Can a Sociopath Be Cured?

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by Principessa, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. Principessa

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    I was watching The View on Monday. Mary Jo Buttafuoco was a guest and she described her now, ex-husband Joey as having been a sociopath. However, she didn't know it until years after his mistress Amy Fisher, shot her in the head. Shari said, "but I remember seeing you two at a comedy club like 10 years ago, and he was the life of the party, but I do remember looking at you and thinking this woman is not having a good time." Mary Jo said, that was Joey, always Mr. Charisma, always the life of the party. He could care less about anyone else as long as he was happy.

    I always thought a sociopath was easy to identify because they looked and behaved like the villains on Law and Order: Criminal Intent or SVU. :yup: Apparently a sociopath can be normal looking, even handsome, educated, and charming. Looking back on my truly, disasterous dating past I kinda wonder if one or two men I dated weren't sociopaths?:eek:

    As skanky and sleazy as Joey Buttafuoco is, he isn't a killer.

    Apparently the politically correct term for a sociopath is now anti-social personality disorder.
    Antisocial personality disorder
    Diagnostic criteria

    Three or more of the following are required:[1]
    1. Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
    2. Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
    3. Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead;
    4. Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
    5. Reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
    6. Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
    7. Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.
    The antisocial behavior must not occur exclusively during an episode of schizophrenia or a manic episode.[3]Deceit and manipulation are considered essential features of the disorder. Therefore, it is essential in making the diagnosis to collect material from sources other than the individual being diagnosed.

    So my question is this: Can a sociopath be cured via therapy and medication? :confused:
     
    #1 Principessa, Jul 29, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2009
  2. Phil Ayesho

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    No, NJ- A sociopath is far worse than ASPD.
    For example- true sociopaths do not exhibit impulsively. Quite the opposite, they plan very effectively and often quite elaborately.

    And sociopathy is a term pretty much reserved for those who act out violently with little regard for others.

    Ted Bundy was a sociopath.
    So was Dahmer.

    And the thing about true sociopaths is that they are almost impossible to tell from ordinary, gregarious people.


    And no- they can not be cured.
    An utter lack of empathy is a developmental fault that can not be overcome.
     
  3. StraightDave

    StraightDave New Member

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    "A sociopath is far worse than ASPD.
    For example- true sociopaths do not exhibit impulsively. Quite the opposite, they plan very effectively and often quite elaborately."

    Only 3 of the descripters are needed for diagnosis. Antisocial person doesn't HAVE to be impulsive.

    "And sociopathy is a term pretty much reserved for those who act out violently with little regard for others."

    I don't know if I agree with this. A lot of sociopaths commit more minor crimes like burglary. The person who stole your car right off the street could be a sociopath. The guy you saw on the news who conned an elderly woman out of her life savings could be a sociopath. The person in your office who took credit for your idea and laughed all the way to the bank could actually be a sociopath. Don't have to be some sadistic, bloodthirsty serial killer to be a sociopath. There's a LOT more of these types of people out there then most of us would like to think.

    Here's an example of what I'm talking about...

    YouTube - Dumbest Girls Ever Steal Girl Scout Money (raw interview)

    These girls are sociopaths. Although perhaps the fact that the first girl has been arrested for domestic battery shows that Phil is on to something. I guess what I'd say is that sociopaths definitely have an inclination to act out violently, afterall they don't give a damn about what happens to others. However, that doesn't mean they WILL commit violence. If they can get what they want without that, then they will.

    Being a sociopath doesn't mean you have some drive to hurt people. It just means you don't give a shit if you do.
     
  4. B_Bonky

    B_Bonky New Member

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    whoops, I have anti social personality disorder

    o__O
     
  5. B_dxjnorto

    B_dxjnorto New Member

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    Probably war brings sociopaths out of the woodwork. They can do what they want to without the bothersome consequences.
     
  6. Irish

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    Not a correction, but more of an elaboration on this comment...

    Some evolutionary psychologists think psychopaths and sociopaths are a sort of slight mutation to fill a niche roll. Not exactly the kindest example, but think of remoras (the fish that swim along underneath sharks and other oceanic predators eating the scraps). Sociopaths and psychopaths prey on other people by manipulating, lying, and exploiting them. The lack of empathy and conscience is what makes this possible.

    It's not just a developmental issue, it's not like mommy and daddy didn't raise them to be aware of the feelings of others; the brain is just straight up "wired" differently. Sociopaths and psychopaths have a distinctly different mental construct, and their mirror cells (the neurons responsible for empathy) simply don't fire the circumstances that most people's do.

    Edit: Forgot to mention the "blending in" part.

    Most sociopaths/psychopaths are eerily good at blending into a crowd or even standing out in a good way. A lot of the same qualities we look for in great leaders are widely exhibited by these types of individuals. Making the "tough choices" is outstandingly easy if you don't actually care about the people who get hurt. One learns to fake empathy so as not to attract unwanted attention. Even if one cannot feel what another feels, pattern recognition can serve one very well when it comes to knowing what to expect from different people.

    dxjnorto: War wouldn't do as much as you think to bring these guys out. One has almost nothing to gain personally by serving in war. The greed typically outweighs the desire for freedom (from much of anything). And getting to shoot at someone from a few hundred feet hardly has the sort of personal feeling a serial killer type would be looking for.
     
