What do we know about sociopaths? They are cruel, unscrupulous, deceitful, irresponsible. To a certain extent this is true, but sociopathy is too demonized, as a result of which most people have a rather intimidating image of a dangerous person. In fact, not all of our ideas correspond to reality.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of sociopaths? What are they soulless monsters? Most likely, such an impression was deposited in my memory after reading a novel about a maniac, replete with bloody details, but so fascinating that it is impossible to tear myself away. Or that they are insane, like the serial killer Chikatilo or the infamous dictators Adolf Hitler and Mao Zedong? Perhaps not everyone will agree with these statements, but still these are quite typical connotations. So – villains and scoundrels?
The term “sociopath” has become incredibly fashionable today. It is used by everyone who is not lazy, for example, describing a malicious boss or ex-spouse. Although everything is natural: the media so often presented distorted information about sociopathic inclinations that a portrait of a certain monster has developed in society.
Among the many erroneous opinions, the most confusing is the peculiar “glamorization” of the image. Popular films and television series such as American Psycho and Sherlock played a significant role in this. Their heroes are cold-blooded types who disregard moral principles, while being rich, influential and extremely smart.
The combination of problematic antisocial behavior with wealth, fame and power forms a rather attractive type.
Accordingly, the so-called “elite psychopath” destroys the realistic view of those who suffer from dissociative identity disorder (IDD). There is a false impression that people with such deviations have not only a solid state, but also an outstanding intellect. Undoubtedly, this only reinforces the negative connotations and misconceptions that will be discussed.
MYTHS ABOUT SOCIOPATHS
1. Sociopathy is incurable
Many people think that sociopathic tendencies and any form of DID are not treatable. This is not entirely true. Experts say that with the help of properly selected drugs and psychotherapy, impulsive aggression can be reduced.
2. Sociopaths are mentally ill
Sociopathy is not a mental illness and is not the same as psychosis. The condition is not accompanied by symptoms characteristic of psychotics – hallucinations or delusions. The main signs of sociopathy are lack of empathy and disregard for social norms and rules.
3. Sociopaths are everywhere.
Journal articles and statistics often exaggerate the number of sociopaths. In fact, no more than 4% of people on the planet meet the strict criteria. This is not so little, but, in any case, much less than is commonly believed.
4 Sociopaths Are So Violent That Relationships With Them Are Impossible
Sociopaths are indeed characterized by uncontrolled aggression and a tendency to violence, which is why they are so feared. However, research shows that this is not always the case. Certainly, sociopathy poses a potential risk of bullying and violence, but people with this personality disorder are generally not violent.
5. Men are more likely to have sociopathy
At the mention of a sociopath, the imagination usually paints a male portrait. Contrary to popular belief that this pattern of behavior is more common in men than in women, this is not true. Gender does not affect the likelihood of developing this disorder and does not matter in the diagnosis.
6. All successful and powerful people are sociopaths.
Undoubtedly, such individuals come across among politicians, businessmen and directors, but, according to statistics, only 1 out of 25 have obvious signs. Attitude towards sociopathy cannot be positive or negative. This is a psychological problem that requires professional intervention.
WHY YOU SHOULD NOT LABEL “SOCIOPATHY”
Even if a person is distinguished by individualism, egocentrism, indifference and unscrupulousness, this does not mean that he can be labeled a “sociopath”. Let’s leave this task to psychiatrists.
Of course, antisocial behavior, and dissociative personality disorder in particular, should not be taken lightly. It is wise and logical to stay away from those who display such tendencies. At the same time, excessive demonization of the problem not only prevents people with a mental disorder from seeking help, but also fuels unreasonable fear.