything until the moment he killed them.

Please stop labelling your spouses 'psychopaths' because you hate them.

anon147041
Post 216

anon130230, stop being a poser. If you honestly didn't care, you wouldn't describe what you did as bad. It couldn't be more obvious that you are trying way too hard. Just stop.

anon145059
Post 214

re post anon138684 - leave the mental case. I had a similar experience and divorced him after he tried to kill me more than once.

Don't leave your kids to a sick manipulative mental case's behavior to try to destroy you and them for wanting to leave the crazy spouse. Get out now. Been there - have endured four plastic surgeries due to such a crazy psychotic or sociopath.

anon144409
Post 213

Thank you for the very helpful article! I'm writing a short story, and since one of my characters is majorly psychopathic (is that a word?), it's very helpful to know how he should act.

anon142462
Post 211

To gillian 1951: Try to make your attorney understand what it is he is dealing with and ask him to enlist the help of a medical mental health professional.

Good luck with the trial. I hope that you cut all ties and have absolutely nothing to do with him again.

anon142088
Post 210

on the basic level, none of them are to blame. their brain is wired that way, so why should they feel guilty? I do believe, though, there's a possibility for some change if someone really wants it; it's called will. Once you know what you are, you can take steps to become what you want to be and let happiness into your life.

anon141166
Post 209

Is it possible that either a sociopath or psychopath not be completely devoid of guilt, and actually have a little capacity to love?

anon138939
Post 208

Wow. Some people on here are attention seekers. Stop claiming to be or know a psychopath; it's rather pathetic.

We all find them interesting and alien that's why some (70 percent) are taking on the role as being one or knowing one on here.

Psychopaths seem intriguing to us not because of the sick and twisted things they do, but because of how unique they are. What we don't understand we tend to fear. I would love to study them or be charmed by one. It would be very interesting.

anon138825
Post 207

Honestly, I think It's a sad situation. To have experienced trauma so intense it drives someone into a state of disregard for others is truly unsettling.

anon138684
Post 206

My husband is a psychopath. He cleverly manipulated me and pretended all kinds of emotions to win my trust and love. He was very believable. We have young children now, but he struggles to show any emotion towards them or me. We do nothing together as a family as he is happiest on his own. He disappears outside doing whatever he does with his cars or in the gardens.

He rarely smiles and only when I remind him that he ought to smile back when someone smiles at him. He killed and tortured animals as a child and as an adult, which he has told me in a very matter of fact way as if it was nothing. He has never cried when any member of his family has died. He never cried when I lost our baby and didn't even come to the hospital with me. I made my own way home.

If he feels that people are noticing his indifference, he very cleverly makes a fuss of me or the children but only if there is an audience and it stops the moment they leave and he goes back outside again for hours. He will be generous beyond belief if it will ultimately benefit him in some way or if people then view him as some kind of iconic hero.

He is very wealthy and successful, but quite frugal again unless he has something to gain. He wants to own everyone and everything but not love, cherish or take care of anything. Only one thing in his life is important which i cannot post as it would become obvious who he is. He is high profile.

He persuaded me to sign over my inheritance as he would make it grow and would always take care of me. Now i am not allowed to mention it at all. I have only what he allows me to have and I am trapped in a loveless life.

I am not afraid of him but I am afraid of myself as I sometimes find myself wishing things I shouldn't. My children are my life and the eldest now refers to our family as dysfunctional. Still, I never give up because there has been a very slight change over the years. Nothing to get too excited about, but a change nonetheless. When we discussed his personality and I outlined the meaning of a psychopath he agreed that he was most likely one but wasn't bothered in the slightest.

I tell him how to behave in public. I tell him to put his arms around me when I need a cuddle. He will do it in the same way the computer knows to type these words, because I have programmed in the command and he simply follows the command with no emotion. He uses and manipulates women and cannot be faithful as he does not believe he is doing anything wrong. Women in his mind are there to be used.

I love him, I hate him, there is no middle ground. I don't feel sorry for him because there is nothing there to feel sorry for. I feel desperately sorry for our children because whatever he is he is their dad and they love him. One day they will all leave home.

anon136543
Post 205

You people are hilarious, except 192, you have some common sense in that if someone is a sociopath, the last thing on their mind would be to get on a forum and prove to the world that they are one. Get over yourselves and quit watching dexter re runs. You may have depression, maybe that's why you feel no emotions. And by the way no sociopath is scary.

anon134131
Post 203

@202: Complete nonsense. ASPD (psychopath-sociopath) feel disgust, but they often don't interpret other people's disgust in their selves. They will often laugh when other people are disgusted by their behavior.

ASPD people can be either left or right handed. They can be either left or right brained dominant. You're spreading a bunch of nonsense. Various emotional affects are found in both hemispheres.

anon132122
Post 202

@#200: Sociopaths/pyschopaths can't feel disgust due to the small, undeveloped right-side of their brain. But they feel higher levels of aggression due to the over-compensation of the left side of their brain.

anon131241
Post 201

i think i had been involved with a sociopathic/psychopathic couple, at least one being a sociopath. i know I'm not explaining things well, but i think they have got to be the worst, craziest, sickest people i have ever known. at least people with other "mental illnesses" aren't like that.

anon130522
Post 200

I don't know who i was, don't know who i am and don't know where I'm going. i don't recognise myself in the mirror. i feel very angry if someone interrupts me when I'm doing something or if i think they are in my way.

i don't care about people going on with their lives as long as they stay out of my way and give me space.

if i ask some one who is obviously hurt physically if they are ok i say it the same way i would if they where upset or hurt emotionally. if i say thank you or use any kind of good manners its because i think i have to. i ask people how they feel or what they have been doing but i don't really care. i will barely listen to their answer then tell them i was not listening at all and they have to repeat it.

when i make people laugh or smile i see it as an achievement and if they don't see the funny side of the joke i feel angry and disgusted. more on the smile stuff: i don't think i see or feel any happiness, warmth or joy it brings. i don't think i understand their pursuit for that happiness. all i can think is they want me because i make them smile. I don't smile. I only grin and smirk.

anon130230
Post 199

All right, i don't know if i am a sociopath or not, i don't want to be a bad psychopath or some crap. i don't know how i am in people's eyes, i have no idea if i have any personality, i just love money and mcdonalds and i talk about this crap every day because these things are interesting.

i care way more about these things than my everyone in my family, maybe with the exception of my brother. when people cry about dead family members i don't care and i just wish they would shut up and stop crying. when i was a kid i killed an animal because i wanted to. it was however, badly injured and would have been dead anyway. i manipulate my mama and teachers that i did it because i felt bad for it and i didn't want it to suffer to death.

i didn't care that i had killed the animal. the kids who saw it were just shocked but got manipulated as well.

i have manipulated my mom. she gives me everything. and still does. i just tell her to do something and she does it, total control. it's awesome.

if i couldn't do that, she would control me, and that's not very fun.

i am always bored as heck when some crap happens that i don't care for and sometimes i'm about to fall asleep and i just show huge signs that i don't care, but i never notice that.

i am a failure at emotions. i can't feel empathy, only if i can relate. If somebody says that somebody has never tasted mcdonalds i will feel bad but only because i love mcdonalds so much. i don't even feel that bad. it's just for my own personal gain. i will sometimes do helpful things that i never ever do and it makes me feel so bad to help and be polite.

i know that a psychopath would never admit he is one, but hey, i am posting anonymously. nobody will know who i am or what i look like, so why would i care? so i can admit it here and nobody will know who i am, so i can be a sociopath because i admit this crap anonymously.

but no i don't know what i am. i'm just unexplainable when it comes to these things. people just say what i am but it never feels right when they say what i am.

i never give a crap when people compliment a beautiful work about myself, but the work i write about myself isn't about diagnoses like these, only asperger syndrome and i'm apparently not one.

i never care when a family member dies and i have only cared for one when i was younger.

i don't know what i am, but i think i have just a bit sociopathic crap inside me. not 100 percent-- maybe just a tiny bit. it might not be so bad, so mild or medium that i can admit i might have sociopathic things inside me.

i have done lots of bad things that i shouldn't have done, but i don't really care because sometimes doing wrong things are okay, if you know what's good for you and your friends. attempt to help me.

anon130212
Post 198

When I was diagnosed, my wife (at the time) was sitting there next to me and my counselor kind of sheepishly handed across this list of characteristics I had under the antisocial behavior and a few from the narcissistic list as well. It was pretty tragic. She told me there's nothing she can do and it just takes time and effort, something I'll have to get over myself. So now what?

anon130113
Post 197

Post #181: He most likely isn't a psychopath. He is married. And he has hit the jackpot with you.

anon130063
Post 196

I'm only 18 years old, and I know that both of these diagnoses require you to be at least 18, but I've fit this exact description for years. There is no way I could acquire a formal diagnosis without anyone knowing, because I still live with my parents, and I'd rather no one know, especially them.

My question is, is it possible for a genuine sociopath/psychopath to almost, in some way, want to change? I haven't wanted to change at all before about two years ago. I know almost everyone says they can't. But, since though I'm obviously not qualified to formally self-diagnose but definitely intelligent enough to know all that applies to a sociopath/psychopath also applies to me, I'm almost completely sure I am one, and sometimes I feel like I'd like to be normal.

It honestly doesn't bother me that I hurt people. I don't want to change for that reason. I want to change because sometimes I want to feel something. It seems so easy for everyone else and it's impossible for me. For example, when I'm in a group of happy people, I smile unless no one is looking. But if I look at someone else in that group and it looks as if they don't know anyone is looking, they still smile.

It's so incredibly alien to me. I don't understand almost any form of emotion but I'd like to.

But, I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to feel anything like that, since it seems like everyone says sociopaths can't change. But, I don't know if they're capable of wanting to.

So I'd like to know if I should get over it because I'm not going to change, or if this means I'm actually not a sociopath or a psychopath and just have something else with some tendencies relating to these disorders.

anon129995
Post 195

I like posts 191 and 192. both are entertaining. The article was short and fairly vague. If you think you have a problem, seek professional medical attention to discuss the matter. I've read medical dictionaries with better accuracy of symptoms. Try not read into these articles too much, if you need help you you know you need it, don't be shy. get help.

anon129821
Post 194

I was with a 'bunny boiler'. She was atomic bomb in my life, she put me through the mill. She stole so much money from cvs. It was easily over 50g. She was really smart. I tell people all the time the only person I am scared of is a psychopath. The way she used to set people up to get fired or arrested was like a big game of chess. How she twisted people to believe crap.

She could sell water to a well with her slippery sharp mouth. Everyone know her as such a really nice person, but I saw who she really was, how she had a collection for money for her cancer at work and around town. She even takes a shunt on her chest.

I saw her one night out side falling on the curb over and over again, then she came inside and said call the cops, that she was raped and molested. So I played along with it because I knew she wasn't right anymore. The cops came, the ambulance, the whole nine yards. She fractured her skull, broke four ribs and broke her wrist.

I confronted her 11 days later and she lied and said she was dizzy and confused and fell. The next day children's youth service showed up asking if I beat her kid and they got a report from someone unknown. The bunny boiler blamed my ex. I never touched her kid ever! I loved him!

Well anyway, back to the cancer. She had the pills and used to go for treatment and I decided to look in to this and went down to the hospital and talked to some people and she has never stepped foot in the door. then I left her and later found out she told everyone that when we lived there, that I left her and my kid and we were married and I cheated.

It was crazy. It was her son. we were never married. She was also hooked on oxycontin. I could go on for hours. And when she got an MRI on her head I was with the doc and one doc made a big deal about brain activity and called in like six other docs to look at whatever he was showing them. I asked and he told me she has a brain disorder and told me it was common and not to worry. Well that's my story of the bunny boiler! And I kept so much stuff out.

anon129319
Post 192

The article isn't bad, but the people posting on here are silly. To all of the self-diagnosed psychopaths/sociopaths (Especially poster 191):

If you scary sociopaths/psychopaths really don't care about anything, then why are you taking the time to post this?

You obviously care enough to feel compelled to convince others about how scary you are. Sociopaths/Psychopaths, surely, know that something is wrong or different about them. But they don't go out of their way to convince people or tell them their is something wrong with them, they hide it.

In fact, you had to physically look up "Sociopath/psychopath" to even get to a page like this, and that is a tell tale sign that you're looking to convince only yourself that you're a big, bad, uncaring psychopath (Most likely because you have such low self-esteems that you overcompensate from being hurt that you try to convince yourself that you "Don't care about other people").

If you knew you were a sociopath/psychopath, why look up the characteristics for these kinds of people? Seriously, you're self-diagnosed people who obviously have bi-polar disorder or borderline personality disorder need to get out more often and stop fantasizing about being 'different'.

You're not special or unique, you're just another breathing sack of flesh with an expiration date that won't last more than 70~90 years from now.

anon129235
Post 191

Being a psychopath, I can tell you from experience that much of what they say is true. I have nothing in me that says what is right and wrong, only that which I can get away with. Nothing says killing, raping, or child molestation is "wrong," only that it's not convenient to do so. Jail time isn't a fear, just a very boring life to live.

Relationships are entertaining at best, an amusement to pass the time. Each time I begin a new one, I make up another routine, start a new approach, sometimes playing the poor, victimized man who had some bad times. Women fall easy victim to that. Most have a motherly instinct, especially those who have suffered extensively. They look for someone to bond with and believe you're safe because you'd never want to hurt someone, having been through it yourself.

The smarter ones, you have to play it off as if you're a stronger man now and have the confidence to play to their vanity. The trick is to say the least amount possible and support them through whatever suffering or current issues they have.

Having no family and no real connection with people would make an average person lonely. I don't have that problem. Most of the time I enjoy being alone. As a natural introvert, I don't have much contact with the outside world except when I'm working. Being in the entertainment industry, it allows a balanced exposure to society.

The casino industry is a fine cesspool of modern-day society. Most employees and guests have a distorted or damaged view of the world (on the front lines) and one can be in the spotlight or in the shadows without worrying about how others will view you.

So, if any of you have negative things to say about how one of us might lead our lives, always know we're really not going to care. Seriously.

anon128804
Post 190

It's funny reading about how all the idiots in common society think a psychopath (or sociopath) has a completely irresistible urge to kill. Think about it? Most likely. Kill? No. I guess my word doesn't matter though, now does it? Have fun with your continuously prejudiced lives. To be honest, it's just amazing to observe.

anon126811
Post 189

I thought the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath was a matter of degree. The psychopath kills people and spends a lot of time in jail and sociopath just hurts people and spends very little time in jail.

anon126809
Post 188

I've had some experience in these matters. I believe the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is that the psychopath kills people and the sociopath just hurts them.

anon126218
Post 187

I think none of you are psychopaths or sociopaths.

We’re all just different, all in different ways.

Get used to it. Nobody has a life like you. Nobody. You are genuine. Nobody is seeing your perspective and you see nobody else’s.

Makes you feel alone and angry when you think about it on the large scale, but get over it. That’s life. We’re all unique, some for the better, some for the worse. It seems most of you have a lot of bottled up anger. I recommend punching bags and stress relievers. Meditation! A hobby!

And those with stories of others, I’m sorry to hear of your bad luck and pain. Quite luckily, I feel like a normal, civilized person. Remorseful, full of good nature and spirit, and not screwed up in the head.

Some of you do need help, though, I will say. See a psychologist, not a psychiatrist. You don’t need to help pharmaceutical companies by having them telling you that you need to take a certain drug to be “normal.”

Just go out and live life. Experience new things. Meet new people. Stop sheltering yourself in your parents’ basement or in your room. Stop playing the damn video games and get some sunlight.

Get a life. You only get one chance. Your thinking will change. For the better. Source: life. And all of those around me who have one as well. Seriously.

anon125742
Post 186

I have found the posts really interesting and would like to share my experience. I had an unsettled childhood and both me and my only sibling ended up as addicts, as a way of self medicating

Anyway, to make a long story short, when i finally got clean, i was very vulnerable and met a man who possessed every single trait of a psychopath. Even to the extent he had spent over 18 years in jail for a murder (later found out it was two murders) and i fell hook, line and sinker for the sob story. He even went as far to pretend he lit candles for them and that he had been raped all throughout his childhood by his father, which turned out to be untrue.

I tried to rescue him and we married and had a son born on his birthday. Of course, these people can't hide their behaviour forever and after a year i began to see he was actually a monster. his behaviour got worse, not better and for the sake of the baby I told his probation officer, who recalled him to prison to serve out the rest of his life sentence. This had been his third release on license.

My experience has put me off of relationships forever as i cant believe i was taken in by him. our son is now displaying very disturbing traits, i.e. cruelty to animals. i am wondering if this disorder can be inherited and we will be seeing a paediatrician this month.

anon123903
Post 185

#169 hit it on the head. These people make me laugh and I sort of pity that they think they really experienced a psychopath's life.

I know one; she actually kills people. She has a friend that does as well but I don't know if she just likes it or if she's one too. She never "doesn't know" that she's manipulating me because she turns it on as soon as I show doubt and as soon as I want to pull away. She scares me.

What's worse is that she's threatened me and she's implied that she'd get her friend to do it because she herself wouldn't be stupid enough to actually do the crime in a place she didn't have control over. She is indeed fully aware of what she is doing and how she's able to control things.

I'd say she enjoys the power trips but she doesn't take any joy from it, she just does it because it's within her power just as any of us would spit on a sidewalk without a second thought. It frightens me that she's so thoughtful about it, that she plans.

I'm sure she's already planned my demise and I'm afraid for the time when she finally gives me an ultimatum in joining her and her friend on their little killing party because if I refuse, I'm dead. If i don't, I'm a killer. If I go and resist, I'm dead.

I can't even bring myself to write where we are, her name or any identifying information because if she somehow found out, I'm dead.

