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Diagnosed psychopaths and sociopaths destigmatise their conditions in a new Reddit AMA

For those who have wondered if they or someone they know has psychopathic tendencies, a few self-described sociopaths and psychopaths have given Reddit the down-low on what it’s like in their head.

For the longest time, psychopaths and sociopaths have been widely depicted in television, movies, and gaming as killers or other characters that mean great physical or psychological harm. But, in fact, this couldn’t be any further from the truth.

Approximately 1 in 100 people are estimated to meet the clinical criteria of psychopathy, meaning if all those diagnosed with the condition were violent and murderous people then we’d live in an even scarier world than we already do.

Norman Bates sociopath
Photo: American Psycho

Not only can many people diagnosed with psychopathy and sociopathy go through their daily lives unnoticed, but many even have a competitive advantage over others in reaching the top positions in their profession, with around 1 in 5 business leaders displaying psychopathic traits.

A few self-described psychopaths replied to question on Reddit, asking “what’s your day-to-day life like?” and whether the media accurately depicts their condition or not, explaining their thought processes and how they feel towards certain events.

One user replied, “my opinions seem to generally upset people. For a long time, I assumed I was normal, and the people who cried over things were overly dramatic and weird.”

She continued, “when people died that I was close to, and I felt nothing, I started to question myself.”

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When it came to murder and harming others, one user stated that self-interest, inconvenience, and lack of motivation stopped them from being violent like the media depicted psychopaths and sociopaths.

“The media does indeed sensationalize the condition to the point where every psychopath is portrayed as a killer. I’m really not a killer, although murder is always on the menu of options as a solution to any particular problem.”

“But even a psychopath knows that that is an extreme solution – like suicide. It ends the problem, but the planning is endless and the consequences are a pain.” So basically, it just comes down to the fact they just can’t be bothered.

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On how they interact with family and friends, one user replied “interaction with family and friends is a matter of imitation of what those relationships should look like in order to deliver results.”

Adding advice for anyone who thinks they may show traits, they said “bereavement is a good test for you if you’re in doubt. I see every loss as a relief – one less dragging ball and chain weighing me down and one less route for exposure.” 

Take a look at the full Reddit thread here.