Decisionbase
 

MyTherapy Communities (Discussion Forums)


Welcome Message
Registration Tutorial
Nickname:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?


 All Forums
 General Discussion Topics About Psychopaths
 General Discussion: How To Survive A Psychopath
 Surviving A Psychopath (Sociopath)
Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic  Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 10

Administrator
Administrator

12081 Posts
Gratitude: 2326
Very caringVery wiseVery funnyVery honestI agree

Posted - 02/11/2007 :  22:15:24  Show Profile  Visit Administrator's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Dear Members,

Many of you have written elsewhere about the emotional damage done to you from living with a psychopath (formerly termed "sociopath"). A psychopath is defined as one who lacks empathy, guilt, remorse, and a feeling of responsibility. Thus the psychopath is the exact opposite of the depressed individual (who often suffers from excessive guilt, remorse and feelings of responsibility).

There is an excellent description of a psychopath's behavior at:

http://www.lovefraud.com/01_whatsaSociopath/key_symptoms_sociopath.html



Given the harm that psychopaths do to others; it is easy to just judge them as "evil" and not consider that this disorder may have an underlying biological cause.

Recent research has shown that psychopaths may have abnormal functioning in the parts of their brains that control emotion. There are excellent reviews of this at:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=16712954&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=16492259&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

Our very compassionate member, David, alluded to psychopaths having such a biologically-based disorder in an earlier discussion. If you have ever lived with a psychopath, you will eventually conclude that there must be something desperately wrong in the way their brain functions. How can a normal person not feel guilt, remorse or responsibility?

Research on antisocial personality disorder suggests that about half of this disorder has an environmental causation, and the other half has a genetic causation:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=16291212&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

A very important research finding is that women are much less likely to be psychopaths than men:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=16333808&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

Early research suggested that the treatment of psychopaths actually made them worse. This research argued that psychotherapy just gave the psychopath new ways to justify their behavior (e.g., "I learned that my behavior is all due to my terrible childhood", etc.). More recent research has concluded that we just don't know if treatment helps or harms psychopaths:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=15176755&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

However, there is a consensus amongst mental health professionals. Namely, if you are in a relationship with a psychopath, leave. There is no way whereby a normal individual can happily live with another individual who does not feel guilt, remore or responsibility. Remember, this advice is valid only if the other individual is truly a psychopath (that is, the individual has the majority of items listed in R. Hare's Psychopathy Checklist-Revised).

Since this topic has received many posts elsewhere; I believe it should be given its own forum here.

Thus I would welcome hearing if your mental health problems were related to dealing with a psychopath.

Phil Long M.D.
Administrator


Go to Top of Page

lynn2150
Super Incredible Member (10000+ posts)

21265 Posts
Gratitude: 10154
Very caringVery wiseVery funnyVery honestI agree

Posted - 02/11/2007 :  22:33:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Bloody scarey !
I think I may have dated a sociopath, he had a lot of those traits.
Anyone else here meet one ?

If people offer their help or wisdom as you go through life, accept it gratefully. You can learn much from those who have gone before you.- Edmund O'Neill
Go to Top of Page

stigmastomper
Super Incredible Member (10000+ posts)

21997 Posts
Gratitude: 11727
Very caringVery wiseVery funnyVery honestI agree

Posted - 02/16/2007 :  04:10:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
my step father was a sociopath and a pedophille he is dead today. he enjoyed tormenting me . we all over come our pasts but the memories cannot be over come . to say im not angry about the past would be untrue to say i will hurt others or permit anger or my past to hurt those close to me is ludicris. society exists because we take our animal side and use it constructively, displace it as society does through some ritual. there is knowing onesself,knowing oneself as socialized, and knowing the ideal. and as you know i have thought attention,concentration disorders so a thought is not me , like it is for those with my physical differences ,and the negative things that happened to me and around me ,is there really a differece ?. [yes in a way].i get thoughts that if i didnt understand myself and society to the dgree i do , i'd kill myself to get rid of. and while i know i will not hurt anyone ,EVER. because i had behavioural problems as a young boy part of my consciousness is afraid that i will, but consider the disabilities and stufff i had to over come and that i have gifts . to not have internalized mechanisms to control abberant behaviour and thought would have been folly. they say we take in our abuser well im informing them that i'am not like him and i'm more than the sum of my parts and experencies. but sometimes just possesing knolledge is a burden. i think that part of deppression etc i hate most is having the consciousness and conscience ,empathy it brings. how can you individuate if you can identify with everyones as in someway however abstractly considered through some part of yourself. that is what i struggle with. but that iam a good and healthy man who would not hurt anyone i know for a fact is true.
but the thoughts i get torment me even though i know .the reasons for these. a word to all who read this i'am a very,very,very,deep thinker and complex personality. and an creative and abstract thinker so dont underestimate my intelligence and stero type or try to pigeon whole me. as if they know my abilities ,disabilities as abilities etc then they would realize that i have


abilities that they may not.
but i doubt i'll have that problem here as the people here are quite deep thinkers themselves and not at all ,superficial. though we all have our masks. yes dr.long it messes with my head .and emoitionally it hurts me though not like it once did as that i'am on meds ,i am now capable of forgetting and easialy modereating my emotions
Go to Top of Page

e-pea
Incredible Member (2000+ posts)

