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n3rdgir1
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19 Sep 2011, 7:52 am

I followed a bread crumb conversation on another site this morning and found someone I know mention they were a "sociopath". This same person also self-diagnosed as having Aspergers. I thought the two were mutually exclusive? I know they superficially share a lack of empathy, but seem to be very very different conditions.

I did some research this morning and found mixed evidence. Can you have Aspergers AND Antisocial Personality Disorder (sociopathy)?



Venger
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19 Sep 2011, 8:00 am

Sociopaths are compulsive liars, so this person doesn't really have aspergers especially with a self-diagnose.



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19 Sep 2011, 9:35 am

1. Sociopathy (and it's many definitions...) and ASD is something I know little about, but I figured I'd offer my opinion on related terms/this topic anyway.

2. If you wonder whether an autistic person can - besides their autism - exhibit seemingly "severe" but shallow emotions, can lack in certain areas of cognitive and affective empathy and can have impaired understanding of responsibility/guilt/blame, can lie without distress and/or emotional comprehension of the more than objective/non-emotional impact of lying and resulting manipulation, can be risk-taking and impulsive/have overall impaired impulse-control, can have an impaired ability to learn from certain experiences - yes, a person with ASD can have such additional impairments besides their autistic impairments too.


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bridgete2010
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19 Sep 2011, 10:13 am

Venger wrote:
Sociopaths are compulsive liars, so this person doesn't really have aspergers especially with a self-diagnose.


That's what I thought...


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Twist
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19 Sep 2011, 11:36 am

Compulsive lying has nothing to do with either conditions.

Many autistic children are compulsive liars and many high-functioning sociopaths never have to lie at all, they just tenderly nitpick what they say and how they say it. Lying is not synonymous with psychological or social manipulation.

In scientific terms, no you can't be both. Sociopaths are not a generic conglomorate of "could-be's" - it's a condition defined by lack of remorse and superficial empathy - AS is defined by it's "apparent lack" of empathy because the problems between the pathing of the limbic system CONFUSE autistic people, making it hard/sometimes impossible to react appropriately to certain social stimuli, anti-socials have this in inverse - they are adept at feigning such a connection (empathy) because they developed differently neurologically and it is their impulsive, selfish and often successful exploits that make them stand out from a social perspective, not their oddballness.

Ofcourse, you can be inherently anti-social based on enviromental conditions irregardless of any other "disorders" you might have, however if the two were not mutually exclusive, what you'd end up with is a special needs psycho that couldn't read or process social queues, had no qualms about cutting someone's head off if he felt threatened, even superficially, and would probably end up killing themselves because of boredom and frustration because they lacked the correct neural pathing to capitalize on their amoral cognitive functioning.

I remember that AS used to be coined "autistic psychopathy" because the lack of delay between speech and motor functions and apparent lack of empathy suggested latent psychopathic tendencies - it was never more than a name though.



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19 Sep 2011, 12:20 pm

Twist wrote:

In scientific terms, no you can't be both. Sociopaths are not a generic conglomorate of "could-be's" - it's a condition defined by lack of remorse and superficial empathy - AS is defined by it's "apparent lack" of empathy because the problems between the pathing of the limbic system CONFUSE autistic people, making it hard/sometimes impossible to react appropriately to certain social stimuli, anti-socials have this in inverse - they are adept at feigning such a connection (empathy) because they developed differently neurologically and it is their impulsive, selfish and often successful exploits that make them stand out from a social perspective, not their oddballness.



The difference between
a lack of empathy and the appearance of a lack of empathy
doesn't render Autism and Sociopathy mutually-exclusive.

One individual can very well meet the criteria for both,
although someone who's baldly-proclaiming to have both online for no apparent reason in all honesty I would just Dx as "attention whore".


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19 Sep 2011, 12:27 pm

Sociopaths don't see other humans as sentient beings. When they look at other people, their brain reacts as if they are looking at an inanimate object. They see people as machines that they can get to serve their purpose if they do and say the right things to "it". They almost, if not completely, lack the ability to feel emotions for others or remorse when they hurt someone.

People with AS, on the other hand, still have that innate programming that causes their brain to recognize other people as sentient beings, even if they can't quite understand how a person might feel in a particular situation. People with AS can feel remorse for hurting others and really don't know what to do and say to get people to cooperate with them.