So, enjoy your stupid self-serving whining about lousy relationships with people who have commitment issues.

anon119469
Post 184

Why would anyone who displays traits associated with psychopathy or sociopathy would bother to explain to anyone of you narrow minded folks where you are wrong?

Most of the people here who state they qualify as ASPD and stuff are simple, pathetic drama queens trying to compensate for the inadequacy or anxieties they have.

You know it's true. This article is oversimplifying things so much that it made me laugh for a short period of time before I started to feel pity for you.

You can't teach the dog to think like a human, neither to fully understand the human, if you catch my drift. Your article is sliding on the surface but fails to give a deeper insight, because you lack the tools to do that.

I'm surprised that things like this pose as an educated statement. I'm not surprised that some treat you like objects, if this is your cognitive and analytical ability at it's best. Funny how similar all of you sound. I'll see you soon.

dows
Post 183

@Post 181: No disrespect intended, but would you please ask yourself a question; who has the bigger problem, him or you? Someone who would remain in the type of relationship that you have described must have some significant issues of their own, don't you think? Self esteem issues, possibly? Please do yourself a favor and drop this guy like a bad habit and don't look back. Don't ask for respect in a relationship -- demand it!

drdavidcamp
Post 182

As an expert in deception, this area is of intense interest to me. I have been doing research covering the literature and case studies of this population and it seems there are differences.

Both have an underdeveloped super ego and sub normal levels of key biochemical substances, (neurotransmitters, dopamines, erotonins, oxytocin, etc.).

A psychopath exhibits behaviors with no regard for the future or of the emotions of others. However, they are more likely to try and work within the system using their "advanced intelligence" (so they believe) to manipulate others.

However, it seems a sociopath may be a psychopath with looser controls on their behavior (more extreme in that they have no regard for social taboos and even take pleasure in violating the most powerful taboos if that serves to stimulate them).

I believe their brains lack the ability to properly develop mirror neuron systems or they are unable to get a sufficient response from those they do develop - either way they do not feel the emotions of others until they reach extreme levels.

anon118936
Post 181

I am wondering if the person I am dating is a psychopath. I am seeing a psychologist for anxiety and depression and she thinks he might be.

He always cancels dates at the last moment, and gets angry with me if I ask for explanations. He never asks me over to his house. He always want to try different kinds of sexual acts. He never pays for dinner, or has dinner with me. He usually leaves as soon as the sex is done.

He lives in a different town and I always pay for a hotel room, he never pays or asks me over to his place. Apart from this he seems very charming and sweet and seems incredibly humble and normal in person.

anon117910
Post 180

Ever since i was a kid, I never had a relationship that I wanted. Never had any friends, was ADHD, thought pain was humorous to the point i would cause pain to others. It's 100 percent impossible to diagnose yourself and by reading this crap you put thoughts into your own head.

The way I found out is that my life was a cycle for eight years. I did nothing but what i wanted. I lied to be able to do anything i wanted and i never felt bad. Faked a back injury, convinced doctors, pushed my "IBS" of making it believable to miss 180 days of my last year of high school.

When people ask me if I had a hard life, i can only say it's been complicated because I will never stop trying to make sense of it all.

I disrespected everyone in my household and no one would stop me. I had friends, was considered popular and spent 5/7 days in my room, playing my video games and lashing out at people. The only people I ever *snapped* on were my parents because i fear the *butterfly effect* per se, since it altered my life.

I don't feel bad, i don't get sad, and I've asked myself for years why I couldn't love anything and i realised that I simply can't.

It's like living a life for 17 years, thinking that I'm normal when everything about me isn't. If I do feel something, it's flat out awkward. Not only that, but i feel no need for a sexual relationship. I realise the damage i can do, and i think I'm releasing it on myself because I'm the only one that can make sense of what i do and think.

I still haven't managed to draw the line, either clinically depressed since the age of nine, been a sociopath or even possibly a psychopath. the thought of hurting people to me is exhilarating and when it comes to my first inspired art, i draw violence, chaos, betrayal, death, murder and mostly pictures that can't have sense made of them until you get to know the one who drew it.

Even with all this floating in my mind i stay on the "I am perfectly sane" line. Because the minute i start to believe it, it'll be the minute i start to lose myself and fill my head with thoughts to make myself believe.

PS, if you think relatively like this, try to draw logic out of every situation because you can't process anything else, then chances are you have some tendencies. I looked into this once and it aroused my suspicions.

The mature thing to do is look into it, and be followed but my state of mind is that you can't change the way my mind works, all that would come out of it is a drug prescription and being labelled mentally unstable.

I do think I'm better than society, and it kills me because i know I'm probably not. I just get what people are trying to say when they say something else, when they say they need something i can tell them it's just a want.

When they go somewhere to do one thing but have in mind of doing another. Body language, tonality, the angle of which a subject is approached in hopes of getting something out of someone. This is how i make sense of whats going on.

I can't say what i am for sure, but clearly, i should look into it.

anon116921
Post 179

Honestly some of you on here, I think want to think that just because someone has done you wrong or has mistreated you in some way makes them a psychopath. In reality, you would have no clue.

Psychopaths are always considered the friendliest people in the neighborhood, or on the board of the PTA. They are the coach in little league and the team everyone wants to be on. The dark side they have they let no one see and they have the ability to control it. Yes they can have long term meaningful relationships and long healthy marriages, as well as careers that are extremely productive. Be careful what you think you know about them, because until you actually come in contact with one, you have no clue.

anon115269
Post 178

Originally, the term "psychopath" became "Sociopath" and then became Antisocial Personality Disorder or personality trait but is all the same thing!

anon114226
Post 177

73 - It sounds a bit like Borderline Personality disorder -- and that diagnosis can go either way as far as I've gathered. there's a lot of hope, i believe, either way if you feel bad and want to change.

anon112208
Post 176

I am the daughter of a psychopathic/liar/sociopath who could con his way into your home and take all you have (father). Psychopaths are more often habitual criminals than narcissists. My mother is (was) a drama queen who thought the world revolved only around her. Neither of these people had feelings for their four children and simply used us as pawns in their divorce battle.

Both would tell us ugly stories (my dad said he cut the testicles off a guy in prison - this was when I was 12).

My mother was sneakier. She was a termite in the family and destroy our egos and self esteem without a second thought. However, out in public and with extended family she was the best person in the world: kind, sympathetic, etc. Ha!

In home she was a monster - especially to me, and I think that is because I have inherited all of the feelings of the family and cry, am very sensitive - even to the parents (I cried when they pretended to cry it hurt me so much to see anyone hurt).

I am in the middle of writing a book and it will share how often I tried to kill myself to get out of the life I was born into.

I could never understand my parents and now that I am 50 and they are both dead I am finally researching just what the hell these people were. My father was diagnosed - but my N mother was not as she appeared so perfect to the outside world. She would never agree to go to a psychiatrist but she sure put her children through the mill with them.

I see signs of Narcissism (we all have traits but there are degrees) with all of my siblings but one. The one who is not is an alcoholic trying to come to terms with his upbringing by drowning himself. I prefer the faster way to get out - suicide.

Alas, now they are both dead (and yes, I cried and felt deeply for them when they did die). but now I am free - free to be me and learn to love myself the way they could not. God bless.

anon111907
Post 175

@post 173: like you i have been reading extensively about narcissistic personality disorder/psychopath/sociopath trying to understand a clear distinction between these three. I've been researching for three years now and have come to the conclusion they just merge into each other. And to add to the cocktail, there are all the other personality disorders too, as well as aspergers (which is very different but produces some similar outward appearances of behaviour), the effects of alcohol and drugs (which people with disorders frequently take to cope with their condition) and even depression.

As a survivor of a relationship with a disordered person, my eventual conclusion, after dealing with the five years of total hell that my whatever-they've-got dished out, was - it doesn't really matter, just keep running!

anon111371
Post 173

Can someone explain the true behavioral differences between a narcissist, sociopath and psychopath? I have read so many articles lately my mind is spinning! Each of these conditions seem to overlap.

I have also found one article will say one disorder has this behavioral traits while another article will say no, that is the behavior of the one of the other conditions.

I feel like I going crazy trying to figure it all out. Any extra insight would be appreciated. Thanks.

dows
Post 170

@post 169: You are wrong. The world *is* peppered with sociopaths. Please refer to my other post, no. 166. Ciao

anon109586
Post 169

Ninety percent of these comments, in one way or another, are completely masturbatory. The world's not peppered with sociopaths or psychopaths. They're rather rare conditions, and, chances are, you have neither.

Instead of lazily attempting to differentiate yourself from us here slack-jawed normal folk, making ill-informed self-diagnosis, do something constructive. Paint a picture, write a song, -- anything!

anon109042
Post 168

Reading about this definitely explains the kind of people I have happened to come in contact with recently. I had a friend for two and a half years who was a psychopath, and I didn't recognize the warning signs at the beginning such as the fact that he kept telling me he hated people. He even told me one time directly that he was a psychopath, but I didn't believe him.

Finally, I realized something was wrong with him and friends and family told me as well. It took a lot of courage, but I decided to cut him off completely from my life. It's been about a year since I last talked to him and I'm fully recovered now, but it took a lot of meditation and exercise to to heal emotionally and mentally.

To top that off I was a victim of a psychopath online at around the same time for about a year and a half, and I have to warn you that these kind of people love attacking people online for no reason, but simply just for fun because there are no repercussions, so you need to be extra careful online.

I feel stupid for letting these people abuse me for so long, but I feel much wiser now that I'm fully aware of them and I know that by trying to avoid and not talk to them as much as possible, they lose their power.

Another thing is that it isn't so black and white, that your either a psychopath or not. There's a lot of grey area and people need to be aware that a lot of people are borderline psychopaths/sociopaths. I believe that my father is borderline psychopath as he displays probably half of the traits that psychopaths possess.

On the other hand, I have a brother who is a complete sociopath in that he displays pretty much all of the traits I've read about sociopaths.

You also need to be careful about diagnosing any jerk or mean person as a sociopath or a psychopath. For example, I have another brother who can be a jerk and selfish a lot of times and a mother who can get angry and hysterical at people for meaningless things. But they're definitely not sociopathic/psychopathic because they have demonstrated to me many occasions that they do have a conscience, unlike my other brother and father.

anon107663
Post 167

This was such an eye opener for me! My ex seems to be a psychopath based on what's written here. He fits every (and I do mean every) part of the description for a psychopath!

I do have to disagree with the educated/organized comment, though. Being organized has nothing to do with how much education you have! My ex received a masters and a bachelors in the areas of ancient history and another major that I can't remember right now. Regardless, he was very disorganized and sloppy, especially when it came to professional areas of his life and he always relied on me to keep things organized because I'm good at that (and I dropped out after two years of community college but am successful nonetheless).

Is it surprising or not that he happens to own a club and has his business listed as a "non profit"? He'd been pulled in for money laundering years before I had met him, so I don't want to be around if that happens again. Considering his sloppiness, it probably will.

During the last three years of our relationship, I got pregnant three times, all of which he'd display "support, extreme denial, support" in that sort of pattern. The third baby I gave up for adoption because he had already practically abandoned us financially and I couldn't see bringing another child into that situation.

This was a man whom I gave six years of my life to (I'm 26 now) and more chances than I think any one person deserves.

Toward the end, I began to recognize the personality traits and patterns a lot more clearly and came to a place where I realized that he just didn't care, not only about my health and well-being (I also have epilepsy which is controlled by meds), but for that of our kids as well. It was so disappointing!

There were times we'd argue and he'd actually smile when I was either in tears or to the point of them. I had almost all of my belongings (as well as my car) lost, stolen or trashed, things that are irreplaceable from when I was young I no longer have.

When he'd come home (which was maybe two or three times a month), it was always about sex for him. Then he'd get up early, drop $20-40 on the table and leave. It made me feel like a whore and I'd expressed this to him several times before.

The man didn't want me working because he'd always talk about how he wanted to "take care of me", yet it was like pulling teeth trying to get him to take care of basic needs in order to survive! I resorted to doing things I'm not proud of to make money (getting state aid was a whole other story at the time so don't judge).

Basically, he made it out like I was this screwd up person if I reacted to anything that he did or said. He’s also a sex addict, so he’d talk crap about me to other girls to get them to feel bad for him so he could get in their pants. Some girls even went as far as finding my phone or e-mail just so they could contact me and talk about how “bad” a girl was!

I tried so many things, even at one point trying to honestly look at myself and see what I may have needed to change for myself, but nothing worked! I realized in the end that I wasn’t the problem! I had already become so unsure of myself and my body. Did I look good? Will anyone else want me? Things like that I had never questioned myself about before because I had always been such a strong person!

If I had known that this is what he was to begin with, I would’ve been a lot smarter about it! I swear I’ve cried more in those six years than in my entire life! I’m in a good place now and I’m working on making sure he doesn’t have any kind of custody. His personality traits are so strong, that our son (who is 20 months right now) started displaying I guess what you’d call “premature” traits and I don’t want my ex to be around to influence him unless its a supervised visit or something.

I’ve read that during the first 5 years of a child’s’ life, they soak up information around them like a sponge and are extremely open to “suggestion” about the world, people and how to act. I don’t want to end up with a second generation psychopath.

dows
Post 166

Post 164: How are you under the impression that psychopathy/sociopathy is a rare disorder? I can only believe that your assertions are being made on baseless assumptions, because the fact is that these are common conditions. In fact, about one out of every 25 people is a sociopath.

A sociopath can be anybody; a policeman, a teacher, a grocery clerk, your best friend. They can be extremely hard to discover because they learn how to mimic human emotion.

As far as being special or superior, I guess if you consider not being able to form normal human attachments, or not being able to love your own spouse and children a positive condition, then I would agree with that part of your statement.

Sociopaths are superior regarding some applications of military personnel, because they do not have the same psychological barriers when it comes to killing human beings.

Simply put, if one believes in a soul, the sociopath is seen as being born without one.

If you really want to understand sociopaths, get the book by Martha Stout "The Sociopath Next Door". Ciao.

anon107038
Post 164

If the people posting on here are to be believed, than apparently every second person is either a psychopath or a sociopath. Oops, that's right, these are rare disorders!

I highly doubt that every psycho/sociopath in the world is perusing the internet and happened to stumble upon and comment on this article.

I think most of you are just really bored and frustrated with the fact that you are completely ordinary so you're looking for a way to feel special or superior.

The world is painful, life stinks and it is that way for everyone. Get over it.

anon105972
Post 163

Thank you post 151. Someone who isn't just posting ridiculous nonsense. you truly know why we do the things we do and are the way we are.

anon104674
Post 162

I don't really know what bucket I would fit in, but I can say that I truly love the people in my life. I empathize, and I function normally in that I have a job that I excel at and I take good care of my family.

However, I am a pathological liar. I tell lies every day of my life, from big lies to little lies and I let them compound.

I'm not a good person. Six years ago, I started dating my future wife while living with someone else. I hid both sides of my life from the other and I portrayed myself as a successful fund manager making lots of money. I took my future wife on vacations and we went out to eat all the time while I left the other person that I was living with at home.

The sad part about it is that I wanted to break up with the woman I was living with but I felt guilty about not wanting to be with her and so I let it all compound and fester. Eventually, they found out and my lies and deception were exposed. At the time, I became suicidal and my future wife (who is my wife now), decided that she could make it work with me. She has loved me selflessly ever since and has put up with so much.

Six months after my deception was discovered, I was fired from my financial services job because my boss found out that I had been looking to work with a former colleague. They kept me on two weeks after I was fired so that I could transition projects to other people. During that time, I lied to all of my former colleagues about what I was going to be doing after I left. Eventually, about two weeks after I had officially left that job, I came home two days after Christmas to find that the company was suing me for $50 million in federal court for violating a non-compete agreement.

I hid the lawsuit from my future wife and I tried to clean it up without admitting that I was being sued. When I was deposed, I lied to the my attorney and the opposing attorney about what I had told colleagues. Although I had done nothing wrong, I lied and lied about everything that I had talked about. I'm lucky that my attorney stuck with me through the entire lawsuit because I hardly ever told her the truth about things. During the course of the lawsuit, my future wife was served with papers and deposed about what she knew about my life. When the papers came, she discovered that I had lied about everything and that I had actually been fired from my job. She went to her deposition and told the truth. Eventually, the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice because it was found through depositions that I had not actually violated my agreement -- I had just been in trouble for lying.

During the course of the lawsuit, I blew through my savings and retirement defending myself to the point where I had to live off of credit cards for a period of time because I had given all of my money to the attorney. All the while, I had completely fallen in love with my wife and I proposed to her. We decided to get married and my wife wanted a really nice wedding. I couldn't tell her that I couldn't afford it because I had never admitted to her the extent of the debt that I was carrying. She still believed the lies I had told her about the savings that I had in the bank.

So, we hired a wedding planner and I had enough to pay for that. We picked a venue, dj, etc., and I had enough money for that. Eventually, when it came to the caterer, I did not have enough money for that. I lied to the caterer and said that the "check was in the mail" but I never sent anything because I didn't have any money. So, I let the wedding day come and I didn't know if they were going to cancel the catering because I had not prepaid our bill.

On our wedding day, I felt more relieved about them still putting on the wedding than I did about actually getting married. I was so happy to be married to my wife, but I was more happy that I was able to give her the wedding that she wanted. Eventually, the lie was exposed when the caterer started asking to be paid and I didn't have the money. They called my wife up and told her about what I had pulled and everything blew up. I'm so lucky that my wife stayed with me. I don't know how I can do these things to the people that I love so much.

All during this time, I had been going to see therapist after therapist and I had been lying to them, too. I never understood how they couldn't help me but the truth was was that I was lying to myself about actually telling them everything so that they could help me sort all of my problems out.

