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I don't fit all the symptoms...does that mean anything? - June 27th 2011, 05:20 PM

My friends and family think that I'm a sociopath. I looked it up today, and I am surprisingly similar to one...but I don't fit every sign/symptom listed. Based on the symptoms that I do have, would you say I am one?

Some people say that if you're egotistical, or feel that you're better than others, you're a sociopath. I despise people like this, so I try not to be like that myself. But in spite of my best efforts, I often end up demanding things feeling that I'm entitled to them, when other people aren't.

Pathological lying...many people associate this with being a sociopath. Mind you, I worked hard to rid myself of this. But from age 8 to age 17, every other word out of my mouth was a complete and total lie. Drove my parents crazy - they never knew when I was lying, but they would often call the school and my teachers and see what had gone on during class that day, so they would find out. And even though I got in tons of trouble for it, I couldn't stop myself from lying. That's why I tried so hard to ditch it. But even though I wouldn't describe myself as a pathological liar anymore, lying is still a huge part of my life.


Lack of guilt...a common symptom. I only feel it when it comes to animals, because they are my life. But even then, it's not guilt...I just feel like maybe I should have done more for them. As far as people are concerned, I can do just about anything to them and I won't feel guilty at all, even if it destroys every dream they've ever had. My attitude is, be grateful I didn't do worse. I also experience lack of remorse...this one I've never felt before in my entire life. I don't even have a full understanding of what it could possibly feel like. As for shame...I used to feel it. Only being ashamed of myself, though. And now I don't feel it at all...I place the blame on others for my personal shortcomings, and therefore am not affected by such an emotion.

Paranoid? You bet. Don't see how it has anything to do with being a sociopath, but...oh well. Yeah, I'm fairly paranoid. I'm under the impression that everyone is out to kill me, break into my house or car, etc. No, it doesn't effect the way I do things, I don't let it rule me. I just tend to avoid suspicious looking people.

Constant change, affecting the ability to keep a permanent job...not me. I hate change, absolutely hate it. I could never have a lifestyle that revolves around change. And once I find a job, I settle down with it. I don't switch it out for any reason...that is, I try not to. Some things are completely out of your control...*looks at previous job where company went out of business*

Anyway, these seem to be the symptoms that pop up on the search engines most often. A lot of people are claiming a psychopath and a sociopath are the same thing, and I really don't think they are...


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Re: I don't fit all the symptoms...does that mean anything? - June 27th 2011, 05:51 PM

Honestly, the symptoms you've given that you feel you have are rather broad, and the fact you seem hesitant on them makes it broader.

There are many different mental illnesses and personality disorders with many symptoms, some similar to other things, some totally different. For example, Borderline Personality Disorder has a bunch of symptoms in common with Bipolar Disorder. Histrionic Personality Disorder has some of the symptoms you listed, like the Egotistical thing, for one.

Honestly, I'd suggest if you're worried about this, you go and see a professional. Your family may have good intentions, but they didn't go to University, and none of you seem to know a whole lot about Sociopaths, so seeing a professional would be much more beneficial than just guessing based on a Google search.


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Re: I don't fit all the symptoms...does that mean anything? - June 28th 2011, 04:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by VampirePrincess View Post

