I Think I Might Be a Psychopath

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I was recently writing on my private blog when I typed out the following;

“I’m hurt that I am Jordan’s third best friend of his four friends, but that is something that I am used to. I don’t think I have ever been anyone’s favourite friend and I don’t think I ever will be. I think that is because there is something inherently wrong with me. I used to think I was a Psychopath when I was younger. Sometimes it was less of an idea and more of a hope. At least that way I knew what was wrong with me. When my grandfather died, when my mother cried as she apologised for letting my stepfather beat me, when my best friend sat and cried into my arms as she recounted the time she was raped…. I felt nothing. Maybe slight annoyance that I was having to be comforting, put on the right face and say the right things. I still feel the same whenever someone tells me bad news. The only time I feel anything like sadness is when it is something that effects me.”

I seem to have overall changes in mood that last from a couple of days to a few weeks. Sometimes I hate the world and everyone in it, and at other times I feel like nothing in it could ruin how happy I am. I do not ever feel I am in danger of hurting others.

Is there something wrong with me or am I just reacting in a normal way to life?

A. To best answer your questions I would need to gather more information about your life. You provided two examples in which you felt little or no compassion for those who came to you with their problems. There may be perfectly normal reasons to explain why you did not react on those two occasions. I would need to learn more about your relationships with those individuals to determine if your reactions, or lack thereof, were appropriate.

I’m also curious if there are any occasions where you have felt empathy toward others. If so, it indicates that you have the capacity to feel for others.

Generally speaking, it’s easier to have an emotional reaction to a personal experience as opposed to hearing about someone else’s experience.

Psychopaths are extremely callous and manipulative individuals. It’s difficult for them to empathize with others unless doing so directly benefits them. They also purposefully hurt people, without regret. It does not bother them. You do not seem to possess any of those traits. Though it’s impossible to properly evaluate your psychological health via the Internet, there is very little evidence to suggest that you are a psychopath.

If you continue to be concerned about your symptoms, then it would be advisable to have a psychological evaluation. An evaluation could help to determine what may be wrong. It’s always wise to keep track of your moods and behavior especially if you believe that something is wrong. If you need help, don’t hesitate to seek it. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Jan 2014

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2014). I Think I Might Be a Psychopath. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/01/17/i-think-i-might-be-a-psychopath/