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#1 of 21 Old 12-08-2008, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone have any knowlege or experience with this diagnosis? (Not for me, thank God. )
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#2 of 21 Old 12-08-2008, 03:02 PM
 
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I've known someone who was not diagnosed but had every sign of it.

"Run" is all I can really think to say.

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#3 of 21 Old 12-08-2008, 03:13 PM
 
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I do not have personal exerience with it that I know of. It is one of the personality disorders- Antisocial Personality Disorder, I believe, and it is pretty much impossible to have a healthy or safe realtionship with someone with this diagnosis. Personality disorders are thought to be brought on by nurture (as opposed to nature) but there may be a genetic or nutritional deficiency element that helps to create a risk for it, or trigger it. I believe that all personality disorders are triggered by a lack of adequate attachment in young children-- although, of course, not all children who lack adequate attachment in childhood will develop personality disorders. People who have a personality disorder rarely have only one, so sociopaths are often also paranoid or narcissistic or bipolar or one (or more) of the several other personality disorders.

If one's close relative is a sociopath, I would create a lot of distance-- as much as possible. Definitely protect children from sociopathic relatives. Not all sociopaths are violent but all sociopaths are dangerous. If one's spouse is a sociopath, I am afraid there is really no cure. I would proceed with extreme caution and with professional advice and help.

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#4 of 21 Old 12-09-2008, 12:26 PM
 
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my dd's bio father reminded me of a sociopath sometimes...i haven't seen him for 5 years. he is not on her birth cert, thank god! but sometimes his apathy for people and the things he did that hurt people just blew my mind...when he was a boy going back and forth from parent to parent and from foster home to foster home he apparently was called antisocial by a counselor he had...does'nt surprise me. he definitely was emotionally/physically neglected as a child BIG TIME...now he drinks/parties and has sex (womanizer) to numb it all...
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#5 of 21 Old 12-09-2008, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, it seems like there is alot of stigma associated with this mental illness. While I recognize it is diffacult to treat, I have poured over the internet and the only instances I hear people talking about it are insulting and ignorant.

http://www.wisegeek.com/how-is-sociopathy-treated.htm

I'd love to hear about anyone dealing with it in their family, and how you handle it.

Do you think it is a death sentance?

What if your child was dx'd with it? Would you change your tune?
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#6 of 21 Old 12-09-2008, 12:53 PM
 
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o gosh. thats hard. i would recommend lots and lots of distance if you can. if its close family or something i might recommend something else depending on the situation.
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#7 of 21 Old 12-09-2008, 12:54 PM
 
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you can't treat a personality disorder. it just is the way someone is. they can learn coping mechanisms and such i think.. i am not totally sure it might depend on the person.

and if my child we diagnosed with it... well first of all its an adult diagnosis ...that has a lot of childhood indicators so i don't know that i would be surprised. and no i wouldn't change my tune.... i would love him no matter what... and do whatever i could to help him.. but sometimes.. i dont know.
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#8 of 21 Old 12-09-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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I know a family that has two children, one of whom exhibits what I might call some somewhat sociopathic tendencies. This is a child who is from one of the most attachment-parenting families I know, and I know the family fairly well and have seen this child develop for years. For this child, at least, I'm not sure I really believe it's related to nurture. But what I see with this child scares me. This child seems to not care in the slightest what happens to anyone else. Even life-threatening issues have been met as only an inconvenience to this child personally. There are other things I see, but a lot of them are hard to describe, but when my dp and I see this child, we always comment afterward that this child just doesn't seem to care at all about family members or anyone else, but that it's hard to put a finger on a lot of the time because the child is very, very smart and sometimes seems to go through the motions and do what is expected. The underlying coldness is always there, however.

I don't know that I've explained it very well, OP, but I absolutely believe it can be seen in children, and after knowing this child, I think that there must also be certain non-nurture related aspects to it.
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#9 of 21 Old 12-09-2008, 01:25 PM
 
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i'm pretty sure personality disorders have nothing to do with nurture..
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#10 of 21 Old 12-09-2008, 01:44 PM
 
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When my brain wakes all the way up I might be able to add more to this conversation. I think I've known more than my fair share and some were/are family members. One thing I try to do is not be emotional at all around them because they seem to see emotions as a weakness.

If the sociopath is a child keep a close eye on them when they're with other kids, they can be mean to a kid when out of sight of an adult (or think they are) and then when they see one suddenly turn surprisingly innocent looking (witnessed this myself).Otherwise just keep close tabs on them and keep them occupied with activities were you can't foresee any bad things coming from it if the kid has any violent tendencies.

Some sociopaths aren't violent, they just don't let any emotions get in their way of activities so they're likely to be at odds with the law at some point.

