Friday, April 17, 2015

Sociopaths and Choice

Ther are some who claim that people possessive of the sociopathic personality disorder can only be bad people. This militates against basic reason. People have choice; which means that people of any kind of mental makeup can do the right thing.

Some people are naturally mean, and others are naturally kind. For others, it is a matter of choice. As someone who's been mean at some points in my life, and kind at others, I say with full clarity that anyone can be a good person if he is willing to work at it.

Ultimately we become what we choose to become. Even a natural sinner can be a good person if he wants to become one. If someone really wants to be a good person, he can become one, regardless of his psychological makeup or his neurology.

Nobody knows what actually causes the sociopathic personality disorder. Apparently the sociopaths have a disconnect between two centers in the brain, which means that the cure will utlimately involve brain surgery. I am not a sociopath; however I also know enough about life to know that anyone can choose to be a good person. With sociopaths, they will have to use their brains and their willpower to compensate for what their heart fails to do.

Adolf Hitler and Bill Gates appear to have a similar psychological makeup. Only one killed 50 million people, and the other computerized the world and gave billions of dollars to charitable causes. Both were completely ruthless, and both were egomaniacs. However one did evil and the other did good.

What does this mean for the rest of us? Mainly that anyone, even a sociopath, can be a good person and do the right thing if he is willing to put his mind to it. We are not animals; we are people. We become what we choose to become. And being a good person is possible for anyone, regardless of his psychology or neurology, if he is willing to make that choice.


Blogger marytkelly said...

I respectfully disagree. The brains of sociopaths are different than normal brains. To say a sociopath can be a good person means they weren't sociopathic in the first place. Sociopaths do make choices but only in ways that benefit them. They can appear to be good people because of the "good" choices they appear to be making but their motivation is always for self. Neuroscience shows that their brains are literally lacking the ability to be empathetic to the sufferings of others. In fact, they take pleasure in hurting others, mainly emotionally and financially. They can maintain an illusion of goodness for years but often have secret lives. "The Sociopath Next Door" is an excellent resource for those of us who have been devastated and harmed in long term ways by a sociopath. As a mental health professional, I've worked with those who continue to suffer from their experiences with a once trusted person who was, in fact, a sociopath.

Sociopaths don't want to change, and they are unwilling to work with someone if it doesn't benefit them. In fact, therapy can actually worsen sociopathic behavior because it's a new game for them. Presently, there is no medication to treat sociopathy.

There's just no pretty way to wrap this one.

2:54 PM  

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