Sociopath is often confused with psychopath, psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder. The general public, and even some mental health professionals, use these terms interchangeably. There is no diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Health Disorders (DSM), for psychopath or sociopath. The corresponding diagnosis for what many people commonly refer to as psychopath or sociopath, is antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).
If you were to look up antisocial personality disorder, you would see a long list of characteristics that must be present to be diagnosed with this disorder. From the e-mail that you have sent me it does not appear that you possess those necessary characteristics. For a diagnosis to occur for any mental health disorder an e-mail would never be sufficient and that is why I can’t provide you with a diagnosis.
A diagnosis can only occur when an appointment is made with a mental health professional. In that setting, the therapist can ask you many questions to gather information.
Though I can’t provide a specific diagnosis, I can provide some insight into your e-mail. Generally, you are concerned that your boyfriend may feel more empathy toward his friends and may find more pleasure in interacting with his friends than you do. This raises the question whether there is something wrong with your ability to enjoy relationships. Perhaps not. Do you enjoy your relationship with your boyfriend and do you have sincere feelings toward him? Do you have real feelings toward your mother, father, siblings, etc.?
If the answers to these questions are yes, then it would seem that your ability to form relationships and function normally in them is unhindered. You simply may be more discriminating, in terms of friendship, than is your boyfriend.
There may be nothing at all wrong with you. However, if you have a pattern of difficulty in forming relationships and functioning within them then there may be an issue. Only an in-person interview with a therapist could determine if an issue exists.
One or two sessions with a therapist might answer all of your questions. If I can be of any further assistance to you please don’t hesitate to write.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog