I don’t think there are easy answers to your questions. Part of the problem in providing a definitive answer is that memory is fallible. Your first memory is fading and cannot be corroborated by your mother. Therefore, it may not have actually happened.
Your childhood behaviors are concerning, but they may not be indicative of psychopathy. There are many reasons why children behave the way they do. You could’ve been acting out of frustration or curiosity. It’s important to remember that children and adults are very different. Children are not mini-adults. Developmental science supports that view. Children are still developing and maturing and therefore are held to a different standard than adults. Children, who commit crimes, are typically adjudicated under laws that apply to children and receive a much less severe punishment than when adjudicated as an adult. They are held less responsible because they are less responsible.
Psychopathy is not a diagnosis that can be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-5), the book that mental professionals use to diagnose mental health disorders. If psychopathy is suspected in adulthood, they might receive the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder. If psychopathy is suspected in childhood, a diagnosis of conduct disorder may be given. Conduct disorder represents a group of behavioral and emotional problems including: aggression to people and animals, destruction of property, deceitfulness, theft, and violating parental and societal rules. Simple displaying one of these behaviors would not be enough to warrant a diagnosis of conduct disorder.
The fact that your problematic behaviors have faded is a good sign. There’s also evidence that you felt guilt. Psychopaths typically don’t feel guilt.
You may never know why you did what you did but thankfully those problems seem like a thing of the past. However, there is one concern that you seem to be minimizing, which is the anxiety associated with marijuana use.
Recreational marijuana use is becoming more acceptable but that doesn’t make it any safer. Anecdotally, I receive many letters from people who smoke marijuana and have developed a host of negative symptoms including anxiety and derealization. Scientific studies have indicated that marijuana use increases the possibility of psychosis. Continuing to use marijuana is risky. It can be difficult to stop using drugs. You might consult a therapist who can help. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle