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Worried I might be a sociopath. psychological disorders
Old 12-03-2009, 04:53 PM   #1
soundclash
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Hey guys.

For the last 3 months i've been getting really worked up over worrying that i might be a sociopath. I don't know how much of what makes me worry is a product of my anxiety and hypochondria and how much of it is reasonable.

Firstly, on MBTI i test as either ENTP, INTP or INTJ. Most often i test as INTP.
I've been so worried about this that i've had panic attacks, posted about it on 7-8 forums and even once paid some fee of 7 for an online doctor to answer my question. I've also been seeing a counsellor for anxiety/derealization and although i did mention my "sociopath" worries he just kind of shrugged it off because i don't think hes too much into labels.

I think an awful lot.. and i'm into philosophy. I'm hoping that it is just my rational way of thinking that led me to say/think sociopathic things and that i was ignoring my emotions.

From 11-16 i was very shy... self conscious and a bit geeky. Then i started drinking, taking drugs and partying. Combined with my deep thinking and attempt to be "cool" after so many years of being the shy nerd i became a bit egotistical and selfish. I got interested in the usual angsty teen philosophies like nihilism and sometimes rationalised that self gain was most important. It's just that for some reason (in my rational state) i didn't factor in empathy and emotions. I didn't even know what sociopathy was... neither had i considered what empathy was (i just assumed i felt it to).

It was fun... until i failed college (aged 18 by now) and then i got depressed.. felt very alone... and continued drinking too much... and not being very sure of what my drive in life was.

About 5 months ago i kind of "broke" my ego you could say. I became so self absorbed that i worked myself into serious panic attacks just by sitting alone thinking. I was shit-scared of life... and i had a kind of solipsistic perception. It also, however, gave me time to REALLY find myself and consider what i was and what i wanted to be. This is when i realised that i had been a bit selfish... and that my behaviour could be deemed slightly sociopathic in that sort of "bad-ass anti-hero" way (i was far from that but it's what i guess i was trying to be).

I did a lot of crying.. both for myself, other people and over random films... and it made me feel very alive. I realised that the reason i felt so alone was that i needed my emotions back.

Whatever i have been, whether it be rebelious teen.. or budding sociopath... i am very aware of myself now... and i desperatley want to really connect to people.

I'm hoping it's just a bad phase of ignorance and alcohol/drug abuse... or just me growing up... rather than me becoming a sociopath. Is it possible for a person to temporarily lose their emotional side?

Also, i rarely lie.. unless it's just a small lie to save an argument or something. I'm not violent. I don't have any urges to harm others.

However, i'm not sure about how much guilt i feel... it's so hard to determine ones own levels of guilt/love/empathy.
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:55 PM   #2
Anhedonic Lake
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No you're definitely not a sociopath.
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:59 PM   #3
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  Originally Posted by Anhedonic Lake
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No you're definitely not a sociopath.

Why not?

People say that sociopaths don't care if they're sociopaths.. but i'm sure a sociopath would worry about being entirely emotionally alone would they not?

Do you think there is a spectrum? Can some people act more with rationale in mind than heart and still be non-sociopathic?

(bearing in mind, it might sound like im desperate to convince people im a sociopath.... but it's just that it takes a lot of reassurance for me to be happy due to my questioning mind)

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Old 12-03-2009, 05:02 PM   #4
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The way I look at it is: if you are worried about it, you aren't.

One of the associated qualities of a sociopath is that they do not perceive that anything is wrong with them.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:07 PM   #5
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  Originally Posted by Nimmirraj
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The way I look at it is: if you are worried about it, you aren't.

One of the associated qualities of a sociopath is that they do not perceive that anything is wrong with them.

I'm the kind of person to deny the existence of "illness" though and just say that everyone is unique.

I would argue, whether a sociopath or not that sociopaths are "ill" only in terms of their inability to interact with society in the desired way.

Surely a sociopath could acknowledge that they do not feel empathy? Or are you saying that a sociopath can not acknowledge this? It depends on what their definition of "wrong" is.

I apologise for being anal... but it's just that this answer doesn't satisfy by paranoia!
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:21 PM   #6
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  Originally Posted by soundclash
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Why not?

People say that sociopaths don't care if they're sociopaths.. but i'm sure a sociopath would worry about being entirely emotionally alone would they not?

Do you think there is a spectrum? Can some people act more with rationale in mind than heart and still be non-sociopathic?

