Evil is a concept that belongs to philosophy and religion. There is no mention of evil in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) version 5. Every mental health disorder is listed in the DSM-5.
What you have described are fantasies of hurting other people or of actual examples of you hurting people verbally. According to your letter, you haven’t actually physically harmed anyone and have done little more than verbally attack another, something almost everyone, at some stage of their life, has been guilty of.
Your letter to me also indicates that your thoughts and fantasies focus on your power over others. Generally, when someone fantasizes or daydreams about having power they themselves feel weak. Thus they daydream and fantasize about what they want and do not have.
Power can be related to age. Children of course have no power. Adults do. The period between childhood and adulthood is all about gaining independence, gaining power.
If you were my client, the first thing that I would do would be assess the degree of power that you actually possess. Are you being picked on? Have you been picked on? Do you have major fears? If so, we would address those things in therapy.
The type of fantasies that you have described are very common with people, especially teenagers and children, who have been mistreated, abused or bullied.
Could you do the things that you have described? Yes, you have the power to do that but so do I and so do most people. Most people choose not to do it. I choose not to do it and so far you have chosen not to do it. Acting in an evil way, hurting or not hurting others, is a choice. It’s not a matter of power. It’s not as if anyone who had the power to be evil, would choose to do evil. Simply having the power to do evil does not make someone evil. Having fantasies about hurting others also does not make one evil. Having fantasies about having great power over others, as demonstrated by the harm and the control that is possessed in the fantasy, is very common in those that have been the victim and not the victimizer.
I don’t know you but I would guess that you are not evil. My guess, and without a therapeutic evaluation it is only a guess, is that you have had a rough or incomplete childhood and would benefit greatly from the guidance and insight offered to you by a good therapist. A good therapist can repair the damage and provide the missing pieces of growth that can result from a less than ideal childhood.
You’ve done nothing wrong yet. By hurting others, you will destroy your own life. I’m sure you’re aware of that. The good news is, you have harmed others only in your fantasies. You have not brought harm to others and thus have not hurt yourself.
My advice to you is to find a good therapist before there is any chance of you making a mistake that could and likely would destroy your life. What you have described is fairly common with teenagers and is easily corrected in counseling or therapy.
Please take my advice and I wish you the best of luck.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog