RESOURCE PERSPECTIVES: Why sociopaths sometimes kill themselves

Editor’s note: Resource Perspectives features articles written by members of Lovefraud’s Professional Resources Guide.

Sarah Strudwick, based in the UK, is author of Dark Souls—Healing and recovering from toxic relationships. She has also created a wonderful animation that describes the antics of a sociopath, called Exposing the Mask of Insanity. View the animation here.

The sociopath’s unconscious death wish

By Sarah Strudwick

Sarah Strudwick profile in the Lovefraud Professional Resources Guide

I recently received an email from one of my readers saying that her husband and mother, who are both sociopaths, had suicide clauses in their wills, so I decided to write an article on the sociopath and suicide. Many people think that sociopaths never commit suicide, but I beg to differ.

For those who aren’t already aware, many of those who have symptoms of sociopathy often have other personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why when I wrote Dark Souls that I grouped the two personalities together. Whatever we decide to call these people, whether it be sociopaths, psychopaths, or narcissists, the DSM-5 has now decided to propose putting narcissistic personality disorder in with the “psychopathic type personality.”

So what do all of these psychopathic types have in common? A need for admiration, narcissistic supply and attention. When the attention runs dry, they will resort to any number of tactics, using guilt, blame, anger, and so on, to get their needs met. I saw a very unnerving video from a death row inmate in the U.S. where the guy is asked why he did what he did to others and how he felt about being and death row. He said, “Because I just want to die.”

My encounters

I recently heard of an old acquaintance who I had had the misfortune of being friends with many years ago. He recently died under strange circumstances, although it appears he committed suicide when he got caught out. He was one of the psychopathic type personalities, a loner, a user with a distinct liking of hurting animals and children. I wondered whether the sociopath has an unconscious death wish.

Sociopaths have a distinct lack of impulse control, coupled with their own lack of remorse. My own ex threatened to commit suicide a couple of times when I said I would leave. Of course he never did it. Each time I was gullible enough to take him back.

My own sociopathic father even made a half-hearted attempt at doing it when my mother decided enough was enough. When finally asked in counseling why he did it, he replied, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” My view is that it was more like he was concerned he wouldn’t have supply any more, and he knew that killing himself would hurt everyone, including his children.

The ultimate gesture

Often you will see headline cases in newspapers where sociopaths go on killing sprees and then just as they are about to be caught out, they turn the gun on themselves as the ultimate “f*ck you,” so that they cannot be brought to justice.

Most of us who have lived around sociopaths know that their sole need is to use others, and unless they are receiving attention, then their lives aren’t really worth living. Take the likes of Ted Bundy and Charles Manson. In their warped way, I am sure they love all the adoration they receive.

Some normal people may want to be come famous. They may be driven by a desire to do something good and succeed.

A sociopath doesn’t care about being successful or doing good. They don’t care whether or not they are “famous” or “infamous.” They don’t mind having a bad name or being associated with something detestable, which is why so many celebrities who have sociopathic tendencies will be more than happy to appear in the news doing pretty much anything just to get headlines.

Here in the UK all serial killers are hated hence our most famous psychopath, Fred West, hanged himself before trial, despite being on suicide watch. Thus he was never tried for his heinous crimes, which included raping his own 13 year old daughter and chopping up a few dead bodies.

But the moment the supply runs out for the sociopath, then what?  They are happy with punishment in the form of everyone either hating them, which is why so many thrive in prisons. The worse thing people can do is ignore them, in which case they have nothing more to do than look at four walls, and put them in isolation, so they have to “talk to the hand” and have to face their own souls and miserable existences. And since they hate being ignored and probably died along time ago, what better way to be remembered than to give the ultimate “F*ck you” by blowing their own head off, or hanging themselves off the end of a bedpost in the hope they will have some kind of recognition?

Comment on this article

54 Comments on "RESOURCE PERSPECTIVES: Why sociopaths sometimes kill themselves"

Notify of

Hmmm,very interesting article….what happens to a sociopath when supply runs out;no attention,etc?What about those “unconcious death wishes”?!Whoa,heavy stuff!Well,sad to say~~~there are consequences to pay for wrongdoing!

The “whack-a-spath” comment cracked me up.

Mine has attempted twice. They always figure out a way to get help at the last minute. He was never with me when he did these things. I have seen wrist scars.

It is true they like negative attention. I give him a little on purpose just to keep him away from me while paying my bills. I have to say that if he killed himself here, it would be upsetting, but I would handle it better than all those years I had hope that he was a human being capable of love.

I think more narcissistic sociopaths commit suicide than the statistics show….especially when they get old. They are just so shallow that they don’t accept aging like normal people do and they lose all of their charm for younger people. I wonder if younger people are more savvy than those of us who are older? I hope they are. It is probably automatic for them to check for danger on the social media sites as soon as they meet one.

When I was 19 I met a perfect man. This was in 1979 and I was a good Catholic girl still living with my parent. The night I met him he asked me if I wanted to go to his house to listen the Moody Blues he loved. I found out later, he was still living with his wife, he assumed I’d say no.But that made me sure he was a bachelor. He then pursed me constantly, to the delight of my mom, who thought he looked like a young Burt Reynolds. I always got flowers. We went to the best restaurants in town. I met his friends, a sister and nephews and his mom. I was thoroughly spoiled.I was doing some modeling and got the chance to move to NY city. He of course wanted to move with me.I knew my parents couldn’t accept we were living together so we pretended to be living apart . His idea and it vaguely made me uncomfortable how easily he fooled them.But he knew they wanted us to marry. We made plans to get engaged at Christmas. We picked out the ring (split paying for it) and he had it sealed in a can I had to open Christmas Eve. My parents were delighted, and we planned the wedding for April 4th. We started the classes as Catholics, we needed to marry in the church in NYC. For the final ones we met with my parish priest. He said nonchalantly to my fiance, we need proof either from your home parish or your mom, that you have never been married before. He didn’t need it from me as he was my priest. My fiance just nodded. Later that night he told me he had been married. It turned out not only was he still married but had two kids. I begged him to tell me the truth”So whats’ next, are you going to tell me you have kids? ” He said “I’d never tell you that. I’d never hurt you so much. Then drove over a cliff at 90 miles an hour.

my ex sp said all the time that he just wanted to die by some set of circumstance. even waxed poetic about it – dreaming of his funeral. it is much more insidious than the obvious cases of sp and maybe an often overlooked source of suicide. it definitely was a source of recognition for him

1 4 5 6

Send this to a friend