Psychopath: Antisocial Personality Disorder: What is a Sociopath?
This article gives a fictional example of a psychopath (a person with antisocial personality disorder) helping us to understand the question, what is a sociopath?
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This article is part of a series describing Three Characters with Personality Disorders found in the Novel "The Quest" by Libby Lazewnik.
For More information: see my article summarizing the plot in this book "The Quest": Novel by Libby Lazewnik: Full Plot Summary, my article showing the character with Dependent Personality Disorder, and the link on this page to the DSM-IV, which describes the Antisocial Personality Disorder. Below I have also included a summary entitled "What Is a Sociopath?.
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In the novel "The Quest", Harry Blake shows clear signs of being an Anti-Social (Psychopath)
In the novel "The Quest", Harry Blake, the private detective hired by Bestman (the lawyer), shows clear signs of being an Anti-Social (Psychopath).
He is dangerous and has no concern for other people. He can be cold, cruel, malicious, and sadistic. He has no problem lying and harassing people, and even setting traps which could result in murder. He can be charming and warm to get what he wants.
The first time he appears in the book is when Howard Bestman, the Barron lawyer, hires him to find Irena and intimidate her. He lies to a number of agencies and people, giving them a fake name and claiming he is a long lost relative of Irena, until he tracks her down. Then, without ever confronting her, he follows her around and harasses her, performing several acts to frighten her.
He goes up to her roof in the middle of the night and breaks off about twenty red shingles, scattering them on the green grass below. The next morning, when she was driving on the highway, he took his car and swerved directly toward her, almost crashing into her, and effectively shaking her up.
The same afternoon, he went to the store that she owned and hurled a rock through the glass window, shattering it. Around the rock was wrapped a threatening note.
Later, when Irena ends up at the Barron's house, foiling his plans, he sets up an explosion which knocks Elizabeth unconscious and leaves Irena with second degree burns across most of her arm. He then plants another explosion which results in both Bestman and himself being knocked out and rushed to the hospital.
The story does not tell whether he recovers, but if he does, hopefully he has learnt his lesson, albeit the hard way. Unfortunately, punishment is the only thing that seems to work in changing someone with Anti-Social Personality Disorder. Therapy doesn't help such people.
What is a Sociopath?
The Anti-Social Personality Disorder, which used to be referred to as a "Psychopath" and is also known as Sociopath, is one who has little self control, no concern for other people and is a dangerous person.
He can commit acts of assault, murder, and rape, because he enjoys hurting people.
They have poor impulse control, and are easily bored and restless. They tend to drift from job to job. They have a lack of feeling, don't care about things, and attack for the fun of it, with no conscience. This is very hard to treat, like a person who batters and abuses is hard to treat. Therapy doesn't do anything, unless caught early, the first time. Jail/punishment is the one thing that seems to work to help treat the person. It is five times more likely to occur in men than in women.
Such a person must exhibit this behavior from childhood. These people steal and lie a lot. Deficits in brain functioning are tied to the anti-social personality. They have difficulty in understanding the consequences of their actions. These people tend to be fearless in threatening situations. They don't fear punishments, and since they don't care, they are not deterred. They may come from harsh homes, and they are restless and seeking to stimulate themselves.