    #6 Irish, Jul 29, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2009
  7. mandoman

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    The ones in my family never get cured. They just find subtler ways to present themselves, so that to the public, they appear normal, until the fangs come out.
     
  8. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    I don't believe so. And worst, they're often nearly impossible to detect.
     
  9. B_Bonky

    B_Bonky New Member

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    look up "dark triad"
     
  10. Kayden96

    Kayden96 New Member

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    Wow... according to that list, I'm ASPD. Maybe I can give up work and live off welfare because I have a neurological condition.
     
  11. ZOS23xy

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    Along the lines of sociopaths are borderline personalities who often "morph" their personalities to allow them to be with another, absorbing all nuances and interests. These people will instantly look another way when someone else more interesting or with money or offerings enters the scene.

    I've met a few. Hard to detect, hard to get them to understand what's at stake.
     
  12. Dave NoCal

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    Some theorists have proposed that people with personalitiy disorders have "core pathogenic beliefs." That is core beliefs about the nature of life and relationships are the center of their psychopathology. Why they have these beliefs is another matter. Sociopaths have a core belief that life is made up of winners and chumps. Regardless of how much of a train wreck their lives are, they still believe they fall into the winner category. Chumps, within this cognitive framework, deserve to be exploited. It seems to me that another core pathogenic belief of this group is that there is no such thing as altruism. The corrolary is that no will give you anything of value, to have anything you have to take it.
    Lower functioning sociopaths live in short-term scams (rob a liquor store, drive drunk, beat sooemone up) and spend a lot of their lives in contact with the criminal justice system. Higher functioning sociopaths tend to live by long-term scam (swindling, embezzlement, going into politics) and may avoid the criminal justice system entirely. However, the damage they cause is probably greater.
    In my opinion, neither type is treatable.
    Dave
     
  13. B_Bonky

    B_Bonky New Member

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    I like your analysis Dave.
     
  14. Dave NoCal

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    Thanks, Bonky. It's borrowed from others.
    Dave
     
  15. B_dxjnorto

    B_dxjnorto New Member

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    Good comments Irish. I didn't mean they would enlist though, but I can see how that could happen too, like the death squads in Sierra Leone and Rwanda. I just mean when social controls are relaxed or forgotten, sociopaths may break cover to collect on old vendettas or simply to enjoy and contribute to the general mayhem. I often wonder how things can get so screwed up. Sociopaths can't be cured, but can they be created? Probably.
     
  16. B_Bonky

    B_Bonky New Member

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    You have to define "cured" as well.

    What's wrong in one culture might be very right in another.

    For example, in most cultures, blowing shit up is considered wrong. But if you're a jihadist, not only is it very right, but if you die doing it you go straight to heaven.

    Culture defines morality. Cultures are different. Morality changes from time to time and place to place.
     
  17. Principessa

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    I may be way off base, but I thought situations like the death squads in Sierra Leone and Rwanda would be more likely to create a Borderline Personality Disorder than a sociopath. :confused:

    Psychiatrists used to say that BPD was often caused by a major traumatic event at an early age. They used to assume it was a sexual assault or molestation. :mad: However, in recent years they have found that other equally traumatic events such as abandonment at an early age, or witnessing atrocities such as the wars in Bosnia, Sierra Leone, and Rwanda can cause Borderline Personality Disorder.
     
  18. B_dxjnorto

    B_dxjnorto New Member

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    BPD is mild I think. I may be splitting hairs, but I say sociopaths can be created.
     
  19. Irish

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    You're right, dxjnorto; sociopathy is not necessarily a condition one is born with. It's hard to differentiate sociopathy and psychopathy; many use the terms interchangeably and there is still debate amongst the professionals in the fields as to what each one is. However, some people are more experty than others. :p

    Dr. Robert Hare (probably the most knowledgable in regards to the subject) and others are coming to consensus that psychopaths are, for the most part, born that way while sociopaths are created. Genetic predisposition and environment each play a part in both disorders, but psychopathy leans towards hereditary factors and sociopathy leans towards environmental factors.

    The end result is certainly similar: a totally different type of mental construct from what most people have, and an inability to empathize. Most of the other issues seem to stem from the lack of empathy or the narcissism that is also so closely linked with those classified as either.

    I am highly amused by this topic.
     
  20. Irish

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    I think one could define curing a sociopath by enabling them to empathize. It's not a matter of being totally amoral, it's an inability to empathize, feel emotions or remorse, and control one's impulses - among other things.

    Most Mujahideen - and most criminals, for that matter - do not actually qualify as sociopaths. The strong emotional beliefs of a Mujahid damn near throws them out of the category right off the bat.
     
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