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Ralph LMHC
Ralph LMHC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience:  20+ years as therapist, supervisor, clinic director at mental health, substance abuse treatment ctrs
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I think my boyfriend is a sociopath. how do i find out for

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i think my boyfriend is a sociopath. how do i find out for sure? and if he is, then what can i do to better our relationship? will couples therapy help? he seems to be very open to new ideas. if it comes from an outside source that is.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Ralph LMHC replied 7 years ago.


Allow me to first define the hallmark of being a sociopath which in mental health jargon is called anti-social personality disorder. It is characterized by a consistent disrespect for the rights of others and when they are violated, there is usually no remorse or guilt. What you are describing "in putting words in your mouth, acting like nothing has happened ...and thinking only of himself is more in the nature of narcissistic behavior. I am hesitant ti give a diagnostic impression based on a few characterizations (as accurate as they may be as a thorough in depth interview is required in order to feel comfortable with a diagnosis and here depending on the examiner, even though there are precise criteria, there may be disagreement. If one has sociopathic tendencies, one cannot "truly be a wonderful man due to the pervasive disrespect for the rights of others and the lack of remorse or guilt when a wrong is committed. However it should be noted that "good" sociopaths may be very charming and engaging.

Specifically, the only way to find out for sure if one has a personality disorder is through , as I said, a thorough exam by a qualified mental health professional. The problem with personality disorders is that the objectionable traits do not bother the individual, so that he/she has no desire or motivation to change them. It is for this reason that therapy, including couples counseling does not have a good prognosis for changing the individual.

It is possible that an individual may have several objectionable traits and not have a personality or more than one personality disorder. I don't believe that couple's therapy can hurt. It may allow you to see the depths of the problem and help you decide if there is a likelihood of change and decide if you wish to continue to pursue the relation. Best wishes and good luck!


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