My thoughts on what causes it is mostly some kind of brain damage when they in the womb were whatever processes feeling doesn't develop at all. I think that most of the violent ones though have also experienced or witnessed some kind of abuse or felt they were being slighted for an extended time in their life.
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#11 of 21 Old 12-09-2008, 02:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by transformed View Post
Wow, it seems like there is alot of stigma associated with this mental illness. While I recognize it is diffacult to treat, I have poured over the internet and the only instances I hear people talking about it are insulting and ignorant.
Antisocial Personality Disorder is characterized by a "pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood." In order to be diagnosed with this disorder, a person has to have committed horrible acts and shown a complete disregard for how those acts impacted others. If we define "stigma" as "a stain on one's reputation", I am not sure why anyone would protest any stigma that sociopaths earn for themselves.

My understanding of your post (forgive me if I am mistaken) is that you are implying that you will deem me "insulting and ignorant" unless I say positive things about sociopaths. As someone who has been brutalized by one, I have no motivation for sharing my deeply personal experiences when it seems likely that I will be belittled for the attempt. I have also been through the experience of having a child who is predisposed to developing those qualities, but given what's been said already, I am not comfortable sharing much about it here.

As a PP noted, it is impossible to have a child who is a diagnosed sociopath, as the DSM definition does not incorporate children. The bulk of the research strongly suggests that sociopathic adults develop as a result of genetic predisposition and the environment in which they were raised. A sensitive parent who notices antisocial tendencies in her child will educate herself as to the best way to encourage more positive development, enlisting professional help if needed. There are some decent sources to help with this. A parent who finds herself with an adult sociopathic offspring is in a very sad and unfortunate position, as the research strongly indicates that it is too late to erase the effects of any mistakes that might have been made.

If you don't believe me or the other things you've read online, please consult the resources at your local library. There are many good, solid reasons why I choose to protect myself from the sociopath who visited my life and none of them are "ignorant". It was ignorance, idealism, and naivete that got me close enough to be harmed in the first place. I understand what it's like to have the desire to be compassionate toward the perpetrators of antisocial acts, believe me. It seems too cruel to be true, that there would be people who are so very broken inside as sociopaths appear to be. But it is neither safe nor helpful to refuse to believe that they are dangerous.

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#12 of 21 Old 12-09-2008, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually, I was talking about a google search I conducted to see what I could turn up for treatment.

I was thinking that in this day, we would have treatment for just about everything, if the person is willing to accept treatment.
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#13 of 21 Old 12-09-2008, 03:03 PM
 
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personality disorders are not like other mental illness ... they way you view the world is what is... and personality disorders are sort of like looking at the world through a fun house mirror... there isn't much you can do about they way someone inherently views the world.

the pp is correct and their environment as children can help shape a them.. like everyone else.. but it will not change who they are on that basic level. not all people with anti social pd turn out to be psychos .... but its more likely. they do tend be on the other side of the law.. how far on the other side would depend on the person, their upbringing, and a whole host of other factors.

i knew someone in my personal life with anti social pd... he was.. um interesting? and the better i got to know him the worse it got. ironically enough i meet him while working in a psych hospital (no he wasn't a patient.. probably should have been though) by the time i had known him for several months i was downright terrified.. i actually left that job without ever telling them why... i just told them i couldn't come back .. and haven't been back sense... i loved that job i loved the other people i worked with. i was scared i was going to end up in a dumpster if i didn't leave.. i also moved.

with the exception of a few of us everybody loved him... until i came.. and them everything that happened with me and him.. it was weird i brought out things in him he didn't share before... i wish they had stayed put :
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#14 of 21 Old 12-09-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by transformed View Post
Actually, I was talking about a google search I conducted to see what I could turn up for treatment.

I was thinking that in this day, we would have treatment for just about everything, if the person is willing to accept treatment.
you can't treat a personality disorder you really really can't
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#15 of 21 Old 12-09-2008, 03:16 PM
 
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I have had a lot of experience with someone dx'd sociopathic. If you want to PM me feel free, I'll help however I can.

Good luck,
Bellevuemama

GOOD moms let their kids lick the beaters. GREAT moms turn off the mixer first!
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#16 of 21 Old 12-09-2008, 03:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by transformed View Post
Actually, I was talking about a google search I conducted to see what I could turn up for treatment.

I was thinking that in this day, we would have treatment for just about everything, if the person is willing to accept treatment.
Everyone has some degree of personality disordered traits. Everyone.

A personality disorder becomes a diagnosis when the level of those traits is so high it interferes with functioning. Axis II diagnoses (e.g. personality disorders) are not like Axis I diagnoses (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychosis) because Axis I disorders aren't a normal condition just taken to a higher degree. You either have a psychosis or you don't. But everyone has Axis II traits - its a matter of degree as to how problematic those traits are.

