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Offline socio

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Am I a Sociopath?
« on: 17/02/2008 10:35:09 »
I have been worrying lately that I might have a mental illness. I display some worrying traits but my friends say that it is probably boredom and frustration with my current situation than anything more serious.

I have virtually no empathy for other people whatsoever, I think nothing of using people for my own gain, I can be superficially charming when it suits me to achieve what I want. I have an extremely high intellect and think nothing of using this to get things I want or need. I can't keep a job, I get bored almost instantly and I am constantly reckless. If people hurt, upset or wrong me then I think of devious ways to get my revenge. I have become increasingly aggressive over the past couple of months and now have a very short temper. I feel very depressed at times and wonder what it would be like to just dissapear.

How do you explain all of this? I don't feel happy with my situation and I am pretty sure I'm not a nutter. Can this simply be put down to boredom or mild depression or should I worry that I have antisocial personality disorder?


 

Offline Titanscape

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« Reply #1 on: 17/02/2008 10:54:52 »
If you see a Dr or psychologist, they can discern for you. Note that medications are advanced now.
 
Do you ever feel remorse? Show conscience?

Best see a Dr, meaning a psychiatrist.
 

Offline iko

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« Reply #2 on: 17/02/2008 14:29:44 »
I have been worrying lately that I might have a mental illness. I display some worrying traits but my friends say that it is probably boredom and frustration with my current situation than anything more serious.

I have virtually no empathy for other people whatsoever, I think nothing of using people for my own gain, I can be superficially charming when it suits me to achieve what I want. I have an extremely high intellect and think nothing of using this to get things I want or need. I can't keep a job, I get bored almost instantly and I am constantly reckless. If people hurt, upset or wrong me then I think of devious ways to get my revenge. I have become increasingly aggressive over the past couple of months and now have a very short temper. I feel very depressed at times and wonder what it would be like to just dissapear.

How do you explain all of this? I don't feel happy with my situation and I am pretty sure I'm not a nutter. Can this simply be put down to boredom or mild depression or should I worry that I have antisocial personality disorder?

Hi socio,

I must say that in such a difficult time of your life as you carefully describe it (if this is not the usual anonymous internet fake), the most difficult thing is to realize -all by yourself- that there is a problem.
Then, second difficult task is to decide to look for help.
Third obviously is to find a proper support.
So you are already in a good position to feel better and be safe soon.
Take care

ikoD
« Last Edit: 17/02/2008 22:12:25 by iko »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Am I a Sociopath?
« Reply #3 on: 17/02/2008 22:36:09 »
I would echo the advice above - see a doctor if you're worried.

As a point of interest, I scored 38 out of a possible 42 in a psychological test for psycopathy, but I'm not mad. I'm not... honest. No, really, I mean it. What? You think I am? Don't say that. Seriously, you really do not want to say that. Eh? You still think I am? Now you've made me angry - VERY angry
 

Offline iko

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« Reply #4 on: 17/02/2008 22:42:51 »
Welcome here Socio...don't worry too much.
Nobody seems to be sane around here!

PsykoD   [8D]
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #5 on: 17/02/2008 23:59:20 »
Incidentally, we call it Antisocial Personality Disorder these days. Calling it sociopathy is decidedly passť.

Diagnostic criteria for an antisocial personality include "a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others and inability or unwillingness to conform to what are considered to be the norms of society." (According to this wonderfully interesting  ::) book on my left entitled "Diagnosing Abnormal Psychology Disorders" by A R Fedelstein 1992).

In general, if the traits associated with APD are not evident by age 15 then it is not usually classed as APD.

Sufferers of APD often find themselves in conflict with society as a consequence of behaviour that is amoral and unethical. This often results in frequent imprisonment and alcohol and/or drug abuse.

As you have stated, inability to empathise, seeing others as no more than a means to an end, and being superficially charming are all traits associated with APD.

