Is It Possible To Become A Sociopath/Psychopath?

Sure it is.  It is possible for someone to have gone through such adverse situations in their life that their perception of reality is distorted as an adult.  These circumstances have had some sort of adverse impact on their earlier years of psychological development, i.e. childhood, in which they have never been able to come to terms with or have never sought out professional help to help overcome the adversity of the situation(s). However, there is still that one fact that remains within the sociopathic/psychopathic behavior that still holds them accountable: the ability to know the difference between right from wrong.

So how does one know if a sociopath or psychopath is one because of genetically linked factors or circumstances?

This can be very tricky in deciphering the difference, because most sociopaths do not tell the truth as it is when it comes to discussing their childhood, adulthood, or any “hood” of their life.  Most of them will pretend they have had a bad childhood as part of their plot to gain sympathy from generous people in order to gain something from them, or, they may use this lie as an excuse to get away with not facing the consequences for their destructive behavior, again to gain sympathy.  Psychopaths have been known to come from stable childhood homes without a trace of dysfunctional interactions with the prominent figures in their lives, yet they seem to have a distorted view of reality whereas they think the world should revolve around their wants and needs without regards for the rights of others and without consequences for violating those rights.

But there is one thing that is undisputed for both disorders; as a child grows older and becomes more acquainted with society, they have no other choice but to learn the difference between what society deems as right from wrong and will have to moderate their behavior accordingly.  Those who have difficulty moderating their behavior to adjust to societal rules are considered to demonstrate sociopathic and/or psychopathic behaviors.

Let’s say the sociopath/psychopath came from a home where there was little to no supervision, or even worse, supervision that had no boundaries, responsibilities, rules or restrictions, and no consequences for bad behavior.  Believe it or not, this can be traumatic when a child has no correction; they feel as if they can do no wrong and will grow up with this mindset when they try to interact with the rest of society.  When the child grows up and realizes reality is not what they thought it was, that there really is such a thing as right from wrong and there are consequences for their wrong behavior, they literally do feel traumatized from the reactions they get when they do wrong to others.  They may go into a frenzy when they cannot have their way and begin to plot and plan on how they can make their idealization of reality happen.  Society refers to this kind of behavior as being “spoiled” and have been known to mistakenly apply this term to adults.

But in a sense, being spoiled really only applies to children.  Why?  Just think about it.  As I have stated earlier, we all eventually learn the difference between right and wrong as we grow older despite any lack of training, discipline, or correction in this area of our childhood by the responses we get in return for the things that we do.  A spoiled child grows up eventually, and realizes the hard way that everything is not all about them. They will have to respect the rights of others if they expect to get along with other people in general whether they like it or not.  It is the difficulty they have with this transition from a false reality they have been raised to believe in to the real world is what turns these children into a sociopath/psychopath as an adult.

That was actually the more glorified look as to how one can become a sociopath/psychopath, but there is also a dark side to this possibility, too…

(to be continued…)

© 2013 Learus Ohnine

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29 thoughts on “Is It Possible To Become A Sociopath/Psychopath?

  1. interesting to read, would be nice if we could figure out the difference between “learnt” and “biological” sociopathy, then it might be easier to try and “help” them!

    • Thanks for reading. The brief example I gave deals with learned behavior in which the sociopath has a distorted conception of what reality should be like based on their upbringing. When a person has an unrealistic view of reality, they do whatever it takes to make that reality real. This is why they fail at it, but more will be explained on that later :-)

      • Some points were correct, in my understanding. You make people that feel no emotion or don’t know the difference between right and wrong seem stupid, which you are stupid for implying, you will deny the fact but i can see in small instances here and there that you do indeed find them less than. People can learn the difference through right and wrong by consequences, if I go and kill a cat, mine for instance, someone might notice it missing, find it odd that the realization of me hating my cat an letting that be known to people is a coincidence to the healthy cats missing. I would most likely be found out sooner or later, regardless of my scheming and suffer some sort of consequences, that would be people looking at me differently and not ever looking at me as one of them again, or some kind of law enforcement. That being said someone could easily fit one of the descriptions you put forward and learn that if they do somethings, no matter how bad they want to, they treasure there life and the possibility of getting caught for disobeying laws and ruining the rest of there life more than killing something or stealing something. On the emotional standpoint a sociopath would know when he/she should feel emotion and can fake it adequately with some practice, but isn’t capable of actually caring in the sense.

        To the person that you replied to, why would someone need help having emotions as long as they are a productive member of society? In my opinion emotions would only get in the way and screw with your judgement. The “spoiled” statements you made are not a specific sociopath or psychopath trait because everyone wants more of something, money, drugs, women, material objects. The fact that sociopaths and psychopaths have no emotion can help them obtain those things in their life, and they may actually help people along the way, through any kind of means. And society helps because of consequences, on the terms of what you can or cannot do.

        You should try looking at things from several different perspectives, people might appreciate what you have to say more in the future.

    • It is difficult to “help” people who suffer from what is socially known as sociopathy or psychopathy. They generally suffer from Antisocial Personality Disorder, and in many cases Narcissistic Personality Disorder. For some reason, the Personality disorders have proven difficult to treat effectively. There is really no known medication that helps (unlike Chronic Depression or Manic-Depressive disorder), and the jury seems to be out on how effective talk therapy is since these folks lie frequently, and may talk about themselves in the third person as if discussing someone else. They are also quite manipulative, and very adept at hiding their lack of caring or remorse or compassion for others. But, maybe with further study, science can figure out more about what makes these people into what they are.

  2. Yes, i think that there are two types. One is born that way, and one is made that way. I read a good article a while back. Where it explained that whilst in childhood they had little truth, or had to be a fake to be accepted. Either they were moulded into something that they were not, or they grew up in very disfunctional families. Its odd that the two that I dated, both had issues with the mother. Both couldn’t be themselves as a child. Both had very different childhoods. THe second the charismatic one, his father drank and cheated on his mum. There is something in it, I am sure!! :)

    • I absolutely agree there is something in it for sure. But even so, there comes a time in everyone’s life when they will be introduced to the concept of “right from wrong”. There’s just no inevitable way around that, unless the person lives under a rock. There is absolutely no excuse not to say “please”, “I’m sorry”, and “thank you”… and these types of sociopaths abhor those words.

      Just my opinion…

  3. I read in that article, which related to his family life as a child. How a mask was put on to the outside world, in childhood to pretend that things were good. And how often a child grows watching the mother. It was strange that my ex said about this often (when in his gaming deceptive mode) — and that he as a child could hear his mother being hurt. Its a wonder that later her grew into an adult to repeat that behaviour.

    • I too have always had an awkward and protective relationship with Mom. Alongside the difficulties that come with having a dysfunctional family, need to feel accepted, a distorted perception and expectations of reality, and . I, thankfully, have kept myself from acting upon my deranged dreams and idealizations of revenge. Maybe I still have a conscience if I am one of those who might developed the illness after birth; like finding a needle in a haystack.

      • Thanks for sharing your comment, and do know I’m not implying all those who have had to endure similar misfortunes during their childhood are susceptible to hurting others as you have stated. At least give yourself credit because you are aware there is a hidden anger within you that needs your attention. It’s those that are aware but have no consideration for the damage they cause when they hurt others to feel good about themselves are the ones who are potentially dangerous.

    • Wow, now that makes sense. Still, he had a choice as an adult once he broke away from that environment to seek professional help. Those of who empathize with other’s emotional burdens can become a crutch instead of a helper when we make excuses for their behavior. Just my two cents again :-)

  4. It is absolutely possible to create a sociopath or a psychopath. Your statement about them being exactly like “normal” people is correct, and so is you assertion that they differ from the rest of society in that they do not believe the social norms and rules apply them, or they simply do not care. They so not feel any remorse, regret (except maybe when found out), or concept of consequences. To them, since the rules do not apply, and never have, when a consequence is handed down, they are confused and do not understand why.

    It is possible that lack of boundaries in familial supervision could be a cause of what starts in childhood as “Oppositional Defiance Disorder”, moves into “Antisocial Personality Disorder” during adolescence, and then turns out a full blown sociopath/psychopath in adulthood. Other hypotheses have posited that extreme abuse is a cause, or having a dominant mother with a submissive father figure. Alcohol and drug use within the family have also been suggested to play a role in the development of Antisocial Personality Disorder (the ‘clinical’ name for sociopaths and psychopaths). Personality disorders typically respond very little if at all to treatment. There is no pill for this one. Some form of therapy may help, but in general, the Personality disorders are hard to treat successfully.

    What I find interesting about the dichotomy of sociopaths/psychopaths is that society typically thinks of a socio/psychopath as a monster like Ted Bundy, The Green River killer, BTK, etc. What most people, at least as far as I know, do not think of is how the qualities of a sociopath can be used for “good” purposes like running a country, being the CEO of a large corporation, being a defense attorney (kidding), etc. For example, the CEO can’t suffer from regret or remorse for many of the decisions that he/she will make during their career. They simply cannot have this quality; they have to believe the rules do not apply to them in order to be an effective decision maker considering that some of their decisions will have direct impacts on people’s lives. They can’t care about that in order to make really hard decisions. Leaders of nations have similar qualities to socio/psychopaths. How can a person in good conscience bomb another country, knowing full well that the consequence is going to be death of soldiers and civilians (otherwise known as ‘collateral damage’). How can a person think of civilians as “collateral damage” if one believes, as most do, that the concept of right and wrong apply to them? You can’t.

      • Thank you :) I have been studying the phenomenon of socio/psycopathy for years. I am fascinated by the question of why a person would deliberately and with sometimes malicious intent commit a bad act. It is perfectly obvious why people do good things or operate within social norms because they just know they should. It is part of “normal” socialization. However, the sociopaths and psychopaths of the world have been shaped by the same forces to some degree, but its like it didn’t quite stick. But, I do believe there are several different types. Some are the boogey men of the world, others have been or are world leaders in all forms of government, and others are the big whigs that run the financial world. And there are probably still more types.

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