A sociopath is an individual with an antisocial personality disorder. Individuals with this disorder behave in a way that is not socially appropriate, often times acting in ways that are mentally or physically harmful to others. Antisocial individuals have a lack of empathy and guilt for the actions that lead to harm to those around them. Why sociopathic behaviour develops is not entirely understood, but is thought to be caused by a lack of love in childhood or damage to the prefrontal lobes in the brain.
- Skill level:
Seek counselling for the individual with a licensed mental health worker. Psychologists and psychiatrists are trained in the diagnosis of individuals with personality disorders and sociopathic behaviours.
Pay attention to behaviours that cause harm to people in the individual's life. Notice how the person behaves in social interactions. A principal part of the disorder is a lack of empathy, which means that the individual is not capable of having compassion for others. This includes lying and being manipulative.
Ask the individual if he has ever been arrested. Sociopaths will often have difficulty staying out of trouble with the law.
Notice any violent behaviour that the person exhibits. Violence can be towards people, self or animals. Violent behaviour that occurs often is a significant indicator of a sociopathic personality.
Ask yourself if the individual is irresponsible on a regular basis. Also notice if the individual shows a disregard for the safety of others. These are both behaviours that help diagnose antisocial personality disorder.
Tips and warnings
- If you think that someone is displaying sociopathic behaviours, be very careful around that individual. He could end up hurting you emotionally or physically.
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