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How to Spot a Sociopath? Look Out For These TellTale Signs!

When you think of the word sociopath, you may imagine Christian Bale in American Psycho or even Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs. But like most mental health conditions, sociopathy exists on a spectrum, and not all of them are serial killers. A study revealed that at least 3.8% of Americans would meet up the condition’s diagnostic criteria. So someone you know may be suffering from ASP.

So, what is sociopathy, or ASP? It is a syndrome or a misdemeanor that lasts for a long time. People with an antisocial personality disorder may turn out to be deceitful and/or impulsive. They may often shirk responsibilities and lack conscience. Many people may confuse a sociopath with a psychopath, however, they are two different things. While sociopaths may be prone to more impulsive behavior and are said to be disturbed or unhinged, the psychopath can be charming behind the veneer of cold and calculating. Most psychopaths are antisocial, but not all antisocials can be psychopaths. If you are someone who knows a person who has a history of aggression or deceit which can lead back to childhood, you may watch out for the red flags. So, what are the red flags you may look for if a person you know is a sociopath?

Lack of Empathy

One of the most well-known signs of ASP is lacking a sense of empathy, especially the lack of remorse for one’s actions. People who have ASP may lack a conscience, but it is not the case with everyone. Sociopaths may always have this symptom – one aspect that makes them dangerous.  When you don’t experience remorse, you may be up to do almost anything.

Show Deceitfulness

Sociopaths sometimes show symptoms such as dishonesty and deceitfulness. They can use lying to get out of a situation or to get their own way. They can also embellish the truth in any way they feel to serve their purpose.

Display Callousness

Some may show signs of violence and aggression. Others may show verbal aggression. Either way, people with ASP may have a cruel disregard for other people’s feelings.

Show Hostility and Irresponsibility

Sociopaths are not only hostile to others but they may also show others’ behavior as hostile, which may push them to seek revenge. Most people with ASP also have utter disregard for financial and social obligations. Ignoring responsibilities, in fact, can be one of the primary characteristics of people with ASP. Some of the things that people with ASP may fail at include, paying for child support when it’s due, not paying the bills, or skipping work.

Display Risky Behavior

When you combine irresponsibility with impulsivity, it leads to risky behavior, a trait common to sociopaths. They opt for such behavior to satiate their need for instant gratification. They are neither concerned about the safety of others nor for themselves. This may include excessive alcohol consumption, drug abuse, compulsive gambling, and indulging in dangerous hobbies such as criminal activities.

Treatment of ASP

Therapy is one of the main ways that can help manage some of the symptoms and side effects, especially if the symptoms are mild. But most people who are sociopaths may not seek professional help. People suffering from this disorder have a general lack of insight. They may recognize that they have some problems. They notice that they may get into trouble. They generally have an idea about their spouses not being happy with them. They know they tend to get into trouble on the job, but they start the blame game around them, such as their family, friends, and acquaintances, and do not take responsibility for their actions.

The good news is that most of the symptoms that ail people with ASP may reduce with age, especially if the sociopath has milder symptoms and they don’t show any habits that run into excesses, such as doing drugs or drinking copious amounts of alcohol. Those with an antisocial personality disorder have a difficult time relating to other individuals who are close to them. They may have a tough time maintaining a no-strings-attached love because all they look for is personal gain. Talking to a counselor can always help as they can come up with a plan to treat the person in the right way, whether it is your friend or a family member.

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