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Thread: 1 out of 25 people in the world are sociopaths - was your ex one of them?

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    Default 1 out of 25 people in the world are sociopaths - was your ex one of them?

    Hello all,
    It has been a long while since I have posted on the forum. (Almost 9 months, I would say) But since then, I have read a few really good books and have gained some tremendous insight into some of my own personal break up devastations.

    I read this forum, especially from those who are extremely heart broken over a relationship ending. And I can't help but wonder if some of the books I've read over the past year might shed some light onto other people's situations.

    First of all, I will say that I had a very turbulent childhood with my parents, so I naturally attracted dysfunctional relationships. I think this played a big role in why my relationships were intensely painful. My parents helped me form the "template" of all of my relationships in the future.

    I have severe issues with abandonment. I read this book about one year ago called "The Black Swan" and it is about human bonding. The reason we go crazy after a break up is because when we are abandoned by somebody we love, it triggers our most primitive fears. The shattering of this human bond is actually a physical and biochemical process that reeks havoc on our bodies. When we are hurt, devastated and left by somebody we love - our pulse races, our mouth gets dry, and our bodies go into "fight or flight" mode. We can't sleep, we can't eat. Sometimes, we even think that we see our lovers on the street or in a crowd.

    And because this person left you, it psychologically fools you into thinking, "If I feel this way, then he/she must have REALLY been important to me! I must have REALLY loved him/her." So, we put them on a pedastal and reject ourselves because of this biochemical reaction we have within our bodies to them leaving us. But really, it has nothing to do with them being "special" or "out of the ordinary." It is a very natural reaction to being abandoned by somebody you love.

    Another book I read about human bonding is called "The Betrayal Bond" by Patrick Carnes. In this book about human bonding, he talks a great deal about Stolkholm Syndrome, and how we actually form intense, loyal bonds to people who cause us a great deal of fear, turmoil and distress. It is scientifically proven that fear strengthens the human bond, and proves a strong case for why women are unable to leave physically abusive relationships. The extreme highs and lows of the relationship are addictive, and further solidify the bond. All of the tension and violence that builds up makes the sex that much more intense and pleasurable. It creates a biochemical cocktail of addiction to people who are involved in abusive relationships.

    This explains why (some of us) might have an intense, all consuming bond with the person who has betrayed us, or left us for one reason or another. In the case of abandonment, the person goes through withdrawls and puts the person on a pedastal, and thinks to themselves, "There must be something wrong with me if this person chose to leave me, even though I still love him/her." And betrayal causes post traumatic stress disorder, in extreme cases.

    A human bond is neither good or bad - it is neutral, depending on the people who are bonded. Just like money is not good or evil, it just depends on who is using it. There is a lot of intense pain on these forums, and I would be willing to bet that some of this pain stems from something that is much, much deeper than just a normal break up between two adults.

    I've experienced adult to adult break ups, and while they are painful to a degree - the pain is barable, and I know I will be able to move on. But the experience I had with my first love was unbelievably horrific, because she abandoned and betrayed me when I felt as though I needed her most. It literally took me eight years to get over that relationship ending, because of everything that happened.

    Which leads me to another interesting read I've discovered about human nature. This book has little to do with bonding, but I am sure it will come as a shock to some of you. It is estimated that 4% of the total world population could be diagnosed as having anti-social personality disorder, which is just a fancy name for "sociopath."

    When people think of the word "sociopath" they think of Ted Bundy, Wayne Gacy or some other bottom of the barrell serial killer. But that's just it, those ARE the bottom of the barrel sociopaths, they are not the norm. Most sociopaths will never show a streak of violence for as long as they live. But here is something you should know...

    1 out of 25 people you know is a sociopath. 4% of the total population sounds like a small number, but when you think about 4 out of 100 people, or 1 out of 25 people YOU KNOW, it really puts things into perspective.

    Now, what exactly does this mean?

    It means that some of us may have unwittingly been friends with, or even may have been involved with a sociopath. Like I said, that doesn't mean rape me, torture me, kill me and eat me. It means that the person you are dealing with has absolutely, positively, NO EMOTIONS.