I've lied and deceived everyone in my life. The only people who truly know the extent of my lies are my wife and my mother. Everyone that I work with right now sees me as a stand-up guy. They think I'm a really good person and that I am good to everyone in my life. Every time I see them in the halls at work, I know in the back of my mind that everything people know about me is a lie.

The sad thing is that because I lie so much and because I hide so much, I've never allowed anyone to get close to me. I have no truly good friends in my life because I never allow myself to become vulnerable. So, on top of feeling like a loser, a failure, and a complete waste of human life, I also know that I'm not really worth knowing. I feel like I have nothing to offer anyone except lies.

I guess you could say that I'm narcissistic in that I want people to think that I'm really smart, really successful, and a really good friend, but the truth is is that I'm a nothing. All of the people who I'm friendly with are superficial. I have a facebook account with 250 "friends" who know nothing about the horrible things that I've done in life.

Honestly, and this may sound like the height of narcissism, but I really want to write a book about all of the things that I've done because I truly have an unbelievable story. I have committed no crimes, I've never stolen anything and I've never abused anyone physically. I just abuse those I love emotionally with lies. I don't know how I got so lucky that they've stuck with me but I know I need to figure out a way to change. I need help.

Unfortunately, the only way to make things right is to become completely transparent; to become completely vulnerable. I have such a hard time thinking about how to do that, because I would tear down every false image of who I and I would have to start life over from scratch. At least I would have the admiration and respect from my wife because she would see that I would be manning up and becoming an honest person.

What should I do? Please tell me what I am. I know I'm a liar through and through. I know that I manipulate people with lies. I know that I'm narcissistic in different ways. I just don't know where to go from here. I'm not suicidal, but I am consistently depressed about everything that I've caused to go wrong in my life. Bottom line: I hate myself.

If there is a professional who would like to research my past and understand someone who is functional but is such a vile person, please post to this board. I will gladly tell my entire story. There is plenty more to know and I haven't given all of the minute details of how horrible I really am. The only thing I can truly be trusted on is the fact that I admit that I'm a complete liar and my life is mostly fabricated.

dows
Post 161

I recently had a psychological evaluation done. This was the second one ordered by family court. Both were performed by a doctor in New York. During these evaluations and in court I continued to observe behavior exhibited by this doctor that was disturbing to me and sent up several red flags in my mind.

I am not a novice when it comes to human behavior, and psychology has been a hobby of mine for more than two decades and I am now studying it formally in college. One of these red flags was his abrupt and brief shifts in disposition.

I noticed this person's demeanor "crack" on several occasions, going from open, calm, and rational, to defensive, angry, and arrogant. It was like when someone lifts a heavy rock from the ground and gets a quick glimpse at all the yucky stuff underneath before the weight of the rock causes it to fall back down, once again covering the nastiest. He would catch himself within seconds, immediately going back to his facade as if his miniature meltdown never happened.

Upon conclusion of the last evaluation, the doctor wished me luck, a sarcastic remark at best, as he obviously knew his recommendation would be negative. This was confirmed in court when the doctor's report recommended that I only be allowed to see my children in a supervised situation. This was preposterous to say the least.

I believe this was a sociopath's retribution for challenging and correcting his questionable expertise, severely faulty memory and recollection of facts, which I and my attorney had done on several occasions. This prior account shows the danger of allowing sociopaths such as Dr. Coron from entering professions that deal with the public: judges, police, nurses, etc.

Giving power to a sociopath is like giving a child a loaded gun; it's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt. I can only wonder as to how many other families and children this doctor has injured during the course of his lengthy career.

Sociopaths' masks need to be removed whenever possible, for the safety of the public at large (especially those in positions of power).

Concerning the difference between psychopath vs. sociopath, I had it explained to me once like this: A psychopath does wrong believing it to be right, even at a detriment to himself.

A sociopath does wrong and knows he's doing wrong but doesn't care as long as it is of no detriment to himself. I'm not saying that is or is not an accurate definition, just an interesting one.

anon103096
Post 160

117 Sounds like a pretty genuine psychopath.

Or a decent faker with a lot of time on their hands.

anon100913
Post 159

I've always assumed a sociopath is somewhat worse and less able than a psychopath as a psychopath acts within their own interests which are usually to succeed which normally has only positive outcomes!

anon100873
Post 158

I must say I am more impressed with the answers than with the article. I have been a victim of psychopathy or sociopathy and there is one case in my family, and I am simply wondering myself.

The advice everybody gives is stay away and as far as possible from this people, which i believe is the best and only way to approach the problem.

But, considering all the harm they do in their lives, I am wondering: why is there not any advice about unmasking them?

Why is there no advices on how to make it more difficult for them to follow their usual practices to achieve things, which imply inevitably the harm of the people they use just as means to accomplish an end.

Is it possible to harm a psychopath in a way that they keep themselves from doing the same things over and over again to many different people?

Why should we take the harm and do nothing but run? if there is a psychologist who could answer this I would appreciate it. Thanks

anon100429
Post 157

I can cry in a second if something moves me. I love my family. I love my life, but I have a hobby. No reason why you can't feed the urge. No emotions? I feel every emotion deeper than most. Some people should die. No one can argue that. Those who cannot kill, will always be subject to those who can.

anon100221
Post 156

I'm so good at being everything to everyone. I listen to my friends' problems, offer advice and take a keen interest in their lives and children, always ready to help.

My husband's dinner is on the table when he gets in from work and i am my parents' best friend. I don't really feel any of these things but I'm so good at pretending too, i feel like i am displaying all the emotions of a good human but it's a complete front.

I lie so well that i can even persuade myself that i love and care. i do feel love but it frightens me as i feel vulnerable and it makes me angry and i roar like a lion instead.

the person that the world sees is not who i am. i can't even begin to explain the thing that i am, and i don't think i can ever show it to anyone. Sometimes it's pure darkness (dramatic i know, but it's the best way to describe it).

anon98454
Post 154

I was close to being diagnosed as APD when I was 16 and thought it would affect my future badly so I informed the psychologist that I was going to kill myself because I knew they would have to send me to a Behavioral Correctional Facility where I could stall things out long enough to starve my medical insurance policy's mental health budget while not working with the doctor who would ruin my future.

I feel that there is something obviously different about me. I feel broken and my world truly hurts. I don't want to hurt people but the prestige associated with getting away with murder is glorious in my mind. I don't see any difference between people and animals but I do see a difference between plants and animals. Sometimes I feel I should teach the people around me to show more respect by lashing out violently and in almost every case the urge to kill is there. What stops me? I don't want people to see me as a violent person. People are wary of violent tendencies so I instead stay very calm and speak rationally. Killing them would be a wasteful lesson anyway (you can't know something if you're dead).

It's much better to get the person to look up to me as a mentor and a strong business investment. I'm a very good mentor. I think I love people though. I want love but I often doubt others love me. I like that I'm a pleasing person to the eyes of society. I find it funny that I'm viewed as a non-threat when something is so obviously wrong.

I have homicidal urges and work in a gun store for crying out loud lol! I am probably the most reasonable and calm, logical and helpful person you could ever meet, but most of you are like mold to me. Nothing personal. I love you all, but our society is made up of mostly worthlessness. I know you all think there's something wrong with me but I don't think there's anything wrong at all. We just disagree is all. Society wasn't really built for me. The crazy thing is that marijuana often changes everything for me. In moderate doses I can feel what others feel. I normally know what people must feel but when I'm high I can actually feel it.

Sometimes babies cause this to happen but on a lesser scale. I've found that feeling is uncomfortable though, so I try and steer clear of pot and babies. I don't know if I want to be "fixed" because honestly feeling hurts a lot. Maybe someday down the road.

This is the first time I've said all this to anyone. I'm getting a little bit of a rush here. lol. Anyway, I'd hope this enlightens some of you on what it's like to be me. To recap: it's cold and painful and yet so much more gifted than most. I don't know if I have an APD but I can see that I'm different from everyone else.

anon95909
Post 153

A true sociopath/psychopath would not diagnose himself as such for he truly believes he is special. he exhibits grandiose opinions of himself thinking he is above all others. he does not question if there is anything wrong with his behavior or his feelings since he is- in his mind -a 'god'.

he is never remorseful but will apologize if put in a corner but only to manipulate to his favor. if one wonders if he is a soc/psy, then he should be rest assured that he can rule out that assumption for even a soc/psy knows that such a condition is undesirable and will never believe that he thinks, feels or does anything wrong.

anon94439
Post 152

It's interesting that many of the "I'm a psychopath" posts do seem to express narcissistic traits common of a psychopath. Unfortunately, most of the ones I read (I skimmed) did not fully understand what a psychopath was.

Unfortunately, this article generalizes far too much from the DSM-IV the two factors indicate common traits of a psychopath but do not implicitly diagnose them. Factor one deals with aggressive narcissism, the "uncaring". The second factor is social deviancy, rather, the anti-social behavior. All the sub-factors have a "score" and the sum of these scores determine the extent of the psychopathy. To a degree, most people have a factor or two that would suggest psychopathy but most do not have it to the point where it is a disorder (hence, they don't "have" it).

As for the post, I noticed for a psychopath with bipolar. A person with Bipolar or even borderline would exhibit similar traits to a psychopath but the charming, personable attitude is mostly genuine with Bipolar. The manic phases tend to lead to elevated social risk taking while the opposite would likely be true during their down time.

anon93444
Post 151

I understand that you try to learn and study what you don't understand. However, coming from someone suffering from psychopathy, it's extremely insulting to see you searching for the answer that is simply me. No, I don't feel pain because you got hurt. I am willing to try and solve the situation, and I can even see the problem and offer advice. But as this article expresses, I have no conscious care about the pain. Also the idea that we live our lives in a continual attempt to manipulate and fool people is ridiculous. Because of our differences, we live harder lives. Our willingness to manipulate others is only our own attempt to balance the world.

We may understand our devastation to people, however we would as quickly kill ourselves as quit. Because that is what we understand the consequence to be: death. We can't live our lives normally, but we try. We often succeed, we don't want to be different. We aren't given the chance.

anon93007
Post 150

So, most of you are narcissists, with the exception of 120. I don't think the majority of you clearly understand the disorders as they are so overwhelming to the people possessing them that they are usually unaware of it all together and if were to be accused as such would be shocked, or act shocked because their psyche has trained them so well.

These are people who respond, and that's it. They don't typically feel, but they think because they respond and that is the same as feeling.

The rest of you who recognize your bad behavior or lack of social skills, you can seek counseling and probably overcome your fear or behavior that was simply taught to you by your parents or whomever parented you. Plus there are actually just plain old jackasses in this world and you might be one of them. Don't try and "claim" a disorder in order to be "excused" from your bad behavior. Change!

anon92705
Post 149

@141: It looks like you(and unfortunately you may be the only one) think you are the "smartest" person you know. Your response became irrelevant as far as intelligent insight goes when you ventured a to-make-a-long-story-short-type statement more than once.

Guess what? You're really not that smart. Just scattered.

anon92645
Post 148

Ok. This is really difficult for me but I think I like a guy who has ADHD. Then I am told by others he is NPD. I read up on it and now I think he has ADHD and NPD of the avoidance or compensatory kind. Now, he is clever in some ways educationally but not in others.

He has had good jobs but is unable to keep them. He gets fired but the employer seems to fire him as a last resort because they like him in a way. He cries when fired and just goes home crying. He has been fired three times in five years. He loses concentration on the job in hand and thinks that they are getting a good deal out of him so they should pay him more, when in fact, they don't get his full working week or attention.

He is always late. He can be abrupt and rude. He looks like an angelic choir boy on occasion. He can be rude to his mother but feels her pain because she was abused as a teen. He feels his own pain -- even a slight pinch or a sharp tone of voice. He feels it but he dishes it out on occasion.

He questions you because he thinks you don't like him but want to use him. Ha!

He is constantly crying poverty yet earns good money. No expenses. No police record whatsoever, not even a driving offense. He can't keep most secrets but thinks his family doesn't.

He guards his money but happy to spend yours.

He is close to his family and likes to socialise but then embarrasses his friends and family by talking over them or too intensely. He seems to resent others but says he is caring. He forgets birthdays, mothers day, etc., but cries if his is forgotten.

When reminded that he has forgotten yours he can call himself a dumb jerk.

His father is a loser but mother is an ever-present, constant parent and hard worker. He will not pick fault with father but will with mother. She provides constant support.

A previous wife of his says he is NPD. Then she says he is a sociopath. I find it all scary. Yet he is in the family home with mother, stepfather and two brothers. He annoys them on occasion but he is out and about socialising with mother and stepfather's families. He goes on every family holiday with them.

When the stepfather shouts there is not a murmur from this guy and he is in his late 20's.

Usually he is given the cold shoulder if he oversteps decorum by his mother. Otherwise she tries to guide him. He seems to love her despite everything. He likes being around her.

So what do you people think he is? It's difficult to ask him outright.

anon92565
Post 147

To post #144, maybe you are not so much of a sociopath, but rather a narcissist. Those are quite assumptive statements.

anon92519
Post 146

144- If success is being the best person you can be to your family, friends, and neighbors, then perhaps you are the one who is imperfect. Or was Mother Teresa a sociopath too? You need to realize there are many ways to be successful.

anon92121
Post 144

I am a sociopath and every word this man said is true. I believe being a sociopath is genetic. My father is a sociopath: great personality, charming, funny and he does anything he can to advance his own personal being. He has a doctrine in psychology, a black belt and no conscience. He doesn't know I'm like him and I can feel the sociopath setting in.

Despite what your instincts tell you, not all sociopaths are serial killers and not all sociopaths are middle aged whited white guys. Almost all sociopaths are well educated because they see the importance of education.

Unlike what you may think, sociopaths are more likely to be successful and you may not like this but they are the more perfect human with judgement unclouded by emotions. We are quicker in thought and we know what takes priority. Father always said "family, friends and religion are the three demons you must overcome to be successful".

Look at it from our point of view: you are the imperfect and we are the perfect race. we are the more planned, we are the more successful and we value success at the highest priority.

anon91785
Post 143

to post 130: that sounds more like borderline personality disorder.

anon91764
Post 142

Dear 120: You are not a sociopath. You are a classic, text-book narcissist.

Prove them wrong and change it. You don't realize what you are doing to your fiancee.

Sincerely, someone who loves a narcissist and knows everything in the world to know about it.

anon90364
Post 141

I feel obligated and obliged to comment on this page as well as its fans.

First off, the article has taught me that (apparently) most psychologists know very little about every thing they aren't (mentally), and so much about every mental diagnosis they qualify under. But it's easy to find the mind fascinating, when you're constantly in wonderment of what's going on your own head, I'd imagine.

Secondly, where to begin? I find the commentary on this page more entertaining than the article itself. I admittedly became bored with reading, after the fourth or fifth response, and skimmed through the rest of them. From the beginning article of the girl who cannot feel, and doesn't know what love feels like, which, if you don't know what any of the wide range of the emotional spectrum feels like, "I'd imagine" that after some time spent watching the rest of society, you'd find it beneficial, logically, not to feel.

Even an artist would do best if he or she were without emotion. Then they might not starve and start drawing what people want to see rather than die of starvation and gain fame in an age that appreciates their no longer unique differences.

Anyway, to tie this long response of my own to a halting conclusion, as for women, they are naturally more left-brain dominant, meaning they are more logical and enjoy steps. So women who marry for money are not the devil, sociopaths or psychopaths; they are a left-brain dominant person who looks at the world differently from you which is a good thing. Equality is insanity.

I went to a role-playing game. no sex. It was a vampire masquerade for people in their late 20s early 30s.

Point of the story is, it is here of all places where I met a man who gave me my personal favorite definition of sociopath and psychopath. the difference, he believes, is that a sociopath believes in good and evil and chooses evil if it benefits him (now add in all the other factors because I can hear some of you thinking "I know someone at work like that " that person is not what I'm talking about more than likely) , and a psychopath can't discern good from evil, plus all the other factors.

Personally, I don't understand what good is or what evil is, I believe we are all different people, too concentrated on being the same.

Why change different? Just because you don't make a good little worker ant if you're different? It's a bad thing?

My credentials are: I have extreme antisocial behavior. Taking out the trash proves to be a battle for me some days which I conquer. I also have social anxiety. When you are afraid of something, sometimes you find it more fascinating because of it.

I have seen a million different groups of people to a point where I find categories beneficial, admittedly, and I think just because we don't understand something just because it's different doesn't make it "evil" or in need of being changed. Even extreme social anxiety had its benefits for me, a chess master. Every blessing is a curse, and every curse can be a blessing if we allow it to be.

Next time you judge someone remember there are always more factors that you may not be adding in

And to all the worried people out there, worried they might be a sociopath or psychopath, here are some reassurances: If you're worried, if you are not worried and just question it , most likely, you aren't one.

Unless you find it an entertaining social experiment to ask people "am i a sociopath?" and see their reactions, but even then there are more factors to it, Maybe you like the idea of being a sociopath/psychopath more than you are trying to learn and love yourself. Because psychopaths/sociopaths don't hate themselves, they don't need to learn to like themselves and if they ever did have to learn it was at a very, very, very young age and most likely they've blocked out the part of learning to like themselves because they don't want to consider themselves like you.

So if you're reading this article, rest assured there are so many other factors you're missing.

Welcome to America, where sociopaths have become so common that we had to start calling it "antisocial disorder" (usually white males).

Just too much to factor into the equation.

-the babbles of Cate.

anon89852
Post 139

I read through all your comments and this whole page and it's all crap. none of you seem to understand.

i am a sociopath and take this in mind. sociopaths don't lack emotion; they lack empathy, which means they can't figure out what emotions they are feeling, therefore making them appear emotionless.

psychopaths are just that -- psychotic. You will know these people as the person discussing their work situation with a woman trying to get him fired. (can't remember the number) noticed her right away. you will never know a sociopath because they are so good at faking their emotions.

