It is rare to come across individuals who exhibit sociopathic behaviors. But from time to time we hear and see people who appear to meet the definition of a sociopath. Such people have little regard or concern about those close to them.
You are probably wondering if there is a way of evaluating sociopathic tendencies. Other people might want to know the exact definition of a sociopath, how the condition is diagnosed, and whether it is treatable or not.
But with technology, it has become easy to understand different types of disorders and mental illnesses. Mobile applications such as Talkspace have helped many people to seek help from different therapists across the country.
What is a sociopath?
Many people seem to have their own definitions of a sociopath. But according to psychology and psychiatry, a sociopath is a person suffering from a personality disorder called antisocial personality disorder.
There are approximately 10 primary personality disorders and antisocial personality disorder is one of them.
Others include borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder among others. Personality disorders are not similar to other mental conditions such as bipolar disorder or depression.
Some personality disorders like antisocial personality disorder are usually discovered after a person has attained the adolescent stage or early adulthood.
Persons with antisocial personality disorder normally exhibit a tendency of violating or disregarding the rights of others – according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
A person with this condition may not adhere to social norms or persistently lie to others.
Is there a sociopathic test?
There is no sociopath test as such. However, an antisocial personality disorder is among those listed in the DSM-5. A medical doctor or psychiatrist can diagnose antisocial personality disorder using this criterion.
Is there any difference between a sociopath and a psychopath?
Both “sociopath and “psychopath” are terms not found in the world of psychiatry or psychology. They are simply informal terms usually used to describe people with reckless and impulsive personalities.
Sociopaths as described by most people, tend to exhibit similar traits with people affected by antisocial personality disorder. Psychopaths are normally viewed as violent and deviant individuals that don’t blend easily with others compared to sociopaths.
Who can develop antisocial personality disorder?
It is not clear why some people become sociopaths or start exhibiting antisocial personality disorder.
Some theories suggest environmental factors and the role of genetics. According to one expert from Talkspace, an individual has a high chance of being affected by antisocial personality disorder if his or her close relative has the same condition.
Signs of antisocial personality disorder?
Although there is no particular way of testing sociopaths, there is a criterion that is stipulated in the DSM-5 that defines an individual with an antisocial personality disorder.
Here is the criterion:
• Instability as far as home and work life is concerned
• Frequently violating others either emotionally or physically
• Lacking remorse after offending other people
It is important to seek professional help if you or your loved one exhibits any of these symptoms.
Health-tech companies such as Talkspace have therapists who are always on standby to diagnose and offer support.