    And not only are they barren of all emotions, they still pretend and MIMIC genuine emotion, just to manipulate situations to their benefit. The only thing they truly feel inside is sheer boredom, and their goal is to allieviate boredom at all cost. But they cannot actually "feel" anything except boredom, anger, and frustration. They see people who are responsibile, nice and gullible as being "stupid" and go out of there way to take advantage of other people's kindness, consideration, or good will.

    1 out of 25 is a very real number, and if you think about it... chances are, you can think of SOMEBODY in your life that you suspect is a sociopath RIGHT NOW. Somebody who constantly reeks havoc in other people's lives, laughs at other people's misfortune, and always blames somebody else for their mistakes. Those are the classic signs of a sociopath.

    My first love was a clinically DIAGNOSED sociopath, not by my own amatuer, online evaluation. She was a non-violent sociopath who was incapable of emotions. And not only that, she was absolutely incapable of bonding with me emotionally. When something or somebody better came along, she had no problems detaching herself, because she never was attached in the first place. And me, being the young 20 year old girl that I was who believed in love, and a very sensitive person - I rushed into that relationship too quick, and I didn't even comprehend what type of person she was. If you asked me when I was 20 years old if it was possible to be born without the capacity to feel human emotions, I would not have believed you. But there are some people in this world who do not have the ability to bond with a human being on an emotional level, even though they say all the right things and mimic sincere emotion. They only do it because they are getting something out of the deal, such as you paying for half of the bills, or maybe because they like having sex with you - or whatever other reason.

    But they never form deep, long lasting connections with others.

    If you are a "normal" person who has bonded with a sociopath or narcissist, your break up will probally be more devastating than normal - because the person who has dumped you may be VERY happy with somebody else, or worse, they could be mistreating you by trying to blame you for the break up while they move on with their lives, perhaps with somebody new.

    Another book to read on this topic would be "The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha (not sure the last name) but if you google the book, you will find it. It talks about the inner workings of a sociopath, and what red flags to look out for in case you run across those signs in the future.

    These three books have helped me tremendously. Of course, I had some deeper core issues I had to address pertaining to my childhood, and why I continuously attracted these whack jobs into my life. I believe my mother is an undiagnosed sociopath, or at the very least, a borderline personality disorder. My intention is not to throw around labels and give an unprofessional diagnosis, but most of these people will never actually get a professional opinion, so it is up to my own due dilligence to research as much as I can, and if I see the warnings, AVOID THEM.

    I was lucky enough to have validation that my ex was a clinically diagnosed, non-violent sociopath. (AKA psychopath) And we throw that word around a lot very casually in our culture (Wow, what a psycho!) But it is a very REAL problem that devastates A LOT of people.

    For anyone out there who is gullible and believes in the "goodness" of humanity, you must know that there are people out there who will chew you up, spit you out, and take a tremendous amout of pleasure in doing so, just because they find it amusing and they are "bored." They will toy with your emotions, just to get a rise out of you. And then, they will turn those emotions against you. In the beginning they will lure you in with seduction, tell you what you want to hear, and get what they want out of you before they dump you. I use to be a very kind, trusting person as well - but after a few relationships (one with a professionally validated sociopath, and one with a non-professionally validated narcissist) I can see why I was so devasted for so many years. It wasn't your "typical" break up. It hurt more than normal.

    I hope this thread sheds some light to those who might be hurting ten times more than they think they need to be hurting. Chances are, you are probally right - it ISN'T suppose to hurt as bad as it does, but you don't know why it hurts so bad. This may clarify the reasons WHY it is hurting, so you can finally get some clarity and move forward with your life and make sense out of everything. It helped me a lot.

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    Wow this was a very intetesting read. Im starting to think that my x has some of these personality traits. That is a really scary thought. But makes sense why its been sooo hard of a break for me. She was my first real love, figures she has to be a pycho!

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    I've looked at "The Sociopath Next Door," and I had some problems with it, as a lot of her statistics she cites are outdated or just plain incorrect. A lot of the information she uses are from outdated editions of the DSM-IV. The most recent edition, I believe, is from 2000, yet she cites from studies done in the 1990s, and even from the 1960s. I'm sure she's just trying to give a historical context, but for a book published just a few years ago on psychological disorders, one would think she would use more contemporary studies in her research.

