Sociopath or Sociopath-like Product of My Environment?
Hello Dr. Schwartz. My wife is leaving me because I am unable to show her the love that I say I have for her and am unable to empathize with her. That being said, I broke up with her before we got married because I didn't want to hurt her. I respected her so much and I did not believe I was capable of love. I show many characteristics of a sociopath, except that I do feel bad when I screw someone over, but I don't feel bad while doing it. I believe it is possible that I have taught myself to feel that way, along with other emotions, so I can connect with others. I also had a very traumatic childhood. I was accused of bringing a gun to school because I was an outcast like the shooters in columbine. I had stated to a large group of peers that the conditions I am put under are the main reasons why someone would kill their peers. I was also sexually abused, and was present when my mother was physically abused, and present when she attempted suicide. I have read that traumatic childhood events can cause sociopathic behavior as a defense mechanism. I hope that this is true because I want to love, and that would mean that once, a very long time ago, I could. If you search Google for the word "sociopath," you get a lot of information on how to stay away from one, and a lot of unprofessional tests to self diagnose. I have taken the tests and they all say I'm worse then Hannibal Lecter. I find nothing on how to cope with not being able to feel emotions other than sadness and emptiness and the anger I turn it into. If you have any advice, please give it. I would greatly appreciate it. - Matthew
P.S.: I do have a therapist, but he is on vacation. I just happened to stumble upon this myself while he is gone, and I feel lost. Thank You.
THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL NOT BE DISPLAYED UNTIL YOU HAVE INDICATED YOUR AGREEMENT WITH THE DISCLAIMER PRINTED JUST BELOW. CLICK THE 'I AGREE' BUTTON TO AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND SEE THE RESPONSE.
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.