Other signs of APD are dysphoria (although there is no hard-and-fast definition of what dysphoria is), an inability to tolerate boredom, a feeling of being victimized, and a reduced or non-existent capacity for intimate relationships.

 

another_someone

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« Reply #6 on: 18/02/2008 02:32:59 »
I may be wrong, but I would have guessed that one of the criteria for sociopathy (or APD) is that by definition it cannot be self diagnosed, since self diagnosis implies an element of empathy (i.e. to see yourself as others see you, and thus to put yourself in another's shoes).
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #7 on: 18/02/2008 03:24:58 »
I have been worrying lately that I might have a mental illness. I display some worrying traits but my friends say that it is probably boredom and frustration with my current situation than anything more serious.

I have virtually no empathy for other people whatsoever, I think nothing of using people for my own gain, I can be superficially charming when it suits me to achieve what I want. I have an extremely high intellect and think nothing of using this to get things I want or need. I can't keep a job, I get bored almost instantly and I am constantly reckless. If people hurt, upset or wrong me then I think of devious ways to get my revenge. I have become increasingly aggressive over the past couple of months and now have a very short temper. I feel very depressed at times and wonder what it would be like to just dissapear.

How do you explain all of this? I don't feel happy with my situation and I am pretty sure I'm not a nutter. Can this simply be put down to boredom or mild depression or should I worry that I have antisocial personality disorder?

Do you have a family and support system and is it a strong enough support to also offer you help and assistance?  I wish you best wishes in figuring out what is happening and feel confident that if you seek you will find an answer.. Good luck.
 

Offline socio

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Am I a Sociopath?
« Reply #8 on: 18/02/2008 14:26:59 »
This is not an anonymous internet joke, the forum title says physiology and medicine so I thought I would post here.

My reasons for concern are because I have recognised several of the diagnosis criteria in my behaviour. I am not a criminal and do not commit crime but I am concerned about my other "symptoms".

Whether or not I fit the diagnosis criteria for APD or not is irrelevant because the fact remains that I am unhappy with my behaviour and feelings.

I am not sure whether it is just normal behaviour or related to my temporary depression or maybe a supressed childhood trauma which I cannot remember. I don't like not caring about people (if that makes sense). I want to feel empathy but I just don't! I want to be able to share intimate and caring relationships with other people but I just can't.

I have heard that depression can really mess about with someone and their emotions and I suspect that this is probably just a side effect of that. I don't take meds anymore because they make me feel worse but at the same time I don't want to be a soul less shell. I want my emotions back.

I don't know whether it is relevant or not but sometimes I find myself getting teary eyed at completely inappropriate times. It is almost as though sometimes I am too empathetic. But most of the time I feel devoid of any emotions at all.
 

another_someone

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« Reply #9 on: 18/02/2008 19:08:06 »
This is not an anonymous internet joke, the forum title says physiology and medicine so I thought I would post here.

I don't think anyone regarded it as a joke.

My reasons for concern are because I have recognised several of the diagnosis criteria in my behaviour. I am not a criminal and do not commit crime but I am concerned about my other "symptoms".

The trouble is that with many medical diagnoses, to an untrained eye (and often to a trained eye) we can imagine we have almost any disease under the sun by looking for similarities between some of the criteria and what we see of ourselves.

Whether or not I fit the diagnosis criteria for APD or not is irrelevant because the fact remains that I am unhappy with my behaviour and feelings.

We could all do better, but it is also very easy to become hypercritical of ourselves, and maybe just remember that we are all (you, me, and everybody else) are merely imperfect human beings.  Sometimes by learning to understand the imperfections within ourselves, and accept that imperfect humanity, it helps you understand the imperfections of others, and maybe you can use that to not get so upset when you feel you have been "wronged" by others - they too are imperfect, just like you.

I am not sure whether it is just normal behaviour or related to my temporary depression or maybe a supressed childhood trauma which I cannot remember.

As a mere laymen, I would think more likely deflated self esteem brought on by depression (this may also possibly cause you to panic, and overreact, in situations where if you were more comfortable with yourself, you would be better able just to brush aside as not being significant).

