Anyone educated on both Sociopathy and Aspergers?

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ColdNumbness
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31 Dec 2012, 12:07 pm

Hello :P

I'm a self-diagnosed Sociopath who was diagnosed with Aspergers Autism, and I was wondering if there's anyone on this forum who's well-educated on the two conditions and could explain the key similarities and differences for me.

I would really appreciate it :)



rabidmonkey4262
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31 Dec 2012, 12:29 pm

Sociopaths have natural social intuition; they can easily tell when someone is upset or frightened, but they don't care. Sociopaths have a natural charm that makes it easy for them to manipulate others. Even worse, some of them actually get a rush from seeing other people upset. They usually like torturing animals just to see the reaction. Michael Vick is the perfect example of a sociopath because he loved to kill his dogs slowly. His favorite methods were beating, electrocution, and hanging.

Asperger's is the total opposite. People with untreated Asperger's can't tell if someone is anxious unless it's really obvious. It's not that they don't care about other people's emotions, but it's more like they're oblivious. This is why body language books are so important for us. A sociopath would not need a body language book. Also unlike sociopaths, people on the autism spectrum usually find it easy to empathize with animals. We would never deliberately torture an animal. We also have a hard time using social charm and our ability to manipulate others is minimal.

So, it's impossible to be both a sociopath and an autist; they're polar opposites.


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SilkySifaka
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31 Dec 2012, 12:39 pm

I know a little about both. Here is the DSM criteria for Anti-Social Personality Disorder.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM IV-TR), defines antisocial personality disorder (in Axis II Cluster B) as:[1]
A) There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three or more of the following:
failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead;
irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;
B) The individual is at least age 18 years.
C) There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years.
D) The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or a manic episode.
The individual must be at least 18 years of age to be diagnosed with this disorder (Criterion B), but those diagnosed with ASPD as adults were commonly diagnosed with conduct disorder as children. The prevalence of this disorder is 3% in males and 1% from females, as stated in the DSM IV-TR.

These are not easy criteria for a person to meet. If you have APD you are likely already involved in the justice system, excluded from school etc. Which traits do you feel you have? Have you got a diagnosis of a conduct disorder? I would be very wary of self diagnosing APD, which is an extremely stigmatizing disorder to have.



GGPViper
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31 Dec 2012, 12:49 pm

I am.

Generally, the definition "Sociopath" is somewhat informal. Two more generally accepted definitions exist:

1. Psychopath - Defined according to the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R)
2. Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) - Defined according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV) or the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, tenth edition (ICD-10)

Definition (1) is mostly used by psychologists. Definition (2) is mostly used by psychiatrists (medical specialists).

In general, though, the definitions display somewhat similar traits: Callous-Unemotional Traits and Impulsive Behaviour.

I personally prefer the PCL-R, as it has a greater focus on etiology than APD (and as such, is more scientific).

It is my initial assessment that individuals on the autistic spectrum *may* display some of the same unemotional traits common in Psychopathy/APD, but the impulsive traits of the latter are pretty much in direct opposition to the former...


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toliman
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31 Dec 2012, 12:57 pm

rabidmonkey4262 wrote:
impossible to be both a sociopath and an autist; they're polar opposites.


(i may be rambling here, my perspective is ... irrational, and constructed from personal observation/empathy)

it could be possible to have partial traits across that spectra, some parts of NPD and ASD can cross over, since ASD covers executive dysfunction, and narcissistic personality / sociopathy often share some emotional disconnect issues, i.e. responses to empathy or transgressions to a personal aspect of your life that others may not respect the way you do, a perceived act of aggression which you can't ignore or let go of, etc.

violence is one aspect, rage and impulsiveness, but it's much easier to look at control, self control and control of others. to be fair, once you get into the practical aspect of developed deception, it's how you rationalise the process and how it affects you and others.

unlike autistic tendencies towards passivity or a preclusion towards violence and deception, narcissism and anti-social disorders can incorporate themselves into a neurosis or belief structure that encompasses necessary actions, a justification presents itself as necessary, a sneer or a laugh triggers a need to respond, etc.

