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Can the sociopath/psychopath be cured?

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posted on Mar, 28 2011 @ 04:38 PM
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A psychological topic.

It is said that the psychopaths and sociopaths have a kind of problem laid down in their neural hardwiring very early in life, perhaps through some kind of childhood trauma or abuse, or perhaps even inborn. From what I have read most shrinks seem to view these personality disorders as un-curable. However, I am suspicious of any personality-related problem that is said to be "uncurable". I have great faith in the ability of the human mind to adapt and grow, and I think there is something silly and reductionist about pigeonholing certain personality types and claiming they can't change. It seems to go against the amazing adaptability of the human mind. On the other hand, we are mortal creatures and there is such a thing as an incurable condition in the human.

So I am at a loss what to think.

What does ATS think?
edit on 3/28/2011 by Tarnished Templar because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 28 2011 @ 04:44 PM
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I do not believe sociopaths can be "cured". Mainly because they would not see their "condition" as a problem needing a cure. I have known 2 sociopaths. Both considered emotion to be weakness, and a conscience to be a crutch for the weak.



posted on Mar, 28 2011 @ 04:49 PM
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In a quick answer: I'm sure psychopaths can be "cured" or at least have their symptoms controlled with various medications. But then again, some may argue that medicating a psychopath is just covering up the problem.

I'm sure it's possible for a psychopath to control themselves and to be able to participate in society as a normal person - but it all comes down to mental control - which is definitely easier said than done.

I'm not going to compare psychopaths to pedophiles... but this particular story about a pedophile applies here. This guy had an uncontrollable attraction to children, so instead of succumbing to his desires, he decided to retire in a house far away from civilization. He spent all of his time alone in his house, only coming into the town on Sundays to go grocery shopping. No one knew that there was anything wrong with him until after he died. After he died, they found hundreds of hundreds of "played with" dolls in his house. It was realized that this guy basically spent his whole life alone in order to protect others from himself. Now that is self control right there. I'm sure if psychopaths were able to do the same (since a pedophile might be considered to be a 'flavor' of psychopath)... they would in a sense be "cured"... well... maybe not.

It's definitely something to consider though.



posted on Mar, 28 2011 @ 04:49 PM
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Tying to comprehend something that is not in your own experience is very hard indeed
when it is not in your own nature.

let the actions speak for themselves ..no matter what the words may say from the mouth.



posted on Mar, 28 2011 @ 04:50 PM
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Originally posted by sonofliberty1776
I do not believe sociopaths can be "cured". Mainly because they would not see their "condition" as a problem needing a cure. I have known 2 sociopaths. Both considered emotion to be weakness, and a conscience to be a crutch for the weak.


It's interesting how society is geared to reward these personality types, too.

So you don't think they could be brought to change themselves somehow?



posted on Mar, 28 2011 @ 04:51 PM
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reply to post by Tarnished Templar
 

I don't think most would want to change.



posted on Mar, 28 2011 @ 05:03 PM
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Originally posted by xsheep


let the actions speak for themselves ..no matter what the words may say from the mouth.



Ooops sorry ...this is not to true .....when it comes too psychopaths ....



posted on Mar, 28 2011 @ 10:55 PM
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reply to post by Tarnished Templar
 


I think in the case of psychopaths. Its not a case of they cant be cured. Its a case of they dont want to be cured. So they are'nt open to the manipulation of psychological techniques because even when faced with the results of their actions. Theres a part of them that does'nt accept that they are ill. So they are'nt open to any kind of change. Something has changed in these people and nothing is going to change it back.



posted on Mar, 29 2011 @ 01:02 AM
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Originally posted by KrypticCriminal
Something has changed in these people and nothing is going to change it back.


That's a pretty grim assessment, man.

So what is it? Childhood trauma? Inborn?

Its horrible to think a person could get to a state, mentally, that they couldn't ever recover from. Something in me resists this interpretation. Something I feel about the human soul; I somehow deep in my gut feel this can't possibly be true.

edit on 3/29/2011 by Tarnished Templar because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 29 2011 @ 01:12 AM
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Jeffrey Dahmer the notorious serial killer, according to stuff I researched, "by all accounts had a normal childhood" and it is reported that he was a happy toddler, but his mother had a difficult pregnancy. en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Mar, 29 2011 @ 01:17 AM
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reply to post by simone50m
 


Thinking about that reminds me of another point. There are psychopaths that are violent like that. There are also sociopaths or psychopaths that don'T seem to be violent, just "amoral." Is there a difference between these two? What drives cold, amoral behavior versus out-and-out butchery? Somehow they don't even seem related at all.
edit on 3/29/2011 by Tarnished Templar because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 29 2011 @ 01:25 AM
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I wonder if it's spiritual, when all other explanations fail. I know that many on ATS here will see me as some middle ages throwback, but I truly truly believe in possession and oppression by pure evil which exist aside of physicality.



posted on Mar, 29 2011 @ 01:27 AM
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I personally think that anyone can be "rewired" that is one of many capabilities that the mind holds, and also what makes us dangerous. We do not want to change those that put fear into the heart of the populace, as we are better controlled with thinking that "anything is possible".

With that being said, with the right understanding, and the correct approach, anyone can be lead into whatever direction, its dependent on those who may or may not want the change.

