Psych Central

Am I a Sociopath?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have been wondering this for some time, especially in the last few months- Am I a sociopath or am I crazy..? For starters, I had behavior problems as a child, which developed around the age of 7. I was in and out of mental hospitals and group homes from the time I was 7 till just before I turned 10. I don’t have these behavior problems anymore, but I have been described as a compulsive liar, a thief, a “sneak”, and as having no regard for others- all of which is true.

I’m not sure why I lie, but I do. It’s as if it’s a part of who I am and I lie about virtually anything an everything. When I’m questioned about it all I can say is I don’t know, because I really don’t know why and I also never feel guilty about it. The same goes with stealing or with anything else that people have told me is wrong or is immoral, I don’t feel guilty or remorseful about anything. I never have. For people who haven’t seen past my lies they’ve described me as friendly and likeable- that I’m charming and get along with everyone.

Another thing that you should know is that I don’t really feel emotions, I mean that I’m never really happy or sad or anything I’m always just sort of neutral. Because of this I’ve become a master at putting on a facade and faking, though I can’t cry and I can’t make my eyes show emotions and I’ve been caught on this before when people have seen me smiling or something. I disregard and don’t usually associate myself with most people and with my family, not intentionally, I just don’t enjoy it and don’t find the need to be around others and I tend to get bored with people (like in relationships).

So now I ask, am I crazy..? What’s wrong with me and do you have any suggestions?

A. It is difficult to know what may be wrong. You seem to recognize that there are potential problems and writing this letter may mean that you are interested in correcting them. I find that to be encouraging.

It is possible that the problems you have described are the result of your lack of a connection with a stable parent. I am assuming that you didn’t have that, given your chaotic childhood. Not having a stable relationship means that you may have never experienced an emotional attachment and thus would have difficulty connecting with others.

Your inability to feel emotions may be the result of a defense mechanism used to psychologically tolerate living in mental hospitals and group homes as a child. For the majority of people, such experiences would be traumatic. One way to cope with trauma is to disconnect emotionally from those traumatic experiences. This happens unconsciously and can result in an overall lack of emotion with regard to many areas of one’s life. Perhaps that is what has happened to you.

The issues you have identified can significantly and negatively impact your life and your ability to develop relationships with others. It is human nature to desire social relationships and without those connections, you will likely be unhappy. My recommendation is to seek counseling. Therapy may be able to correct many of your problematic behaviors and improve your ability to feel and express emotions. The “find help” tab at the top of this page can assist you in locating a therapist in your community. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Sep 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Am I a Sociopath?. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 17, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/09/11/am-i-a-sociopath/