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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4486
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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HI, I think that I am a sociopath or a psychopath. I didnt

Customer Question

HI,

I think that I am a sociopath or a psychopath. I didn't bring this conclusion upon myself but people who I've hurt have said this to me. I've also been called an extreme narcissist. I was abandoned as a child by my parents and my mother hurt me type after type. I remember consciously making the decision to not feel so that I would feel the mental hurt of the abandonment and neglect.

I was very manipulative as a small child and may have been born with the trait. After my childhood trauma, I believe that was what really set it into motion. I remember being 4 - 6 years of age and wanting to hurt people weaker than me or animals. This was before the trauma I hurt a neighborhood kid when I was 11 and he had to get stitches but I didn't feel guilty about it. I only recall the need to release my rage onto him. . During my teenage years I did have juvenile delinquency, running away, stealing cars, pot, influencing others to join in on my bad behavior.

I did things to friends as a teen over and over again to hurt then but I could never make the connection to their hurt or understand their pain. It just felt generic when they would ask me why did I do these things to hurt their feelings. Now as an adult, I am starting to come to terms with my possible disorder. I am now, only because others close to me have recognized my lack of remorse and the cycle of hurt that I cause them for no reason. When someone dies, I don't feel bad but I go through the motions as if I do. I have little interest in having convos with others unless I'm the focal point.

I love being the center of attention but I do it in a way that seems innocent and makes me appear humble. I am a female and very attractive. I also feel that I need a supply of attention on a regular basis. When I hug someone, I feel no connection. It feels like an act. As an adult, I've learned to blend in and have no need to psychically hurt anyone like some sociopaths. I have a stable job, not many friends but I keep myself out of trouble and keep to myself. I love being alone and I only want company if I become bored but I want them gone after I've been entertained.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

DoctorZ :

I have a background in Forensic Psychology and thus have extensive knowledge in Psychopathy and Sociopathy, I have even testified in court cases on the subject matter.

DoctorZ :

First thing I do not believe you are a Psychopath or a Sociopath because in my research and experience I have never seen an individual say that they think they are a Psychopath or Sociopath and want help to "fix" them

Customer:

I don't want help or want to be fixed. I'm only curious so that I can try and act more normal to better interact with people at work and in social situations.

DoctorZ :

Every Psychopath does things for a selfish reason or a secondary gain and they never think there is anything wrong with them. You on the other hand have great insight on your symptoms, something a psychopath would never have

Customer:

I have insight in my symptoms because people I've hurt researched the condition. This first happened about 4 years ago and I denied it, never wanted to hear it. Then another person I hurt identified my traits and behavior with psychopathy.

Customer:

I only now started to research

Customer:

and see and understand why I don't feel or connect with people

Customer:

or feel guilty about hurting someone

Customer:

or just toss friends to the sie

Customer:

side

Customer:

unless I need them for some reason

DoctorZ :

I understand your concern, have you looked at something called Asperger's Disorder (or now it is called Autism Spectrum Disorder) or Schizoid Personality Disorder?

Customer:

I can hurt a person who loves me and I say that I love them over and over again

Customer:

and they even cry in front of me but it doesn't matter to me

Customer:

not sure what Schizoid is but I took an online test and it said that I have Borderline, Narcissism, and anti social traits

Customer:

I get pleasure out of hurting them

Customer:

about being in control of their emotions

Customer:

I have to do it, start some sort of drama

DoctorZ :

Yeah online tests are not that accurate for the most part. The best test for psychopathy is called the Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R) and it has to be given by a trained professional

Customer:

especially if the person trusts me.

DoctorZ :

Okay let me ask you a few questions if you dont mind?

Customer:

I know what I'm doing, its not like I don't know but I just don't care about their feelings

Customer:

sure, go ahead

DoctorZ :

Some of these questions are personal, so please do not get offended. Have you ever been arrested? And if so how many times and for what?

Customer:

I also used to be a sadist when I was younger

Customer:

but suppressed it because I don't want to go to prison.

DoctorZ :

So I am guessing that is zero times then?

Customer:

okay....when I was younger...I was arrested for running away from a group home, stealing a car. I did that more than once but only got caught once. As an adult, I have but was able to manipulate my way out

Customer:

because I appear innocent

DoctorZ :

How did you manipulate your way out?

Customer:

by acting sweet and naive and appearing innocent. My appearance also helps me

Customer:

by appearing remorseful.

DoctorZ :

As an adult what were the arrests for?

Customer:

shoplifting for one...I did that more than once but was only caught at that time

Customer:

and hitting an ex boyfriend

DoctorZ :

Okay, why did you hit your ex-boyfriend?

Customer:

because he did something to make me angry

DoctorZ :

Okay, that is fair.

Customer:

i hit him other times

Customer:

but he didn't call the cops

DoctorZ :

It does not say, but how old are you?

Customer:

i have a rage

Customer:

that is built up inside but I keep it in to not break the law

Customer:

i'm between 30 - 35

DoctorZ :

Okay, and have you ever been married or had a long term relationship with someone?