Peace, NRE.



posted on Mar, 29 2011 @ 01:38 AM
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reply to post by Tarnished Templar
 


Nature or nerture. Thats the great debate. Have you ever heard of a reformed psychopath? At best they'll be so zoned out on meds that they probably dont even know who they are. Part of me feels sorry for them, especialy if its not they're fault that they ended up like that. Maybe more needs to be done to spot symptoms early on and maybe theres a chance you can stop it before it takes a hold. Who knows? I think the problem is that you cant spot the symptoms untill they act out in some way and even them theres a million and one other conditions that it could be. Psychiatry is'nt an exact science and i think they're still learning. Harold Shipman did'nt have a bad upbringing yet he went on to kill hundreds of people which would suggest its in peoples nature. On the other hand Fred West was apparently abused as a child and thats what psychiatrist guess caused him to do what he did.

I think its an extreme manifestation of schizophrenia. just one possible outcome of many once someone has the illness. The same way some people claim they get messages from aliens or claim to be jesus. Some people turn to murder as part of there fantasy world. As far as i know there is no cure for schizophrenia. Only drugs that can suppress the symptoms. If someone does'nt believe theyre ill in the first place. They wont continue to take medication and so the cycle starts again.

As for there soul. Id like to think they'll find some kind of peice in death but as i believe that the afterlife you experience is of your own creation. To me it will be just as warped and twisted as there view of reality.



posted on Mar, 29 2011 @ 01:45 AM
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reply to post by simone50m
 


Shut up, you sound like a middle ages throwback.

lmao, sorry i could'nt resist.

Well if you believe that psychopaths are people who have been possesed then they can be cured. All you would need to do is an exorcism. Im not aware of a case were someone has tryed to exorcise a psychopath so who knows? it might just work.



posted on Mar, 29 2011 @ 01:52 AM
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reply to post by KrypticCriminal
 


It would be an -interesting- experiment!



posted on Mar, 29 2011 @ 02:08 AM
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The terms sociopathy and psychopathy vary in definition from one sect of professionals to the next, but the way I have chosen to interpret them, a sociopath theoretically can be changed, but usually refuses to see any problem in one's condition. They are a mixture of genetic propensities, and environmental circumstances, which causes them to be of a highly criminal mindset. They are aware that what they do is wrong, but just don't care.

My understanding of the psychopath is that it's innate, else an acquired neurological defect. They don't truly grasp that what they do is wrong in any which way. The concept of right and wrong is a bit beyond them altogether.

So, I think that sociopathy can potentially be cured IF the individual CHOOSES, but it seems this is rarely the case, and usually only so after mid-life or so.



posted on Mar, 29 2011 @ 02:17 AM
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It is my opinion that information regarding personality disorders should be a mandatory part of health education in high school because it's a lot more common than anyone thinks. There can be a very fine line between things like passive-aggression/ narcissism and actual psychopaths/ sociopaths. People can get mixed up with them and can suffer for decades before they are able to even question what's going on.

Psychopaths/ sociopaths (and probably narcissists) have no empathy for other beings or people. There is a complete lack of conscience. This isn't something that can be "taught", although the reverse seems to be true via bitterness. (I don't know if the mental health community differentiates. Probably not)
I've wondered if it is anger based in some or even all. In the case of a merely "rotten SOB"; who is indifferent to the consequences of his actions vs a "serial killer"; who craves harming others in the most brutal ways possible, my theory is that some of them have (or develop) sadistic urges that play out to one extent or another. The serial killer type is like someone with cancer whose anger and sadism has gone completely amok. Some are just so egocentric, it never occurs to them that their actions harm others and don't care when they find out.

I have never heard of a possible drug therapy for this, nor do I believe that it's "curable" or "manageable". Because chronic, pathological lying/ deception is such a prominent feature, therapy is very, very difficult if not impossible. They learn to mimic sympathetic and caring behaviors and some carry it off quite well.
Finding a therapist who can and will attempt it is not easy.
If you suspect you're involved with one of these people, RUN! because you really are running for your very life (whether they might literally kill you or not).



posted on Mar, 29 2011 @ 02:25 AM
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reply to post by DogsDogsDogs
 


Thats a good post. I came up against a couple of, at least, narcissists with sociopathy. Verrrrrrry charming and intelligent, it is very easy for them to become cult leaders if they wanted. But OMG, the lack of empathy when you are a powerless nobody and it's just you and (him). Chilling.



posted on Mar, 29 2011 @ 02:29 AM
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reply to post by DogsDogsDogs
 


Since psychopaths and sociopaths are not remotely the same thing, I think the claim that neither have "any conscience" and so forth is inaccurate. Sociopaths lack empathy for others, and psychopaths lack an ability to understand or follow social rules. Psychopaths are pretty obvious and usually have a lot of trouble with the law or authorities before diagnosed. Sociopaths can be very manipulative and dangerous, but they're not inhuman monsters. They're just unable to experience the reality of other people and their behavior follows 'logically' from that.

Prognosis for all mental health treatment seems to rest primarily on the individual's willingness to improve. Someone undergoing forced treatment is unlikely to improve. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible for sociopaths and psychopaths and others on the 'extreme' of mental illness to become willing to improve, though it is always harder to achieve that with a personality disorder.

Also, it's not true that there are no medications used in these cases (anti-psychotics and sedatives are generally the core of chemical treatment) or that no therapist will treat them. Frankly that sounds like the perspective of someone who has suffered from a loved one with one of these illnesses, and while that can certainly be traumatic, it's not representative of the medical view.
edit on 29-3-2011 by sepermeru because: (no reason given)





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