Facts About Sociopathy

In the September/October 2010 issue of Scientific American Mind is an article entitled, Inside the Mind of a Psychopath. Among other things, the reseachers wrote:

Aided by EEGs and brain scans, scientists have discovered that psychopaths possess significant impairments that affect their ability to feel emotions, read other people's cues and learn from their mistakes.

These deficiencies my be apparent in children who are as young as five years old.

When you tally trials, prison stays and inflicted damage, psychopaths cost us $250 billion to $400 billion a year.

Charming as they may seem, psychopaths can also be tone-deaf because they lack access to their own feelings and those of others. Imagine what it would be like never to be depressed or anxious, never to have regrets or low self-esteem but also never to care deeply for anyone or anything. Psychopaths' emotions are shallow: they feel irritated when they don't get their way and turn to risky behaviors for the flimsiest of reasons. Bereft of loyalties and passions, they wander through life, often straying into criminality on a whim — forgeries, thefts, assaults, even murders may be committed out of some trivial impulse. As for complex emotions such as devotion, guilt, or joy, theirs remains a textbook understanding — it has been said that they "know the words but not the music."

Dozens of studies reveal that psychopaths experience the world differently from other people. They have trouble making appropriate moral value judgments and putting the brakes on their impulses. They are also hampered in how they respond to emotions, language and distractions — a disconnect that is sometimes seen as early as age five.

Psychopaths are notable for their fearlessness: when confronted with images such as a looming attacker or a weapon aimed their way, they literally don't blink.

Chances are, you have met a psychopath. People with the disorder make up 0.5 to 1 percent of the general population. When you discount children, women (for reasons that remain a puzzle, few women are afflicted), and those who are already locked up, that translates to approximately 250,000 psychopaths living freely in the U.S.

Some researchers have estimated that as many as 500,000 psychopaths inhabit the U.S. prison system, and there may be another 250,000 more living freely — perhaps not committing serious crimes but still taking advantage of those around them.

Whatever the reasons, many psychiatrists are left with the false impression that psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder are the same. They are not. Antisocial personality disorder is a helpful diagnosis when the question is whether a person is likely to behave badly, but it does nothing to discriminate among criminals. Only one in five people with antisocial personality disorder is a psychopath.

The above was written by Kent A. Kiehl, a neuroscientist at the University of New Mexico, and Joshua W. Buckholtz, a PhD candidate in neuroscience at Vanderbilt University.


Anonymous said...

My Sister Aleli is a Sociopath. She had an affair with her best friends husband with out blinking eye. Never showed any type of remorse. She has very low self esteem but is puffed up with what looks like confidence. She lives a sad life.

Anonymous said...

Wow that is really sad but Sociopaths come in all shapes and sizes. Most people would never be able to do that to a friend but sociopaths have a it doesn't matter button that most people don't have. Most do not show remorse or even think they were in the wrong.

The sociopath can are the best at rationalizing what they do to people so in no way are they in the wrong.

Many Sociopaths have a I deserve button that they can push and it does not matter what stands in their way it could be a best friend or a family member but if that button goes off they don't have a second thought and will do what other people would never do in a million years.

They can appear extremely charming. You have to know them really well and have a fair amount of insight yourself to spot that they always and only ever do what suits them. As long as they are getting their own way, they can be as charming as you could wish, and the most delightful company. But they will lie at the drop of a hat, without the slightest twinge of anxiety or guilt. They have no sense of guilt or remorse and will always be able to come up with plausible rationalizations for their behavior which allow them to lay the blame for any subsequent disaster on other people. And, of course, once chess pieces

They also feel entitled so even if it was her best friends husband that she had an affair with she did not care about the best friend she felt entitled to help herself to her best friends husband.

They just don't think the same way normal people think. That is why she did not remorse. That is a foreign word to them. They from the outside appear to have it all together but on the inside they are a mess. That is why it's hard to spot them.

Just make sure you note if someone from the outside looks like they have the "Perfect life" Think twice. That does not exist.

Doing a paper in school on sociopaths really gave me a ton of insight to how these people think.

It's sad for their Victim. Usually good trusting people fall victim to the sociopath.