Speaking from my own day to day life i can tell you that i don't understand what love is or what it feels like to be happy or sad, but after years of living, I've learned to mimic these emotions.

the reason sociopaths have such a bad name is because a great number of them feel superior as if they are above the rest of the world, hence killers are born. but wanting to be a serial killer in grade school or having no direction in life isn't a sociopath -- it's a perfectly normal person.

anon89145
Post 138

Hey Post 130 - anon81924: It's funny, your post describes me.

I've been copying personalities from characters in books, movies, tv shows, etc. ever since I can remember. Sometimes someone will say something and I respond with a one-liner from some movie, because if I stopped to think of a response that came from me, it would take at least an hour for me to figure out how I felt on the topic. Having an opinion is difficult when you can see a situation from both angles.

I also don't do anything for others unless there is something to gain for me. I believe that's true of everyone though - even people who volunteer only do it because it makes them feel happy or satisfied.

And bored with life! Honestly, the only time I feel alive is when I'm doing something so reckless I'm teetering on the brink of death. I've graduated from college with a BS in Psych and don't have a job because I have no idea what to do with myself. I took psych to try and understand the world, but in the end I lost interest. I have no interest in anything.

I'm alive because I'm my parent's only child. I'm living and trying to make it in this world for them.

All that being said, I don't think you're a sociopath or psychopath. I've been in and out of therapy for 10 years now and neither was ever put on the table. One thing all my shrinks agree on is that I'm depressed. It makes sense.

Depression causes disinterest, disinterest causes boredom, and if nothing interests you, you can't build a personality, you have to fake one.

Anyway, seeing a shrink has really helped me. It's taken years, but I'm slowly starting to find things I like to do like rock climb, and I'm even starting to reach out to people and try to make friends. I think you'd feel a lot better if you spoke to a trained psychologist. Don't see a school shrink, though! Underpaid, undereducated, and they have the ulterior motive of making sure you don't make the school look bad. See a professional instead.

I hope everything works out for you.

P.S. In high school I kind of wanted to be infamous like a serial killer too. I wanted to be special, but I didn't have the confidence that I could be special in a positive way. Being evil is easy. I grew out of it though.

anon88580
Post 137

I had never known a psycho/sociopath until my middle thirties. I was caught so off guard, because I had no idea that people like that lived

right among us. This person worked with me.

Although she was not qualified to take my position, she tried everything to get me to quit. I remained strong. (This was the worst exp. at work I had known.) Eventually she was caught stealing thousands of dollars. She then was fired. (There is a god...)

If she had not gotten greedy, she most likely would still be working with me. She was the most manipulative, revengeful, evil, life-ruining person I know. Since this experience I am so careful when meeting new people. This was one of the most awful, self centered, devious, manipulative people I have ever met.

I pray that I never have the challenge to repeat it. If you suspect it, run!

anon88031
Post 136

Wow. A lot of the comments are very disturbing. we are in the office and thought we'd just look up the difference between psychopath and sociopath, now we are just wondering how many of them are out there. Well I just hope a lot of you are just being cheeky.

anon87291
Post 135

Post 130 - anon81924: You almost sound concerned that you may be a sociopath/psychopath. From your description, you sound like it.

My answer, as long as you do not cause pain to others (physical/financial/emotional,) who cares? I am sure you know what causes physical/financial pain to others. You however, may not know what emotional pain is, but that is no excuse. Stay away from people then.

Other than that, a diagnosis means nothing! It is just a label, so that if you ask for help, or if you commit a crime, they know where to put you (in the latter case) or how to help (in the former.)

I personally believe my mother and nephews are all sociopaths/psychopaths. Of course I see no differentiation. No remorse, lots of manipulation and life on the edge. Same egg, different view!

You obviously don't care if you are either/neither and there is nothing to do if you are either/neither.

The damage has been created too early, and unless you wanted to seek out the doctor who wrote 'the boy raised as a dog,' there is no changing. Hope this helped. By the way, if you do want help, look for it. You probably are neither, just suffering from dysthymia or some other treatable disorder.

Social/psychopaths like who they are. They like that they do not care, and do not want to change. Other disorders mimic those behaviors, yet the person still cares, and wish that they were not like they are. Again, hope that helps!

penttbom
Post 134

i agree with #105's comment that these terms are just used to describe the personality traits for 'lack of conscience/empathy and an antisocial success strategy'. It doesn't matter what you call it, the terms describe the same thing.

This personality trait can also be selective. For example, a woman who marries a man with the express purpose of soon getting divorced and taking half of his wealth, is evil relative to the man. This same woman may have empathy for her dog and mother and friends, etc.

'Evil' is the lack of compassion in action. You can be trained to kill in an unjust war, making your actions evil relative to those you're killing. The soldier has been trained not to care or question; temporary insanity. When he returns home, he may likely return being a normal empathetic human being.

Fully two-thirds of women say they were "very" or "extremely" willing to marry for money. Among women in their twenties who said they would marry for money, 71 percent said they expected to get divorced.

The act of getting married while faking your emotions and misrepresenting yourself for years, then ending the relationship to receive the intended cash-out is fraud and theft. It is sociopathy.

I don't mean to gang up on women, but this study is fascinating.

If 75 out of 100 women would marry for money - and 71 percent of those women do it with the expectation of getting divorced (sociopathy). that equates to 53 women out of 100 would be selective sociopaths given the opportunity. 53 percent of women are at best potential selective sociopaths. That's just scary.

anon84975
Post 132

I married a woman whom I believe is a sociopath! I have divorced her but I had a very hard time understanding what was happening to me in this marriage.

I was married for 30 years to my first wife and she passed away in 2004 with cancer. After a couple of years I met my soon to be wife and I fell in love with her.

We dated for about two years and I put up with her strange actions (at times) and her moodiness. I passed this off by rationalizing that we were not teenagers, we both had children (grown) and we had our jobs so I just let things go.

We married in the fall of 2007 and one week after the wedding her mother passed away. We went to Florida to take care of everything and then returned to GA. A week later she needed to go back to take care of her mother's personal files, taxes and etc. and while she was gone I was moving things into her/our house and accidentally found a letter to a counselor she was seeing.

The entire time we dated she told me how her husband cheated on her with at least three different women. She played to my sympathy about how he treated her and their children but boy did this letter change everything! In the letter she said that it was important for the counselor to know these things but she could not tell her in person. Her life was just one immoral event after another, starting when she was 13 year old by sneaking out of her home to meet boys in the park.

This activity continued through high school and on into college where she would sneak into the boys dorms, fraternity houses and off with her sorority sister's boyfriends. Through all this she had no remorse. After graduating she started teaching while getting her masters degree. She became engaged to her boyfriend who was working in Chicago at the time and had a two year affair with another teacher.

They married in 1977 but in two years, she started an affair with the head of the school system that lasted for four years, and during this time she would attend conferences and have one night stands with numerous men. Sometimes more than one in a day. These affairs continued for 15 years of their 20 year marriage.

She discovered that her husband was having an affair and using company money to take this lady with him so she blackmailed him out of $150,000 (she would tell the company if he did not give her the money). Armed with this information much of her odd and moody activity raised questions in me.

While she was in Florida to get the file, she was acting strange, so when she returned I looked at her cell phone, only to discover she was having text/phone sex with one of her former lovers. During less than one year of marriage she had three different lovers! She never told me she was sorry but actually justified her actions. She never thought she was doing anything wrong.

I struggled with all of this and was told to read "Sociopath Next Door" by Stout and everything started to fit. Now I know this is not clinical proof, but with the 25 traits of a sociopath she demonstrated 23.

Even to this day, no one knows all her dirt but me. It would end her relationship with her two children, no telling what her first husband would do as he is out $150,000 plus half of his retirement pension.

Her whole life is a lie just to suit her. It explained how she could tell me how much she loved me then go upstairs to call one of her lovers.

We do have contact with sociopaths every day. We just do not always know about it.

anon82010
Post 131

There's no difference between a psychopath and a sociopath at all. According to Prof. David T. Lykken, psychopaths have more genetic influence in their behavior, while the sociopaths are like that because of stronger environmental influence.

According to this explanation, psychopaths and sociopaths will have the opposite characteristics displayed above (i mean, the psychopaths with the sociopath's characteristics and vice versa). Conclusion: that's all mumbo jumbo. There's no such difference.

anon81924
Post 130

I have a question. What if someone feels fine with the idea of falling into one of these diagnosis?

For example, I don't consider myself any of those, because if I did, I would fall into the group of pathetic comments bellow me. But, I have some similarities with the diagnosis. I don't know if I have a true personality, seeing how I always copy personalities from others, be it real people or characters from movies and the like.

I do not feel remorse whatsoever. Don't really care much for what others think of me either, unless there's some sort of personal gain. I don't think I can feel love, as my feelings of "love" mean wanting someone to be with you and pretty much nobody else, to please you, and perhaps you try and please them, but only to get it back, get it?

I usually feel, bored with life. Bored with everyone around me and everything. I seriously don't know what living for someone or something means. I just live, until the day I die. Then it all ends.

But nevertheless, I think almost anyone could fall into these traits and think, "Oh I'm a sociopath!"

I don't know why I wrote all of this, but I kind of felt like it. Would be fun for a change to see someone reply with an answer. But yeah, back to the original question: what if someone feels fine with falling into one of these diagnosis? Because I know I wouldn't mind.

anon81865
Post 129

A psychopath would not admit it. Neither would they go looking for information to conclude if they were, in fact, psychopathic.

You all should find the section about attention seeking behaviors.

anon81061
Post 128

Psychopaths are more attractive.

anon79740
Post 127

The differences sound ultra stereotypical, i.e., psychopath possesses an organized personality indicating "better educated than the average sociopath who probably lacks the attentive skills to excel in school." There is bound to be someone who's been classified as one or the other but doesn't meet the criteria.

I'm wondering why the framers of that "theory" don't see the glaring stereotype in that one-size-fits-all line of reasoning.

anon79343
Post 126

Well, i think I'm a psychopath. I've always had great first impressions and can make people do almost anything from when i first meet them, but as people start to really get to know me they start to not trust me.

And whenever someone ticks me off i rarely lose my temper and start on them there. I wait and i plan and i go after them when they least expect it and leave next to no evidence of what I've done.

So i would agree that psychopaths are pretty clever. I also read somewhere that psychopaths are born like it but sociopaths are affected by their environment.

anon78473
Post 125

Sociopath/psychopath. so, it's like the same thing, except psychopaths are more "extreme".

anon75883
Post 124

Be careful about using the word psychopath to anyone because it can be really hurtful since the most people isn't.

I have something called asperger's syndrome. It is hard for me to read other people and i have sometimes say and do wrong things in some situations.

I am not evil. I don't want to hurt anyone, i just do that all the time. Many people with asperger's syndrome don't have the same need of having many people around and can become outsiders.

There are many reasons why people are acting the way they do.

anon74288
Post 123

Seriously now. Some of these comments are just a bit ridiculous and seem a little bit like people posturing on the internet.

I always considered the divide the other way around - sociopaths could adapt to society, psychopaths couldn't control themselves.

For myself though, I'd consider myself not psycho/sociopath, but simply lacking certain moral impulses. I just tend to do things how I think they should be done. But it's not something I really have a problem with, so there you go.

anon73623
Post 122

@120: I believe (not being a professional) that that's a Yes to psychopathy.

I have Asperger's Syndrome, which means (among other things) that I don't read others well, and am poor at charming people, to put it mildly. But with the awareness of my condition I have become an avid student of humanity, because I want to be received well by others and I want to have the kinds of camaraderie that I see comes so easily to others.

I've paid a lot of attention to what I have in common with humanity as a whole, and what makes me different, and that study has sometimes bled over into other areas of psychology.

However, taking your post at its word, and concluding you most likely have something very close to, if not actually, psychopathy, I'm not inclined to waste much time on advice as you likely wouldn't truly care. At least not about how you affect others.

This is the true sadness of the condition.

Not everyone is out manipulating other people. If you really believe that, I think it qualifies as projection, in the psychology sense.

I would venture that some defining features of love include a willingness to do anything in your power to make your partner happy, keep them safe, and provide for them (not just money, but environment and other things) as you would provide for yourself.

We all like to be touched intimately. That's not love. This is not a fairy-tale description of an imagined unattainable ideal, but reality. Love comes in many flavors and strengths, but what you describe comes nowhere near it.

Some of the behaviors you describe veer sharply in the direction of cruelty. In other words, these things you do cause other people pain. You say other people piss you off. Presumably they do or say things that bother you and you want them to stop.

Other people might say the same of you.

Manipulating everyone around you, including the closest family, is pretty messed up.

Enjoying hurting people is pretty messed up.

Laughing at your mother's tears is seriously messed up.

If you don't care about your fiancé *at least* as much as about yourself, that's not love, and telling her you love her when you clearly don't, and jealously keeping her like a possession, abusively laughing at her when she's in pain, and cutting her off from any other people -- that's cruel, inhuman, and very seriously screwed up. And possibly criminal.

Love is considered to be the strongest motivating force in mankind, trumping power and money. Would you be willing to take a bullet to save your fiancé as the Secret Service would for the President? (I doubt it.) If not, that's not love. Maybe like, maybe lust, but definitely not love.

I only say all this in the faintest of hope that some part of you cares just enough beyond curiosity to consider being a better person, and perhaps getting assistance to do so.

But I'm not holding my breath.

If you don't actually care about improving, and perhaps read my serious comments and again laugh at another pitifully manipulated fool, and don't care if you abuse your future wife, well, there's your answer.

I fear that even only from one anonymous internet post to another, I probably care more about your fiancé's well-being than you do, and obviously I couldn't have met her. And I'm no hippie. That's just the basic amount of caring most everyone generally has for other people.

I won't come looking for a response, but I hope you have the guts to prove me wrong, and find professional help.

anon73378
Post 121

As I read #106, I wonder, am I something like that? I never thought of this before, but now I feel like that person knew me inside out! I guess I could say I have a "personality", but really, inside, I feel empty.

If I had a choice, I would drop my "personality" completely and just stay monotone. I don't know much in emotions either. In my head, I really did think that being sad was crying, and being happy was smiling, and to get attention all you did was have to yell something across the room.

I don't think I'm a psychopath, or a sociopath, but maybe I have some symptoms?

anon72547
Post 120

I don't think I'm a psychopath, or sociopath, but I'm assuming that something is wrong with me.

I haven't been diagnosed for anything, but I've once seen a psychiatrist for depression (I wasn't depressed, but everyone else seemed to think so).

I manipulate people, but so does everybody else, yes? What really stumps me is that I seem to enjoy hurting other people. Well, I used to fight a lot (not excessively, though), in high school. And I loved it, even if I lost.

Also, just pissing someone off, and aggravating them until they could hit me, it makes me laugh. I find it hilarious. Fun, I guess.

Also, I can't help but laugh when somebody is crying. My mother (I seem to do that a lot), sister, and my fiancee as well. I don't crack up, or anything, but I laugh.

I have a very addictive personality. And, after thinking about it, I care more about myself than anything else. I can't really think about anything I care about, other than my own eventual happiness.

Another thing is that I hate people I hardly know. Anybody or thing that my fiancee likes, I hate. I wish everything she loves would die, until she only had me. And to "chain" her into our house. Not literally, but I just don't want her to socialize with anyone but me and only care about me.

I don't seem to acknowledge other people's feelings. It's not that I don't care, I just don't think about it often.

And I don't really want to socialize with anybody else. I hate talking to relatives, it's annoying. I hate meeting new people, they just annoy me as well. So I tend not to talk to that many people.

I do have one friend, and my fiancee, but the only similarities between me and him are that we each hate the same things, mostly. And my fiancee loves me, for some reason. I tell her I love her, but in reality I'm not sure. I like it when she touches me.

Eh. Is it normal to feel this way?

That's all I'm wondering, because I have no clue.

anon72222
Post 119

Sociopath - Knows the difference between the moral right and wrong, and adjusts his behaviour accordingly, he adapts, he's intelligent, charismatic, manipulative and he cares how others regard him.

A sociopath controls his immediate impulses. However, nothing will stop him from destroying a person, physically or otherwise, if he knows he can get away with it.

Psychopath - Does not distinguish between moral right and wrong, or if he does, he doesn't care. He's more impulsive. He doesn't care how others see him. His desires and obsessions are all that matter to him.

(Just my two cents)

anon71991
Post 117

I am not really a sociopath. There is no term for me. I am educated and really like myself. I scare people and when I do, I feel high.

I hold a job in science and I am smart enough to ruin someone else's work, while making myself look better. The best is this coworker of mine.

Everyone likes him and he works really hard to make sure his experiments are successful. He gets applauded by everyone for doing good work but I don't care because he is socially awkward. He cares so much and is very trusting, so for this reason I destroyed him. This was fun and easy.

I was bored. Every day at lunch he goes to play basketball and I went and switched some chemicals around on his lab bench. That same day I saw him getting chewed out for carelessness. Even better, he tried to argue back, stating how careful he was. His supervisor basically made him eat his words and called him dumb.

That was cool, but even better was the next day. He called in sick which made me feel so good. Every time he recovered and started doing better I would do the same thing - I felt like a boa constrictor squeezing the life out of my prey. Now he looks like a beaten animal and has developed a nervous tic around me. Almost like "I hate you, but I dont know why" and he feels guilty because he thinks he has no reason to. He has no clue. He has since been passed up for promotion and I had a direct effect on that.

The best was when he had a big presentation to give and he left his watch in his drawer during lunch. I reset his watch by 15 minutes. I was bored and wanted to mess with him. I knew it was a long shot but lo and behold, he showed up late for his presentation. The bosses were not pleased. This for me was like hitting the powerball. So subtle but with such a big effect. They're stupid too.

