Approximately 12 percent of people could be diagnosed with exploitative personality disorders
Lovefraud refers to people with exploitative personality disorders as sociopaths. Clinically, they could be diagnosed with antisocial, narcissistic, borderline, histrionic or psychopathic personality disorders.
Multiple research studies have attempted to determine how many people living in the community — not in mental institutions or prisons — have personality disorders. Estimates vary, depending on the study methodology and the population examined.
Experts generally believe that 1 percent of the general population meet the criteria for psychopathy. The diagnostic criteria for psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder include many overlapping traits and behaviors, so all psychopaths are also antisocial, but not all antisocials are psychopaths. Therefore, psychopaths are included in the number of people with antisocial personality disorder.
Below are estimates of the prevalence of “Cluster B” personality disorders listed in the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5), according to various scientific papers.
- Antisocial personality disorder (including psychopathy) — 3.05 to 3.8 percent
- Narcissistic personality disorder — 1.0 to 6.2 percent
- Borderline personality disorder — 1.9 to 5.9 percent
- Histrionic personality disorder — 0.3 to 1.8 percent
All together, therefore, 6.25 to 17.7 percent of the adult population are sociopaths — people who could be diagnosed with antisocial, narcissistic, borderline or histrionic personality disorder, or psychopathy. The average of this range is 11.975 percent. For convenience, Lovefraud rounds it up to 12 percent.
In 2017, the adult population of the United States was more than 252 million. If 12 percent of them are disordered, that means we live among 30 million sociopaths.
The Lovefraud Risk Calculator projects the number of sociopaths in a community. The calculation assumes that between 6 percent and 17 percent of the U.S. population are sociopaths.
There’s more. Each of these personality disorders is both syndrome and a continuum. A syndrome is a collection of traits or behaviors that tend to group together. A continuum means that individuals can exhibit the traits or behaviors to greater or lesser degrees. Therefore, disordered individuals are not all the same — some of worse than others. And, people can be partially disordered — not bad enough to get a clinical diagnosis, but certainly bad enough to make you miserable.
So in addition to millions of diagnosable sociopaths, many more individuals have partial disorders. How many? No one knows — but they still cause problems for the rest of us. Whether we realize if or not, all of us have probably suffered at the hands of everyday sociopaths