What is the meaning of sociopath? The definition of a true sociopath is a person who shows no remorse or guilt for their actions and who has very little concern for the welfare of others. Sociopathy is also known as antisocial personality disorder and it is a well documented mental health condition affecting a surprisingly high number of people, typically men.
What are the classic symptoms of a sociopath?
As we have already mentioned, a sociopath lacks empathy and has very little regard for how others might be feeling. Sociopaths are not interested in the needs or rights of others and they will happily take advantage and exploit other people for their own selfish gain. Sociopaths are also quite likely to be pathological liars who show an affinity for petty crime and acts of violence.
But unlike psychopaths (there is a difference between the two personality disorders), sociopaths often possess a great deal of superficial charm, which means many sociopaths blend into normal society with the greatest of ease, holding down good jobs, embarking on what appear to be happy relationships, and even being considered valuable members of the community to all who know them.
How does this happen?
A sociopath is able to hide their true self: with the aid of innate charm and excellent social skills, an intelligent sociopath can project a thin veneer of normality, which used in conjunction with flattery and manipulation is often enough to fool most people into believing that they are a pleasant individual.
Unfortunately, despite the charm and wit, many sociopaths are subject to frightening mood swings and aggressive behavior. They can also be very distrustful and paranoid, which causes problems in relationships.
What is the meaning of sociopath and what causes it?
Most psychologists believe that a combination of nature and nurture is instrumental in the formation of a sociopath. Many patients diagnosed with anti social behavior disorder have suffered from a dysfunctional childhood characterized by some kind of abuse, but there is also believed to be a genetic element involved as not all abused children turn into sociopaths.
When do the symptoms of antisocial behavior disorder first become evident?
It is often in childhood that the signs of a sociopath first show themselves. Two of the well known indicators for an antisocial personality disorder include a tendency towards cruelty to animals and a delight in pyromania. The disorder is normally at its worst during the teenage years, but it tends to improve as the patient grows older and gains maturity.
Can sociopaths be treated?
Antisocial behavior disorder is notoriously difficult to treat as most sociopaths do not believe that there is anything wrong with them and therefore do not seek treatment. In a large number of cases, a sociopath will not come to the attention of mental health professionals unless they commit a crime of some description and are assessed as suffering from a personality disorder.
Sociopaths are also quite likely to be diagnosed with other problems such as depression, substance abuse and schizophrenia, which can also make any treatment difficult. However, in some cases a combination of medication and therapy can help to alleviate a few of the symptoms of a sociopath.