Because they are traits everyone has to some degree, it isn't really accurate to say there is no treatment. Personality disorders often mellow out in middle age or older, to the point where the person is not considered diagnosable anymore.

When any of us are subject to stress, our use of Axis II traits usually increases. Its a stress-related function. Theoretically, ANYONE under enough stress will display personality disordered traits to a high enough degree that they could officially receive a diagnosis. Once the stress is removed, the symptoms also decrease, back to a level where a person wouldn't qualify for an Axis II diagnosis anymore. People with a high degree of Axis II traits also experience a high degree of stress, chronically. That degree of stress may be somewhat due to their environment, particularly their childhood environment, but often those people have central nervous systems that cause them to feel more stress than a typical person would in the same situation. Many researchers consider personality disorders to be a kind of PTSD "gone worse." Whether the initial chronic PTSD is caused by a person's innate response to stress or a stressful environment is sometimes difficult to assess, but the overwhelming majority have experienced stress levels caused by their environment that led to the development of Axis II coping strategies.

"Sociopathy" is an outdated term that could be either more accurately diagnosed as Reactive Attachment Disorder or Antisocial Personality Disorder or another Axis II diagnosis. Its better to get a real diagnosis than use the term sociopathy.

Because Personality Disorders consist of traits everyone has and are a matter of excessive degree, any treatment that seeks to either reduce stress levels or teach a person more adaptive ways of dealing with other people can be considered a "cure." Yes, there is, theoretically, a "cure" for Personality Disorders. The cure is to reduce stress and teach adaptive behaviors. This is a little different from merely calling it "coping strategies," which implies that the disease still exists but the person has learned to cope with it - because its a diagnosis by degree, reducing the degree of symptoms is the same thing as a cure.

However, the problem with Personality Disorders is that the nature of the disease causes a person to reject the cure. Since the cure includes teaching a person how to attach to another person, something they have found painful in the past, personality disordered people will find any excuse they can to reject the therapy, usually by finding fault with the therapist ("He is verbally abusing me!" or "My therapist is sexually attracted to me - I have to protect myself by cutting off treatment!" or, most common, "My therapist hates me! She won't let me come over to her house at 3am when I am in crisis! I have to throw her away because she doesn't care about me!").

Personality Disorders are becoming more prevalent, and there is a flurry of new research. In California, there is an inpatient facility devoted to the treatment of personality disorders (inpatient treatment for severe levels of the disease is really the only hope - by not allowing the person escape from treatment which they will do if given a choice). DBT has had some success in reducing stress levels and increasing adaptive strategies to interpersonal stress.

In short, what I'm trying to say is... there is hope for Axis II disorders, but its a long road, there's a great deal of new research in progress, and they shouldn't just be written off as hopeless.
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#17 of 21 Old 12-09-2008, 04:09 PM
 
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Bellingham Crunchie, that was an incredibly informative post, thank you for sharing!

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#18 of 21 Old 12-09-2008, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bellingham Crunchie, that was an incredibly informative post, thank you for sharing!
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#19 of 21 Old 12-09-2008, 08:33 PM
 
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you can't treat a personality disorder you really really can't
Then what happened to me? When I was diagnosed, I met every criteria for borderline personality disorder. Now, I do not meet any. My personality has totally changed.

I was not "treated" necessarily. During my first pregnancy, my symptoms just slowly started going away, and now I have none. If mine could just go away, I'm sure there must be a way to treat people. (maybe it's the pregnancy hormones )

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#20 of 21 Old 12-09-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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i think it was the pregnancy that did it. actually i think personality disorders should be diagnosed next to never.. only as a last result.. no other answer kind of thing.. but some people disagree. i was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder by a psychologist once... took them awhile to figure out i was ADHD .. apparently they can look similar. also think bellingham is correct in that people with personality disorders can get therapy and learn to connect and things like that... its just that they aren't necessarily willing. and in my experience many of them can mimic emotions so well their therapists don't think anything is wrong with them and everyone else is nuts.
my friends brother is one of those.. most therapists think he is the sweetest, funniest, most charming guy in the world. yeppers until he pins you against a wall with a knife... just to see what you will do. it wasn't until a stint in a psychiatric hospital that he got diagnosed.
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#21 of 21 Old 12-10-2008, 12:58 AM
 
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you can't treat a personality disorder you really really can't
I agree that Antisocial Personality Disorder and sociopaths cannot be treated.

Recently I've heard about a treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder called Dialectical Behaviour Therapy : http://www.aapel.org/bdp/BLDBTresumeUS.html
My pdoc says its quite helpful. Compelling.


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