Those who are ASPD and/or psychopathic tend to be regarded as monsters by society. Movies portray everyone with these afflictions as being rapists and murderers. Headlines in newspapers paint fantastic pictures of destruction. Should society be wary of the antisocial? Yes, I believe that is only fair. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that the ASPD-spectrum of disorders is a reflection of the human condition, not an alien and monstrous one.
Many who have been recently diagnosed with – or have come to the conclusion that they are – ASPD and/or psychopathy often think of themselves as being monsters in a world of humanity. These people often miss the same point that I described in the first paragraph. The wiring of the brain and one’s proclivities may be different due to genetics and/or abuse, but the fact is still the same. These individuals are still human.
I believe that the stigma associated with the antisocial condition fuels such beliefs by those who are diagnosed. Yes, some may want to own the label of ‘monster’ as a means of being edgy, but I wish to believe that many take on the moniker as a means of contrasting the perfect human that society wants with the subset of humanity that does not meet it when it comes to pro-social thoughts and behaviors.
That said, there must always be a degree of restraint by those that are antisocial. The courts do not care whether the antisocial condition is another aspect of humanity. Whatever the carrot may be for promoting a lack of antisocial behavior – even if those of us struck with the condition can never shed the thoughts – this aspect of humanity must be kept in check. Maybe the motivation is to remain out of legal trouble, or maybe the motivation is to be a better parasite; it is of the utmost importance that the antisocial mirror the human that other eyes wish to see.
No, ASPD and psychopathy are not conditions of monsters. They are a subset of humanity. This subset faces unique challenges as they determine their own fate – whether they wish to succumb to a seemingly inevitable prison sentence or whether they struggle to rise above and, at the very least, wear the mask that others wish to see.
For the neurotypical reader, the fact that we are a facet of humanity should be the most distressing fact of all. We are not demons, we are men and women just like everyone else. We are human even if we are fundamentally different.