(bearing in mind, it might sound like im desperate to convince people im a sociopath.... but it's just that it takes a lot of reassurance for me to be happy due to my questioning mind)

If anything you sound more Avoidant PD than Anti social PD, I'm not saying you're either. Socio paths tend not feel high levels of anxiety and self consciousness. They go for the jugular in social relations and use people as a means to attain a tangible end. They don't tend to suffer from esteem issues nor a desire to be accepted. They're a rule unto themselves.

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Old 12-03-2009, 05:25 PM   #7
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Well, some people think that approximately 4% (1 in 25) of people in the world can be classified as sociopaths. If that is the case, wouldn't that make them a substantial enough cross section to make them "normal", and their interactions as a subset of normal societal response?

It is a curious question as to whether the sociopath can acknowledge that they do not feel empathy. If they never feel it, can they identify a lack? I suppose it would depend on their intelligence and application of said intelligence to observing and emulating normal empathic behaviors.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:27 PM   #8
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  Originally Posted by Anhedonic Lake
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If anything you sound more Avoidant PD than Anti social PD, I'm not saying you're either. Socio paths tend not feel high levels of anxiety and self consciousness. They go for the jugular in social relations and use people as a means to attain a tangible end. They don't tend to suffer from esteem issues nor a desire to be accepted. They're a rule unto themselves.

*googles Avoidant PD*

yes i can see how you might think that... and i'd agree.

It was my use of alcohol to feel less self conscious that made me egotistical though. I worry that i lack empathy and guilt yet don't act upon impulse only due to my self consciousness.

or perhaps if i was confident in myself without the use of alcohol then i'd feel more empathy and connection.

I know i can't be diagnosed on a forum however so thanks for your comments.

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Old 12-03-2009, 05:28 PM   #9
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A sociopath would never suspect that he is a sociopath.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:31 PM   #10
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  Originally Posted by Nimmirraj
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Well, some people think that approximately 4% (1 in 25) of people in the world can be classified as sociopaths. If that is the case, wouldn't that make them a substantial enough cross section to make them "normal", and their interactions as a subset of normal societal response?

It is a curious question as to whether the sociopath can acknowledge that they do not feel empathy. If they never feel it, can they identify a lack? I suppose it would depend on their intelligence and application of said intelligence to observing and emulating normal empathic behaviors.

I don't think it is a matter of knowing by feeling or lack off.

A sociopath with access to education, the internet or a psych could easily read, "people feel empathy which is a sympathising with anothers emotions, often feeling the same emotion." and then realise that they do not have empathy.

---------- Post added 12-03-2009 at 02:32 PM ----------

  Originally Posted by SelfMadeBum
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A sociopath would never suspect that he is a sociopath.


see my above post.

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Old 12-03-2009, 05:35 PM   #11
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For a sociopath to worry about being a sociopath? Very uncommon. It sounds to me more like you have some severe phobias and the normal lack of EQ that most NTs have.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:38 PM   #12
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  Originally Posted by soundclash
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see my above post.

I have. A psychopath does not know that he has made a break from reality, if he did he would not be a psychopath. The rule is the same in your case. Take comfort in that. You have social anxieties. A sociopath that does not make.

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Old 12-03-2009, 05:45 PM   #13
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  Originally Posted by SelfMadeBum
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I have. A psychopath does not know that he has made a break from reality, if he did he would not be a psychopath. The rule is the same in your case. Take comfort in that. You have social anxieties. A sociopath that does not make.

In my understanding psychopathy is caused simply by a lack in empathy. If one does not care for humans then they are treated as an object would be.

So regardless of a psychopaths self awareness.. they are forever a sociopath due to their biology.

So surely a psychopath could be made aware that they are lacking in something called empathy yet could do nothing to make themselves feel empathy.

Empathy is not a choice (in my understanding).

So i was worried that maybe i had a biological lack of something or other and i've simply become aware of this.. and now i'm stuck in emotional limbo.

EDIT: but thanks for helping.. i'm just the kind to scrutinise.

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Old 12-03-2009, 05:49 PM   #14
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Psychosis is simply a break from reality, not a lack of empathy, and a lack of empathy does not indicate that one is a sociopath. To convince you I'd have to do a little research, but believe me, a sociopath is not concerned at a lack of empathy, he is not even aware of this dysfunction.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:57 PM   #15
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  Originally Posted by SelfMadeBum
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Psychosis is simply a break from reality, not a lack of empathy, and a lack of empathy does not indicate that one is a sociopath. To convince you I'd have to do a little research, but believe me, a sociopath is not concerned at a lack of empathy, he is not even aware of this dysfunction.

