Much of what you have written falls outside the range of normal. To begin, while it may be relatively common for people to have homicidal fantasies, it’s typically a sign of something being wrong. You stated that for you, the idea of taking a life is empowering. Generally speaking, that’s probably true for most people who have homicidal fantasies. Having that level of control, over whether someone will live or die, likely is a very powerful feeling. People tend to fantasize about things they want or desire and don’t have. If an individual lacks power over their lives, then it makes sense that they would fantasize about that which they do not have but wish they did. In that way, fantasies serve as psychological compensation.
Your weapon-making “compulsion” is probably also related to your homicidal fantasies. You regard weapon-making as “compulsion,” though I would not categorize it as such. It may be more of a hobby or perhaps an extension of your homicidal fantasies in the sense that weapons make you feel safe and empowered. People who have a need to be surrounded by weapons often do so because they feel unsafe and vulnerable. Having weapons makes them feel safer and more prepared. Ironically, having more weapons, particularly firearms, makes one less safe. Studies consistently show that states that have higher rates of gun ownership have higher rates of suicide. Thus, the notion of stockpiling weapons to keep you safe is, in reality, risky and dangerous.
The bed-making in the middle of the night, your skin picking and cheek chewing, are all potentially indicators of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions that consume excessive amounts of time, cause you significant distress and interfere with your daily functioning and normal routines. Thankfully, OCD is highly treatable with therapy and medication.
The antisocial behaviors you have described may be consistent with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). In the United States, mental health professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) for Mental Health Disorders. It is a guidebook to categorize psychological disorders. According to the DSM, individuals with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) exhibit the following signs and symptoms:
- failure to conform to social norms regarding lawful behaviors (i.e. commit crimes that are against the law)
- repeated lying for the purpose of pleasure or profit
- irritability and aggression
- reckless disregard for the safety of themselves or others
- irresponsible; blames other people; and
- lack of remorse or empathy for having hurt or mistreated another person
Relatedly, in other parts of the world, individuals with ASPD might be characterized as having psychopathy. Psychopathy and ASPD are similar conditions but are conceptually different. Generally speaking, psychopathy is considered more severe than ASPD. Psychopathy is characterized by 20 distinct personality characteristics that include pathological lying, superficial charm, lack of empathy, and the willingness to engage in violence in order to advance one’s personal causes, among others.
Please understand that I’m not diagnosing you with ASPD or psychopathy. I’m simply pointing out that you may have tendencies or characteristics that may be in line with those aforementioned disorders. To know if you have those or any other condition, it would be necessary to consult, in-person, with a mental health professional. They would be in the position know what may be wrong, and most importantly, advise you on managing your symptoms.
Your main concern is that since your girlfriend is leaving and going to university, you will be alone and therefore more apt to engage in potentially illegal or immoral behavior. That is a realistic concern, especially because you have engaged in such behavior in the past and thus it would be wise to consult a professional. They can prevent you from doing something that may lead to your arrest and or imprisonment. If you want to stay out of trouble, then you must not engage in behaviors that are against the law. It would be especially prudent for you to consult a professional given your homicidal ideations and weapon-making compulsions. Individuals who fantasize about homicide, and who are actively creating weapons to hurt people, are at risk of violent behavior. It would be unwise for you to simply ignore this problem, and simply hope that it goes away. A therapist can also assist you with your possible anxiety disorder.
I hope that this answer provides some insight into your symptoms. I also hope that you will decide to undergo counseling. It’s the most responsible course of action. Otherwise, you risk endangering yourself and the lives of others. Should you engage in illegal behavior, you may wind up in prison, potentially for life. Depending on where you live, and the crime that you commit, you could face the death penalty. That’s not what you want. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle