How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Tamara Your Own Question

Tamara
Tamara, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1072
Experience:  20+ yrs Private Practice; Cert. Master Therapist; National Board Certified; APA Board Certified
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Tamara is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Dear Psychiatrist on-line, How does a psychiatrist diagnose

Resolved Question:

Dear Psychiatrist on-line,
How does a psychiatrist diagnose a patient as being sociopathic? What are the key symptons they are looking for? Given a person may not be aware (let alone acknowledge that they are sociopathic), and hence demonstrate or talk about those traits, how do they uncover them?
Thanks for your insights.
Andrew
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Tamara replied 4 years ago.
Hi Andrew. Are you asking what the criteria are for diagnosing someone as a sociopath? Or how does a therapist discover those traits? Or both? Is there a larger context for this question that might help me answer it more accurately? Tamara
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Tamara,

 

The background is .... I am currently going thru the process of divorce. Due to the acrimony and intractability over the parenting of my daughter (10 YO) my wife's lawyers suggested that we see a psychiatrist as a family to determine the suitability of either of us as parents. The courts accepted her recommendation and have instructed us to visit a Psychiatrist. My ex wife went last week with my daughter and son (19YO).

 

I will be going next Monday with my daughter and son, for our turn.

 

I beleive (corroborated by friends and her family) that she is sociopathic. I am concerned that the Psychiatrist will not be prescriptive, preferring to make no decisions or sit on the fence.

 

I imagine the psych will ask me questions about our marriage, my upbringing, our relationship, our childrens upbringing, how we parent our children etc. I want to use this opportutnity to relate a few example of the sorts of behavior that my ex wife has demonstrated towards our family, friends, etc.

 

I do not wish to reel off the entire list of habits or attributes that she has demonstrated during our life together - rather focus on some of the most compelling attributes that the psych will focus on to determine any Mental Health disorder she has (which I beleive is ASD - Sociopathic), if she hasn't already picked it up from the volumious affidavits that have been submitted by both parties, comments from our son (who has also written an affidavit) and her interview with my ex wife last week.

 

Does this help clarify the situation and the nature of my question.

 

Andrew

Expert:  Tamara replied 4 years ago.
Thanks Andrew, that helps. You say you have read The Sociopath Next Door, which I think is a great book for understanding sociopathy. I think the most telling aspects of a sociopath are probably 1) a sense of entitlement (grandiosity); 2) a lack of empathy - inability to understand and relate to the feelings of others; 3) a manipulative charm and 4) pathological lying. Other traits include lack of remorse, shallow emotions, need for stimulation, impulsivity, promiscuity, using others, and a criminal record.

If you truly feel that your wife is a sociopath, don't hesitate to relate this to the psychiatrist. I don't know that it would be a good idea to do that in front of your children, but it certainly would be reasonable for you let the psychiatrist know your concerns. Because sociopaths can be very charming and convincing, it can take awhile for someone to catch on and realize that that is what they are dealing with.

There is no way for me to say how your psychiatrist will handle his/her job in terms of evaluating your situation and making recommendations. However, I do trust that they have the best interests of the children in mind, and will take any information into consideration in order to provide the court with an accurate assessment of the situation.

Let the psychiatrist know your concerns; don't hesitate to be direct. Ask for an individual appointment if need be - again, this is not information to disclose in front of your children, and I would think that would be a point in your favor

Please let me know if I can answer any further questions. Good luck. Tamara







Tamara, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1072
Experience: 20+ yrs Private Practice; Cert. Master Therapist; National Board Certified; APA Board Certified
Tamara and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education