Customer:

yes and I ended them all

Customer:

when I was tired of the person

Customer:

there were problems in the relationships

Customer:

I wanted total control

DoctorZ :

How many times have you been married or had a long term committed relationship?

Customer:

they didn't want that

Customer:

married once and 3 long term relationships

Customer:

but not committed

Customer:

because I cheated

DoctorZ :

Alright. And were you in love with these people?

Customer:

I thought that I was. They were interesting to me at first because of the challenge to make them fall in love with me

Customer:

once they did, I lost interest and only wanted control

Customer:

I became the perfect girlfriend to them

DoctorZ :

And describe to me why you were in love, like what did you see in them that made you feel like you were in love?

Customer:

then it was hard to keep up

Customer:

the pretending

Customer:

Why I decided to fall in love with them? I was physically attracted to them and they were a challenge to get

Customer:

I also wanted the attention

Customer:

the ego boosting

DoctorZ :

Was there anything else about them that made you fall in love?

Customer:

one spoiled me with whatever i wanted

Customer:

the other that I was married to did the same

DoctorZ :

Alright.

Customer:

the current guy just his looks

Customer:

he isn't doing well in the finance dept

DoctorZ :

Now this next question is very personal, so if you do not feel comfortable telling me I completely understand. How many sexual partners have you had in your lifetime?

Customer:

I'm not going to answer that but I was pernicious

DoctorZ :

Okay I understand.

DoctorZ :

What do you do for a living?

Customer:

I work in the financial industry

DoctorZ :

And what are your long term goals with that?

Customer:

I haven't thought about that

DoctorZ :

Alright, where do you see yourself in the next 5 years then?

Customer:

I'd like to make more money in the future

Customer:

I've not planned that out either

Customer:

but I'd like to go back to school sometime in the future

Customer:

or maybe marry a rich man

DoctorZ :

Okay what would you like to back to school for?

Customer:

finance related

Customer:

its funny because i dropped out of school

DoctorZ :

Why did you drop out?

DoctorZ :

And was this college or highschool?

Customer:

I didn't want to go

Customer:

highschool

Customer:

I later got my ged

Customer:

attend college

Customer:

and worked my way up to a good job

DoctorZ :

How far in college did you get?

Customer:

ASS

Customer:

Only because I was eager to begin my life

Customer:

I didn't mind college

Customer:

I actually liked it

Customer:

i did very well

DoctorZ :

Thats good that you liked college

DoctorZ :

And you mentioned being abused and abandoned as a child, do you mind telling me a little more about that?

Customer:

what would you like to know? My mother abandoned me when I was 5 or 6

Customer:

neglected my mental and physical needs

Customer:

moved away, married and had another child

Customer:

and excluded me from the family. Verbally abused me

DoctorZ :

Who did you live with after your mother left?

Customer:

a grandparent

DoctorZ :

And how was life with the grandparent?

Customer:

just there

Customer:

no real connection

Customer:

she took care of my physical needs

DoctorZ :

Okay, that happens sometimes with grandparents

DoctorZ :

And you mentioned that you wanted to hurt animals at a younger age, did you ever?

Customer:

yes, I did

DoctorZ :

How?

Customer:

I wanted to have 3 kittens that i found and my grandmother said no...so I put them in a pillow case and threw them from the porch

Customer:

I hurt a pet duck, gold fish

DoctorZ :

Okay

Customer:

and tortured insects

DoctorZ :

Alight, lets go back to finances real quick. Are you currently in any debt?

DoctorZ :

And if so how much?

Customer:

I am

Customer:

enough

Customer:

but not too much

Customer:

I just don't pay on time

DoctorZ :

Have you borrowed money ever?

Customer:

and some things not at all if I can get away with it

Customer:

from a friend or institution?

DoctorZ :

Either one

Customer:

student loans

Customer:

and a friend

Customer:

a few months ago

DoctorZ :

How much from the friend?

Customer:

$100

DoctorZ :

Alright, are you ready for my diagnosis

Customer:

sure

DoctorZ :

I would probably diagnose you with Antisocial Personality Disorder, but not Psychopathy

Customer:

what is the difference?

DoctorZ :

Here is the criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder

DoctorZ :

And here are the scales for the Psychopathy Checklist Revised

Customer:

okay but I'm in control of my life at this point

Customer:

aren't ASPD sloppy

DoctorZ :

Psychopathy is sometimes considered a more severe type of Antisocial Personality Disorder

Customer:

I'm pretty organized

Customer:

I have a pretty good life for myself

Customer:

I can control my impulses enough now to not break any laws

DoctorZ :

No not necessarily, disorganization is not unique to ASPD

Customer:

and I have no criminal record for past arrests

Customer:

so it is a milder form of psychopathy?

DoctorZ :

Individuals with ASPD can control their impulses, but people who are psychopaths cannot

Customer:

Is sadism a characteristic for ASPD?

DoctorZ :

It is sometimes considered a milder form if you were to compare the two

Customer:

but all psychopaths don't murder

Customer:

they are able to control that aspect? no?

