"Deciding and defining yourself is an act of existential courage. Only you can decide who you are."
Yes. Well said. One certainly can listen to the opinions of others, and hearing informed views may help in arriving at some reasonable kind of self-understanding, but eventually it does come down to being oneself.
Another good letter, Daniel. After receiving Mr. Saint's original letter to "ask dr-robert," I suggested that he post it here instead of expecting a reply from me because I have wearied of replying to letters from "psychopaths" asking me to confirm or invalidate their self-diagnoses. Your reply was helpful--at least in my view--and I hope he will receive more useful opinions as well.
Actually, unless you are absolutely, absolutely sure of whatever you're feeling, I would not even try to self-diagnose myself. The human psyche is really complex and instead of sticking labels to yourself, why not just simply look at your feelings , thoughts and actions and then work out from there?
Like: why am I feeling this way, what is the reason for these feelings? How can I avoid this situation in the future? Can I do something about my thoughts and actions so they become gradually more positive? And so on. I've only read part of your post but you seem fairly desperate and even distressed. Perhaps someone here could offer tips on how to "disconnect" yourself from your emotions, so you can look at yourself a bit more clearly.
Btw, self-diagnosing your mental situation is akin to picking up the DSM IV manual and going "Hmmm... I think I match that so I might be bipolar, psychotic or something else". Hence why I put little credit into many of those "online diagnostic tests or articles" because all too often, the authors have no clue on what they're talking about or their writings could be easily misinterpreted.
Well, based on behavior through out the years one could say that it is sociopathic conduct. It seems that although I go through episodes of guilt, it does not stick well enough to prevent me from doing what I shouldn't. All I know is that at the end of the day, everytime I thought I would come on top, sooner or later I lost. There was a time I could have gone to jail for neglecting responsibilities and keeping lots of money. After that I realized how vulnerable I could be, and all because of my behavior. My life has not been the same ever since. My confidence hit the bottom. Until then I was like a wolf dressed in a sheep's custom. Always with an agenda and a know it all. I decided to be as honest as possible to stay out of trouble, which is hard as hell. The problem started when I begun to have homocidal thoughts and started gettin fraked out, so I research the internet, and after a hospitalization and over a year and half I ended up here. At the hospital they told me I was not a sociopath, however I do not believe one can evalutate a patient in minutes. My therapist believes I have really bad OCD and perhaps bipolar. I am trying to change my patterns, which is very hard and I would like to know more about how to cope with me and my destructive behavior.
When somthing hurts you want to know what is the problem to find the cure. Like in my case I would like to find out what is my problem to find a solution and stay from jail or the news...and of course not to harm someone.
Tomorrow I have an appointment with the therapist.
Just a late reply. Normals(like me and you) tend to have various levels of guilt and empathy for different subjects, you know. If guilt is fleeting, it just means you care less about certain things. Your reaction points out that you probably are overcome with apathy in life and because there is little to nothing you care for and/or believe in, the connections to this world and the people in it are slim. Therefore, you're just an outsider, looking in. Perhaps that may be why you can do all these things that have an impact on others as well as yourself?
And perhaps deep down inside, you want to be something different and want to put a stop to this behaviour, that's why you feel so artificial? Or perhaps, you just feel alienated from everything.
Sounds to me like you're desperately trying to make the label fit you. Why? Do you have a need to belong or something? To be accepted for who you think you are?
Oh and if you posted here, it just means you want help, or at least some sympathetic attention to your problems.
And yes, people like to find "solutions", even if the solution isn't the correct one. It's very easy to get side-tracked and convince yourself you're staring at Problem A when the situation could be Problems B and C.
