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Sociopath - Antisocial Personality


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Guest GingerSnap

First, I'm confused but saw something this morning that said in the 1830's this was called "moral insanity", which in the 1900's became "psychopathic personality" and now, we really cleaned up the term and it is called "Antisocial Personality Disorder". I think it is confusing to hear that someone you know has Antisocial Personality Disorder and then find out the names it used to be called. I read the symptoms and how they rarely have any intention of changing. Antisocial Personality Disorder doesn't sound that bad without the description. Why do they do this? Also, I see that MPD is now some detachment disorder and sexual addiction is a type of obsessive-complusive disorder. I am thinking of going to live with my son & dog in the wilderness - bet that's some kind of disorder too but probably has a nice name. :confused:

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There are a lot of old words we don't use any more.

In many cases, this represents an improvement, we have to hope.

At least sometimes, humanity must be learning.

Many groups of people have, at one time or another, been called by some kind of label that basically gives the rest of us permission to look down on them and not regard them as individuals. It lets us avoid having to think, Is this particular person really like that, Is it really fair to believe that all XXXX are the same, Is it possible that we're all a little like XXXX sometimes?

It's much easier to file them away under some hateful name and leave them there.

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But if you were ever living with someone with antisocial personality disorder and learned it used to be called "moral insanity"......it's not about filing someone under a hateful name, it's about survival. Thanks Malign - I appreciate your posts and help you give to everyone

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Regarding sociopathy and how it works, I answered this question back in 2007 and it has some nice comments on it which might help clarify things. At least this is how I understand it. It's a complicated topic.

Please explain how it is that psychopaths can manipulate people if they have no empathy

These name changes for various conditions tend to happen for several reasons.

1. political reasons. For instance, it's no longer "Mental Retardation" - now it seems to be "Intellectual Disability". This is an attempt to side-step some of the shame that attaches itself to labels used for, er, Intellectual Disability. In the more distant past, clinical terms for IDs included "Moron" - now reduced to only an insult but back then a technical term.

2. theoretical changes. The mental health field is historically dominated by a one word-view and that word-view and it's associated models tends to color how disorders are defined and treated. We used to use terms like "neurosis" but that was during the freudian days which ended around 1980 and now that term is out of favor.

3. refinements in knowledge. As conditions get studied, it becomes apparent that they are related to other conditions. This is not obvious stuff, but research has a way of revealing relationships. So Multiple Personality Disorder has been understood to be one of a family of disorders having to do with Dissociation. So now it is called "Dissociative Identity Disorder". This is both a linking of the condition to a researched psychological attention process (dissociation) and also a way to remind people that there aren't actually multiple people living inside the bodies of people who have MPD/DID but rather these are individual people whose identities are fragmented through a process of severe dissociation which began early in their lives. The term helps to define how people think about what is happening and as understandings of what is happening change, so do the terms.

Hope this helps!

Mark

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Guest GingerSnap

My son has Down syndrome and the label has been changing for 23 years. The state still refers to it as MR (mentally retarded), there was "mentally handicapped", and developmentally disabled. A lot of people are really touchy about the terminology and I am not because, frankly, I can't even keep up with it. I once read, I think, Dear Abby where a couple was saying that they went over to someone's house and had been told by the parents that they had an "exceptional" child so the couple were complaining because they couldn't wait to meet the "exceptional" child simply because the term generally refers to a superior being but, yes, I forgot to say that for awhile, a child with mental retardation was referred to as an "exceptional" child - I never liked that term. I told an older guy when we were trying to adopt children that we were looking for a "special" needs child (disabilities, over 10, minority, etc) and he told me "All my 7 kids have special needs since everyone of them needs something special just depending on the kid." - He was a very sweet man. We are not labeling a person but a condition and that is why calling my son a Down syndrome young man is offensive but calling him a young man with Down syndrome is acceptable, if you don't get it, I could reach you anyway.:P

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Guest GingerSnap

Jj: Oh no dear, you did not offend me. I had just thought of my son as an example of how the terminology changes so quickly and how confusing it is and how people get can get offended. It is that way with a lot of politically correct terms or not and I never want to refer to someone using a term that is offensive but sometimes it is hard to keep up.:confused: I know a lot of the older people (way older than me people;)) use terms that, in their day and age, were not offensive so I cut them a lot of slack and when appropriate, say "Well, they really don't use that term anymore but use ------ instead." Don't want Granny getting herself in trouble if possible by not being in the know.:P

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