It’s incredibly empowering to finally put a name to the evil you endured and continue to endure with your sociopath. It sucks to admit knowing and falling victim to a sociopath, but why does it take so long for some victims to be okay with coming to the conclusion that the person they thought they loved and once loved them is in fact a sociopath?
It’s certainly true that only a psychiatric specialist can technically and officially diagnose a person as being a sociopath or as being someone suffering from a cluster B personality disorder. However, how does a psychiatric specialist do this? Anyone who has ever been to a psychiatrist or counselor knows that the first visit usually consists of basic questions about your family and your childhood. Questions with answers that can be proven through a basic records search: How many siblings do you have? Has anyone in your family ever committed suicide? The answers to these questions establish a foundation the psychiatrist or counselor uses in the next phase of your diagnosis, the determination of what is at the root of a person’s current mood, state of unhappiness, or whatever it is that brought that person into the office in the first place.
I refer to this next phase as the VERY unscientific method of “couch questioning.” Couch questioning is like a gynocologist’s probe but without the use of forceps, fingers, or bright lights. The counselor begins with something like, “So, tell me about yourself.” (Which isn’t technically a question, is it?) There’s no blood drawn, no scan of brain waves, no blood pressure monitoring. Absolutely nothing medical required to measure the results. The psychiatrist relies purely on the honesty of the patient.
A normal, non-sociopathic person who understands the value of honesty, right from wrong, and has a moral compass and conscience will just start blabbering (Hell, I did!), and the truth just flows continuously from their lips in between fits of crying and laughter. Within a few minutes of listening, the psychiatrist concludes, “Oh, you are clearly clinically depressed and suffer from this, this, this, and this. Let’s prescribe medications X and Y and then let me know how that makes you feel. Okay?” Hmmmm? Seems rather quick and rash, doesn’t it?
But a sociopath? A narcissist? Their life story is presented to the psychiatrist in a sugar-coated package complete with blame and little shame. They are poised and calm and cool. They appear completely together, because they are together and completely at peace with their mask of lies. How’s a psychiatrist to know? They can’t know. A psychiatrist can’t see through this mask. Psyciatrists are fooled just like the rest of us. The sociopath will be given a non-diagnosis and told it’s everyone else in their life who caused the problems, exactly what these loons need in order to feed their lies even further. Trained psychiatrist? You were just duped, doctor! Hmmmm? But because they have all this training and expertise, their diagnosis is correct, isn’t it?
In my opinion, the victims of sociopaths and cluster B personality types are better at diagnosing these monsters than any psychiatric professional. Sure, doctors have the background in the terminology and the experience with real “crazies.” But do they have the real-life experiences and reactionary impulses victims have? Are they going to get the “truth” of what these monsters did straight from the horse’s mouth? Do they have video, audio, or even images of these creeps in action? Most likely no (unless they are dealing with convicted sociopaths who could possibly be countered with lots of jail-house video on file.) But your everyday, non-convicted sociopaths just lie with impunity and make gigantic fools of these skilled and highly-trained pros. (Sorry, doc, but it’s the truth.)
What would I recommend if you’re still on the fence about calling your sociopath a sociopath? Take the following test as if you were your sociopath, an honest version of your sociopath, one who recognizes his evil acts as evil acts. Hey, maybe you’ll discover that he isn’t a sociopath, and maybe it IS you after all. (I doubt it, but can’t hurt to find out.)
*The image used in this post came from a great site dedicated specifically to men who are vicitms of abuse at the hands of female sociopaths and females with a cluster B personality disorder: shrink4men. Obviously, as a woman I can not speak for men or even come close to having a voice that men sufferers can identify.