I like your second comment Dee. I think it could be useful to Saint. And Saint, have you done the research? Dee’s right. You don’t want to bother trying to shoehorn yourself into a pejorative label. You want accuracy and clarity. That’s the only way you will be able to adjust what you believe needs adjusting. I had a longish debate with someone about the usefulness of diagnostic labels last year on Sociopathworld.com and I won’t bother repeating any of that here other than to say this. Labels like “sociopath” are useful, but only up to a point. Past that, and it becomes needlessly limiting and even potentially misleading, especially outside of a clinical or institutional setting. You run the risk of thinking that you have to start living up to stereotypes rather than looking at what really makes you tick and what really makes you smile. I have actually ran across commenters who wanted to know what a sociopath would do and when I turned it around and invited the person to ask himself what he wanted, he became annoyed with me. That is the kind of ridiculousness you want to steer clear of. But, you say you are talking to your therapist soon, so why not just point blank ask him/her if you fit the sociopathic label? And if you don’t trust his/her advice, then go find someone you can trust.
Thank you for taking the time to reply!!! I really apreciate what you have said!!!
Dee, I feel that you described me to my size. I go back and forth thinkink I am not a sociopath and then I think I am. I don't like to hurt animals or never did, as a matter fact I have rescued animals. I do cry when movies are sad and did cry when 9/11. I am going to try to write the same letter I did, but positive and with good qualities to see what happens. I'll let you all know how my appointment with therapist went!
You don't go with labels, ever, unless they offer information and research into your state of mind that could be helpful. You think about your responses, your thoughts, etc. and take some time off every now and then to examine them. You might just discover new things about yourself that you weren't aware of before. You can also try to read books that you don't normally read, try to think about things from other perspectives. You don't have to go out and try to be someone different but you can explore yourself in a myriad of ways. There are so many things to try(just on the net alone and even in life) and of course your entire process of evolving will take years and most likely, a lifetime.
It's my experience that people love to look at you via "rose-tinted glasses". The minute they put a label on you, they're no longer looking at you as a person but as an object, a stereotype which they have reduced to imageries, words and numbers.
As Daniel's said, it can be easy to try and force someone(yourself or anyone) into a stereotype. The best is not to depend just on what someone said/wrote about another person but to look at said person's intentions and then, decide on a course of action if you agree or disagree with their actions. Because more than once, I've found that once I put someone into a stereotype, they may start to behave according to those "expectations". And of course, one can also apply that concept to themselves(Do I agree or disagree with my intentions? What can I do if I do or don't?). =) And if you start behaving to a stereotype, there's only disaster awaiting for you. Same if you force stereotypes onto others. So, accept yourself and move on.
Btw, I've been through a couple of counsellers(8 to 10 or more?) and most of them were terrible. So if you think that your therapist is awesome, good for you and make sure you keep him/her.
And your self-esteem is probably low 'cos of course, your acts reflect upon you and have an impact upon you.
Okay, writing this in a rush since I gotta rush.
See Ya! :)
Just wanted to say thanks for the replies. I have gone through out my life trhough many episodes and this one has been one of the most difficults just because my brain has turned finally against me and wants to destroy me. Not really, but that is how I feel about it. I have learned that whatever is that is going to save me has to come from the inside out. But, I don't know exactly to produce that. My friend said "if I could give you that, that you need I would give it to you'. When he said that with so much honesty I cried and hugged him. I feel like I have always dislike my self and always tried to be different that I am. People have at many times thought that I am very cool, but I don't cause for a very long time I had put on a facade. Now that I am in my mid 30's I want to be only my self and since I have pretended and disliked me for a long time I am having a hard time of finding out who I am. I guess the label would make it easy for me. But, you guys are right, labels are not healthy. I guess we never find who we are, we just find out who we were and since my life has been a wreck I hate my guts. Perhaps it is time to work on today, so I don't hate my self tomorrow. Thank you everyone!!!
Just know one thing, Im sure people destined to become serial killers dont know that, and certainly wouldn't worry about becoming a Serial Killer. :)
And I if you beleive what Christians say then God Loves everybody, including people born without Empathy. But something for people that beleive in God to think about, If there is a all-loving god then what about hyenas? I mean Hyenas disembowl their victims, a HORRIBLE way to die so If god created animals he created them so why created them to do that?
Is it just me on here or does John S stray away from the subject a bit?