I am a firm believer that the greatest gift of life is self-growth through introspection.  Each day, I attempt to know myself better than the day before.  Yes, this requires taking into account all information – savory and unsavory.  However, I worry with the recent ascension of the term sociopath, that many are trying to grasp onto something for purposes of “edge” and not for self-growth.

I have no value judgement toward sociopaths (or neurotypicals for that matter).  To me, sociopathy is simply a condition that exists and is present in a relatively rare subset of the population.  The consequences of being sociopathic are not lost on me, however.  We are feared, for reasons that even I cannot deny, and stigmatized.  Many, naively, view the potential of being sociopathic as belonging to the “cool kids club”, but I would implore the truth-seeker to take a more mature view.

These days since coming out have been interesting to say the least.  Others’ perceptions of me have changed and I worry about the larger view of sociopathy as a result.  Sociopaths need not be inherently immoral, but I don’t want others, that knew me before my diagnosis, to think that all sociopaths are relatively pro-social and high-functioning.  On the other hand, I am pleased with the reaction from those that I respect – the diagnosis was merely a name for the traits I had already possessed.  I did not magically “change” as a human being as a result of diagnosis and the introspection that followed.

Quite possibly the most disturbing trend that I’ve noticed in some circles is that some are using sociopathy as a means for justification of their own behaviors.  My message, all along, has been that sociopaths have free will and the ability to choose whether to act antisocially or pro-socially.  It may take incentive rather than conscience to act responsibly, but that choice is still there.  A diagnosis, or belief, that one is sociopathic must not result in forgetting that free will.  There are consequences to every action and society will not accept any diagnosis as a free pass to behave badly.

I’m not going to say that there are “right” reasons, or “wrong” reasons, for seeking the shadows that exist in oneself.  I do implore the journey taken to be as objective as possible.  Sociopathy is not some hallowed club of better human beings.  We are simply different and there are consequences for such difference.  Those that lack the maturity and focus to behave in a pro-social manner will quickly be taken out by the masses.  Achtung, peligro, warning: ask what questions you need to grow as an individual, but do not let the answers define who you are.

Image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Use of this image should not imply endorsement by the image author, Wikimedia Commons user 4028mdk09.

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