I have gotten ahead by just figuring out what they like and giving it. That simple! Once I gained their trust, then it's easy because I just make up stuff about people based on how well they're doing.

I am a king, and I have never really met anyone like me.

anon71414
Post 116

i don't care that i don't care: psychopath.

i could care but i don't: sociopath.

anon71233
Post 115

My 50 year old sister has all the symptoms of this disorder.

she has a violent temper, flies into rages one minute over nothing and acts sweet the next.

She gets mad about stupid things and screams and calls you an idiot if you don't agree with every thing she says.

she left my father's funeral service to go eat and was jumping up and down with joy as he was being lowered into the ground at the burial because he was wealthy.

during the time we were cleaning his estate out and trying to settle it fairly among five siblings, she was climbing through the window every day for weeks and cleaned the place out of all antiques and valuables, then calls me on christmas morning to ask if I have the deed to the family burial plots because she wants the remaining five for her and her husband (they have no kids-thank God). she is insatiable.

I have no contact with her at all now and never will because I am afraid of her. she told me she gets so mad she could kill someone. i believe it. She spent her inheritance in a year and is now trying to sell or pawn the things she stole.

I could go on and on and on but we'd be here all day. thanks for letting me vent.

anon70596
Post 114

@112: There is such a thing as rationality. Choices made by reasoned thinking are sane ones and are not the result of conditioning or genetics but simply intelligence. They are not ego made but directed by the facts and the truth of reality as it is.

Psychopaths are making choices as a result of not playing with a full deck, it's true, but they are aberrant psychologically and don't represent a true human being.

anon68096
Post 113

lol check this out:

Test 1: Your result for The Are You a Psychopath? Test. The Psychopath.

You scored 42 percent empathic, 19 percent delusional, 36 percent sociable, and 12 percent law-abiding! Wow, you are a genuine psychopath. You lack empathy, are highly manipulative, disregard the law, and don't even have any delusions to blame for your behavior. Therapy is unlikely to help you and would in fact just make you better at manipulating others. Chances are that most people don't even realize just how sick you are.

Test 2: The test results suggest strong psychopathic tendencies.

This does not mean the person is a potential mass-murderer: socialised psychopaths are not mad, nor do they have to resort to violence. Even so, a close professional or emotional relationship with a socialised psychopath is likely to prove a damaging experience.

Test 3: is an extreme psychopath

So now what? i show myself and go to a rubber room or continue hiding?

any advice?

anon68090
Post 112

Truth about this world is people, We don't decide who we are.

You may make decisions but every decision you make is based on previous experiences, emotions and possible future expectations.

Who you are is not your choice and it will never be your choice, even if you choose to make it your choice because the choice you made was made was because of something beyond your control, Nobody chooses their influences, nobody chooses their emotions and nobody chooses the environment they grow up in.

Look around the world and tell me any one person had a choice in who they are or what they become.

Every action has a reaction and we are the reaction right now we are the reaction and we are reacting, we have no choice or control.

We are all affected.

Since nine months old i have been emotionally and physically abused and assaulted. I have been raped, humiliated, degraded, hated and resented. all before i reached the age of six.

Since i can remember i have been a liar a thief and extremely selfish.

I am charming and sweet because that's how i wish to be seen, but when you're not watching i will take you for all you have.

I plan ahead in the most bizarre of ways, like how can i rob the store with out getting caught.

Scarf - Gloves - Glasses - Hoodie - Backpack stashed near by with a change of clothes. a big knife will scare the old man into the cash without even speaking so he won't notice my accent.

I would kill if i thought i would get away with it, but nowadays it's not worth trying and i will not go to jail.

I have been arrested but never sentenced. I have gotten away with so much.

I live by addiction: gambling, video games and smoking weed.

My wife is a hell of a lady for putting up with me and i am starting to grow fond of her.

i have hidden who i am since i can remember and now i am extremely sick and i want to get better.

Not just mentally either i mean physically my body is falling apart.

The doctor thinks i am bi-polar because i occasionally show remorse.

Sorry is a word i say without thinking. That is not remorse that is the cunning devious manipulator inside of me.

she booked a psychiatrist for me so i can get medicine. this is the moment of truth: do i show myself or hide away.

See the thing is even tho a shrink knows how to spot a psycho .i can become a sociopath if needed. it's like a bleeping built-in protection system always looking out for me.

But you don't know how i have had to protect myself. maybe someone does, but very, very few people could possibly understand me and that's the key. i understand everything and know hardly anything but i did not choose to be who i am. i was forced to be this way. Just like you were.

Our existence is a joke. It's a big bleeping joke.

So let's all laugh at the funny joke.

anon68086
Post 111

i thought that sociopaths were created from environmental causes and psychopaths were born that way. This does seem to fit someone who has always been the same may be more intelligent then someone who was once able to feel emotion but no longer does or at least it does in certain scenarios i guess.

If i am right maybe a study should be done to incorporate more psychopaths in the military as marines so that we don't have as many soldiers suffering from pds.

anon68069
Post 110

There are three kinds of people in the world 1.The idiots 2.The Smart people 3. The Smart people who are surrounded by idiots.

anon67485
Post 109

"All serial killers are psychopaths but not all psychopaths are serial killers. The thing is that if a psychopath kills, it is very likely for them to kill again and again and again."

untrue. there are some serial killers who fall in love with their victims and murder them in fear of being alone, or being abandoned.

If all serial killers were psychopaths, none of them would have remorse or any feelings towards the victims they kill.

anon66764
Post 108

#97 Psychopath: Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer, both convicted articulated, organized, serial killers. Spent most of their lives on a decent track, didn't have too many problems with the law in the past. Only ever cared about their own needs and wants and showed zero remorse for the pain they caused.

I don't agree with you and I think you've done a fine job of demonstrating your lack of knowledge about Jeffrey Dahmer. Organized? He threw body parts and organs in the garbage! He had a plastic barrel filled with (I think) hydrochloric acid, which he used to turn body parts into goop so he could flush it down the toilet. He didn't mask the smell of decomposition and neighbors noticed and complained.

When police arrived and arrested him on counts of murder, there was a severed head in his fridge, a human skeleton in his closet, three more heads in the freezer and photographs of victims in the process of dismemberment/mutilation strewn about his bedroom. Even his early life is full of failures and barely scraping by. He was not on a "decent track".

It's true though, obviously, that he only catered to his own needs and impulses, as well as felt no remorse. I agree with you on that part.

anon66520
Post 106

I'm sure some of you were diagnosed as a psychopaths -- after you went online looked up all the symptoms and told your therapist that. seriously, stop trying to look cool online. you're online looking up crap about psychopathy. Psychopaths don't seek therapy unless they're court ordered, yet here you are telling your diagnosis and continuing to look up the condition. Seems like you care an awful lot.

Number 83 is just absurd. i read your post and laughed, but your post was a joke right?

honestly the only person that posted here that could quite possibly be a psychopath is number 84-- either that or a confused kid. He said a few interesting things that lead me to believe he could be one. For starters he said, "when I'm around my friends for a long time i shut down and become socially awkward and won't talk to them for a while." Bingo right there.

Psychopaths don't really have a true identity or sense of self. They have no personality -- just a fake one they pick up from various people and try to copy, but in their true form they are emotionless, monotone, almost like a robot.

With that said, it takes effort to pull this off, and it takes work. What comes naturally to other people does not to the psychopath, therefore it can get tiresome after a while and they need a break. They usually run in spurts.

another thing he said that struck me as interesting was the fact that he said he thinks other people are liars and manipulators. true fact: many serial killers have been found with the book the "Catcher in the Rye" due to the fact they relate to the main character Holden Caulfield and his belief that everyone's fake. number 101, if you're going to put others down and look for attention online, do your homework. psychopaths don't understand how normal people work, you do. you understand how normal people work but not psychopaths, because you're not one. You told number 84 that he is looking for attention when he shuts down. Right. You're basing that on normal people because you understand them.

A psychopath would read what you wrote and say, how does shutting down mean you're looking for attention? To a psychopath attention seeking means you;re loud and trying to get people to notice you, happy means you're smiling, sad means someone is crying, they're very basic in their knowledge of emotions. You, on the other hand, understand deeper levels of emotions, yet you don't know key concepts of how psychopaths operate. if you were truly one, you have related to number 84s post a lot, but you didn't. Apologize for the typos and lack of grammar but I'm lazy and we're not writing a thesis here people, just a blog. oh and to the people talking about their marriages and writing three pages on here, save yourself the time. nobody reads that stuff. i see a post nine paragraphs long and i skip it. Hint, hint number 86. damn my post is long. i should take my own advice.

anon65595
Post 105

Interesting. "You're a psychopath if you've been diagnosed as one by a professional." Really?

Psychopathy is just like any other personality trait - it sits on a continuum with the most emotional empathic and conscientious at one end, and the psychopath at the other.

But where do you draw the line? The truth is, psychopathy is just another social construct drawn up by psychologists in an attempt to understand individuals with a lack of conscience/empathy and an antisocial success strategy.

#101: By telling all the people here self-diagnosing as psychopaths/sociopaths they're talking rubbish and have no idea as they're not professionals, you're reflecting a system which uses devaluation techniques to maintain control. i.e., "You're not qualified to have an opinion, therefore you're powerless to have one and pathetic if you do." Typical example of society bullying people.

So maybe society is a sociopath?

Besides why would a sociopath/psychopath want to seek out a diagnosis for this? Surely it would be a death to their entire facade and therefore a success strategy?

On the other hand, Sam Vaknin seems to be doing OK for himself out of being a diagnosed narcissist and sociopath/psychopath, so as long as there are not too many, perhaps not.

#84: You're a confused 19 year old. That doesn't mean you're not sociopathic/psychopathic/borderline etc. What it does mean is you just haven't quite found yourself yet. Don't worry, if I were you, I'd just enjoy being alive, because that's one thing you *can* be sure of. (Personally I realised none of it matters at all, but you don't want to follow my advice.)

In general, now people are quoting numbers between one in 100 and one in 25, for the ratio of psychopaths/sociopaths/apd per population number, but surely this number is too high.

What we're talking about when we start coming to these sorts of conclusions is not a disorder, it's a question of deciding "these people are unsuitable for the needs and goals of our society." (Self-serving strategy.) Note, it's funny to notice psychopathy only presents as a problem to the system when the psychopath in question isn't part of the machine.

Food for thought. --DissidentFinesse_2010.

anon65438
Post 104

what are the odds of there being multiple sociopaths within the same family? The family situation being that all the kids are adopted.

anon65137
Post 103

Psychopathy is considered to be on the far end of the narcissism spectrum. Our society has shifted towards being on this part of the psycho spectrum.

Sociopath is a synonym for psychopath.

All serial killers are psychopaths but not all psychopaths are serial killers. The thing is that if a psychopath kills, it is very likely for them to kill again and again and again.

I don't know what to think about psychopathy, but through my eyes it seems like the negatives associated with it are from serial killers.

Just like a lot of the other mental disorders it seems like the guidelines for psychopathy are changed by the perceiver.

anon64868
Post 101

#84: Don't flatter yourself. "...I become very socially awkward, and *feel* like I can't talk to them anymore..." You're just begging for attention.

#83: "I may feel kind of bad for them for a hot minute, but then I think it's hilarious, because they're stupid enough to buy into what i say." Just your way of coping after having a relatively bad past. Ability to manipulate doesn't mean you're a psychopath either.

#65: Everyone with the sense to put themselves before others isn't a psychopath.

Sources: I am a psychopath. It's not something to be argued; I have been diagnosed as one and know the exact meaning of it when I say it.

anon64468
Post 100

+1 to poster 99: Everyone here trying to pass themselves off as psycho/sociopaths are just average joes/janes. Like diagnosing yourself with psychopathy somehow lifts you up above mediocrity. Here's news for you: the majority of my friends and myself are above average by simply finishing college.

anon63845
Post 99

All you guys telling your life stories and bragging about how you can lie and crap are narcissists, which makes you all pretty normal. Sorry, but you're normal. I'm sure every one of you could find some crappy shrink who's willing to diagnose you however you want, though, if you want to further fool yourselves. Especially since you're all such good liars.

anon62793
Post 97

If anyone else is still curious I would say these people make a good example of the difference.

Psychopath: Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer, both convicted articulated, organized, serial killers. Spent most of their lives on a decent track, didn't have too many problems with the law in the past. Only ever cared about their own needs and wants and showed zero remorse for the pain they caused.

Sociopath: Gary Gilmore, murderer of two people. Was unorganized, out of control, very violent and both of his murders were totally spontaneous and he showed no remorse for his actions. Before the murder he had many, many previous convictions and had already spend most of his life in jail.

If anyone is interested in the subject I would highly recommend the book "Without Conscience" by Dr. Robert D. Hare. He created the criteria for diagnosis for psychopathy and the book is very easy to read for someone with basic psychology knowledge. I enjoyed it very much.

As for all those here saying I looked up the DSM-IV and I'm so sure I'm a psychopath like Eminem Hurr, you're pretty amusing. Go to a psychiatrist if you seriously think you have a mental problem; don't self-diagnose. Just because you can read printed word doesn't mean you're a doctor or have the skills of one to make that assessment.

And please don't go around saying yeah, i'm pretty sure i'm "X mental issue" especially if you're talking to someone who knows what they are talking about, then you come off as really childish to that person.

anon62355
Post 96

for number 84, you're not a psychopath. I'm just like you, its called reality, and not giving a crap. i'm also 19 and a girl. i just don't care about anything, only when i need it, i care. simple it's life.

anon61575
Post 94

The difference between a sociopath and a psychopath is the body count.

anon60603
Post 93

definitely on the psychopathic end of the scale, but the only difference is that I actually feel for others. I think I'm mentally disturbed now.

anon60601
Post 92

if these are the traits of a pycho, then myself and the other 99.9 percent of our "modern civilized society" are 100 percent psycopathic. just look around and you know i am right. with the integration of software into our everyday lives, we no longer socialize in person. we have become estranged from other people, thus removing any concern we would have if it was personal.

anon60350
Post 91

just recently discovered that I'm a psychopath, i kind of wish i hadn't. Now i see life in a whole different perspective. I'm not sure if i like it or not.

anon60294
Post 90

I am on the psychopathic spectrum. I believe there are degrees of psychopathology, or at least the state of consciousness of the psychopath can be fed and strengthened by the environment and life experiences or weakened and open the psychopath to the possibility of being wrong and the advantages of being good and kind and caring. This can be developed by the psychopath once they realise they are wrong and can gain by being kind and caring. It is possible. It has happened to me.

anon59316
Post 89

I live in an apartment. I have neighbors. when I first met the husband he was so calm and friendly (our landlord really liked him making sure to tell us he was a psychiatrist), I liked him too I must say.

His wife had stringy black hair and kind of standoffish with a smirk, and she was pregnant. There was something about her that made me want to avoid her. I wondered why this charming man was with her because she was secretly rich or maybe, so he could have a perpetual audience (he was clever and funny and liked making me laugh). Guess who is the most trouble? His wife can be annoying, but last Saturday my husband and I called the police because the man was yelling and threatening to throw their baby out the window!

He had consistently been yelling over the year they had lived there, but we assumed he was just having a bad day or his annoying wife was antagonizing him. Now I know- he is a run of the mill psycho! I will do everything in my power to get him out. Would you want him around your family?

htereropyxis
Post 88

I just found out that I have loved a psychopath for the last three years. Whether or not the description is accurate, and the label is appropriate or not, there's certainly many parallels between a psychopath and the love of my life.

The worst currently, is staying in the certainty that I am not crazy! Hard at times to know that you are following the right path, that you see this person for who she is, that you see what this is doing to you, that you experience your own loss, sometimes very deep and intense. The most vivid characteristics for me are currently the lying, secretiveness, love for money, charm. They play it so well, nobody would believe me if I have to mention this!

Makes this quite a lonely journey.

anon58672
Post 86

I married a psychopath. I have now escaped the relationship but spent 18 months trying to find a way out. When I met him, he was giving me care and guidance and he became my true, trusted friend, and lover. He was a caring and loving person when I had no one in the world to turn to. As soon as I came into money, he seemed to be broke and needed financial help.

First small things like the phone bill or have I got cash on me for petrol or food. Then it became larger sums. He claimed illness and inability to work and then thoughts of relocating somewhere cheaper.

We married and he took off to buy a house and all from my earnings. (his money was his and untouchable) within a two-week period of the marriage,his personality changed to anger, violence, emotional abuse and for me imprisonment in my own home. No love, no sex, just abuse and criticism for everything I did.

I had just more and more work he found for me to do to pay for the lifestyle that he was evidently so unhappy with anyway. He became involved with scams and was a compulsive liar. He talked of his violent past and how he would do that to me if I pushed buttons.

He had some very violent moments but the emotional stuff was the hardest of all. I had no money left -- all was spent. He didn't care for himself either. He did not care about personal hygiene and was very overweight. He argued with everything and even if you agreed with him he would then argue against that too.

He threatened me with my life and that of friends or family miles away. He had the ability to be so charming and caring in public yet behind closed doors there was a monster.

Four years I discovered a way out. He still insists he loves me and I should go back to him -- actually he demands it! He talks of it being my fault and I am the one who is mentally ailing. If I don't do what he demands of me, then many more threats. It is better to deal with the threats away from him than under the same roof. For a long time I seriously thought it was my failing that brought all this about in him, but now know he has been this way forever.

He has no close friends, and is very secretive, heavily into pornography and many sexual encounters over the years. He uses, abuses and walks away from people when he has no further use for them. He needs adoration and complete control and enjoys seeing people suffer at his hands. He is a very good mimic of emotion, yet has no understanding of what it is to feel emotion.