DoctorZ :

Sadism is can be considered "reckless disregard for safety of others"

DoctorZ :

Some psychopaths choose not to murder. Murder is not a criteria of Psychopathy

Customer:

so how can you really distinguish ASPD from psychopathy? Is Narcissism a trait of ASPD?

Customer:

Histrionic?

Customer:

I am very very narcissistic.I feed off of the attention...whether its negative or positive

DoctorZ :

Sometimes there is a commorbidity of narcissism and antisocial personality disorder, around 1/3 of individuals have both to be exact.

Customer:

I also pretend to have emotions to fit in

Customer:

pretend to be interested

Customer:

pretend to care

Customer:

when my grandmother died

DoctorZ :

That can be considered deceitfulness and lack of remorse

Customer:

i didn't cry

Customer:

i didn't grieve

Customer:

I'm not trying to be deceitful when I do it, I just try to fit in. To appear normal

Customer:

sometimes deceit if needed..yes

Customer:

maybe I'm not a psychopath but a milder form

Customer:

and the difference between a sociopath?

DoctorZ :

That is what I think

Customer:

I thought that too. That if I were a psychopath, a very mild one

Customer:

but why the lack of feelings and emotion?

Customer:

emptiness

DoctorZ :

The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath are that with a psychopath you are born that way (nature) and with a sociopath you learn it (nurture)

Customer:

and they are both extreme forms of ASPD?

DoctorZ :

But you dont have lack of feelings, you say you have rage which is a feeling

Customer:

and psychopaths do not have rage? Meaning they feel absolutely nothing?

DoctorZ :

They can be considered extreme forms of ASPD, we dont like to compare the two, but if we have to that is what we say

Customer:

yes, anger, rage

DoctorZ :

Rage and Anger is not a factor that psychopaths share. Some have it, yes, but others do not

DoctorZ :

The 20 traits on the PCL-R are the 20 traits that are typically shared by all psychopaths

Customer:

Okay. So why the emptiness?

DoctorZ :

That is considered lack of remorse as part of ASPD, kind of meaning that you may have an inability to feel empathy.

Customer:

I'd never go to get that test because I was told that if you register with these disorders, your name would be added to a list. If could affect possible job opportunities, etc..

Customer:

Yes, I have the inability to feel it and I don't really care to feel it. It doesn't matter to me either way

DoctorZ :

No your name will not be added to any list if you get the test by a psychologist, this is covered by HIPAA and medical privacy laws

Customer:

People also look at people with these types of disorders as monsters

Customer:

I don't consider myself a monster. Most people would say I'm the kindest person they know

Customer:

aside from the ones I've hurt

Customer:

and when my "mask" slipped

DoctorZ :

Well there is a stigma against it, but a preliminary study in the U.S. Military showed that their best soldiers can be considered psychopaths, so in some ways there are benefits

Customer:

I'm currently in a relationship. Its been almost 3 years and its tiring for me to keep pretending. I would like to speak with someone who would help me get over that and learn to keep my mask on

Customer:

well the 2 people who figured me out....one hates me

DoctorZ :

Im sorry about that.

Customer:

and the other still speaks with me but doesn't trust me

DoctorZ :

A good way to help you is to seek therapy and possibly use techniques to help change your behavior and develop empathy

Customer:

I'll be honest, I'm not bothered by it

Customer:

I thought there was no cure

Customer:

or treatment

Customer:

if its not caught an an early age

DoctorZ :

Treatment has not always been successful that is true, but I think you have a milder form of ASPD than what is usually seen in studies (most studies are about hardened criminals) so I think you have a more positive outcome from treatment

Customer:

if I don't learn to at least control certain behaviors, I'll never a long lasting meaningful relationship

Customer:

I always thought there was hope for me.

Customer:

I'm def not a hardened crimminal

Customer:

i'm polite, friendly

DoctorZ :

I would definitely agree with you there

DoctorZ :

on both points

Customer:

So, my name will def not end up on a list?

DoctorZ :

I think cognitive behavioral treatment can help you a lot

Customer:

what should I tell the therapist?

DoctorZ :

No list at all, that I can promise you

Customer:

that I think I have ASPD?

DoctorZ :

You can tell the therapist the truth, that you think you may have ASPD and here are the symptoms why

Customer:

how would she diagnose me? By using the checklist or the symptoms that I described ?

DoctorZ :

For ASPD, mostly by the symptoms in that link I gave you

Customer:

I don't know if I'd be going to therapy more so to get help or for the attention to feed my narcissism.

Customer:

Okay, thanks for your time and knowledge

DoctorZ :

For psycopathy, that is more specialized as not any one can just do it. It takes around a 3-4 hour semi-structured interview and a close look at your collateral information

DoctorZ :

I think therapy will help you figure that out

Customer:

I'm sure most people who aren't aware would call me a psychopath

DoctorZ :

I am always happy to help

Customer:

They automatically associate it with my symptoms

DoctorZ :

No psychologist should prejudge you and they should be more focused on treating you actually

Customer:

Great! Thanks!

DoctorZ :

If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to contact me anytime

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4486
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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