5919 Posts
Gratitude: 1628
Very caringVery wiseVery honestI agree

Posted - 02/17/2007 :  06:39:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
I don't think i really understand this disorder completely.

Is it possible for an adult sociopath to recover?

is this chemical or is it a product of conditioning or what?

I'm not sure if i have met a severe one. i have definitely met people who were perfect imitations of art, not art itself if that makes sense.

i had one boyfriend who was abusive but so was his father and it definitely affected him strongly.. at least I think it did.. now that i read that i don't really know.. I began to see what he was and it just sort of registered that i had to leave so i told him i was leaving. he lost it completely and attacked me (he had never really been violent before) He didn't hurt me at all but he jumped on me, and then chased me to the back room where i called the police. I called 911 and just left the phone off the hook and the cops came. but i think he could feel and empathize.. i just think he had no control over what he felt or how he reacted but now i have no idea. he broke the restraining order once only and didn't show up for his hearing. I couldn't drop the charges because once the police are called (where i live) the province charges the offender and the victim is a witness. They ask you if you want to but they still charge him. They just wantto know how you feel i guess..

i am not afraid of him really. he said I ruined his life by calling the police. i kind of did because that's a serious thing to have on record. i don't think he lives here anymore and I don't care really but i think i have spotted hima few times and once i think he in my neighbourhood and i was pretty pissed off. he was on a bike and i was with my friend and she was actually the one who recognized him and told me. this was over a year ago and i haven't seen him since and didn't really see him then. i get upset at his existence if i think i see him but otherwise, try very hard to forget him.

i was lucky because i didn't stay. my life got only better after he was gone from it. If your partner hurts you consistently, leave, whether you feel they are a true sociopath or not. Now. I promise, their doom and gloom at what you will be without them is hot air and nothing else.

This town; My prison cell - my fortress
Go to Top of Page

firebird
Amazing Member (1000+ posts)

1555 Posts
Gratitude: 619
Very caringVery wiseVery honest

Posted - 02/23/2007 :  13:42:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Wow!, Thank you Dr Long, I just discovered this section over here and will be taking a look at these articles you posted. I grew up with a parent who I belived was a socio-path of some sort. As a kid I had instincts that told me something was wrong and I had to step very carefully.
Go to Top of Page

rock
Full Member (100+ posts)

146 Posts
Gratitude: 35

Posted - 04/28/2007 :  22:59:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Dr. Long,

Thank you for sharing this information with us...and yes, my mental illness is the result of being under the control of a manipulating, abusive individual who displays many of the characteristics of a sociopath.

