So what do you do if you think you are a psychopath? The acceptance of the label (or condition, if you will) ‘psychopath’ (or sociopath, whatever you like to call it) is a huge deal. My experience has been that accepting that I was a psychopath was a lot like accepting that I am transgender. Once that realization hit, I couldn’t go back to my state before. I couldn’t “unsee” the reality and could not return to ignorance. To seek assurance as to whether you are psychopathic is to open Pandora’s box. There is no guarantee what will come of it and there is no guarantee what focusing on your possible psychopathy will bring.
The first and foremost thing to do before seeking clarity on psychopathy is to ask yourself why you need to have such a question answered? What are you trying to gain from a diagnosis or lack thereof? For me, I wanted to know more about myself. I wanted to know how I was different and why. There was no want to be a “badass” or to be “edgy” or anything like that. I simply wanted to know where I stood on the human spectrum. I believe the conversation with a professional about psychopathy is much enhanced or retarded by one’s motives going in.
Nearly as important is to determine a trusted medical professional to speak with. A diagnosis of psychopathy has great implications. A recorded medical diagnosis of psychopathy can lead to harsher prison sentences or reduced chance of parole and can also be used against you in other aspects of life, such as employment dependent on psychiatric evaluation. As such, it is critically important to find a professional that does not need to report to anyone except yourself when seeing them for opinions about your personality. For best results, you’ll need to give them a life story and supporting documentation of your personality. Going in and expecting a diagnosis on day one is not going to happen. I wanted to learn about myself, so I had no problem waiting for the story to be told in full in order to have an assessment performed. I wanted the assessment to be correct, not rushed. And by correct, I mean that enough information was present such that a confirmation or denial of psychopathy could be made as accurately as possible.
The motives you have and the professional you choose to explore any questions of possible psychopathy are very important. At no point should you be having the conversation with a professional if you are just trying to be ‘different’ or ‘edgy’ or for any other juvenile reason. There is also something to be said about accepting that you just don’t know and that there is no reason to bring the professionals in for a formal diagnosis. I wanted a formal assessment and evaluation because I wanted to know myself better. I did not want it for any other reason. A formal diagnosis of psychopathy is a big deal and one not to be taken lightly. To take it lightly is to risk your own well-being and is a detriment to yourself.