I dislike self-diagnosing individuals. There is little to gain when embarking on a dangerous journey without a guide. However, I hate even more those laypeople that diagnose others with personality disorders. Often, such people are trying to equate their disdain for an individual with a viable and biological or environmental explanation. They cannot accept that others may be defective individuals on their own. And, ultimately, they deny the darkness that lives within each and every human being – most importantly, the darkness that lives within themselves. How many times have we heard that Donald Trump is a narcissist and Hilary Clinton a psychopath? How many people that know better are spreading such potential misinformation based on their own ignorance and prejudices? We must reject such banter. We must sew their mouths shut.
Come crawling to me when your impulsivity surrenders you to the deepest depths of financial, legal, or interpersonal hell. I’m sick and tired of individuals assessing themselves in the absence of clear and conclusive evidence of psychopathy. It takes far more than a few poor and rash decisions here and there to reach the heights of psychopathic impulsivity. Let’s talk about a complete disregard for your life. Let’s talk about a complete disregard for the lives of others. If your actions aren’t off the cuff to the point where lives are potentially ruined, you probably do not meet the criteria for psychopathic impulsivity. I’ve discussed numerous times my patterns of risky and impulsive alcohol and substance abuse as well as my excessive and consistent spending that has left me more than underwater. Sexual promiscuity also ties in as people like me tend to find any and all hookups with little concern to anything but the moment. Simply put, your definition of impulsivity and mine probably differ to a great degree.
I keep reading posts on social media where neurotypicals are trying to dismiss ASPD symptoms as unnecessary for someone to be antisocial. “Before you stigmatize those with ASPD, remember that there are those out there that are behaving prosocially and are just trying to make it through each day,” is a common refrain. This is misguided. For one to have ASPD, there must be a level of disorder present. Kicking a cat once is not grounds for the disorder. Stealing or getting in a fight back in the day also does not merit a diagnosis of ASPD. Simply put, the behaviors of the candidate must be so severe as to cause consistent and measurable distress for either the person with ASPD or those around her. That is, the antisocial must be in distress (whether or not they consider it distress) marked by unstable interpersonal relationships, inconsistent employment, legal trouble, financial destitution, etc. Or, those around the antisocial must have their quality of life diminished by the actions of the antisocial. At the time of diagnosis, there is no such thing as an antisocial that is mostly prosocial as that would not be considered disordered. Stop making the disorder out to be something that it is not. Dilution solves nothing.
Please stop with the romantic gaze toward the antisocial spectrum. As much as those on the antisocial spectrum do not care to live life any other way, we must keep in mind that the ‘disorder’ – called such for a reason – causes some real inconveniences at times for those with the disorder as well as those around them. Jail-time, bodily injury, financial ruin, and many other negative effects of the disorder can be found without looking very intently. Why on earth the non-antisocial would admire these traits (looking at you true-crime tumblr) or actively seek to incorporate these facets is beyond me. We need to drop the fascination and want of the brains of others and embrace the inner workings that make us unique. Neurocide.
I see time and time again those that wish to diagnose themselves with ASPD in absence of a professional opinion. I’m not sure why this is; people don’t self-diagnose themselves with cancer for instance. Usually human nature would dictate that we see ourselves as healthy when we are not. Rarely – and even more rarely is this rooted in a healthy psyche – do we see ourselves as sick when we are otherwise. As with any personality disorder, a diagnosis can only be made if the underlying condition causes a persistent and pervasive discomfort in one’s life. That is, there must be significant underlying suffering, either on the part of the afflicted or those around him. In the case of ASPD, this is typically defined by a constant and unchanging pattern of interpersonal instability, trouble on the job or with the law, and other manifestations that severely hamper the afflicted or those around her. “I kicked a cat once, ” is not sufficient grounds for diagnosis. “I have trouble keeping a job, have unstable interpersonal relationships, and have been in trouble with the law,” may very well be.