Go to Top of Page

riverside
Starting Member

6 Posts
Gratitude: 4

Posted - 04/29/2007 :  21:19:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
I was involved with a sociopath/psychopath for eight hard years. He was brilliant, witty, adventurous, and at first seemed the man of my dreams. His ability to mirror my wants and desires was lovely at first and he was so quick to fall head over heels. Eight years later
He has had me falsely arrested for assault, convinced many people that I am insane and violent, slandered me to workmates and friends,
cheated on me frequently, maintained relationships with at least two other women for years (intimately), and defrauded me of about one hundred thousand dollars (minimal estimate). Most of this happened in the last year where pressure built up as I became frustrated and fed up with his self absorption, grandiosity and failure to obtain employment. I know now that he prefers this parasitic lifestyle, evn though he said for four years that he wanted to get work.
I became unable to work because of lack of self esteem and the constant battery of his criticism and verbal abuse. He became quite paranoid as I talked about wanting out and he though I was going to harm his family heirlooms. He also thought I was homocidal and suicidal and so he took his guns out of the house. Not before telling several people including my psychologist that he was doing this. I WAS becoming unhinged by all this and by his constantly telling me that I was insane and incompetent. Later I was assessed by a psychologist as having a stable personality but suffering from PTSD. This is no small thing. I was terribly traumatized and thought of committing suicide many times.
I found out he was having internet affairs with two women and maybe
more.On the day he left I found out he was having an affair with a woman in a city 2000 miles away. His frequent trips away from home were probably to meet her. He had set up an apartment and the plan was made well ahead of leaving. On the day he left he had me arrested, In my province if a spouse calls to say they were assaulted then the assaulter is automatically arrested. So I had to get a lawyer at great cost so that I would not lose my professional credentials. As well, it is a small town and several people just seemed to know about it.
I think he planned to keep me on the side for several reasons but I started to be a detective and found out what was going on. For several months he claimed they were just friends. I knew this was not true as I found several of their emails.
The slander has been really aweful and I have thought of moving. RIght now I am barely recovering with the help of medication and therapy. I have joined al anon as well and find the support group good in every way.
My ex fits every criteria of Dr. Hares description of a psychopath. I would say that while his supply was intact he was an eccentric difficult man. WHen I began to have boundaries and told him to get a job or get out, then he became a nightmare of revenge. I asked him what he would like to do and he said,
I would like to be a forger. I really like to study how to make fake documents and ink etc. I would be good at that. He was completely serious.
There were times when he mask would slip and the real person would come through. This was a calculator who took pleasure in pulling one over on someone. He had a Tee hee hee attitude about it. Gleeful. I ignored this one to many times I guess. Looking back I think I was in huge denial. Any time I tried to come out of denial and set boundaries, he would bully and badger me and withold affection and or leave so I was skillfully managed until the point where I just could not stand it. Some survival instinct clicked in my head and said NO MORE>
It was not easy to separate. I went through extreme withdrawl even though it had been bad in many way. I missed his charm and the bright star that he wss sometimes. However, his shadow side was very dard indeed.
This is written six months later. Thanks for listening.
Go to Top of Page

Niney
Incredible Member (2000+ posts)

2393 Posts
Gratitude: 657
Very caringVery wiseVery honest

Posted - 04/30/2007 :  16:08:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Riverside:
I know exactly what you're talking about. I just read the information on psychopaths and realise my ex-husband fits every criteria. I'm glad you got out. I did too, but only after 16 years and having 3 children with him.
I am so sorry for the hell he put you through. I hope that with help you will be able to put your life back together and realise that you are not the person that he told you that you were but rather a strong, intelligent and gifted woman that can make it on her own. I am glad to see you are getting therapy.
I know what you mean about missing the good side of him. They can be so charming and witty. But we have to remember that it was all for a purpose - to get what they wanted. I just have to think of how my ex has treated by daughters and my good thoughts quickly pass. Someone once told me that I had to remember that he came as a complete package - the good and the bad. You can't separate them.
I wish you all the best as you build a new - and better - life for yourself.

Niney

"Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards."
Kahlil Gibran
Go to Top of Page

Trish.
Super Member (250+ posts)

734 Posts
Gratitude: 177

Posted - 05/05/2007 :  09:56:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
How can you tell the difference between genuine remorse/guilt and fake remorse/guilt ? All of your discriptions sounds like my son but he tells me he is sorry and it looks genuine, however he will do the same thing within days of telling me he is sorry and when I ask him why he will just say 'I dont know' seem angry at himself or lie (he lies alot over everything and is good at it) and say sorry again.

All the other symptoms fit.

Trish.
Go to Top of Page

Niney
Incredible Member (2000+ posts)

2393 Posts
Gratitude: 657
Very caringVery wiseVery honest

Posted - 05/05/2007 :  14:06:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Trish,
I think you can tell the remorse is not genuine by the fact that he does the same thing again within days. If he was genuinely sorry for his actions, you would see an attempt to change. Words are cheap. You know if someone means what they say by their actions. At least that's my opinion.

Niney

"Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards."
Kahlil Gibran
Go to Top of Page

Trish.
Super Member (250+ posts)

734 Posts
Gratitude: 177

Posted - 05/06/2007 :  04:29:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
I guess its hard for a mum to admit a child might be really ill and with an illness that will only do himself and others harm. He was on the phone to me this morning and I asked him if he was sorry for any of the things he had done over the years and he said, not really no some of them yes like taking your dvd player but not the others no, I said what about the money you took off nan ? He said well yeah that too.

He sounds genuine to me but I know given the need again he will/would do the same I am sure. This is very upsetting.

Trish.
Go to Top of Page

Niney
Incredible Member (2000+ posts)

2393 Posts
Gratitude: 657
Very caringVery wiseVery honest

Posted - 05/06/2007 :  09:09:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Trish:
Being a mom myself my heart goes out to you. I know the love a mom has for her kids and that she only wants good things for them. It's the hardest thing to admit that your child needs help. And this kind of disorder is very difficult to help because they often don't see that they need help. My hope is that you will be able to help him to see that his actions are not okay, that he is hurting others and himself and that he will get help. I hope you will continue to come here for support. My thoughts are with you.

Niney

"Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards."
Kahlil Gibran
Go to Top of Page

Trish.
Super Member (250+ posts)

734 Posts
Gratitude: 177

Posted - 05/06/2007 :  09:49:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Thank you Niney.

Trish.
Go to Top of Page

Rip
Starting Member

2 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2007 :  14:56:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Dear PhilLongMD,

I am new here, so perhaps I should introduce myself briefly. For some four years now I work in a group that is completed dominated by a person who is perfoming very poorly but has full support of the boss of the group. No matter what she does, the boss will back her. This has led four excellent people leaving the group, all of them very traumatized even after a long period of time (over one year or so). I am still part of this group, desperately applying for any vacancies I could possibly fit into, have spent more time sick last year than at work because of the situation... I was never sick before this group.

Now, what I wish to ask is if I could share my experiences with others here? I have written down what has happened in detail, over several years and from two points of view: My interpretation of how the narcistic / psychopathic person experienced it and a draft for official complaint of the situation as perceived from my point of view.

Best,
Rip
Go to Top of Page

Stefanya
Starting Member

3 Posts
Gratitude: 1

Posted - 06/19/2007 :  19:04:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
I'm new here but not new to the heartaches of struggling to raise a Psychopath.
And then just when things couldn't get any more painful, my daughter disappeared into what appears to be Sociopathy. She lost her loving and human feelings for me and turned cold and calculating, abusive and abrasive, controlling and dominating.

All I have of the daughter I loved and the one who once loved me is memories and hurtful longing.
I'm truly a traumatized mother who's love for her children has been brutally smothered. I feel as if life has mugged me and left me by the side of the road. My grief, my heartache, my anger at the injustice that life dishes out, and subsequent depression knows no end.
I've lost both my children and nothing can hurt more to a mother.

Sadly, My husband and I have made the difficult decision to move to another part of the country. The decision to stay and continue trying to climb the insurmountable walls would have jeopardized both our sanity and destroyed our health. It feels like a horrible nightmare that neither my husband nor I can wake from. To spend our entire lives loving and catering to our children only to have them turn into cold blooded Psychopaths and Sociopaths is too much for our hearts to take.

When I started my family, I used to believe that all one needed was love, goodwill, emotional honesty, kindness,patience and the rest would evolve as it should.
Today, I don't know what it is I'm feeling, "IF" I'm feeling at all.
All I know is the ache in my heart is unbearable and my own ability to feel love is now in question. I feel my life has been robbed. I guess that goes with expereincing the traumatic stress that I did over the painful losses. Something inside me died I think.

Deeply grieving mother
Go to Top of Page

survivor2007
Starting Member

8 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2007 :  21:28:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Hi riverside. My sp does almost all the same things you said about yours. His charm is what kept me with him. I am currently out of town on business with him and he has broken up with me Friday night after we had an arguement about why I felt I shouldn't have to put gas in his car if I wanted to drive it. Mind you he owns his own business and drives a Mercedes Benz and still thinks I should put gas in his car. First of all it isn't a bad thing to put gas in his car but he is telling me that if I feel I should put gas in his car I don't deserve to be with him. I work with him and he also makes me pay room and board to live in his house. I can see contributing but room and board I know he is just sick. I had to pay for my own hotel room and he says he will reimburse me the cost after he gets his big check. I just couldn't be around him and go to work with him all week. It cost me 300 plus dollers to stay a week. He wouldn't pay for it up front. Meanwhile I am getting thrown out of his house when i get back, I don't have my car anymore and he hasn't given me any money for months for working. Now it's time for him to pay up and he doesn't want to. It is going to be hard to get the money that I need so bad but I think he will pay me. He has never kept money from me before. I don't trust him for sure now so I know he isn't going to do anything nice going forward.
Another situation is that we currently work out of the home some of the time and we have an employee working there too and in the meantime I have to get ready to move out while she may be there. It is so painful and hard to deal with. I want to stay at his house to make sure I get the money I earned (or at least some of it) before I leave but the worker will be there and I won't be working? She won't understand that?? I don't know what to do. I want this over but I need my money. I am afraid if I leave before he gets it I will never see the money. My family says I should stay there until I get it. I don't know what to do.

Go to Top of Page
Page: of 10 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
Jump To:
MyTherapy Communities © MyTherapy Go To Top Of Page
TotalTodayYesterday
Topics: 35920
Posts: 321811
New Topics: 4
New Posts: 60
New Topics: 9
New Posts: 78
Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.05