in some ways, sociopathy is very NT, it's just when you can't really prevent or understand the motives, it can hurt, or it can offend, or the genuine expression of a feeling or response, gets entangled into a sense of persecution, achievement, belief, ownership, family, nationalism, pride, jealousy, rage, and you need to react because that's what other people respect or understand. in some ways, all violence and deception is very much a theory of mind problem, some inherent with the disorder, and some inherited from the actions of others.



redrobin62
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31 Dec 2012, 1:10 pm

<--- Could never beat, electrocute or hang a dog.



Callista
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31 Dec 2012, 1:20 pm

It's possible to be both. They're not opposites; they're just unrelated conditions.

In short:
Autistics can't easily tell what other people are feeling, but once they know, they care about the person.
Sociopaths can easily tell what people are feeling, and they care about how they can use this information for their own benefit.

An autistic sociopath would have difficulty telling what other people are feeling; once they got the information, they would care about using it to their own benefit, but not care about the other person's well-being.

A smart sociopath is likely to understand that deliberately taking advantage of other people, especially in an overt and socially unacceptable way, is not a good strategy. While they do not particularly care about other people, they do care about their own comfort, and it is not comfortable to be ejected from society or even imprisoned. Sociopaths who are capable of thinking ahead will usually learn about their society and commit only those offenses which they can get away with even if they are caught. Most sociopaths are not violent criminals, and many are actually very personable and charming.

Autistic sociopaths would be unable to turn on the charm nearly as well, have more trouble learning to deceive or manipulate people. They would have more trouble learning to "play the game", and would be more obviously different from non-autistics. What they do with this situation depends on them. Many, because they are autistic, care much more about their particular special interests than they will ever care about gaining social status or prestige or subjugating others. They may spend their lives in contented isolation--misanthropic people who nevertheless do little harm, because harming others does not benefit them.


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Mike1
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31 Dec 2012, 1:27 pm

Are you sure that you have Antisocial Personality Disorder? Try looking up the symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Schizoid Personality Disorder, Schizotypal Personality Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder. Many disorders can be mistaken for Antisocial Personality Disorder if you don't know the symptoms and diagnostic criteria well.



rabidmonkey4262
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31 Dec 2012, 1:55 pm

Callista wrote:
Autistic sociopaths would be unable to turn on the charm nearly as well, have more trouble learning to deceive or manipulate people. They would have more trouble learning to "play the game", and would be more obviously different from non-autistics. What they do with this situation depends on them. Many, because they are autistic, care much more about their particular special interests than they will ever care about gaining social status or prestige or subjugating others. They may spend their lives in contented isolation--misanthropic people who nevertheless do little harm, because harming others does not benefit them.


It sounds like you're confusing misanthropy with sociopathy. If you care more about your special interests than you do about subjugating others, then you're not a sociopath; you're just a misanthrope who doesn't particularly care for humanity. Misanthropic people have a sense of morality. The ability to charm and deceive for personal benefit is inherent in the label of sociopathy, while the lack of social charm and deception is associated with autism. Autists have a sense of morality and sociopaths don't. You can't have both at the same time.


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Callista
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31 Dec 2012, 2:09 pm

Having a sense of morality isn't in the diagnostic criteria for autistics, though. That implies that autistic people tend to have about the same sense of morality that non-autistic people do. Autistic people can be anywhere from very compassionate to not compassionate at all, in the same way that non-autistic people can.

As far as I can tell, sociopathy need not involve actively enjoying hurting others; there only needs to be a lack of compassion. Most sociopaths don't hurt other people unless it benefits them somehow. If you're not a particularly social person, you may gain the greatest subjective benefit by simply ignoring other people.

