In a world full of fears, perhaps the worst one a human being should have is that to be afraid of his fellow man.
The human that should be most feared is the one that has Anti-Social Personality Disorder or in laymen’s terms the psychopath.
The psychopath is probably the most deviant mind that exists and treatment is not very successful because there is not a cure or drug to control it. The solution in my mind to control the problem of sociopaths is to let them live in colonies with each other. Through my research I will develop an understanding of this personality disorder and convince you the reader that my solution might be a viable solution.
The sociopath is a combination of other mental illnesses that are incurred in childhood as a result of heredity, trauma and the lack of emotional development. The lack of moral or emotional development which gives a sociopath a lack of understanding for other people’s feelings which enables them to be deceitful without feeling bad about whatever they do.
The under developed emotional system as explained in the video “The World of Personality Disorders volume 5” says the sociopath is “emotionally retarded”. The sociopathic behavior problems that start as a child have links to heredity, a family with a pre-disposition to perform crimes, alcoholic parents that do crimes, irresponsible behavior that persists and parents that do not discipline. The child that will eventually be a sociopath exhibits certain feeling inside that they are inadequate, shamed and because of that they are teased and made fun of. The child characteristics of a future sociopath consist of being incapable of following the rules. The youngster will skip school, bully, steal, torment animals, run away from home and the child is likely to develop Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. At an earlier age than their peer group the child will smoke drink, do drugs, and become sexually active. The diagnoses of Anti-Social Personality Disorder is not used for people under the age of 18.
The psychopath is defined in the dictionary as a person suffering from especially a severe mental disorder with aggressive antisocial behavior which is a nice way of saying a really bad and mean person. There are many characteristics of a sociopath and each sociopath has their own special traits. A sociopath gets great gratification in the act of hurting someone for absolutely no reason. The behavior of a sociopath is so close to normal it is extremely hard to diagnose.
A sociopath is a person that acts against society and their sole purpose it seems is to act against the laws of the given land their end. The sociopath will in most cases become violent and abuse drugs and alcohol to facilitate the violent behavior. The violence in many cases is the result of subconcious decisions that might lead to murdering or assaulting someone for no reason. When a sociopath is attacking someone they will inflict more pain if the victim fights back.
The lack of moral development lets the person feel no guilt or pain for what they did and quite possibly feel great about their actions. A sociopath has little self regard for themselves and pays little attention to their own personal safety when picking fights. Quite often they will be outsized and get hurt. Some sociopaths are non-violent and stay out of prison by doing small crimes like swindling and insurance fraud. It is possible that a sociopath will come from a normal home but their are more that do not. A sociopath has the opposite morals of society and by doing things like beating up people that are stronger than them they feel like they did something positive.
A psychopath is very reactive and will blow their cool because of little things and no doubt assault the person they are reacting to. There is a possibility that serotonin, a chemical that is linked to behavior, has something to do with the disorder but is not the major cause. The type 2 male sociopath drinks heavily no matter what, has a history of frequent fights and arrests, they are impulsive risk takers, curious, excitable, quick tempered, optimistic and independent.
· be glib or superficial
· have a grandiose self image
· be deceitful or manipulative
· lack of remorse
· lack of empathy
· be impulsive
· be irresponsible
· be easily angered or frustrated
· have serious problems as a child or teenager
· shows callous unconcern from other’s feelings
· disregard social norms or the rights of other people
· be unable to maintain enduring relationships
· be incapable of experiencing guilt
· blame others or rationalize antisocial behavior
· be constantly irritable
The antisocial tends to have short lasting relationships if they are capable of having a relationship. The psychopath is incapable of having long lasting, close, warm and responsible relationships with people. The adult will habitually lie and cannot hold a job for long.
The sociopath can seem charming in superficial social interactions but repeatedly hurt, anger, exploit, cheat, rob, harass or injure them. The actions a psychopath no matter what laws they break, whoever they hurt, whatever trouble they have to deal with they do not feel bad. When a sociopath is punished they have no feeling of regret because no matter how cruel or selfish the behavior is they feel it is justified. People like us give the sociopath little sympathy because they hurt people so bad, but their illness is recognized as somewhat of an explanation of why they do it. The idea of the disorder is no excuse for their behavior that results from it.