I don't understand how anyone with the ability to use logic could not comprehend something they don't have.

How do "normal" people know what sociopathy is if they aren't in the same emotional state? Do you REALLY need emotion to comprehend that you could lack it?

Thanks again.

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Old 12-03-2009, 06:01 PM   #16
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Here's a short list that I found detailing a few of the hallmarks -
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Looking at this, I myself display some of these traits, but that does not make me a sociopath. Hell, this describes the attitudes of a lot of people I know.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:02 PM   #17
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  Originally Posted by soundclash
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I don't understand how anyone with the ability to use logic could not comprehend something they don't have.

How do "normal" people know what sociopathy is if they aren't in the same emotional state? Do you REALLY need emotion to comprehend that you could lack it?

Thanks again.

To worry about lacking an emotion? Yes.

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Old 12-03-2009, 06:10 PM   #18
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  Originally Posted by SelfMadeBum
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To worry about lacking an emotion? Yes.

No, to acknowledge that one lacks emotion.

---------- Post added 12-03-2009 at 03:13 PM ----------

  Originally Posted by Nimmirraj
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Here's a short list that I found detailing a few of the hallmarks -
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Looking at this, I myself display some of these traits, but that does not make me a sociopath. Hell, this describes the attitudes of a lot of people I know.

I agree that the characteristics can seem to describe a lot of people. I've trawled through them enough times to make myself convinced i either have or have had a lot of those traits.

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Old 12-03-2009, 06:20 PM   #19
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  Originally Posted by SelfMadeBum
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A sociopath would never suspect that he is a sociopath.

And he especially wouldn't be worried that he's a sociopath.

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Old 12-03-2009, 06:30 PM   #20
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Honestly... if someone could convince me of this whole "sociopaths don't know they're sociopaths" or "sociopaths wouldn't worry that they're sociopaths" then i would be able to chill out a bit.

It seems obvious, and i have read, that sociopaths are often very clever and use their good understanding of the emotion that people feel to manipulate them. If a sociopath knows so much about emotion then surely he would have become aware of the fact that he has none.

Also, would a sociopath not envy people with emotion? Just because he may not feel... does not mean he can't comprehend that other people are living better lives.

and if sociopaths do not have emotion... then i guess they can't get depressed? angry? excited? scared?

although i'd make an educated guess that they can feel at least angry..
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:35 PM   #21
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I have never read that sociopaths have *no* emotions, quite the opposite in fact.

What they seem to lack are social emotions (Love, Shame, Guilt, Remorse) and empathy.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:46 PM   #22
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  Originally Posted by Nimmirraj
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I have never read that sociopaths have *no* emotions, quite the opposite in fact.

What they seem to lack are social emotions (Love, Shame, Guilt, Remorse) and empathy.

I don't know how to gauge whether i have them or not.

It takes an awful lot for me to help a person merely because of empathy. The majority of the time i assume i help others just out of habit.

I thought i was in love at aged 16... completely obsessing over a girl... thinking about her 24/7.. constant phone calls/txts... butterflies... but now im not sure if it was love, or, if it was love, that i can still feel love.

bah.... god knows... there is no answer to this bloody worry of mine.

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Old 12-03-2009, 06:47 PM   #23
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Look, you aren't a sociopath. No real sociopath would start a thread anywhere or go through all the things you claim you did if you really are. We can't convince you that you aren't a sociopath. If you've read the research and the descriptions and seen an online doctor, then the answer should be clear. It almost sounds as if you want someone to say that you are a sociopath.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:56 PM   #24
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  Originally Posted by LCJ
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Look, you aren't a sociopath. No real sociopath would start a thread anywhere or go through all the things you claim you did if you really are. We can't convince you that you aren't a sociopath. If you've read the research and the descriptions and seen an online doctor, then the answer should be clear. It almost sounds as if you want someone to say that you are a sociopath.

I just have truble with vagueness. I guess its in the INTP nature to want sound logic on things?

My counsellor basically brushed my worries off and we stopped talking about them after 3 minutes.

The online doctor was very vague and wouldnt "diagnose" me... but i admit expressed her doubts that i could be a sociopath.

I'm gonna have to make an apointment to see a psychologist... just for some honest sound answers. Something i've been meaning to do but keep putting off.

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Old 12-03-2009, 07:39 PM   #25
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It definately sounds like you aren't a sociopath, as soon as I read the title of the thread I already knew you weren't. Plus, sociopaths don't go through "emotional limbo" as you call it. Just don't worry, you're not one.
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