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The relationship between sociopathy/psychopathy and bipolar disorder

The subject of the overlap between bipolar disorder and sociopathy is important to me personally and professionally. One of the reasons I did not understand my husband was that I saw him as a “bit on the manic side.” In some of the letters he sent me from prison, he declared himself to be “bipolar” rather than psychopathic/sociopathic. My experience is not unique, in our survey of Women Who Love Psychopaths, Sandra L. Brown, M.A. and I asked about manic symptoms in male partners. Over half of the women attested to the presence of these symptoms in their men.

I first wrote about the connection between bipolar disorder and sociopathy in March, 2007. For more background please read ASK Dr. LEEDOM: What is the difference between bipolar disorder and sociopathy?

There is a link between bipolar disorder and sociopathy that has been explored in a very important recent study. Two researchers from the University of Toronto, Dr. Benjamin Goldstein and Dr. Anthony Levitt looked at data from more than 1000 patients with bipolar disorder ((Am J Psychiatry 2006; 163:1633—1636). They divided them into three groups, childhood onset (prior to 13), adolescent onset and adult onset. They then looked at the prevalence of sociopathy in the three groups. Bipolar disorder was associated with sociopathy in 37 percent of childhood onset cases, 30 percent of adolescent onset cases and 16 percent of adult onset cases. It should be noted that these percentages are all much higher than the estimated prevalence of sociopathy in the general population (4%). I did find research from another group in Britain essentially verifying these results.

The above results suggest that the manic mood problems that are associated with bipolar disorder interfere with personality development. The earlier the manic mood problems start, the more personality is affected. I have had the privilege of teaching child adolescent and adult development many times now. It is well established that our personalities do not stop developing at 18 that is why mood problems at any age can affect personality.

Why would a manic mood be associated with the development of sociopathy? Next week I will explore this notion further reporting on a study of fearless temperament in children. This week though I would like to point out that when many people are manic, they become preoccupied with power and dominance. It is very common for manic patients to believe they are some powerful political or religious leader. One group of animal researchers has put together some convincing arguments that dominance in rats can be used as an animal model to test medications for mania. So mania and dominance motivation have the same biologic correlates.

Although a sense of wanting to accomplish tasks and become independent are important for adults and children, excessive dominance can impair a person’s ability to love. Since children are in the process of learning to love, a preoccupation with dominance can poison all their social interactions. A dominant child that frequently misbehaves becomes a target for discipline by all the adults in his/her life. Although discipline may be necessary, excessive discipline prevents the child from enjoying loving interactions with his parents and teachers. If a child does not learn to enjoy love, he/she will likely not incorporate loving behaviors into his/her personality. Without loving behaviors there is nothing to prevent exploitation of others.

All of this leads me to say that temperamentally and genetically at risk children need specialized focused, loving parenting. At risk children include the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder, sociopathy/psychopathy, addiction, alcoholism and ADHD. If you are a parent of an at risk child, I encourage you to visit Parenting the at-risk child and consider joining the new Forum. This Forum is operated by the Aftermath group, which is a joint collaboration between victims and researchers. I would like to see parents supporting each other through the very difficult task of preventing sociopathy in at risk kids. Although many children will develop disordered in spite of the best parenting and professional help available, there is much indirect evidence that parenting can make a difference for some. More on genetics and temperament next week.

ADDENDUM: The afternoon after I wrote this news organizations broke the story of Peter Dawson who was sentensed to prison for a scheme that defrauded seniors out of their life savings. Dawson is quoted as to saying he has “bipolar disorder.” District Attorney Kathleen Rice stated “Mr. Dawson preyed on his clients, many of them elderly, in order to line his own pockets, and he abused his position of trust to satisfy his own lifestyle,” -Mr. Dawson may have bipolar disorder but he is also described as a predator by Ms. Rice.


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49 Comments on "The relationship between sociopathy/psychopathy and bipolar disorder"

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Hmmm

That’s hard. Perhaps send something to the adult daughter. Or the ex-wife. Just a book. Do it anonymously.

I have experience in this area. I do not know if any good will come of it- but I tried.

I do feel sad for a child “parented” by these monsters.

Dr. Leedom,

I too saw this dynamic in my relationship. I was unfamiliar with what I was witnessing, so I wasn’t sure how to label the behavior I saw. This man acknowledged a problem, but I believe now that was only to elicit sympathy and/or to lend an excuse to his behavior. However, I started researching and he and I did discuss his symptoms being similar to a bi-polar disorder. Only after we ended did I eventually see the more probable connection to sociopathy, once I discovered the extent of his deceit.

This man is 55 years old and has an adult daughter in her late 30’s and he has an 8-year-old son (different mother). His daughter seemed well adjusted and is a kind and caring woman. I asked her how she turned out so well once, after I’d witnessed episodes of excess anger and selfishness in her father, and she told me because she was raised by her mother with little initial involvement with her father, though she is aware she is the only family her father now has to fall back on and there is now continual involvement as she usually provides support when her father has visitation with her young step-brother. But she never expressed an understanding of her father’s behavior, only that she is aware of some problems he displays with his anger and some womanizing that he doesn’t hide from his son. And I assume she knows his criminal history of thefts (he concealed from me), though I’m certain he has provided “excuses” for them.