So sad but at least I woke up to the fact I cannot heal him. I can only seek help for healing my wounds and moving forward. There are many scars and I will forever be looking over my shoulder because to desert him is seen as total rejection and he will seek vengeance.

anon57438
Post 85

I would like to know if a sociopath, who knows right from wrong but does not care, only feels badly when they get caught doing a "bad" deed?

do you know what I mean? Otherwise if they don't get caught then they are OK with it? thank you in advance.

anon56993
Post 84

Sometimes I wonder if I'm a psychopath. It doesn't make me too upset, but I'm very curious. My reasons for suspecting such is that I have no feelings for anyone close to me.

I would very much *like* to care for them, but I just can't. My mind just isn't stimulated enough to remember special little things about them that seem so easy for everyone else. This goes for my parents, and little brothers even. I have a very good memory though. I excel academically and socially, I'm well liked? This always surprises me, as I have no feelings for those 'friends' (which is why it surprises me to see them around).

I can be really empathetic to movies, but not real people. I will hate you for a minute, but a few hours later we'll be fine again, as it just rolls off my shoulders. I'm always fine after a little bit. Those hours that I hate you though, I plan ways to ruin your life. I would like to see you suffer at the hands of those you care about. I like to cause chaos between my peers, and I feel like I've succeeded in something when I cause them to bicker and fight. I'm never caught, and as far as I know, they don't suspect me. I'm careful and patient with those people.

If I'm happy, I'll try to make you happy too. I like listening to people tell me about their lives, and I can generally get people to do so. When I've been with 'acquaintances' for too long, I become very socially awkward, and feel like I can't talk to them anymore. Not for a long time that is.

I think my favorite is to bring people into friendship so that I can have them on hand for when I need to use them. Lying is second nature now. My only concern with it is making sure no one finds out. I don't trust anyone else, I think that they're all liars and manipulators as well. But professionals say that most of them aren't. Is that true? I hardly believe it.

Perhaps I'm just a confused 19 year old. What do you think?

nubiasian
Post 83

I'd like to tell a little bit about myself, and i'd like to know what you think.

This is pretty long. Everything may not be in chronological order. I will get to point of what you think i am.

I grew up in an abusive house hold. My mother was mentally and physically abusive. She sent me away to another country so that she would never have to see/deal with me. She dumped me on my stepfather who had little to do with me. My mother is bipolar. my father is bipolar. My cousins are schizophrenic. My aunts are schizophrenic. Mental illness is on both sides of my family.

I ran away from home and was always preoccupied with death and would put myself in harm's way, but never succeeded in any way. As an adult and In my teens I would always think about death. No one would ever think this about me. I always smiled, would have great conversations with all around me, (still do) but at the same time, think how I could possibly dupe you into my mad schemes and believe how great a person i am, on the sly while at the same time think about death.

I'm pretty good at this. I can lie and never get caught, and I can cover my tracks exceptionally well. I love to see chaos, and can cause others around me to be at each other's throats; I find this really funny. I can keep a job. I've been where i am for seven years.

Everyone i meet thinks I'm happy, have a great life and great personality. I can scheme in advance or take advantage of the moment. There will be some truth, but I'll say whatever it takes to make you do what i want right now. I get great pleasure in this. I think it's funny. I can sum you up within minutes and go with the flow.

I can also speak with what I perceive as weak individuals. Even strangers will trust me to tell me their whole life story, and if i feel like it, tell them the worst things that can happen, especially since I'm in the medical field, and they believe me. I can make them feel horrible. They walk away feeling horrible, as if there is no hope in life.

I may feel kind of bad for them for a hot minute, but then I think it's hilarious, because they're stupid enough to buy into what i say.

I would say I'm reasonably intelligent. If I'm having a good day, I'll make you feel good and then I'm happy i did this. I have months where I'll never leave the house, because i think people are out to get me and there are conspiracies to kill me.

Maybe I should sleep in the closet. no one will find me. My family is plotting against me. I have a job that allows me to work when i want. then when the madness is over, I'll present myself and be what people think is normal. When you make me angry, I think of ways that I could get back at you, and none of them are pleasant. I'll dwell on this. I like to either see you happy or hurt, especially if i can cause it.

I can be angry and violent in one moment then love you in a few hours. I will go on shopping sprees and spend thousands of dollars. I know that I'm sick. I acknowledge this. As I type right now, the world is beautiful and so is every one around me. So are you. What am I?

anon56222
Post 82

There is no doubt in my mind that the description of the differences is true. Frankly I have witnessed one person who grew up as a sociopath and fit the description perfectly.

The examples of psychopaths and how detailed and focused they are and unable to get caught easily are such people as charles manson and the green river killer etc. -- also a sociopath is Duncan, the one who killed the groene family in Idaho a few years back. He was messy but people did not see it and he might be a combination between the two, though his life was very unstable as a sociopath's is and this is the difference.

I believe that there are numerous diseases that combine together and one person can have more than one or a little of another. Each individual is different as the chemical imbalances or attachment disorders in affecting theirs and others lives. This all is absolute and true.

anon55333
Post 80

thats actually really weird. some of my sentences got changed (im #78). i said they were not diseased and that the concept of them being able to 'mimic emotions' is ridiculous. sorry if everyone was thrown off. hopefully this wont be screened so harshly.

Moderator's reply: Thank you for contributing to the wiseGEEK discussions section. Post 78 was edited only to exclude personal attacks. Please visit our article discussion FAQ for more information our posting guidelines. Additionally, if you ever have any specific questions about your post, please contact us directly.

anon55318
Post 79

73 - You are obviously showing guilt--you have justified those actions but show regret that you have had to do so. You are obviously not a sociopath/psychopath.

anon55270
Post 78

this is disgusting. everyone is just looking for a way to explain the way people act. the criteria given is so general that from any single perspective, everyone could be a victim of this 'disease.'

They're all really trying to place a label on people? trying to classify someone?

quit wallowing in your own self pity and stop looking for the answers you want to hear. 'Psychopaths' are diseased or whatever one may call it. the people you're labeling just know how to get what they want in life. they know what to say and exactly what to do to achieve their goals.

seriously, this sounds very much like the mccarthy era, where we people were weeding out the 'commies' from the rest of the general population. "i didn't know my wife was a communist until i heard her say 'honey, maybe we should all have broccoli and mashed potatoes with our steaks tonight.' good thing i got her when i did. first broccoli and mashed potatoes, next the entire country!"

all of you need a reality check. there is no classification for psychopath. sure some people have a smaller give-a-crap gland in their brain, but i bet one of your ribs is slightly off center, or perhaps you have a hitchhiker's thumb. maybe your eyebrows are extra bushy, but does that classify you as a caveman? no! quit your crying.

anon55101
Post 77

I believe that the person(s) who wrote article 76 show traits of a sociopath characteristics, and maybe more research or any research is needed before posting a comment so sadistic.

You yourself appear to be uneducated and lack the ability to understand behaviour development or individual differences.

anon54287
Post 76

The only people who are at risk of being manipulated by sociopaths/psychopath are idiots. You let people manipulate you because you are weak. There are countless signs and yet you let them fool you every time. Reading your pathetic stories honestly made me laugh. You deserve to have your lives ruined because you never learn.

anon52374
Post 75

Religion and Sociopaths.

As a closet atheist, I think all religions exert too much evil on our lives. I think morality is either innate or it is not. Social pressure through religion does not necessarily make us good -- maybe it helps some cope with their lives, but I don't think the incidence of bad behavior is less in a religious group than in the population as a whole. I guess it depends on how you define "bad" too, though.

I've been studying sociopaths and I've learned that they are likely born that way. The amygdalas in their brains are 17 percent smaller than a normal person's, and apparently between 1 percent and 5 percent of the population are sociopaths. Of that percentage, a much smaller percentage turn into serial killers (whose small amygdalas communicate differently with the rest of the brain). Most of the non-serial killers become successful politicians, car sales men, surgeons, businessmen, religious leaders, seducers and even lawyers because they are good at pretending to care all the while they lack conscience and can lie, steal, get in someone's pants, or cut you open.

Their empathetic act is even better than many people's normal empathetic concern.

Should we blame god for babies with small amygdalas who will engage in the evil of the adult world with no remorse?

anon51748
Post 74

Sociopaths are just really selfish people who are out only for themselves. This would be a con artist or the like. A psychopath is someone who hurts others and instead of feeling bad about it, they feel good about it. They feel powerful and superior to their victims. The great feeling they get by hurting people is reward enough. They don't do it for the money.

anon50323
Post 73

I am a little nervous posting this because, I suppose I am scared of what i may discover about myself. I guess this all begins when i was a young girl living alone with my mother and may i just add before anyone takes the wrong idea, a truly kind and wonderful woman. but things changed when she fell in love with and consequently married my step father, again he has always treated me like I was his own child. But shortly after they were married I started to do things in order to get my mother's attention even though I realise now that I had never lost it, and I truly regretted what I had done at the time, I ended up in local authority care because i had become too much of a handful for my parents to deal with and i hated it. I ran away constantly and even self harmed. My problem is that now that I am in my forties i find myself doing really stupid things but not. i think, for my own benefit but because i want to help my family. for example i was working in a shop and my husband, children and I were threatened with eviction, so i stole the money to clear the rent arrears to keep our house, was subsequently caught and very narrowly avoided a custodial sentence, and that narrow escape did sort me out for a while, but then a few years later, when neither of us were working, i found myself shoplifting to make sure that there was enough to pay the rent and feed us all. my husband is the most loving person i know and I would hate to lose him but it's as though i have some kind of self destruct thing going on inside and i can't get away from it. if somebody out there reads this and can get past the lousy punctuation. please point me. i don't know what to do or what i am.

anon49703
Post 71

I caught this comment above. And it described my 'friend' to a T:

I have no problem keeping work or hiding my true self from other people, but I still have no regard for the "feelings" of others, or their well-being even. I only care about my own well-being, when I actually care about anything at all. I do horrible things to people if they benefit me, but I will never be caught doing anything illegal(though I do such things, just nothing stupid enough to be incriminated) as it does not serve me well to be put into prison or anything similar.

I believe that I am probably more intelligent than most people similar to me, for some reason. I would advise everyone to avoid people like me, as we are not looking out for anybody but ourselves and if necessary will do anything necessary to hurt you if it is in our best interest. But please know, for whomever's sake, that none of us are ever truly happy, and I do believe that it is impossible for us to be so. That is our curse. We were all probably broken before we had the chance to not be so.

Not a lot of people are aware of sociopaths/ psychopaths. It took me a decade to find out. When I did it was like a shock of lightning. Suddenly the pandora's boxes of new knowledge were opened. Pretty much the knowledge of true evil. After her, I was at my weakest, because nobody believed me. She got away with it for a few years.

When a psychopath has everyone turned against you, and you're the innocent one, finally you see the darkest dark in the whole world. You start to question justice and morality, and people's stupidity. Its been a couple of years, and I am still finding that she can fool people. But one day she will be down, and down for good.

To all psychopaths there. Every step you take, someone in the know will take it upon themselves to track you down like sherlock tracks his criminals.

The downfall of my psychopath that I am tracking, is that she is very smart at playing people like a chess game, *but* when it comes to something closer to home, she is dumb as a bat.

Also, psychopaths never believe in their own evil. So you have them presenting the most polished of facade. Polished, because they have observed how to win sympathy and followings and having that lacking in themselves, have taken to the stage to act up an emmy award winning role. A lot succeed. Like mine is still succeeding.

When she is found out, I will post them all here, because I feel her doomsday is coming. She will be exposed like the laboratory rat being dissected, pinned and framed for a long time to come.

anon49467
Post 70

now i know my ex wife is a psychopath. thanks

anon48412
Post 69

some interesting discussion here. I would also suggest people check out transsociopathica.

anon48231
Post 68

Everyone is either a sociopath or pyschopath to an extent. It's human nature. We're all survivalists.

anon47261
Post 67

So who here has a Ph.D in Psychiatry/psychology? Just idly curious?

anon46739
Post 66

The psychologist Dr. Robert Saltzman has many good articles on psychopaths and sociopaths which are replies to questions submitted to him by psychopaths and their victims.

anon45696
Post 65

Anon 38195, (Post 55) "...otherwise, 100 years from now we could be living in a society run entirely by these scum." I think it can be argued that we are already, if you don't insist on 100 percent psychopaths. Look at Congress these days. Especially, I would argue, Republicans, though Democrats are certainly not immune. We *are* being ruled by psychopaths. People who can be charming, appeal to our emotions in order to be elected again and again to their posts, repeatedly lie about their opponents' legislation (death panels anyone?) and willingly sell themselves out to corporate interests instead of doing the job they were elected to do. Should a Congressman lose an election, many will quickly go to work for a corporation in an industry that they were formerly elected to regulate, lobby directly on their behalf, or join the boards of several of these companies, for an easy payday. One of the most blatant examples would be former California Rep. (R) Randall "Duke" Cunningham who, on his office stationary, wrote a list of amounts of bribes in thousands of dollars that would result in government contracts worth millions of dollars. So yes, we live in a country that is either run, or unduly influenced by psychopaths, though I don't claim that every member of Congress, Supreme Court judge, President or Vice President (with the exception of one recent example) is one.

anon43870
Post 64

I read whoever wrote in #50. I thought it was me writing. Sounded like that person and myself were living the same nightmare. However, she was smart enough to get out many years before me -- one of my top regrets. It would have saved my now adult children from so much abuse. It would have saved me from so much abuse. It would have saved other family members from financial and emotional abuse. It would have saved us from financial hardship. It would have saved us from so much embarrasment, and creative ways to explain the unexplainable, which made everyday life exhausting. It would have allowed me to be a stronger person, more protective mother, and had so much more peace and happiness for my children and myself. It was not just my ex-husband but his family as well that made leaving seem so out of reach. Between what would have been what some might call a "haunting" and the constant worry over the consequences that were told would happen to me if I attempted to leave. Just plain beaten down, and all I was needed for was to earn money, provide a comfortable place to be disrespected and abused in. I was never able to let my guard down or trust him at all for 22 years. Now my daughter is stuggling, and finding boyfriends who end up being a lot like her father, but my son does not have any of those issues, he just felt like he was nothing for the longest time, but now at 26 he is his own man. I've been divorced now for 4 years. I now have a wonderful man in my life who is the complete opposite of my ex husband and I feel happy to have some lfe now to enjoy and share. My daughter is always on my mind, in my prayers and in my life if she cares to be. She is 24 and trying so hard to pull herself together, but so angry and sad. Lost is not a good place to be. I will always be here if she ever wants to be found. All I can say is that everyone has their own story and reason they were in it. The bells can't be unrung but, whatever you do,whether it be stay or go, have the stregth to remember you have self worth. You are of value in this life. You have probably been told time and time again from the person making your life a living hell to stop being a nag, to leave them alone, to get away from them, to mind your own business. It's their life, even though you are the one providing it for them, and that's fine, they do have the right to live their life! *So do you*! Don't waste one more precious minute of it trying to figure out someone who cannot be figured out. Get yourself some help, and get yourself a life.

anon43802
Post 63

i met a psychopath at work. A girl, very attractive and very smart with a degree in Computer Science. She models on the side. She can perform exceptionally hard computations but if you talk to her about anything other then work, it's all about her nails, her hair, her BMW, her NFL boyfriend of the week, her, her, her.

When i first met her she openly confessed to me that she was trying to trap her NFL boyfriend by getting pregnant and scoffed(appeared confused) at my remarks on love versus money.

After a trip to see Mr. NFL, she said she cancelled that plan "because he has four kids by four other woman and she is not interested in sharing that money."

I noticed that she can be extremely charming one minute when she wants something and an hour later she can be unknowingly abrupt with people, almost like she forgets to be nice. My co-worker joked that she might be "loony like dexter" in her hearing four months ago. He got fired because he lied on his resume and i was told she reported him (Human resources friend said he saw her going in there).

She started taking an interest in me (i got an award at work). She is hot, but i knew she was trouble so i avoided her. She started playing pranks on me: pouring water on my chair, stealing my keyboard. I retaliated slightly but stopped when i realized what she was. So i found a new guy who, luckily, is a metro-sexual with rich folks and pointed them in the same direction. She forgot about me (thank God) and has started with him. A few women at work have warned him to be careful with her(She has no female friends and had told me that she intentionally stays away from female friendships.)

I am sorry to say it, but i hope he sticks with her because i may be a man, but i'm scared of that woman. She has every executive in her pocket. They all think she is very "charming".

i was confused for a long time as to how any one could be so unresponsive to others' feelings but this article explains that.

anon42664
Post 62

anon42153, it sounds like you're speaking for yourself. You know nothing about anyone here or about their personal lives/situations, yet you feel the need to express baseless assumptions which seem to be the fruit of some personal vendetta. Or a twisted sense of humor.

anon42153
Post 61

anon40505, you sound like you may be more of a antisocial personality than your ex husband. You are quick to blame him for issues in your relationship and not take the blame upon yourself. You portray yourself as the victim to garner pity and sympathy from others. You seem very narcissistic and self-absorbed. The same goes for many others here who tend to think the problems in their relationships are always all someone else's fault.

anon40785
Post 60

My ex-husband is a pscycopath, I know he will never change, thus the ex part. But I was wondering how likely are these genes to be passed down the line to our son? Right now, my son is 13 years old. He is a wonderful person to travel with, well liked by his teachers, he has some friends. He also has huge outbursts of anger, and he doesn't seem to care what he does to you when he is raging. I told him today about my brother drowned in the bathtub as a child. My mom left the room for half a minute to grab a towel. she was just rushing back in when my father (also a psychopath) held her arm and refused to let her go for 10 minutes on pain of death (literally). I told him because I thought he was old enough to understand, and I wanted to visit my brother's grave with him. I was locked out of my own house by him after telling my son that calling my mother a murderer was wrong. are these sociopath tendencies?

anon40505
Post 59

Hello, i have a question. I would like to know if my soon to be ex-husband is a psychopath or sociopath? Well, first, let me start by telling you a little bit about him. My husband and i have been together since i was 14 years of age. At first everything was well. But then he started abusing me emotionally. And for that reason, now i have a "low self esteem." He is selfish. He only cares about himself. And he always blames me for every wrong thing that happens in our relationship or for his mistakes. He is never to be blame! He never takes responsibilities for his own actions! He's always cheating on me behind my back. He uses drugs. Hes been in and out of prison since he was 17 yrs old for drug related issues and burglary. And now he is in prison for physically abusing me. He called his mom and told her that everything was my fault when it wasn't. He was also abusing my animals and kids. And he wrote me a letter telling me that to forgive him; that he loves me very much and that it will never happen again. But i told him, "No!" Because he always tells me the same stories over and over again just so i could give in. And yes, i have already filed for divorce. So i really would like to know if he is considered one of them. I will appreciate very much. Thank you!

anon39689
Post 58

I have had the experience of meeting a psychopath. He has a history with the VA and yet I'm the one who's called nuts. I've never seen a more skillful manipulator and liar. He always seems to come out looking like the greatest guy ever. I really believe he thinks he's all-powerful. Worse, he's even started to convince my son. I feel like I'm trying to fight with my hands tied. He's snowed everybody.

anon39057
Post 57

I have been married to my husband for 40+ years- yes I must be crazy! He convinced me to marry him- then I waited 2 1/2 years while he was in the brig for desertion and escape(that I knew nothing of). 2 years later our 1st child is born and he admits he is in love with me and another woman-and convinces me he will kill himself if I don't allow her to move into our house-yes I am stupid again. They finally leave and he eventually comes back after professing undying love and remorse. Numerous jobs, several affairs, drug addiction to everything, mental, physical, and verbal abuse and I tap my phone. Find out he and his current girlfriend are planning to convince me I need mental help-put me in a psych ward and live in my house. I confront him and he has a heart attack. That was 10 years ago. Since then he has had more heart attacks, brain surgery, stroke and seizures. Just found out he has Hep C-and while he exposed me to it-I have 0 viral load. Thank God. I take care of him because a divorce 10 years ago would have cost me my home, half my retirement, half my 401, etc-because I had "put up" with his behavior. I now know that was a cheap price. Our children rarely visit although they do call me, I never see my granchildren. For years he convinced me it was all my fault-I wasn't understanding, wasn't sexy enough, too thin, I was having affairs (never happened), I was too close to my family, friends (lost my friends). Only since I retired have I finally understood-so I moved us to another state-got new friends-and I now have a life. I wish it had not taken so long and I wish I could share my life with someone that really cared-but I will care for him till he dies. There has been no sex in ten years, he thinks the docs are lying about the Hep C, he can't drive, he resents me deserting him for church, groups, etc-but I go. When he threatens suicide i tell him I can't stop him. when he threatens to call my friends with lies I hand him the phone. when he threatens to kill my dogs I remind him I will call the police and he will go to jail. I made the mistake years ago of thinking I could change him-or change me-so we could have a good life together. Wrong! It was never his fault, never his blame. Don't make the mistake I made- or you will be cleaning the bottom of a man(?) you can't stand to touch.

anon38310
Post 56

Having known sociopaths and psychopaths personally, I found this one psychopath to very disgusting. He was in supervision and therefore abused his power. He was an ex-military, racist, irrational, belligerent, confrontational, sickeningly arrogant and may have been on medication because of his pattern of mood swings at work. For example, he would be your best friend when work started. Three hours later, he would become confrontational and provoking; it was a back-and-forth, then become friendly with you as work ended. Having a private education, Ivy-League in nature, I could see with this one person that two emotions underlined his behavior: anger and jealousy. For once, I saw something in a human being, just how basic and raw one could be. Yes, this was a psychopath, and the worst part of it he was in authority. One learns very quickly how to ignore this type of person, if only to avoid problems and bringing on problems for yourself. These types of people are predators, and I would argue bad for society for I saw first-hand how bad he made it for others simply because they were a racial minority.

anon38195
Post 55

This is all very interesting, but does it really matter? The finer points dividing a socio- from a psychopath are irrelevant; what matters is that these people are incurably immoral and a bane on society--and that we are breeding them. In the US (and I imagine it is similar in other western countries), one in 25 people is a socio/psychopath; that's one in every school classroom. It's time to do something about these people; build a culture in which immorality is not an evolutionary advantage--or it will keep on spreading. We are finally aware of our species' evolution; now is the time to change it--for the better. Otherwise, 100 years from now we could be living in a society run entirely by these scum.

anon37884
Post 54

I know that all psychopaths are not sociopaths, but is it correct to say all sociopaths are psychopaths?(I have unfortunately known boths types of people.)

anon37830
Post 53

Is it possible for someone to be both a psycopath and a sociopath?

anon37125
Post 52

The described differences and similarities seem both subtle and distinct. I have always thought a sociopath personalities developed earlier in life, "just born bad," and these people do not understand feelings of others or have the capacity to pretend to be "normal." I have thought of psychopaths as charming, manipulative and able to disguise their lack of empathy for others and developing their pathology later in life, perhaps in response to a traumatic event or over the course of time through external events. Anyhow, it is an interesting debate to be sure. anonymous

anon36881
Post 51

Until recently, I did not know that I was married to a psychopath for years. I know something was not right, even when I divorced him..he acted more and more violence toward me..attacking me with false accusuations and more..stalking..very manipulative and charming..acted so normal, but far from that. now that I know the truth, I can handle situation like more recently, he has been taking me back to court over issues with our children who are now adults. he is into the 'winning' thing. I can't seem to get rid of him, even though I have completely cut him off, he now uses court to harass me, using the adult children as pawns, making up false statements against me with his lawyer. interesting. he never seems to stop.

Uhoh
Post 50

Listen up, you foolish ones - like me - who have made the incredible and naive mistake of getting involved with a person presenting sociopathic or psychopathic behaviors and attitudes: you need to start looking at yourselves, not the sociopath. If you are involved with someone who is hurting you and wrecking your life and you are more concerned about whether that person can be helped than about your own well being, then you better start looking at your own mental health first so you can get strong enough to leave the fool. These people do not change except only temporarily to get what they want. They will say whatever works in the moment to get what they want, to keep their personal gravy train running. They will suck the life force right out of you and blame you for everything that is wrong in the relationship. The lack of empathy for the lives of you and others and particularly for the pain they have caused *you* is perhaps *the* prominent presenting feature of their mental state. There is an astounding lack of real interest in your life and its victories and defeats. Your needs will *never* get met at any depth. You finally realise that they are willing to go to any length to preserve whatever gravy train you are providing and that you are merely a means to an end. If you stand up to any of this and act on your realisations, you will be demeaned, berated, accused of the most incredible BS, you will be countered, discounted, they will tell you what you are "really" thinking, what you "really" mean, and your feelings and ultimately your personhood will be completely trivialised. You need to emerge from your denial about these types and ditch them, get rid of them, run not walk, leave them in the dust as soon as you realise what you've unwittingly allowed into your life. There is no hope - I have spent 7 years hoping, 4 of them married to this loser, and I am telling you all the truth. Get out *now*, do not stay married once you realise what is happening. It will not get better. He will pretend he is getting better by saying and *maybe* doing whatever he has to to maintain the gravy train but you soon realise it is all a cheap ploy to his own ends. Get out now - and yes I have filed for divorce.

And p.s., my husband shows no interest whatsoever in the fact that my cat suddenly took sick and died recently. He asked no questions about my cat while he was at the emergency vet for 3 days, showed no interest in coming with me to visit the little cat, showed no interest in my emotional state and he knows how I love and baby my cats. He indicates that he could not have cared less, yet has told me many times that he really likes my cats. There are so many things he has lied about and the bottom line is, these types care *only* about things and situations that directly affect *them*. These people are the worst things that could ever happen to your life and again I will say it - lose them fast or you will regret it - and so will your pocketbook - for years to come. I can hardly wait to get this person out of my life. I only hope I and my bank account live through it enough to start a new, wiser life.

anon35943
Post 49

Like most of the things I have read in psychology, these definitions can fit most people in one way or another and is another example of how science has been misused. If you are the one who has been hurt, or injured or lost a job or just feel you have been ill treated by some on in your life, well obviously that person must be a "sociopath" or "psychopath". By applying a "disease" definition to the actions of another person we get to feel like we're the "normal" person. Here is an example, lets say a person finds out that the actions of the major employer in their community, which provides most of the jobs, is causing disease to the communities down stream due to pollution they are dumping in the river and this person proposes telling the national authoritys about it causing the business to be shut down and almost the entire town to lose its livelihood. Well, it would be a simple matter to label that person as "antisocial", after all, he is disregarding the feelings of others, causing harm etc. The truth is, there has to be a stricter standard applied than what the definitions above may imply before hauling off an labeling someone as a sociopath. Most everybody does things in their lives to further their own agenda. who wouldn't try to get along with a boss they don't like so they could get a raise or promotion? In a way, if a sociopathic person wasn't willing to change their behavior simply to get along, wouldn't that person actually be a more honest person than someone who acts that way merely to get ahead? And what defines holding a job down 5 years at one place, 10 years, 6 months? I think the very vagueness of the definitions imply that the conditions may not really exist. they are merely labels we put on others we don't like or may be jealous of.

anon35676
Post 48

ashgreymane here. This is horrible. I looked up the difference between a psycho- and socio- path, and came up with this. The number of people asking for answers here chills my blood; I am doing the same thing. I've had a number of people in my life who meet this criteria. Yes, they're all awful. I've also had one or two of them who are/were loyal to the point of...well, I don't know what. I have met psycho/socio-paths who are utterly loyal. Are they great people? Nooo. Why do they defend some of the weak or defenseless? Well, I don't know, but they quite often do. I suspect that it has to do with their idealized view of themselves. It offends them that anyone would dare to pick on/pick at what they themselves find ideal or perfect or they just like. Just a thought here. I personally have found these folks to often be open, kind, protective, and nurturing. Are they doing so for any reason other than to benefit themselves? No. Don't kid yourself. Smart, average, stupid, or in between, they will *all* use you, lie to you, or even be loyal to you for their own purposes, and make no mistake that this is what they are doing. Watch your e-mail, your phone, your regular mail, and so on---don't think you have any privacy or trust just because this person "loves" you. They may very well love you as well as they are able. This will not stop them from using you, from seeing you as an object for their use, or as their possession. They will resent seeing you attempt to be free. How dare you try to be free? They are egotistical, narcissistic, and on top of this have no ability to relate to the rest of humanity in a way most of us do. They are selfish. They can aso be generous, kind, give the appearance of being loving, and are perfectly capable of supporting you. This is because ultimately it supports their own cause; and sooner or later you will see this for yourself. When you get tired of living how you are living, you will stop. My best wishes and blessings to all of you who read this---don't give up. *It isn't you*!! love, ASH

anon35638
Post 47

I was involved in a relationship with a psychopath although I didn't know it at the time. She had many of the traits mentioned here and elsewhere, intelligent, charming, manipulative, violent temper, lack of emotion and remorse. It will now be far easier for me to recognize one in the future and stay away. I just wish psychopaths would only be allowed to date and marry each other(so this way they could hurt only other psychopaths) and not be allowed to gain any political or corporate power. That would solve many of the world's problems.

anon35531
Post 46

I was married to a sociopath. Lucky for me he had been diagnosed. When I started seeking answers I had something to go on. It has been 4 years since I left him. The divorce is final. I'm still healing. Post tramatic stress disorder.

anon34912
Post 45

From what I've read, a lot of people are mistaking symptoms for psychopathic behaviour when they are completely void in psychopaths. For example, the husband who doesn't have sex anymore, and there would be no reason for a true psychopath to post here warning others to stay clear of people like him, when it doesn't serve his ego, or gain him in any way.

A psychopath is very conscious of other people and their emotions, and actually can be very empathic because of this, but they are always or can choose to disconnect. The apparent empathy comes from objectivity, observation and often unusually high intelligence and foresight.

A psychopath is not inherently evil, one can have a set of morals, or a code of personal conduct, but they abide by their own and not by standard rules, and they will bend or break their morals if it serves a purpose higher on their agenda, for example, they may believe that killing children is wrong, but would kill one to save ten, and not get emotional. Although they will try to abide by laws and morality by everyone else's standards to avoid legal punishment and to blend in, unless it feeds their ego to stand out.

Psychopathic tendencies often allow people great success in the modern world, leading some experts to believe as it is genetic, that it is an evolutionary step, filling a gap, and leading to success - survival of the fittest - which is now in terms of mentality for our species.

Most movie heroes display the key traits of a psychopath, killing thousands of "bad guys" (by their standards) while still dropping one liners, with total disregard for the rules and their safety.

A sociopath, however, would be less likely to have a moral code and be more likely to be sadistic. A sociopath is driven by impulse, and often uncontrolled, and drawn to immediate gratification, whereas the psychopath would think of the consequences to avoid any unpleasant rebounds, like prison, and to leave themselves more openings for advantage in the future.

Sociopaths behaviour is more obvious, but their ability to lie is astounding because they don't care about anything at that moment, except getting away with whatever they have done, they are the sort that will steal from their own mothers, and not consider getting caught and when they do they will lie convincingly about it. A psychopath would steal from his mother if he thought he could get away with it, and would confess if it was advantageous to him, when caught, but if not he could lie through his teeth despite any evidence to the contrary, and often convincingly despite everything.

ding2know
Post 44

I have been married for 16 years. I could write volumes on all of my observations wondering why he is always angry. I have watched him become more and more distant over the past 10 years. When we met I was recently divorced. He had been sober for 6 months and said he had made so many people unhappy (3 marriages)for so many years he just wanted to make someone smile. He sent flowers to my office sometimes every day, was totally available 24/7. He told me he loved me within a month of dating, and said it frequently. When we finally had sex, which I ended up initiating, we would have it every day. We dated for 3 years. He asked me to marry him after a year and 1 half and gave me a gorgeous 1karat diamond. I broke it off after a 6 months engagement because I saw red flags but he was still wanting to see me and I was needy enough that I still kept seeing him. We ended up marrying after 3 years of dating.

He was never controlling as far as me getting together with my girlfriends. He hated going to anything social though. He complained constantly about *everything* and yet would do anything for me and for my daughters. I should mention he has been at the same job for 18 years and works very hard. However, beside gambling that is all he wants to do. As soon as we married the sex became less and less frequent. Now it has been over a year since we have had any intimacy. I don't believe he's having an affair. He is always home after work and doesn't go anywhere on the weekends. It's almost like sex was a means to an end.

He has so many character traits that I have been reading about. He doesn't seem to care about me at all but doesn't want a divorce. He is not and never has been physically abusive but is totally emotionally unavailable. We both love animals but when our dog died he laid in bed and wailed all evening. It was so over the top and I will never forget it. We all cried but he was inconsolable. I don't worry about him physically hurting me. Emotionally I am just about burned out. From what I've been reading this morning, there's no hope.

Has anyone else had some of these experiences and if so is there any way to get my needs met? I am 57. Don't really want to start over. I love my job, have awesome daughters, great friends but I am unhappy at home.

anon33302
Post 43

I think most of the comments here are mistaken. I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but do believe myself to be a sociopath. I have no problem keeping work or hiding my true self from other people, but I still have no regard for the "feelings" of others, or their well-being even. I only care about my own well-being, when I actually care about anything at all. I do horrible things to people if they benefit me, but I will never be caught doing anything illegal(though I do such things, just nothing stupid enough to be incriminated) as it does not serve me well to be put into prison or anything similar.

I believe that I am probably more intelligent than most people similar to me, for some reason. I would advise everyone to avoid people like me, as we are not looking out for anybody but ourselves and if necessary will do anything necessary to hurt you if it is in our best interest. But please know, for whomever's sake, that none of us are ever truly happy, and I do believe that it is impossible for us to be so. That is our curse. We were all probably broken before we had the chance to not be so.

anon33257
Post 42

yea, im with the first commenter guy, recently dated a psychopath, i looked up psychology, cause thats what i wanna major in, then i saw some stuff bout abnormal psychology cause thats what i want to do with my major, then i went to psychopathology and i noticed that a lot of the behaviors that was supposed to be a psychopath, was almost exactly like my ex. im actually kinda proud of myself and its also really funny, cause she screwed me over, and now i know she is mentally ill, and i really hope im not the only person who knows her that has noticed it.

anon32574
Post 41

I briefly dated a true sociopath and had a friendship with one who was less of one than the first. The second one did have a sexual encounter, but, I believe luckily, the relationship we've had has drifted. I feel sorry for the rest of the people he has become close to. The former, he likes to break up with girls and women he's dated and get back with them, using them because they're familiar and easy. Luckily when he tried that trick with me, I said no. He still tried, and recently he tried to be friends and probably more, but he stayed the night and after I left for my class, he took some food and moved things around, when I confronted him, suddenly he was no longer available and continued to deny it.

The latter has a definite God-complex. He believes he can solve everyone's problems and control them, while turning a blind eye to his own. I've dealt with a variety of people like this, some more intense than others. But eventually you get better at recognizing the behavior and becoming strong enough to pull away. You don't need to solve their problems, just get away before they suck you dry.

anon30067
Post 38

I met a sociopath last year in July 2008. I had just lost my father and had returned from a 3 week trip to India where my company was outsourcing jobs. I have heard sociopaths find emotionally weak individuals to begin their pursuit. Well, I was at my weakest. He knew every button to push, and did it well. He did the testing to see how much I would take and still take him back into the relationship.