Also remember that when we talk about antisocial personality disorder, we're not talking about the extremes (serial killers, genocidal dictators, whatever) as being representative of the average case of ASPD. Depending on how you measure it, antisocial personality disorder may represent as much as one in twenty of the population. There aren't enough absolute monsters to account for one in twenty, or even one in a hundred. Most of the time, ASPD just means a petty criminal, a manipulative neighbor, a ruthless businessman. And when that level of ASPD is combined with autism, it just makes sense to me that the person would be likely to simply avoid all those annoying people he doesn't care about, in order to focus on whatever it is he does care about.


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ColdNumbness
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31 Dec 2012, 2:37 pm

Well I can read body language and emotional cues flawlessly, am all around indifferent(even to death and others pain, though I have no desire to cause harm), can be very manipulitve, and spend most of my everyday life bored as f**k, so I know I'm a Socio/Psychopath/Aspd or whatever. I just want to know the similarities and differences so I can get a rough idea of how often a misdiagnosis of Aspd as Aspergers is likely to occur...

EDIT: Physical similarities and differences



redrobin62
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31 Dec 2012, 2:46 pm

@ColdNumbness - I'd steer you to some online tests for sociopathy, but given a sociopath's tendency to lie, if you are a sociopath, you'd answer the questions incorrectly on purpose. Who diagnosed you as being on the autism spectrum?



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31 Dec 2012, 2:57 pm

redrobin62 wrote:
@ColdNumbness - I'd steer you to some online tests for sociopathy, but given a sociopath's tendency to lie, if you are a sociopath, you'd answer the questions incorrectly on purpose. Who diagnosed you as being on the autism spectrum?


A neurologist. My mom made me get tested because I was slacking off in school.



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31 Dec 2012, 3:06 pm

ColdNumbness wrote:
Well I can read body language and emotional cues flawlessly, am all around indifferent(even to death and others pain, though I have no desire to cause harm), can be very manipulitve, and spend most of my everyday life bored as f**k, so I know I'm a Socio/Psychopath/Aspd or whatever. I just want to know the similarities and differences so I can get a rough idea of how often a misdiagnosis of Aspd as Aspergers is likely to occur...

EDIT: Physical similarities and differences
If you have the intuitive ability to be manipulative, key word being "intuitive," then you're not likely to be on the autism spectrum. Autists can be manipulative, but only in the most basic sense. Being bored has nothing to do with it.


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rabidmonkey4262
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31 Dec 2012, 3:15 pm

Callista wrote:
If you're not a particularly social person, you may gain the greatest subjective benefit by simply ignoring other people.

Also remember that when we talk about antisocial personality disorder, we're not talking about the extremes (serial killers, genocidal dictators, whatever) as being representative of the average case of ASPD. Depending on how you measure it, antisocial personality disorder may represent as much as one in twenty of the population. There aren't enough absolute monsters to account for one in twenty, or even one in a hundred. Most of the time, ASPD just means a petty criminal, a manipulative neighbor, a ruthless businessman. And when that level of ASPD is combined with autism, it just makes sense to me that the person would be likely to simply avoid all those annoying people he doesn't care about, in order to focus on whatever it is he does care about.


Ignoring people or not caring about people doesn't prove you're a sociopath or an autistic; it just means you like to be alone. I'm often annoyed by people and I'm very misanthropic. I often prioritize my special interests over socializing, which from what I can deduce from your statements, makes me a sociopath. That would be incorrect because unlike the manipulative business man, I'd feel very bad if I swindled money from someone. Either you're not explaining your point clearly, or there are holes in your logic.


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Last edited by rabidmonkey4262 on 31 Dec 2012, 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

redrobin62
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31 Dec 2012, 3:15 pm

@ColdNumbness - neurologists specialize in diseases of the body's nervous system. This includes brain & spinal cord injury, seizures, strokes, etc. They don't diagnose Autism. Sorry.

Also, if I am to believe you're a sociopath, you're not telling the truth about the neurologist and you're just making that up, something someone with autism wouldn't do. By the same token, if everything you've said thus far is a lie, then I can also believe you've never been tested for Asperger's and the behaviors you've listed are untrue.

Conclusion: You're neither autistic nor sociopathic and probably just someone who's bored.