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Thread: Identifying psychopaths/sociopaths

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    I did a few horrible psychopathic/sociopathic things when I was a child that I'm too ashamed and disgusted to mention. But I haven't been a psychopath or a sociopath since then and I have plenty of empathy even more than enough. I guess growing up under influence of good parenting and upbringing changed my personality radically.

    I still feel like I'm probably gonna go to hell for it.

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    I think my biological father is a sociopath/psychopath, but not a violent one. He has no empathy or remorse. He is very self-centered and cold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oz View Post
    I did a few horrible psychopathic/sociopathic things when I was a child that I'm too ashamed and disgusted to mention. But I haven't been a psychopath or a sociopath since then and I have plenty of empathy even more than enough. I guess growing up under influence of good parenting and upbringing changed my personality radically.

    I still feel like I'm probably gonna go to hell for it.


    I think you are okay because you have remorse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oz View Post
    I did a few horrible psychopathic/sociopathic things when I was a child that I'm too ashamed and disgusted to mention. But I haven't been a psychopath or a sociopath since then and I have plenty of empathy even more than enough. I guess growing up under influence of good parenting and upbringing changed my personality radically.

    I still feel like I'm probably gonna go to hell for it.
    I can totally relate. I feel horrible about some things I did when I was younger. I think kids have naturally low empathy(despite the prevailing notion that it is the opposite). I had a very difficult time growing up too, so while I can still forgive myself somewhat I feel for those that I hurt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Censored View Post
    I can totally relate. I feel horrible about some things I did when I was younger. I think kids have naturally low empathy(despite the prevailing notion that it is the opposite). I had a very difficult time growing up too, so while I can still forgive myself somewhat I feel for those that I hurt.
    I think I can blame it on the following circumstances:
    1. Parents divorcing when I was 2 years old because my dad was a violent drunk.
    2. A war breaking out when I was 4.
    3. And just an infantile not fully developed brain
    Also both of my grandfathers died long before I was born, and I've been a damn immigrant and refugee most of my childhood and youth. I think I turned out pretty ok, could be a lot worse. And I'm mostly thankful to my mother for that because she's a very unselfish, compassionate, intelligent and patient person.

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    I'd say it is use of language. If we give credence to the perspective of Cognitive Psychology, it might be possible to say if one is disposed to different tendencies: that is, whether one is depressive, anxious, possibly homicidal, or psychopathic. But this mainly works in the clinical or therapeutic context, not everyday, one-on-one situations (although I may be wrong). At the same time, there isn't a foolproof way of instantly spotting a psychopath. Perhaps the clinical context is the only way to "surmise" (not even conclude) whether or not one is a psychopath. Moreover, prevention is a dubious thing in criminal law. One is innocent until proven guilty, which forbids us from acting on the assumption that one may be harmful. A hunch is not a legal incentive.

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    There are lots of tests on the Internet to identify psychopathic or sociopathic traits.
    Here's one from the BBC:

    https://www.bbc.com/future/article/2...ur-personality

    Having psychopathic traits doesn't necessarily mean you're a bad person (much less a serial killer). In fact, most people have some or many of them. They're apparently more common among bosses and in certain professions (including journalists, surgeons and clergymen).

    https://www.businessinsider.es/profe...18-5?r=US&IR=T

    I've met a (likely) psychopath guy at school. He used to be one of my best friends, but at the same time he liked to torture animals (except cats, whom he adored), was fascinated by fire and lacked empathy. I met some sociopaths at work (including two of my former bosses). They basically lack empathy and think that it's always the others that make mistakes. They like to trigger emotions (mostly bad ones) in others, abuse their authority constantly and have poor social skills (these ones had no friends at or outside the workplace). I don't dare to listen other traits because I'm not a psychologist, but I think that most of us can tell if there's something wrong with an individual.

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