    Also, the statistic that 4%, or 1 in 25, of people are sociopaths is inaccurate (I thought it was fishy that she stated this with absolutely no citation). According to the DSM-IV, that rate is actually much lower...closer to around 2% (yes, I'm a nerd and read this stuff ).

    I had a lot of other problems with the book, which is why I never finished it...she tends to sensationalize the case studies a bit. While I'm not disputing that people with sociopathic, psychopathic or antisocial disorders will chew you up and spit you out - they can and they will - it's also important to me that a writer does accurate research. I also don't think it's fair to theorize that anyone who has treated you badly MUST be a sociopath. Sometimes a bad relationship is just that - a bad relationship. Sometimes people treat others badly, but it seems illogicial to assume that that person has a personality disorder because of it. I felt as though she were concluding that those of us who have been badly hurt in bad relationships are simply victims of sociopathy and/or antisocial behavior. The CAUSE of a bad relationship, while very important, is still not as important to me as the EFFECTS of it.

    I am not arguing that we are immune to being sucked in by by people like this. But it's difficult for me to take her book seriously when many of her philsophical ramblings and case studies tend to be a bit more sensationalized than they should be, and not all of her theories are founded in psychological science.

    Breakups are hard, regardless of whether the person who rejected us has a psychological/personality disorder or not. There are more factors involved that contribute to how painful a breakup is. I do agree that those with sociopathic and antisocial disorders/tendencies are the absolute worst people to get romantically involved with - they are parasitic and selfish, and they target and feed off of those who are sensitive and emotionally vulnerable. They leave people devastated, used, lost, and reeling.

    I don't want to be totally negative at all, here, and I really apologize if I'm coming off that way, EL! On thing I did like in this post was the theory of how we come to feel betrayed and abandoned after we've been rejected. We DO panic at the threat or in the event of a breakup. It's easy for us to blame ourselves for the end of a relationship if we've been rejected - rejection can really shatter your self-esteem. It's a common reaction, and while I think anyone you've been able to form a very strong bond with is indeed someone who was greatly important to you, what's most important is how you cope with the severing of that bond.

    When you get into a relationship with someone you really love, you're automatically setting yourself up to get hurt. It's sort of required if you want a relationship with that person. I tried holding back to protect myself in my last relationship, and the more I held back, the more I resented having to hold back. I was hurt more BECAUSE of it. My ex held back too, and it made me feel like I had no other choice but to keep myself in check, to keep from revealing too much or giving too much of myself. That in itself made the end of things hurt more. And though he did not treat me well (and that was also MY fault for allowing it), and though I was absolutely crushed at the end of the relationship, I'm pretty sure he was NOT a sociopath. I think he was just as big an idiot as I was.
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    Well, my ex was a clinically diagnosed sociopath. She actually checked into a mental hospital and came back out with a professional diagnosis. And the break up was more horrible than any other break up I had before or since.

    I have heard different percentages from different sources. Some say 1% and some say up to 4%. That is still pretty rare, because the majority of people are able to feel emotions. But even if we go by your number of 1%, that means out of 100 people who visit this forum, 1 of them knows a sociopath. Hopefully, I am the only one - but if there are 200.. 300... or 400 people who visit this forum, then I doubt I am the only one who has crossed paths with a sociopath.

    There is a big difference between grieving a loss of love, and just grieving a loss... When you love someone and realize that they were never really capable of loving you, it makes you distrust your reality.

    A normal break up hurts, but a break up with a mentally ill person has it's own list of complicated and complex issues to go through ON TOP OF the break up itself.

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    I think my ex had some socipath traits? What I'm going through right now is diffcult and hard. I feel its not a normal break up because I still hold on to someone that is toxic to me. She was selfish, stubborn, bull headed , did not want to listen to reason other then her own, always thought she was right, placed blame on others and did not want to admit to faults. It felt like she was not intune with reality and could not express emotions or feelings towards me and when she did she would copy my actions or words. It was weird because it felt like this 33 yr old woman acted like a little kid when trying to express emotions or feelings. I dont know if she was or not because I'm thinking its was more her intorvert personality (INTJ).

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