Some people say that if you're egotistical, or feel that you're better than others, you're a sociopath. I despise people like this, so I try not to be like that myself. But in spite of my best efforts, I often end up demanding things feeling that I'm entitled to them, when other people aren't.
Those people are wrong because what you described fits with other mental illnesses, such as narcissistic personality disorder and psychopathy. If someone says being egotistical means you must be a sociopath, they're talking out of their ass.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VampirePrincess View Post
Pathological lying...many people associate this with being a sociopath. Mind you, I worked hard to rid myself of this. But from age 8 to age 17, every other word out of my mouth was a complete and total lie. Drove my parents crazy - they never knew when I was lying, but they would often call the school and my teachers and see what had gone on during class that day, so they would find out. And even though I got in tons of trouble for it, I couldn't stop myself from lying. That's why I tried so hard to ditch it. But even though I wouldn't describe myself as a pathological liar anymore, lying is still a huge part of my life.
Although sociopaths and psychopaths are amazing liars, they don't usually lie because they cant help it, which is what you are describing. They will lie when it has a decent chance of working in their favour.
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Lack of guilt...a common symptom. I only feel it when it comes to animals, because they are my life. But even then, it's not guilt...I just feel like maybe I should have done more for them. As far as people are concerned, I can do just about anything to them and I won't feel guilty at all, even if it destroys every dream they've ever had. My attitude is, be grateful I didn't do worse. I also experience lack of remorse...this one I've never felt before in my entire life. I don't even have a full understanding of what it could possibly feel like. As for shame...I used to feel it. Only being ashamed of myself, though. And now I don't feel it at all...I place the blame on others for my personal shortcomings, and therefore am not affected by such an emotion.
Many sociopaths, psychopaths and people with anti-social personality disorder often do abuse animals. This can be anything from intentionally hurting them to torturing them to killing them. To me, it feels like you're playing a game of semantics by saying it's not really guilt but feels kind of like guilt. Whatever the name, it shows a strong conscious, something that such individuals do not quite have. Furthermore, such individuals don't give a crap if they are a sociopath, psychopath, etc... . However, you are expressing grave concern over this. It's doubtful psychopaths and sociopaths feel ashamed for anything because they simply don't care or may even enjoy the damage their inflict.
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Constant change, affecting the ability to keep a permanent job...not me. I hate change, absolutely hate it. I could never have a lifestyle that revolves around change. And once I find a job, I settle down with it. I don't switch it out for any reason...that is, I try not to. Some things are completely out of your control...*looks at previous job where company went out of business*
This is neither here nor there. Psychopaths have a difficult time maintaining attention, almost as though they have a diminished attention span. An example of this comes from Dr. Harma Meffert's study in which she examined the neural function of psychopathic versus non-psychopathic volunteers. The link below (written by Alison Abbott) gives examples of how the psychopathic volunteers, especially patient 13, has difficulty maintaining attention for less than 10 minutes when watching a video clip. The article also gives examples of other psychopaths as they call the study boring and don't give a crap. http://www.nature.com/news/2007/0712...l/450942a.html
Quote:
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Anyway, these seem to be the symptoms that pop up on the search engines most often. A lot of people are claiming a psychopath and a sociopath are the same thing, and I really don't think they are...
Why do you think they are different?

The problem with this is you have to define what a sociopath is. There's no set-in-stone definition or diagnostic criteria of what they are. On the other hand, psychopathy has a clearer definition, best defined by Dr. Robert Hare's Psychopathy Checklist - Revised (PCL-R). There are 3 or 4 versions of this test, you can Google it up to see it. Some people view psychopaths as being more of a leader and sociopaths as more of a follower but again, this isn't completely true.

Overall, I don't think you're a sociopath nor a psychopath at all. It seems as though you've convinced yourself you are but don't know much about these conditions, so I cant speculate whether you may have an actual psychiatric disorder. You admit to not having many of the key features, such as lack of consciousness. As Thirteen said, your descriptions are too vague and your concern immediately negates the possibility of such conditions.

I'll ask you three questions and I ask that you do not Google it or ask others for the answers. First, how do you view people in general? Second, if you were to have a child of your own (or if you already do), how do you view that child? Third, how intelligent do you think you are (ignore IQ scores unless you have taken an official IQ test and not some online IQ bullshit test)? These aren't open-ended questions I made up for the fun of it, they're based on well-known observations from "diagnosed" psychopaths.


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Re: I don't fit all the symptoms...does that mean anything? - June 28th 2011, 05:56 AM

Actually, I'm not convinced I'm one. But my friends and I are in an argument over it, so I told them I would go figure it out. And Google is not the best source of information on these things, which you probably already know. :/ Anyway, the answers to your questions:

1) I view them as stupid, incompetent, and not really worthy of my time. I cringe when I see anyone walking my way and I shut myself away from them at all times possible. But I've found exceptions, and am willing enough to talk to someone to figure out if they're an exception or not, as long as I have an excuse to get away from them when things get uncomfortable...so typically I don't mind talking to people online, but in person I don't like it much. So I guess the best answer to this is that in general, I find them to be rather...tiresome. I don't like them, but I know to survive in this world I need some social skills, so I've learned to tolerate them. Too much of them though, and I won't want to be near any humans for days.