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19 Sep 2011, 1:40 pm

ValentineWiggin wrote:

The difference between
a lack of empathy and the appearance of a lack of empathy
doesn't render Autism and Sociopathy mutually-exclusive.

One individual can very well meet the criteria for both,
although someone who's baldly-proclaiming to have both online for no apparent reason in all honesty I would just Dx as "attention whore".


The neurological makeup of their brains do, though (I realise this is probably accidental pedantism, but whatever ;P).

the DSM makes it quite easy to apply Hare's checklist to many people with HFA or even NT's with a grudge, but a diagnosis as a psychopath does not make one a psychopath.

Anxiety and pragmatism are prevailent in AS, while they are empirically absent in someone on the psychopathic scale. Mirror neurons also fail to work (or are absent) in Aspies, rendering them socially incompetent, atleast in the early years - if this were also true for psychopathy, they would stand out even more so than an aspie, and earlier aswell because of their poor impulse control and chronic need for heightened stimulation (this is present from very early ages and is a big factor in psychopathic children committing murders, even before the age of 10.)

I should point out that while I define psychopathy and ASPD as seperate dx's, technically they aren't. I adhere to the theory that psychopathy, like autism is a genetic abnormality and that it is essential to the human social structure - ASPD (sociopathy), is imo, more a result of specific brain makeup meeting specific enviromental factors (no dad, too poor/too rich, neglected, sexually abused, take your pick) .

Enviromental factors could, like I said earlier, result in a very cynical, anti-social and even somewhat manipulative person, however if you add the requirements for ASD to this mix, what you end up with is a very repressed, angry, resentful recluse that still doesn't have a clue about people - not a psycho.

it is entirely possible to be autistic and psychotic, however. :twisted:



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19 Sep 2011, 1:56 pm

I've said it before and I'll probably have to say it another thousand times: Aspies aren't sociopaths, we just don't fake empathy like NTs do. Also, we're typically bad at reading the emotions of others, and it's difficult to empathize with someone when you don't even realize what they're feeling.



ValentineWiggin
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19 Sep 2011, 1:57 pm

Could someone *not* list the differential criteria for Autism vs. Sociopathy,
and instead steer us toward the criteria that render the two MUTUALLY-EXCLUSIVE?


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19 Sep 2011, 2:16 pm

The dividing line between the two is that sociopaths are experts of social norms on a superfical level with a level of mastery that can fool most NT's,,,,however aspies are generally clueless about social norms and even real attemps end in failure, however higher functioning aspies can fake it to a degree to skirt by, but the motive is not manipulation, but needs of social inclusion.

technically one will cancel out the other.

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Twist
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19 Sep 2011, 2:16 pm

ValentineWiggin wrote:
Could someone *not* list the differential criteria for Autism vs. Sociopathy,
and instead steer us toward the criteria that render the two MUTUALLY-EXCLUSIVE?


I am not sure what you mean :|

if you mean "neurologically speaking, what makes it impossible for someone to be both a textbook psychopath and autistic" then you'll have to ask an expert, my understanding of neuro-science is limited and it is possible that I'm wrong.

From my limited understanding, the mirror neuron system which fails to work properly for someone with ASD is the exact reason why someone with AsPD can end up so successful, because their ability to mimic is not impaired, as ours is.

The amygdalae in ASD are noticably larger than NT's aswell (increased sense of empathy), while they are empirically defective in brains predisposed to psychopathy.

I suppose it is possible that one could lack remorse and conscience and still fulfill the criteria of ASD, however I imagine such an individual would be obscenely handicapped socially.



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19 Sep 2011, 2:22 pm

I don't think the two have anything to do with eachother.. i see sociopaths as people who can fake to be anything they want, some might come over as aspies but they really aren't. sociopaths can be anything they want.. they are masters of disguise.


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btbnnyr
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19 Sep 2011, 2:25 pm

I have a feeling that the highest levels of business and government are packed with successful sociopaths.



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19 Sep 2011, 2:29 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
I have a feeling that the highest levels of business and government are packed with successful sociopaths.

that's a very correct guess there ;-) just think about how corrupt our governments are and how they succeed on keeping it under the covers..


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