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

The Difference Between A Sociopath And A Psychopath

Over the years, there has been alot of debating going on as to the differences between these two disorders: sociopathy and psychopathy.  Some say the two disorders are identical; some say there at several distinctions between the two. Psychologist have been studying both disorders for years, but with their studies have yet to be concluded because of the increased difficulty of getting their subjects to cooperate with them, therefore prolonging the results. As time moves on, more and more pertinent information is being released to the public along with the testimonies of surviving victims that can be used to help protect those potentially at harm’s risk.  The more knowledge that is released to the public, the less chances of their premeditated destructive plans succeeding against humanity.

 

There are indeed several differences between the two. It is important to understand the major difference between the two disorders. Not being able to recognize the most important signs of distinction can result in being the victim of someone with whom you will end up regretting  investing your time, your trust, your sanity, and even your life into in the long run.

 

So let’s move on with a brief list of distinctions between the two:

 

Intelligence: The sociopath has no regards for the rights, feelings, and safety of another human being, and sadly enough, sometimes no regards for their own safety as well. The psychopath also has no regards for the rights, feelings, and safety of another human being, but they are a wee bit “smarter” than the sociopath in regards to their own safety. Psychopaths are risk takers as well as the sociopath, but the sociopath is more apt to getting caught than the psychopath because they lack the wisdom to see their mistakes in their premeditated plans. A psychopath will think of a plan, will take the risk, examine how close they were to getting caught, and will try to perfect any flaws so as to not get caught the next time they try taking the same risk. The sociopath just keeps doing the same thing over and over again, in the same manner, no matter how many times that method has proved to expose them. The difference here is the level of intelligence: one has it, one does not.

 

Remorse: The sociopath feels no remorse for the destruction they cause, the feelings they hurt, and the trauma they inflict because their brain is missing the pieces that process emotions in regards to anyone else but themselves. They will imitate what remorse should “look” like, but that does not necessarily mean they feel it. Actually, they cannot feel much at all because of their limited range of emotions. The psychopath will sometimes feel remorse for what they have done after they have been caught mainly because of the fact that they were caught, not necessarily for what they did. Their brains can process that emotion, so it is possible for them to feel remorse after the fact. The difference here is the ability for both to feel: one can, one cannot.

 

History: The sociopath usually has a past history of problems with making and keeping friends, repeated behavioral problems as a juvenile, poor performance in school during their childhood years, problems with paying child support or anything that requires responsibility and/or accountability on their part. Rebellious in nature, it is their narcissistic attitude that gets them into constant trouble; they feel like they are entitled to everything and anything they want and very seldom have respect for anything that represents authority. The psychopath doesn’t have much regard for authority neither, but may have demonstrated respect for the law (to an extent, of course), had a spotless school and juvenile record, and may have been the most likable person in their social setting growing up as a child. However, the psychopath is more “classy” with how they cover up their mental illness, and this is why they are more successful in those previous areas as mentioned than the sociopath. The difference here is the history of self-discipline: one has it, the other one does not.

 

Boredom: Neither can stand boredom, however, it is what they do to relieve this boredom is what counts. The psychopath will be able to find constructive ways to relieve themselves from being bored, mainly because they can be highly intelligent creative people… that is, only when they’re not satisfying some perverted urge of theirs. The sociopath will relieve their boredom by causing drama: conflict between friends/coworkers/family, disturbing the peace in society for the heck of it, displaying age-inappropriate behaviors in public for attention, etc. The sociopath does not have the mental stability, the mental capacity, nor the self-discipline to finish what they start. The majority of them never bother to waste time or money on starting something they cannot finish. Causing conflict in someone else’s life for the fun of it is the main preferred source of entertainment for sociopaths. The psychopath can cause drama among their friends/coworkers/family and disturb the peace in society also, but this is more of a byproduct of the selfish acts they do to satisfy themselves and not necessarily intended to be something they intentionally planned to do like the sociopath. A psychopath can actually be entertained by other less destructive means to relieve their boredom. The difference here is their style of enjoyment : one is narrow, one is not.

 

Hopefully, these difference are enough to get a clear understanding of the difference between the two, and of course, the list is longer than what appears here. Is it possible for a person to be a sociopath AND a psychopath? Sure it is. In fact, some of the differences stated above can be reversed or overlapped in the personality of one person. There is no sure way to distinguish which trait belongs to whom, for that takes time and a lot of energy to invest in getting to know someone before a positive identification can be recognized. In my honest opinion, it’s not worth the risk to find out….

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2013 Learus Ohnine

 

The Sociopath: A Social Terrorist (part 2)

“So it is now just one week away from your anticipated outing with the person you have fallen in love with. All plans have been discussed, understood, and agreed upon. You find yourself constantly thinking about the perfect outfit to wear, fantasize about what you two will share, and daydream about how the day will end. Throughout this entire week, you have been feeling all giddy inside thanks to this wonderful person who has an uncanny ability to say the right things to you at the right time. You have never felt as connected to someone as you do right now.

During the outing, you two seem to be having a terrific time and you find yourself wanting to open up more and more to this person. They seem to draw it all out of you with ease by making you feel so comfortable and safe around them. They appear to be an open book; holding nothing back about their hopes, their dreams, and their fears. They mention about how they have been grossly misunderstood all their life, and all they want is to find that one person who they can connect with; someone who is not vindictive or spiteful like all the rest have been towards them in spite of their efforts to help them. This person, who seems so eager to learn what makes you tick, tells you you are like a “vacation” for them, and expresses how much they enjoy learning more about you. You cannot believe just how much ground you two have uncovered about each other in such a short period of time. It seems like you two have a real connection going on with each other along with so many things in common. You want more than anything else in the world to give a sincere honest impression of yourself, so you do not hold anything back in hopes of earning their trust. You decide to open yourself up to this person with all sincerity of the truth from your heart, just the way they did towards you. Therefore, you too begin to talk endlessly about your hopes, your dreams, and your fears… your fears.

(Uh oh, big mistake…)

After all this talk about what makes each other tick, you feel you can completely trust this person with all of your heart, mind, and soul. You confide this fact with them, and are delighted to know that they feel the same way about you, too. Because of this new revelation, you two agree to become closer and closer, making more and more plans together…

(…and then the nightmare REALLY begins…)

After a few weeks (or days even), you start to notice a considerable change in this person since the very beginning. They tell to call them anytime, but when you do, they are always unavailable. They tell you stop by anytime, but when you do, they are always too busy for company. They seem to say one thing, but do another that is nothing even close to what they say they will do. They seem to call less, text less, and when there is an open line of communication between the two of you, it is very short and very brief with little or no substance to what this person says. You start to feel as if you may have made a big mistake by trusting every word this person has said to you. You express this concern to them, who in turn assures you everything is fine, you did not make any mistakes at all, and you are just being paranoid. Your mind and heart begin to battle each other. 

Your mind considers every rational behind why they say you are being paranoid, yet your heart still tells you something is definitely not right with their rational. Before you can discuss more about how unsure you are feeling, the person has moved on to other subjects seemingly non-stop without giving you the chance to get not even one word in edgewise. The next thing you know, something has came up and the person has to end the conversation, but promises to continue it when they call you later on that day. Without thinking twice about it, you wonder exactly when will this person call again since they seem to be sporadic with keeping their word. Surprisingly, they call you later that same day just like they said they would, however, they seem very irritated when you try to pick up the conversation from where the two of you left off at. They brush your concerns off of discussing anything about the changes in their behavior, belittle you for making such a fuss over how you feel, and somehow manage to shift the blame for their behavior onto you by stating every illogical reason why it is your fault. You are stunned at their accusations that are mixed with fact and fiction, but still try to defend yourself by correcting their bizarre beliefs. They ignore what you say regardless of how accurate you point out the flaws in their theories. Suddenly they end the conversation, leaving you bewildered and confused as to what just happened.”

First, let me explain why it is a big mistake to open yourself up to a sociopath. Two of the defining traits of a sociopath are glibness and superficiality. The sociopath likes to play with words. By this, I mean the sociopath has a way of explaining  their childhood, their family, their friends, and the relationships they have experienced by mixing lies with the truth without giving away too much detail that will expose themselves for what they truly are. Most all of their stories usually entail how they were either a hero or a victim, depending on whatever tales and adventures you have told, they try to match theirs up with yours to make it appear you two have an enormous amount in common. They use this technique in order to get you to trust them quicker. When you trust someone, you are more apt to open yourself up to them with sincerity, clarity, and honesty. Remember, the core reason for everything the sociopath does is that unquenchable desire to control in order to feel powerful. The only way they can do this is by learning you, and they usually succeed through their deceptive recollections of the woes, chaos, and misery they have experienced in each relationship they have ever had. What they will fail to tell you is how they were the ones who caused all the woes, misery, and chaos.

Second, the sociopath does not begin to open up unless they have verified you will not question them too deeply about the things they say and/or do, because this will afford them space they need to tell more lies that all sound believable. As long as they know they are deceiving you, they will feel as though they are in control of you. As long as they feel they are in control of you, they feel powerful. For example, in the scenario described in the beginning of The Sociopath: A Social Terrorist (part 1) , the sociopath was never questioned for their odd change in behavior. They were never asked if anything was wrong that would warrant their strange behavior because they made sure it was clearly understood how much they despise questions. Usually, the sociopath despises questions because they tend to lie so much and so often that they lose track of what they have already told you. When questioned, they become furious. Any normal human being who is telling the truth would have no problem explaining the truth again. For the sociopath, it is mentally agonizing to recall everything that they have already said since a majority of what they have said was a lie. 

Lastly, the sociopath needs to know what makes you tick to learn how much they can get away with. They probe you looking for any weaknesses you may have. These weaknesses are what they will use to exploit you later on when they cannot have their way with having control and power over you. Remember in The Sociopath: A Social Terrorist (part 1) , they first started satisfying their need to control and feel powerful by causing enormous pain and suffering on helpless animals. The keyword here is “helpless”. During the entire time you are opening up to the sociopath, they are looking for anything they see as a sign of weakness that they can use to break you down to a level of helplessness. While you are opening up to them, the first thing that grabs their undivided attention is your fears.  If you have not already opening expressed them, they will most definitely ask about them. Your fears equals their control.

In a healthy relationship, we want to know our partner’s fears so we can make sure they never ever happen. When the sociopath know your fears, they will devise plans to make them come true in order to get their way, and more importantly, to feel like they have some sort of power and control over you. Eventually, you will give in to their unreasonable demands after they have exploited your fears in hopes the sociopath will stop this sadistic way of manipulating you into submission. They do the same with your hopes and dreams; they will deliberately find ways to intercept them, delay them, and even destroy them when they cannot have their way as a way of showing you just how much control they can have over you. In this, you will get the chance to see just how cold and heartless they can be, for they have no boundaries as to what lengths they will go to make sure they get what they want. But mostly, the sociopath will pretend to be concerned in making your hopes and dreams come true (especially if it involves a “happy ending” with them) as a way to keep you holding on to this dysfunctional relationship that will only reveal itself to be a catastrophic failure in the end. This provides them with a sense of security while they secretly plan and plot to get whatever it is they want to get out of you.

This type of behavior is called “passive aggressiveness”, and is the prime tool the sociopath uses to mentally torture you once they have won you completely. Some of the ways the sociopath might behave to achieve control are listed below:

Non-Communication: when there is clearly something problematic to discuss

Avoiding/Ignoring: when you are so angry that you feel you cannot speak calmly

Evading: problems and issues, burying an angry head in the sand

Procrastinating: intentionally putting off important tasks for less important ones

Obstructing: deliberately stalling or preventing an event or process of change

Fear of Competition: Avoiding situations where one party will be seen as better at something

Ambiguity: Being cryptic, unclear, not fully engaging in conversations

Sulking: Being silent, morose, sullen and resentful in order to get attention or sympathy.

Chronic Lateness: A way to put you in control over others and their expectations

Chronic Forgetting: Shows a blatant disrespect and disregard for others to punish in some way

Fear of Intimacy: Often there can be trust issues with passive aggressive people and guarding against becoming too intimately involved or attached will be a way for them to feel in control of the relationship

Making Excuses: Always coming up with reasons for not doing things

Victimisation: Unable to look at their own part in a situation will turn the tables to become the victim and will behave like one

Self-Pity: the poor me scenario

Blaming: others for situations rather than being able to take responsibility for your own actions or being able to take an objective view of the situation as a whole.

Withholding: usual behaviours or roles for example sex, cooking and cleaning or making cups of tea, running a bath etc. all to reinforce an already unclear message to the other party

Learned Helplessness: where a person continually acts like they can’t help themselves – deliberately doing a poor job of something for which they are often explicitly responsible

The above except was taken from the following website: What is Passive Aggressive Behavior?

(to be continued…)

© 2013 Learus Ohnine

The Sociopath: A Social Terrorist (part 1)

“You have attracted the attention of one of the most wonderful people on the planet… or so it seems. He/She initially swept you off your feet with what appears to be a deep concern for your well-being along with their impeccable amount of attention focused on every aspect of your life, the past, present, and future. He/She seems so interested in getting to know you. They constantly praise you for your achievements, accomplishments and pending goals. They have a profound interest in your past relationships as well as your past in general. If you are a parent, they will offer advice that seems harmless and flawless, because after all, they appear to have such expertise in anything and everything they speak about. To you, they are flawless; you both have the same standards, morals, and principles. You cannot believe just how lucky you are to actually have someone like this person walk into your life at the right moment. They are such a charmer, and every word they speak sounds so sincere.  The amount of ease this person makes you feel is incredible. 

(However, something still just does not seem right, but you cannot quite put your finger on what it is…)

As time moves on, you begin to notice little glitches in their words. They hop from subject to subject quicker than a flame can burn through a plastic bag. They seem scattered in the way they think. “Oh they just have some problems like they told me”, you say to yourself. You start thinking with a little more support and understanding, you can help them cope with their problems they once stated they have. All they need is to know they have someone in their corner no matter what, and so you declare your concern for helping them. You want to make it clear to this person they are not alone. 

(And then the nightmare begins…)

You two have just finished an ordinary conversation on the telephone like usual. They tell you about their day; you tell them about yours. They tell you about some goals they have, and you share yours with them as well. Within the discussion, they tell you they think it is a great idea that the two of you work together in helping each other meet those goals. They mention a few plans they have in mind that they would like to do with you, and you willing agree to them without a second thought. You confess how happy they have made you, they express how happy they are to have found someone like you, and they cannot wait for the moment to come when you two start your adventures together. Now, you both have something to look forward to… or so you think…

You decide to call this person back a little while later to share a new thought on your joint up-and-coming adventures. As soon as they answer, you cannot believe your ears. They sound totally different about the adventures as they did before. They seem less interested before you even get a chance to speak. They lack the same enthusiasm as they showed before. “How can this person change so quickly?” you may ask yourself. This makes you curious as to why the sudden change in attitude, but you do not question it, and certainly do not want to question them for fear of losing them. After all, they told you most of the relationships they were in dissolved because they were sick of being questioned. Instead, you make excuses for them as to why they could be acting this way instead of finding out the truth for yourself.

(“The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.” Proverbs 14:11)

The following day, you notice there is less and less enthusiasm from the person about your day, your thoughts, your life, and your problems which this person seemed so eager to find solutions to up until this point. In fact, you find yourself doing all the contacting with this person whereas they used to contact you non-stop. You think to yourself maybe this is not a good day for them as they begin to make you feel as if you are bothering them, and so you wait. They contact you the next day. You suddenly notice changes in their personality and conflicting stories, standards, morals, and principles with the ones they have previously told you before. You think to yourself again “Oh they just have some problems they need to work out like they said”, but deep down, a part of you begins to wonder what is really going on…”

Self-deception; when you are deceived, you do not know you are deceived. This trait in you is like seventh heaven to a sociopath…

Before I go any further, let me explain what a sociopath really is. A sociopath, or psychopath, is a person with a serious mental illness that can easily go undetected by the untrained and inexperienced eye. To put it politely, the person suffers from what is defined in medical terms as an “antisocial personality disorder”. Please note I use the term “suffer” lightly in the context of that sentence. The term “antisocial personality disorder” originated by the acts of the sociopath that is socially unacceptable. They have no guilt, no remorse, and no shame for what they do to people. They are aware they have this personality disorder, yet, they care nothing about the destruction they cause in the lives of innocent people because of it. They have a total disregard for the truth, and this is why they need someone “foolish” enough to deceive themselves by making excuses for the sociopath’s behavior as well as be willing to be deceived by them.

When a sociopath talks about their childhood (that is IF they tell the truth about it), these people usually give you a clue they may be a sociopath. One clue is the mentioning of brutally torturing animals until they die. Pay attention to their facial expression as they recall such horrendous acts; their face will light up like a child’s on Christmas morning. The thoughts and sights of inflicting pain on a poor defenseless creature excites them to no end. Do not be confused with a childhood act of squashing bugs or riding the family dog like it is a horse. This goes way beyond that. We are talking inflicting severe unbearable pain on animals that scream and bleed until they die, such as cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, goats, birds, and even frogs. Do not be surprised if a sociopath has these animals as pets as an adult; they do want to give you the impression they are a peace-and-nature loving human being. However, do be surprised if these animals suddenly come up missing without a logical cause or reason, especially after they have expressed such desires to have the pet to begin with. This evil desire to watch an animal cry out in agony until it dies does not go away as the sociopath becomes an adult; they only move on to “bigger and better things”, or in other words, more self-fulfilling things. That desire to harm is still there, only now as an adult that desire has evolved into torturing people.

Confusion is a form of torture: it is mental torture. It is much easier for the sociopath to get away with deception if you are confused. But, in order for them to cause confusion, they first have to gain control; control over your emotions. Control, to them, equals power. They do this by charming the light sockets off of you. They agree with everything you agree with. They believe in everything you believe in. They like everything you like. It is not until they know they have won you over is when they start their confusion game. Once the game begins, you will slowly start to see the sociopath within them emerge. It will be an adventure like none other that you will never forget…

(To be continued)

© 2013 Learus Ohnine