My friends were freaked out. They begged me to leave him as they felt my life was in danger. He moved himself into my condo. While there he found and read my journals. He destroyed them saying now no one had to worry about what I had done. He used them against me and used them to get to know me.

I finally kicked him out after finding out about the journals. Then it turned into an on and off again crazy mess.

He was such a charmer and provider, but as soon as I did not give him all my attention he accused me of cheating and not caring. There were a few times he became forceful and overpowered me to get me to sit down or to take away my things. One time he took my cell phone and I had to chase him to get it back. This last time I called the police as he tried to force his way into my home. I hope I have become smarter and this is the *last* time.

I have a friend who also was with a sociopath and she has been a help to me to see what he is and that he will never change. So for anyone that is here reading this, know that these words are true.

I've heard, had my situation (he wanted to marry me I said no) continued I'm certain I would have been physically abused if not dead. Leave, now, you can't change them, they will suck you dry and leave you when they are done. The pain only gets worse not better if you stay in the relationship.

venture30314
Post 34

is it possible for a sociopath to convert to a psychopath or vice versa

anon23750
Post 33

I was taught that the main difference between psychopath and sociopath is that a psychopath doesn't know the difference between right or wrong, a sociopath knows the difference between them, but doesn't care. It's a simplistic model of two very complex mental disorders, but if it has any merit at all, it's worth it to remember.

anon22815
Post 32

I would agree that a sociopath is sloppy in work can easily get caught up in his/her lies or manipulation were as a psychopath is more skilled and like the fact that others are able to see and fear their work most psychopaths are not loners some even have families and high paying jobs they see their work as art it's a challenge to them to undermine everyone else I have yet to have heard of or read about a psychopath who hasn't killed that part is the real joy, anyone can manipulate but very few can kill and kill again then go to church on sunday and work on monday.

anon22276
Post 31

To: anon17754

"What are psychopaths'/sociopaths' weaknesses? What makes them feel pain or hurt?"

Many - not all, but many - are extreme narcissists. If you hurt their ego, their reaction is visceral and extreme. Therefore, I do NOT recommend trying to push this button unless you are thoroughly trained to handle someone like that. Being in a public place and other such "precautions" are useless if the psychopath's/sociopath's reaction is so intense that they lose control and perspective.

I am a borderline, but I frequently get involved with psychopaths and sociopaths in my platonic and romantic relationships. Many of them can be very highly intelligent in their analysis of others' psyche, but can still have some astounding blind spots when it comes to their own. But please don't fool yourself into thinking that just because you might be aware of what they are before they are aware of it, that you have some kind of advantage over them. The only advantage you have is that you recognize it well enough to start making plans to sever your relationship with them.

anon22146
Post 30

I wonder if it is possible to craft a "gateway" -- some kind of implant designed to open communication in the blocked pathways in the brain of the psychopath -- and nurture them through the process of "awakening".

True, an adult brain could not possibly parallel the rapid development of the brain of a young child; however, some kind of result might be possible, given that as I understand it the brain tissue itself is atrophied in the uncommunicated areas but not necrotic.

If extremely careful therapy were applied and seizures well-controlled, it might actually be the first breakthrough in bringing down the wall of ice that encapsulates the brutal but tragic, ultimate loner for life.

The more I see the science, the more I think it just might work some day. I've heard other people discourse on it; the idea was not my own. But I find it valid in theory......PATRICE.

anon22021
Post 28

I finally realized that A person that I have been involved with for five years is a sociopath. He stole a handmade crewel embroidery picture from my house three years ago. He denied it of course. since then I have seen he plays mind games with me. He seems to have no conscience about things. I care about him but it is to the point that I resent him for hurting me. Is there any help for him out there? Is it too late?

anon21211
Post 27

There is in an interesting correlation in the amygdala of the brain between psychopaths and sociopaths. In psychopaths apparently there is no communication between the amygdala and the frontal cortex whereas the sociopath has some communication. In both the amygdala is smaller than normal. Psychopaths tend to be violent while sociopaths tend to be more like "con artists". Any comments?

anon21200
Post 26

I think the general argument here, correct me if I am wrong is that sociopath is more erratic and deals on impulse, this isn't to imply they are stupid rather to show the different characteristics from psychopaths who will have more tendency to try to blend in and hide their "dark passenger", I've done extensive research on the subject, I am in high school but I have been diagnosed as a psychopath which has led me to do so much research to see how people view this condition...

anon20734
Post 25

I dont agree with the statement that psychopaths are somehow smarter than sociopaths so they dont get caught. Serial killers are sociopaths and they kill 10 people before being caught and most cult leaders are also sociopaths and they last years. A sociopath may leave more evidence but they are much harder to catch because of their cunning personality and the fact that they can manipulate people and find their weaknesses within one minute of a conversation. I know this because i am a sociopath.

anon18274
Post 24

To put it even simpler:

regarding ( Right and Wrong ) psychopaths/sociopaths. The first doesn't really know the difference The second doesn't care.

anon17754
Post 23

What are psychopaths'/sociopaths' weaknesses? What makes them feel pain or hurt?

DrP
Post 22

Read the book called "The Sociopath Next Door" or "Without Conscience" by Dr. Hare and you will get a much better idea about these individuals. The good thing here is that people can make comments about this illness and they definitely tell a lot.

anon15175
Post 21

I think the basic difference between the two...

Sociopaths have no idea they are wrong, and Psychopaths know they are wrong, but do it anyway.

cjj
Post 20

I think it's pointless (though tempting) to try to diagnose ourselves or other people with information that we find online or in books. Knowing about these traits or symptoms is more useful if we think about them more broadly: as elements that are associated with antisocial personalities. A lot of people may have some of them, to greater or lesser degrees and for a variety of reasons. Without labeling all of those people as sociopaths, we can benefit from realizing that these may be antisocial qualities.

Categories may be comforting in various ways, but we should ask ourselves whether they truly expand our understanding, or limit it according to a preconceived agenda, such as writing someone off in order to justify ourselves, or excusing unacceptable behavior on the basis of illness. I too am reading about this subject because of very troubling experiences I've had with a former partner. But my best judgment tells me not to judge, but rather to look for enlightenment and act accordingly.

anon13852
Post 19

"...make me feel as bad of a person..."

Again, in response to this, a psycho/sociopath wouldn't "feel bad as a person"; they simply don't feel...bad about their actions or their victims or otherwise. Borderline personalities and antisocial personalities (to some degree) know what they do is wrong and may feel remorse at times, but it's usually fleeting-and they are dependent on their ability to "blame others" in every sense. (These are only a couple of the Personality Disorders as defined by the DSM-IV, and my explanations are much over-generalized.) To "feel bad" about anything indicates some sort of lingering conscience/sense of morality and ethics.

Anonymous, as I work in MH

anon13331
Post 18

I've been researching psychopathy for the past two weeks for a project in school, and would like to respond to some of the things that have come up on this comment board using the knowledge I've gained thus far:

Crazybob, I believe your ex-wife was a psychopath, not a sociopath. Keep in mind that psychopaths are manipulative and can seem normal though they aren't, while sociopaths are less capable of blending in with those whom they can not relate.

With all due respect, anon5898, chances are you are not a psychopath.

According to Robert D. Hare, today's pioneer in the field of psychopathy, psychopaths are characterized by narcissistic qualities (this characteristic is included in the PCL-R, a diagnostic tool used for discerning psychopaths from regular criminals/citizens). Meaning, they only do things that bring themselves some sort of benefit. There would be no benefit to 'warning' readers of people like yourself.

Without a benefit, you would have no incentive to say a thing. You certainly wouldn't be motivated out of concern for these readers: that would mean you frown upon the effects of a psychopath on others. Quite frankly, a psychopath wouldn't care.

A lot of you have also claimed to know psychopaths. While I cannot say you are wrong--indeed, there are many in the world and supposedly chances are you're bound to meet at least one in your lifetime--, I would like to point out one thing that often helps to distinguish a psychopath from a regular sadistic jerk or sociopath.

This fact is highlighted by the article and myself: psychopaths are narcissists (this does not mean, however, that all narcissists are psychopaths). This fact combined with that which says they understand society and the importance of staying under the radar basically means that they don't act outwardly sadistic by nature. They are fundamentally built so that they are prime candidates for sadism, but they are more likely to be apathetic. Unless you have something to offer them, chances are they'll leave you alone. (Though, they are also characterized by a need for stimulation. I cannot say that I know enough about them to know what they do to stave off boredom. Which is why I will not say that any of you are wrong in your convictions that you've met/known a psychopath.)

And now I've nearly confused myself. But if you're interested in less confusing, more directly credible information on the characteristics of psychopathy, I strongly suggest researching the PCL-R (Psychopathy Check List-- Revised) and reading some of Hare's articles. They're specific and very informative. And, if you're me, quite interesting :).

anon13199
Post 17

Read the article, the psychopath is the manipulative "charmer", and probably has a job... While the sociopath isn't capable of holding a job...

I will disagree about most cops being psychopaths. Please, you're generalizing.

I've known two psychopaths and they weren't policemen, although they wanted to be security guards. My DH is a policeman, and he has a lot of integrity, and is not a psychopath. The key here is get away from the psychopaths and sociopaths and never go back. It can be done because I've done it.

Also know that when you're leaving is when you're the most in danger. So leave without telling them where you're going and don't leave a paper trail where you're going. I've gotten out, and have taken Psych, and am now graduating from college. Your life will be much better without them.

anon12003
Post 15

I was recently befriended by a psychopath. I know this person is one because she took personal delight in basically trying to rip out my uterus through my mind out of jealousy. Because this person is such a well-educated person, she knows not to use overt threats and instead has implied through the use of cultural references and psychological traps a threat to myself and my child. The police won't do anything unless she's trying to break into my home.

I feel used by this individual who sized me up as a mark, took advantage of my compassion and non-judgmental nature and then proceeded to abuse the friendship we did have to knock me down and try to destabilize me psychologically. I don't know if I could have seen this wreckage coming, but now I am smarter and wiser.

wardoff
Post 14

i'm divorcing a person who was diagnosed as bipolar but in reality after doing much research and my personal experiences, he is definitely a psychopath. He is social, charismatic on the outside, but when he is home he is evil. He has maliciously set out to hurt my family members, he has even deliberately hurt himself and blamed it on me. we have children together which makes matters worse. he is very manipulative and has shown violence. he has no remorse whatsoever even though he has apologized numerous times. He is a chronic liar and i just recently found out that because of him someone was killed and he has had no remorse about. he constantly blames me for his criminal charges which were directly resulted in violations to protective orders, i honestly believe he is going to try to kill me (not him personally) but no one believes me except family members. i finally decided to buy a gun but the problem i have is not no one knows that he is truly dangerous. and for many years he has gotten away with many criminal acts. even though i have custody of my children, i have not control in protecting them because he has met all the criteria of the court system. do you think i am overreacting?

anon11240
Post 13

I lived with a Sociopath for 10 years. At the beginning of the relationship he was a sweet talker, charmer, you name it, the perfect guy! But I had an awful feeling in my gut that it just wasn't right, that i should not be with him, but i ignored it and stayed anyway. Turned out, he made up a life that didnt exist, convinced me of all kinds of things, even that he was dying! He was a compulsive liar, manipulative, not in touch with reality at all, never took responsibility for his actions, obsessed with sex, no remorse for anything, no conscience, became violent, obsessed with me and controlling. I was afraid of him, afraid to leave him, which he made extremely difficult to do. That relationship was a nightmare, it ended over 5 years ago and he's still a nightmare today! He still harasses me, obsessed with me, convinced people of nasty things about me which are not true. I dont wish this type of guy on anyone.

ceci16
Post 12

i think it is psychopaths who are less organized than sociopaths. sociopaths are the ones who are able to blend into society while the psychopaths are the loners.

anon10033
Post 11

I'm quite certain that my cousin is a sociopath. We grew together as children and were always close right up into our 30's. It was in our 30's that I realized that I could no longer be around her. However, it was much earlier in our lives that I knew "something" was wrong with her. She cannot maintain an actual relationship. She has married twice only to almost immediately begin cheating. She completely degraded her first husband. She continues to use her present husband in unimaginable ways. Ways such as cheating on him, stealing from him, using drugs around him even though he despises such things. She is a very skilled thief and is in with many fences. I actually watched her walk into a Fred Meyer store and walk right back out with a huge $300 vacuum cleaner/carper cleaner. Then she took it to a fence that was the manager of a Toyota dealership! I think he gave her like fifty cents on the dollar. I asked her things like: "How can you do that stuff for a "living." She would say something like, "it's exciting." She did this sort of thing everyday to support her drug habit(s) as well as her everyday needs. She's been caught and gone to jail many times, but gets out because she has "befriended" a city police detective who gets her out of jail as long as she helps him set up drug dealers. When she sets up a successful bust she gets cash for it and uses the cash to buy her own drugs! Amazing! Busting drug dealers just so you can stay high! No conscious. No morals......(honestly, that goes for the cop too as he knows all to well who and what my cousin is. He's probably a "psychopath" using a "sociopath!" As I mentioned before, I cannot, will not be around her anymore. That breaks my heart as she is my blood and I love her. The worst part is that, if I'm not mistaking, this disorder is incurable. Is that true? Perhaps, someone out there can confirm??

anon9895
Post 8

Well....here I sit. at work. news since I last posted on this site. My soon-to-be-X-Sociopath is back with her X-husband. He only makes about 250K a year, so it's the obvious that she would work angles to get back with him. ( they are both dumb, after all, she attacked him with a hockey stick and broke his wrist about 6 years ago, amazing how people forget pain) In Feb, I received an e-mail from "his" girlfriend, stating that my X called her and left a message about how she and he were at a hotel and that she should be made aware of this.....the actual message was sent to me, and sure enough, it's her voice stating just that. The scary thing is this, her voice was calm, collected, and sweet...as if she were calling a boyfriend. since then, I've seen him at her house and my friends have told me that she told them, that she is "back with him"......keep in mind, we're not even divorced yet. She actually called me up last week and asked me if I wanted to "come over, get some thai food, and talk" and that "my son is gone to work"....implying we could be intimate. I said "yeah, NO, I'm not going to do that, the only thing we have to talk about is our divorce, do you have any questions about that?" and she said no. she is so sick she forgets that the fact i changed my life for her, doesn't even faze her....and that she's back with her x....good God. So..on I go. I look at it this way. "They" are out there. Sociopaths that is. they are a part of our society, and they blend in very well...the scary thing is, you can't tell who they are until it's too late. but by then, you're life is a wreck.

anon9826
Post 7

Very Good answer on the above and quite true as I am one and the answer describes me perfectly.

anon8894
Post 6

I married a psychopath. Didn't know he was one until recently but I knew something was wrong early on. Every 3 - 6 months there is a major meltdown & he can't deal with reality anymore. The classic charismatic psychopath, lies, manipulates, etc...

One comment from sociopath that, "we don't know what we're doing," I agree. I love the man to death though he is gone now ( he left ). He is so sick he needs a power of attorney over him. But he has a good heart & I believe he is severally mentally ill. I will always love him, he's just really messed up in his brain.

crazybob
Post 5

well, well, well.....there is light at the end....I think.

well, I married one...a Sociopath that is. SHE, yes, SHE was beautiful. a true knockout. 5'7", 108 lbs, blonde, blue, in shape...and a boob job to finish the get-up. she could deals on furniture, cars, clothes...heck she could even get free tea at the local 7-11. She would also get her way. period. before we got married, she was "fine". by no means enough red-flags to make me run. However, after we got married, within three months the game changed so badly that I am now living in fear. She and her son moved out to the house that her and her grandfather were flipping. Yes, she manipulated her WW2 Vet, 82 year old grandfather into flipping a house....with HIS money. then, at a convenient time, moved into it when we were having our problems. sound simple, or shallow, in summary let me share this: I've been slapped numerous times, punched in the face 5 times, kicked in the head, things thrown at me, hit in the face with items and to really get your goat, on our honeymoon, she punched me twice, threw a water bottle at me, and left for 5 1/2 hours, only to end up in some other guy's room. oh yeah, this was the last night of our honeymoon in cabo san lucas, Mexico. throw in the fact that I burned through 30 thousand in cash to support her half-cocked business and other money issues, oh yeah, I forgot to mention that she's trashed all of my stuff; trashed a 175 dollar radio/alarm clock, threw the other radio out the second story window and then trashed my grateful dead collection of 300 tapes, things I've had for 25 years. we were only married for 1 1/2 years, and it all happened in that time frame. The last time I got punched by her, I was going to call the police, and she said, in front of her grandfather "fine call the police, because YOU hit me first!".

anon5898
Post 4

I have only recently been awakened to the fact that I am a psychopath or more suitable a word "Psychopathy". I prefer that term than the norm as it doesn't make me feel as bad of a person. I have only recently been able to see the effect I have on people. I will say this to anyone, be careful of people like me. Everything you read about the actions we display is absolutely correct. ie, Manipulative, Spontaneous, Can't keep a job or relationship, Smooth talker, and the list goes on. I was a police officer for the past eight years and it was interesting to find that many people like myself hold positions in the same field. If you learn one thing from these articles is to be careful because we don't know what we do, it just happens without us thinking about it.

dgillrn1951
Post 2

I appreciate the explanation. I am sure my soon to be ex- husband is a psychopath. He molested our 3 year old child. The problem I have is that my attorney understands he is sick but I don't think he knows how to dsasrm him with questions. I am working on the testimony now. How would you suggest questions should be asked? He can make up false feelings and seem to have some empathy when he doesn't? Thanks DG

slawson
Post 1

okay, i think i get it. the key difference between psychopath and sociopaths is the "intent" and conciousness?, a sociopath isnt really aware of other peoples needs but a psychopath IS fully aware but just doesnt care? The latter masking their traits to fool people so they can be manipulated easily??

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