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narchitect Offline
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Am I a sociopath? - February 17th 2011, 02:53 PM

Hello, everyone. I'm about to be more honest with you all than I have been with anyone my whole life.

I'm seventeen - from the ages of three to fourteen my father would physically and verbally abuse me constantly. As the years went on, the more he yelled at me, the more he beat me, the less I felt it. When I was small, I remember feeling shame for having done something wrong, but only because he was yelling at me, not because I particularly understood the idea of "you did bad". When I was fourteen I snapped, hit him back, and put him in the hospital. He never pressed charges. My mother never did much to stop him.

While bragging is not something I take pleasure in - what's the point - I consider myself and have been considered by others to be incredibly intelligent. My IQ is 144, whatever that means. The idea of a mental "dial tone" when figuring out a problem, math for example, is completely alien to me. When I ask my brain to give me an answer, it pops one up - usually the right one - instantly.

I like to think that I live in my head - my thoughts provide a constant, dynamic dialogue I use to narrate my world. No matter how fleeting or desperate the situation, on some level I'm contemplating my victory and how I can achieve it - every minute of every day - and more often than not, I'm successful. I have no problem admitting here that I'm pretty sure I have no conscience - my idea of right and wrong has always ended up as a logical conjecture of what will and will not benefit me in the long run. I stick to society's rules of morality not because I feel them innately myself, but because everyone else adheres to them and any violation will create problems for me eventually.

Feelings/emotions have always been a mystery to me. What are they? After talking to a lot of people my conclusion is that an emotion is the physical manifestation of a mental concept or notion. Happiness and sadness, and their respective "warm, fuzzy feeling" and deep chest pain are things I've never experienced. They don't make a bit of sense to me, and neither does the fact that people use these things to make actual choices! Why on earth, I ask, do people listen to their hearts when their heads are clearly much more logical?

But I know that if I show even the slightest bit of what's really inside me, I'll be ostracized and locked up in a psych institution or jail, which doesn't scare me, but it bothers me. I've been in both already and I realized that I like sleeping in my own bed and eating my own food - things like this are the reason I stay covert. So I have learned by watching others how to fake the emotions - smile on my birthdcay, get riled up when someone makes a touchdown on TV, stuff like that. For me, it's all an act, and the game is to see how well I can play my role. Or many roles, as it were.

I'm a liar and a damn good one at that. Rest assured, I'm being honest here - what's the point of asking a question in a forum like this if your intention isn't honesty? I have never, before now, been fully honest with anyone, EVER, and it's extremely rare for me to get caught in a lie. When I do, I stare straight into the eyes of my accuser and say very quietly: "so what?"

As you may have realized by now, I think most people, or at least the things most people do, are really fucking stupid. Here's a great example I used above: birthdays. It's just another day - the fact that it happens to mark that your conscious existence for x number of earth's revolutions around the sun is... well, meaningless, if you ask me.

Another example: the bond of flesh and blood. I don't get it. My friend, who's adopted, recently found his birthmother and met her and all that. While I think the novelty of finding your real mom is interesting, it doesn't much matter to me that she's his biological mother - his adoptive mother is the one who took him into her home, clothed him, fed him, and raised him while his bio-mom went to California to start a band. Fuck her.

And finally, the concept of God. GOD?! HA! When I was small and the idea of God (here meaning a conscious, omnipresent, omnipotent being capable of exerting its will) was presented to me, I didn't have a normal reaction. Most people I've asked said they were either fearful or relieved to know there was something presiding over the world. My immediate thought, on the other hand, was "bullshit." I am Israeli and was raised Jewish, and when I sit at the Shabbat table and say the prayers, all I can think is "You idiots actually think someone's listening? That's preposterous."

So am I a sociopath? The reason I'm asking is not, as some of you might think, because I want help. Au contraire: I like how I am - I can think more clearly and make better choices than most people, and I'm damn good at getting what I want without creating collateral damage. I really just want to know if I am one or not, for the sake of knowing more than anything else. Get back to me?

A side note: I guess I can feel one thing: rage. It's a burning fire in my flesh sometimes that only violence can extinguish. I dare not kill a human: I'll get caught. But I've spent most of my adolescent life fighting not to take a small animal by the scruff of the neck and slicing its abdominal cavity open with a straight-edge razor just to feel the blood come out. I've controlled my urges with a punching bag I'm allowed to knife. Good enough for now.

Last edited by narchitect; February 17th 2011 at 06:19 PM.
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Re: Am I a sociopath? - February 19th 2011, 04:55 AM

One thing I sometimes do when I read a story by someone is I look online to see if it's somewhere else also, word-for-word. In your case, it is online at another site (http://www.experienceproject.com/sto...iopath/1412357) word-for-word. The question that comes to mind is, if you are a sociopath, why would you care if you are one or not? It's not going to matter what you label yourself as because sociopathy and psychopathy aren't readily treatable conditions. The fact you posted this same story, minus the additional "side note" paragraph, almost shows some distress on your part. That, or attention-seeking behaviour, I'm not sure which.

All that aside, I am no expert on the condition however I have done some research papers on the neurobiological aspects of psychopathy. Depending who you talk to, different researchers and clinicians will give you a different definition of sociopathy because there's no universal idea as to what it is. Some view it as a lesser form of psychopathy in that psychopaths are more manipulative with higher IQ's whereas others consider sociopathy to be synonymous with anti-social, dissocial or narcissistic personality disorders. So to say whether you are or are not is difficult because it requires defining what sociopathy actually is. Psychopathy is a universally recognized condition that has a fairly universal definition as well as tests to confirm it.

Regardless of the view of it that you take, from the way you've described yourself, you seem empty of emotions with the exception of anger and impulsivity. There are several problems though that you present in your description. First, you're a hormonal teenager within puberty and it can exaggerate behaviours as well as decrease certain mental capacities. Second, when you say manipulative, it's hard to understand because people can all be manipulative and good at it, however, psychopaths and sociopaths are exceptional at it. There's no way to know your manipulativeness as well as your emotions because they're very vague terms.

Feeling no guilt, shame, remorse, etc... can be felt by psychopaths and sociopaths although when it is, it is to a much lesser degree. Some don't feel it at all, which is the standard view. However, all do experience excitement and that is lacking from what you say. Usually, psychopaths feel bored so they crave excitement and do more bold and daring things, often dangerous to themselves and others. It's a fundamental part of the definition of both but it's something you don't mention at all, which makes me think it's not psychopathy nor sociopathy even more than I already do.

The mention of religion is meaningless to your description, it doesn't add nor take away anything.

I think you're a person who feels lots of pent-up anger from whatever sources but is able to keep your anger in check for the most part, not resorting to impulsive actions. You may not feel or appreciate human emotions, either because you're down-playing them or because you have some other disorder. Your description is devoid of any mention of social interaction deficits due to the bonding impairments (i.e. guilt) that all psychopaths, sociopaths, anti-social, dissocial and to an extent, narcissistic personality disorder patients experience. All these omissions make me think you don't have it. Maybe you have some other disorder or perhaps you don't, I don't know.

I can rip you off, and steal all your cash, suckerpunch you in the face, stand back and laugh. Leave you stranded as fast as a heart-attack.
- Danko Jones (I Think Bad Thoughts)
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