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Opinion: Is sociopathy hereditary, caused by the environment or caused by something else entirely?

First of all I should probably mention that I am not here for a mental analysis, nor do I require my personality to be judged. I also do not expect to reach any ultimate realization, or expect everyone to draw the same conclusion as I do.

To the matter at hand:
As the title suggests, I would very much like to hear your opinions on whether sociopathy is hereditary, caused by the environment or caused by something else.

I personally think it has very little - or none - to do with genetics. My opinion is based on my own experience. This probably deserves an explanation, I will try to keep the following story brief and cut on the prattling as much as I possibly can.

I used to be an egoistic idiot with a lot of delusions of superiority. My personality could have been best described as sadistic, and I had rather many sociopathic tendencies such as pathological lying, attempts at manipulation, faking identities/using a massive amount of alter egos, a lack of empathy and a lack of conscience. One of my joys was to surf in the Internet and bring as much mischief and misery to everyone I deemed foolish or annoying. One of my "mischiefs" being an attempt to make a man suicide; luckily he did not. I also believed that emotions were not real, or rather I perceived them as "bodily functions" or "triggers". All who believed in such fallacy were foolish, whereas I was enlightened. I would like to add that when one of my relatives fell ill I was more concerned about how to appear like I cared rather than actually be worried.

Anyhow, at some point I started feeling remorse, only slightly at first, then more strongly afterwards. I am unsure as to what triggered that, perhaps it was one of my more emotional friends (or rather, intelligent partners, as I liked to think of them), or perhaps it had something to do with some kind of a realization.

Whatever happened I can definitely feel emotions now. I do not know if I could have been classified as a sociopath before(not to mention I dislike such labels), but there is the reasoning behind my answer anyhow.

Share your own opinions and discuss.

Ps. Do not take anything mentioned in the story to heart, I am not trying to make any generalisations.

Re: Opinion: Is sociopathy hereditary, caused by the environment or caused by something else entirel

IMO, "sociopathy" or "secondary psychopathy" as a personality disorder, is environmentally created as a defense mechanism used by very young children who have a temperament that predisposed them to the development of the disorder under a certain type of environmental circumstance. Due to early "alternative" brain development, this tends to remain a permanent disorder.

IMO Psychopathic personality style (as opposed to disorder), is largely genetic/biological. Environment of a youngster with such a personality does affect their future behaviour (positive or negative).

IMO Narcissistic Personality disorder develops in a child with an unusually low self-esteem, and persists in adulthood. Whether an increase in self-esteem for whatever reason corrects the narcissism, I don't know.

Just my current opions, open to correction, and not in particular reference to anyone on this board ;)