Ofcourse, this is not to dismiss depression as trivial or insignificant, and can have serious consequences of its own; but my own guess is that if you were really sociopathic, you would not be being so self critical of yourself - you just wouldn't care - and you don't come across as someone who simply does not care (otherwise, why would you be coming here for advice?).

I have heard that depression can really mess about with someone and their emotions and I suspect that this is probably just a side effect of that.

Spot on.

I don't take meds anymore because they make me feel worse but at the same time I don't want to be a soul less shell. I want my emotions back.

I would ask, given what you say about the meds, do you have a formal diagnoses?  Are you perchance suffering from bipolar disorder, and going through the depressive phase at the moment?

I know the meds for such things can be nasty, but coming off them too quickly can even be dangerous.  If you are having problems with the meds, you have to talk it over with your doctor, and see what he can do about the dosages, or find alternatives to the meds you are taking.

I don't know whether it is relevant or not but sometimes I find myself getting teary eyed at completely inappropriate times.

Classic depression.

 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #10 on: 18/02/2008 19:19:48 »
Yep I have been there.. and it sounds really familiar even the emotionalless aspect....I had to get some help... It was important to not be emotionally void for me, I need my emotions to know I am alive and ok!
« Last Edit: 18/02/2008 19:28:45 by Karen W. »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #11 on: 18/02/2008 19:24:40 »
I agree with what George (AnotherSomeone) said. Depression can cause a wide variety of symptoms.
 

Offline socio

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« Reply #12 on: 19/02/2008 18:52:30 »
Thank you for your replies, someone did suggest earlier on in the thread that it was an anonymous internet joke.

I was diagnosed with depression and put on SSRIs which are horrible medicines that leave you feeling empty and flat and unable to smile, laugh or cry. I didn't like that one bit so I told my GP I didn't want them anymore

I am going on holiday soon so maybe a bit of sunshine and a break away from everything will help. I haven't had a holiday in 20 years and have worked more or less every day for the last 10 years.

I think I might be burned out and a little bit exhausted, maybe a recharge of the batteries will do the trick.

I have never contemplated suicide or harming myself (or anyone else) but as soon as you mention that you have depression, everyone panics and hides the knives. They don't understand that it is a complex illness that affects many millions of people in completely different ways. I don't know why I have it, I just woke up one day and realised that I wasn't happy. In fact it wasn't until I spoke to my GP that I realised that I can't remember a time when I was happy.

I'm going to take a nice holiday and see how I feel after that.
 

Offline iko

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« Reply #13 on: 19/02/2008 19:24:08 »
I must apologize Socio,

citing internet fakes I was not meaning YOU at all.
We have to keep in mind how difficult it is to talk of very personal issues in a totally anonymous environment.  It may serve us well, or get things worse, I do not know.
Please have a look around here using the "search" function for depression, bipolar and so on: you'll find lots of interesting posts. And do relax: I don't think there are 'experts' around here, just people like you and me.

ikoD
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #14 on: 19/02/2008 20:31:56 »
socio - There are 3 chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters) that are believed to play a part in depression if their levels are low. These are serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Anti-depressants block the re-uptake of these neuro-transmitters thus helping to keep their levels higher.

SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors) such as Fluoxetine (Prozac), Celexa (Citalopram) or Paxil (Paroxetine) are preferable to the historically more widely used tricyclic anti-depressants like Elavil (Amitriptyline). I was on Flupenthixol (a dopamine antagonist) for a while and that made me feel exactly how you described. I was changed onto Citalopram and they were much better.

The oldest type of anti-depressants are the MAOIs (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors), but these are not, to my knowledge, used these days.

With all anti-depressants, the rate of successful treatment is around 70% (successful treatment means the patient feels less depressed, not that the depression disappears completely).
 

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« Reply #14 on: 19/02/2008 20:31:56 »

 

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