Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Sociopathy?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I’ve always felt different. As a child I was very withdrawn with antisocial tendencies. I was very sensitive to needy and cared about others. I was very unmotivated and had low expectations for myself, sliding by was fine by me. Memorization has always been a problem for me. I have recently self diagnosed as ADD. I have never been hyperactive but concentration on something or studying a subject i didn’t love was difficult to say the least. My grandmother, who lived with me and my parents, died when i was about 11. I felt nothing, no sadness, no grief. I had to make myself cry because “it what my mother wants”. Makes me sound like a sociopath, right? But I went on to love and get married right out of high school. After a divorce and 2 more long term relationship failures I currently have a girlfriend and she loves me dearly, but i can no longer make the emotional attachments i use to. It frustrates her that I don’t return the feeling. I do care about her but its different. I score way to high on narcissistic personality disorder test and identify about 90% with the signs of a sociopath. I have been confronted many times recently about being to abrasive and belittling people. Did i really love before? Or was it some twisted feeling of trying to be normal? Or worse yet, were my relationships just manipulations for my own gains? I say I did love them. Is it possible to “become” a sociopath? I do have some sense of regret, but only slightly, after I’ve went too far and someone says I’ve offended them. I feel superior to almost everyone and see few as peers. I feel disgust when dealing with what i call “undesirables” {obese, ignorant, genetically inferior). I’m a eugenics supporter and feel than our society encourages bad genes to pass on. Approximately 80% of population should be at a minimum, sterilized. My poor memory, organizational skills and concentration keep me from excelling and make day to day life difficult. Despite these things I feel I have much to bring to the world. I’m ranting, I know, only way to express myself is by pouring it liberally everywhere. Thank you in advance for any info you can give.

A. Individuals who would be considered “sociopaths” would generally be diagnosed as having antisocial personality disorder. Antisocial personality disorder can only be diagnosed in adults over 18, but generally traits of the disorder can be detected in childhood. The childhood version of antisocial personality disorder is conduct disorder. Conduct disorder-related behaviors can be detected as early as 10 years old, and among some children, even younger.

Another possibility exists. You may have perceived yourself as being relatively “normal,” as a child and then an adult, you realized, through education and by comparing yourself to peers, this was not the case. Instead of “becoming” a sociopath, in this instance, you may have always had conduct disorder tendencies but did not identify them as such until you later became educated about sociopathy as an adult. I am not saying that you have antisocial personality disorder. The facts that you have supplied are more indicative of narcissistic personality disorder.

The only way to determine if you are a “sociopath,” is to analyze your life throughout the years. This analysis would include an examination of your thoughts, feelings and behaviors that characterized your childhood, adolescence, and now your life as an adult. This process could be conducted in therapy. You did not mention whether you are interested in analysis, but if so a therapist could help with this process. The therapist could provide an objective opinion and also utilize his or her skills in identifying mental health syndromes and conditions. If you’d like to search for a therapist please utilize this directory.

I hope I’ve answered your questions. If you have any follow-up questions please do not hesitate to write back.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Oct 2009

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2009). Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Sociopathy?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/10/02/narcissistic-personality-disorder-or-sociopathy/