A common trend among the recently diagnosed or those that have otherwise come to an identity involving ASPD or sociopathy is to lash out.  ”This is what I am good at, therefore this is what I will do.”  I know that I went through a, thankfully, brief stage involving such a mindset.  Some people never outgrow that thought process.  Some want to use an identity or diagnosis of ASPD / sociopathy as a means to justify poor behavior.  I argue that the true power of either condition comes from strategic use of the tools that we have.  Ending up dead, behind bars, or destitute does not make for a productive life now does it?

The proverbial carrot is our freedom and our standing in society.  The sociopath that leaves a wake of destruction in her path will be incarcerated or otherwise made a pariah very quickly if her behavior is not controlled.  It is certainly possible to use the traits our wiring gifts us in a way that is both beneficial, to us, and relatively pro-social in terms of what society expects.  Take the sociopathic surgeon for example.  Her blade is a controlled one and does not shake based on the gravity of the situation in front of her.  She is focused on one thing: a successful outcome in order to further her standing as a surgeon.

We have choice and free will.  We are only as unhinged as we want to be.  Society may think that we are lunatics, but that could not, in general, be further from the truth.  We are as focused as we want to be.  We can use our latent state as a means of protecting ourselves from the pain that others plights cause many and we can use our cold and calculated logic to plow ahead with business ventures when others would be strangled by risk.  Our fate does not have to be that of the chronic criminal nor the outcast of society.

However, it is up to us as individuals to make such a path.  No one is going to give us free passes when we slip and no one is going to channel our potential for ourselves.  We may be a different type of human and have gifts, and penalties, for existing as such, but ultimately we must treat our condition and our approach to such a condition as the ultimate ‘do it yourself’ project.  We will never have the support that other marginalized groups have but we also have a plethora of gifts that others may not have.

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, Claus Ableiter.

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