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I Don’t Know What Is Happening to Me

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Well, I don’t even know what is wrong with me lately. One year ago approximately I started to feel something different in me. The story is: when I was 16 I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. I felt very relieved because finally, I had an explanation for how I behave. It was ok with me, I didn’t need to interact with people, I felt like I would never need friendship or a girlfriend. I knew I wasn’t “normal”; and that it was me that didn’t, and still doesn’t, fit. But this has changed, I don’t know how or why. Slowly I began to feel a very strong hatred for society, for most of the individuals in it. This has kept me thinking. My childhood was the worst part of my life. I was physically abused by my mother, her mother, and my sister, I don’t want to appear like a victim but I was treated awfully bad. When I was younger I enjoyed beating other boys, I lied, I stole money from my mother, I did one vandal act on my school… My mother used to beat me, my grandmother forced me to have cold showers at night because I peed on the bed (which I did until I was 14), and my sister also hit me and mocked me. This rage inside me led me to abuse physically little kids, aged 2 to 5 or so, and animals. The thing is I feel ASPD could be an answer to this behaviour, but I’m not like this anymore. I feel a very strong hatred for individuals and I have problems respecting the rules, but I don’t manipulate people I just despise them I hope something bad happens to them so they know how this feels. Also, I really regret abusing animals, I’m a vegetarian, but oddly enough I don’t feel any remorse about abusing those little children nor for the rest of things, I did. Something is wrong with me, I know. My father is the closest person I have and I didn’t even tell him about this. Thank you.

I Don’t Know What Is Happening to Me

Answered by on -

A.

There is a saying often used in working with individuals who have been abused: “hurt people hurt people.” It is not uncommon for people who have been abused by others for extended periods of time to then act out their pain by hurting others. But before we unravel more about that process — let’s review the considerable strengths that you bring to the situation.

First, it is clear that you have persistence, a love of learning, and self-control. Feeling this recent hatred for society, but keeping yourself from acting on it, having these feelings and restraint while it “kept you thinking” and dealing with the abuse from three of the primary women in your life are all important character traits that and abilities that you’ll want to acknowledge and honor. Even you writing to us here at Psych Central and looking for answers is part of you using these character strengths.

This identification of Asperger Syndrome is good because it gives you a way of understanding the pattern of thoughts and behaviors associated with it. These typically include difficulty with social interactions and communication as noted here and the relief that can come from knowing about this diagnosis as identified here.

But the abuse and your reaction to it isn’t part of this syndrome. While the following isn’t a diagnosis meant for you (as it wouldn’t be possible to render an accurate one) many of your reactions seem related to a condition known as an antisocial personality disorder.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition ( DSM-5), which defines antisocial personality as an individual with 3 or more of the following traits:

  1. Regularly breaks or flouts the law
  2. Constantly lies and deceives others
  3. Is impulsive and doesn’t plan ahead
  4. Can be prone to fighting and aggressiveness
  5. Has little regard for the safety of others
  6. Irresponsible, can’t meet financial obligations
  7. Doesn’t feel remorse or guilt

To determine if your behaviors match this criteria here is a brief quiz again, that is not meant to diagnose but help you understand more about these concerns.

The place to look for understanding the origin of an antisocial personality disorder is rooted in childhood. The pattern of behavior often begins with four different categories classified as conduct disorders and include: People with these symptoms are at greater risk for antisocial personality disorder.

  • Aggression to people and animals
  • Destruction of property
  • Deceitfulness or theft
  • Serious violations of rules or laws

The best way to find out more is to talk to a professional. A clinical psychologist can conduct a series of tests along with an interview to help determine what your symptoms mean.

Finally, your email and asking these questions is an important element, perhaps, the most important, in understanding your true character. Your desire to learn more about yourself and understand who you are is the hallmark of someone who wants to grow. Of all the things you’ve mentioned this is the strongest and the most important for you to capitalize on going forward.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

I Don’t Know What Is Happening to Me

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Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2020). I Don’t Know What Is Happening to Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 7, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/01/16/i-dont-know-what-is-happening-to-me/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 10 Jan 2020 (Originally: 16 Jan 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 10 Jan 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.