The sociopath is very intelligent and knows how to manipulate people into thinking they are normal and that is when they work their magic. Beneath the mask of sanity a sociopath is full of tension, hostility, irritability, rage, emptiness and sadness at the core of the sociopathic personality. When they hurt a person a sociopath might think he had it coming or I’m watching out for number 1.
Those sociopaths with children neglect them and do not keep them safe. As a spouse the sociopath can be glib, superficial, manipulative, dishonest, abusive and unfaithful. The sociopath tends to borrow, squander and not repay the money they owe. Many sociopaths never settle down for any period of time, they will travel without aim looking for jobs or whatever they need and get it by doing anything. A sociopath may look tough and resilient but is very fragile and can erupt very easily. The diagnoses of a sociopath or psychopath is very difficult and has to meet several criteria in order to get that diagnoses.
Diagnoses as explained in Caring for the Mind is based on “a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others, occurring since the age of fifteen, as indicated by at least three of the following”:
- failure to conform to the social norms for lawful behavior, as indicated by repeatedly performing illegal acts that are grounds for arrest
- deceitfulness, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure
- impulsivity and failure to plan ahead
- irritability and aggressive, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults
- reckless disregard for safety of self or others
- consistent irresponsibility as indicated by failure to keep a job or honor financial obligations
- lack of remorse, as indicated by indifference or rationalizations for having hurt, mistreated or stolen from others
Anti-Social Personality Disorder is found in as much as 75% of the prison population. Alcohol is a contributing cause or consequence of being antisocial. People that are both antisocial and alcoholic are prone to violent behavior, but not every antisocial becomes a criminal.
An antisocial person’s disorder peaks between the ages of 24 and 44 and drops off sharply after that. After the age of 30 the sociopath fights less and performs less crime but the illness can persist into the ages of between 60 and 70 but after 30 are less likely to be in trouble with the law. In a sociopaths in their thirties will continue to have problems such as unstable relationships, substance abuse, impulsiveness, poor temper control and failure to honor financial obligations.
In our population 3% of all men have Anti-Social Personality Disorder and 1% of all women in the overall population have it. The ratio of men to women is 4 to 1.
Identical twins are several times more likely to have a personality disorder compared to fraternal twins. A genetic link strongest in anti-social disorder has a pattern of irresponsible behavior 5 times more common amongst close relatives of anti-social men than in the general population.
Some people with a genetic link to alcoholism have a genetic link to anti-social personality disorder too. Male relatives of people with Somatization Disorder have a higher incidence of anti-social personality disorder (somatization – begins in the teens to twenties and consists of chronic physical problems and complaints).
Sociopaths with a history of substance abuse and criminal behavior fit Münchausen Syndrome (Münchausen is the extreme type of fictitious disorder which symptoms are lying, falsification and pathological lying).
Sociopaths also have a tendency to have a non-psychiatric condition that is called malingering which is the production of grossly exaggerated symptoms for a specific illness or problem for the purpose of winning legal action or things like committing insurance fraud or basically anything they have to lie to get.
The sociopath is a bundle of problems that could come from any part of life and they are very hard to handle. If a person is diagnosed with Anti-Social Personality Disorder is very hard to treat and there is no cure for their behavior. Because the disorder remits in the thirties, it tends to be less obvious. Those that are forced into psychotherapy cannot tolerate the intimacy of the required therapy. The therapist has to focus on enhancing strength, channel the sensation of seeking actions on people into more positive socially responsible behaviors and to teach practical ways in dealing with every day frustration.
Medications are not recommended in the treatment of sociopath, but drugs can diminish the violent episodes. People with Anti-Social Personality Disorder also have Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder and stimulants are used to treat that such as Ritalin. There are no long term results to study of this approach of using stimulants but they should not be prescribed unless the person is specifically diagnosed with AD/HD and has not responded to other medication. The use of drugs cannot be abused and should be closely monitored.
Those that are convicted of crimes are usually incarcerated. Some sociopaths may be able to instead of a jail term choose a residential facility that has counseling but there is a high drop out rate in those facilities.
Another alternative to jail for the adolescents with delinquent behavior and are in trouble with the law are wilderness programs that are designed to be like Outward Bound. The camps much like that in the T.V. show Neon Rider provide difficult and dangerous challenges that would keep their minds busy. The success of the wilderness camps is not quite clear.
There is a disorder called borderline that is often misdiagnosed as Anti-Social Personality Disorder which is quite similar to it. Borderline Disorder is a little bit more aggressive than Antisocial.
Characteristics of Borderline Disorder
Violating the rights of others and age appropriate societal norms or rules with at least three of the following in the past 6 months and one in the last 12:
- often bullying, threatening, or intimidating others
- often initiating fights
- use of a weapon that can cause serious physical harm to others (bat, brick, broken bottle, gun, knife)
- physical cruelty and aggression to people and animals
- stealing in a confrontation with victim (mugging, purse snatching, extortion, armed robbery)
- forcing someone into sexual activity
- destruction of property – deliberate fire setting with intention to cause serious damage
- deliberate destruction of other’s property in other ways
- theft, breaking into someone’s house, car, building
- deceitfulness, frequent lying to get goods, favors and avoid obligations
- stealing items of non-trivial value without confronting the victim, forgery, shoplifting
- serious violation of the rules – often staying out all night despite parental rules that begin before the age of 13
- running away from home at least twice (once not returning for a lengthy period)
- frequent truancy from school · significant impairment in functioning socially at school or work · in individuals 18 or older but symptoms don’t meet criteria for Anti-Social Disorder
The diagnoses of a sociopath is extremely difficult because they have so many mental problems to contend with the complete diagnoses might not occur. The possibility of being diagnosed with something similar to being a sociopath is quite great and this point should be stressed with relationship between Borderline and Anti-Social Disorder. The inability to diagnose and treat properly leads me to believe that there is not a clear solution as to how the general population should react and treat these severely troubled people. This is a disorder that blinds the emotions and actions the sociopath which in no way is their fault for having it. Although the disorder is not the given sociopath’s fault there is no real place for a sociopath in our society.
Because sociopaths hurt us, I believe that once diagnosed with the disorder that all sociopaths should be sent to some kind of controlled colony that would run like a normal city or town except all it’s residents would be sociopaths. I come to this solution as almost a way to remove them from society and treat the people in a way to. By having sociopaths colonized together with all the parts of a normal society it would be good for them because the only people the could hurt or manipulate would be their fellow sociopath.
The sociopath would be constantly bored with average person and sometimes causing them to hurt the average person when if! they were caused to interact with fellow sociopaths it would keep them interested because it is not as easy to manipulate or con. The possibility of violence in my colony is great but the sociopaths would not mind because it is in their personality and it would serve us better if they killed or hurt each other rather than us. In closing, the sociopath is so hard to deal with, we should make strides to control their behavior in public.
Wing , John Kenneth, Reasoning About Madness, Oxford Press, Oxford, 1978
Milt, Harry ,Basic Handbook on Mental Ilness, Scribner, New York , 1974
Hales, Dianne,Caring for the Mind, Bantam Books , New York , 1995
Salama M.D., Aziz A.,The Antisocial Personality, The Psychiatric Journal of the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, 1988
Malaney M. D. , Kathleen R., Patients with Antisocial Personality Disorder, Post Graduate Medicine, 1992
Unknown, unknown, Psychopathic Patients Pose Dilemma For Physicians and Society, CMAJ, 1995
Hare Ph.D., Robert, Predators, Psycology Today, Feb. 1994
Hill, Heather, Monsters In Our Midst, Homemaker’s Magazine, Oct. 1995
VIDEO The World of Abnormal Psychology Personality Disorder