2) Would never have a child, ever. I decided on that when I was only 5 and there hasn't been a thing in this world to change my mind since. I despise children with a passion and the one time I was supposed to be taking care of one I lost my temper and punched her and threw her up against a wall. Was in anger management classes for a long time after that :/ I can barely even answer how I view children because I feel such a strong hatred concerning them that there's nothing else left to feel.

3) I took an official one when I was in elementary school (some weird requirement they had) and I scored a 148. Now, I say official because that's what they told me. As to if it really was, I can't tell you. I was too young to remember. But ignoring that, I know I'm fairly intelligent. I was in 5th grade reading when I was in kindergarten, I was in all honors classes in high school and started college at the age of 15, and my vocabulary is leaps and bounds above other people I know (but, they're really dumb...they don't know what the word repulsive means, to give you an idea. So that's probably not saying all that much). We all have things we know a lot about and things we don't, of course, making us seem smart at times and dumb at other times. But in general I would have to say I'm of (way) above average intelligence. Not a genius or anything like that, but definitely a lot smarter than the average person.


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Re: I don't fit all the symptoms...does that mean anything? - June 28th 2011, 06:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by VampirePrincess View Post

1) I view them as stupid, incompetent, and not really worthy of my time. I cringe when I see anyone walking my way and I shut myself away from them at all times possible. But I've found exceptions, and am willing enough to talk to someone to figure out if they're an exception or not, as long as I have an excuse to get away from them when things get uncomfortable...so typically I don't mind talking to people online, but in person I don't like it much. So I guess the best answer to this is that in general, I find them to be rather...tiresome. I don't like them, but I know to survive in this world I need some social skills, so I've learned to tolerate them. Too much of them though, and I won't want to be near any humans for days.
Psychopaths tend to view other people as objects they can manipulate. They may not like every person, just like ordinary people don't like everyone else but they are quite attention-seeking so they do want to be with people. Hence, this answer is inconsistent with data from psychopaths and sociopaths.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VampirePrincess View Post
2) Would never have a child, ever. I decided on that when I was only 5 and there hasn't been a thing in this world to change my mind since. I despise children with a passion and the one time I was supposed to be taking care of one I lost my temper and punched her and threw her up against a wall. Was in anger management classes for a long time after that :/ I can barely even answer how I view children because I feel such a strong hatred concerning them that there's nothing else left to feel.
Your answer has some similarities, mainly the extreme anger. Typically though, they view their children as extensions of themselves and often instill the same behaviour. This may be intentional or unintentional because they can be abusive and may not be great parents. Overall, the anger is consistent with many disorders but again, the lack of wanting to be with people is inconsistent.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VampirePrincess View Post
3) I took an official one when I was in elementary school (some weird requirement they had) and I scored a 148. Now, I say official because that's what they told me. As to if it really was, I can't tell you. I was too young to remember. But ignoring that, I know I'm fairly intelligent. I was in 5th grade reading when I was in kindergarten, I was in all honors classes in high school and started college at the age of 15, and my vocabulary is leaps and bounds above other people I know (but, they're really dumb...they don't know what the word repulsive means, to give you an idea. So that's probably not saying all that much). We all have things we know a lot about and things we don't, of course, making us seem smart at times and dumb at other times. But in general I would have to say I'm of (way) above average intelligence. Not a genius or anything like that, but definitely a lot smarter than the average person.
The excelled academics is consistent with several disorders, including psychopathy as they are extremely intelligent according to IQ scores. Their academic grades don't always reflect this as they have difficulty paying attention but many would get high grades. The difficulty is having them stay in school and not get arrested, join gangs, mobs/mafia, etc... .

Overall, your dislike for people, poor emotional processing (including the issue on lack of remorse and guilt), anger and high intelligence are all consistent with schizoid personality disorder. That is not the same as sociopathy or psychopathy. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sch...CTION=symptoms


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