This man’s son is a completely different story, even though his parents were married less than a year. However, in this case every other weekend visitation was usually exercised. I saw that this child already shows no respect for authority, is a little bully with other children, and I caught him trying to steal a minor object one time when he, his father, and I were in a store. Cruel treatment of a dog that I suspected. was also a concern of mine.

My relationship with this man ended over a year ago, but this situation continues to nag at me, not believing this child’s mother or his step-sister are aware as I wasn’t (certainly his father isn’t) of the depth or of the type of pathology possibly existing. I saw this child’s behavior excused away instead as a positive, in promoting him as being “gifted” and as having a strong personality and “leadership” qualities. I disagreed, but never voiced my opinion, other than in getting to the bottom of problems jointly with his father that occurred in my company.

I have and think it’s best to continue no contact (limited contact is more accurate as has been necessary) with any of them, especially because there is a question of more illegal behavior with the father that he holds me accountable for exposing. But I often question if nothing is what I should do, if I am doing the right thing by simply walking away and closing my eyes. I think it’s the right thing to do, as it is not my reponsibility nor would it be well received, and I can hope professionals through school will eventually recognize any signs. I saw no signs of physical abuse. But in the interest of a child and because of the confusion that surrounds this behavior, I’d welcome others’ feedback as it would possibly make this easier for me to accept with concurrence.

Benz

Benz-I think walking away is my right answer. Maybe yours is different.

When I first saw my counselor and told her my traumatic story, her first question was “Is he bi-polar?” I really had to stop and think about it. Not being a psychologist, I didn’t know the answer right away. It really did seem that when the proverbial “psychopathic mask” was taken off, that it could have indeed been a manic episode. I have never seen him act that way before.

The counselor and I stuck with sociopath though, because of his non-manic symptoms. He said mean things to me when non-manic. He compared me unfavorably to mutiple other women non-manic. He was power obsessed all the time. Our first conversation was about power in relationships. (If only I knew then what I know now). He viewed me as a possession. Once he said referring to me, “this is mine, this is mine.” It was the possession, not the emotion, that he was enjoying. And he had a really flat affect all the time. It was like looking in the eyes of a medicated schizophrenic. Really flat.

Sociopaths have manic phases. I thought so, but I didn’t know for sure until reading this article.

The Trojan HOrse Psychopath is a diagnosed bi-polar and also was professionally diagnosed as Anti-Social Personality Disorder. He did stay on his bi-polar medication and seemed to me that he didn’t experience any manic episodes that I observed, but–who knows?

I have known other people with bi-polar who also were psychopathic and it is sometimes hard to determine what is bi-polar behavior and what is psychopathic. Sometimes I have observed that the psychopathic type behaviors seem to cease if the mania is well controled. Unfortunately, with psychiatriac illnesses you can’t measure them like you can a fever or a blood test.

I’m hyperactive, have been since infantancy, I have a son who is ADHD–I also have depression, and when I am depressed I slow down which makes my “normal” energizer bunny activities appear manic by comparison, and this has been explored by my psychiatrist and it appears that I am not bi-polar at all, just an odd combination of hyperactivity and now, depression, but the depression responds well to medication and though I am on a low dose, I will probably always have to take some antidepressants.

Giving antidepressant medications alone many times will throw a person who is bi-polar into a mania. Some patients actually like the manic episodes as they have so much energy and feel like they can tackle the world and win. They don’t generally “enjoy” the depressions as much though. Watching an untreated bi-polar cycle can be an eye-opening experience. Of course there are “levels” of bi-polar just like there are levels of anything from “small” to “huge” problems.

I can definitely see that there is a connection there between bi-polar and psychopathic personality disorder. I’d like to be around in 100years when medicine figures all this out.

OXY I called my doctor today and he perscribed ZOLOFT, will take it six months then taper off completly, because I think my current depression is situational, if a pill will help I am willing to try it. I still would rather take one big injection and wake up the next morning like the ole ME. Or have a blood tranfusion that would filter out all the toxin’s. Somebody posted earlier that it felt like a IV steady drip of emotional toxin. I relate to that. and I got a HIV test, I am negative, but due to his reckless behavior I am going to be checked every 3 months.

Dear Henry,

It will take some time for the Zoloft to kick in, so give it time and if it helps, don’t be in toooo big a hurry to taper off, just see how things go.

I am glad that you are getting tested for HIV, you might also get checked for Hep B and C as well. I used to teach a sex ed class for a college and I loved to shine the kids on with my “one liners”—my favorite one was “What’s the difference between Herpes and true love”? HERPES IS FOREVER!

The other favorite was “what do they call folks who use condoms for birth control?” PARENTS!!!

One year at Halloween I dressed up like “death” with a sythe and a long black hooded cloak and did a program for a boys’ dorm called “scary sex” it was a real hit! That same year at EAster I dressed up like the easter bunny and went skipping across campus with a basket full of multi-colored condoms!

The kids thought I was a hoot but they listened! For my sex ed tapes I got some WWII black and white Army tapes about VD that were really fun, and they WANTED to watch them because they thought it was so cool to see the old army films, but the information hadn’t changed any, the diseases are the same.

You know that is another thing they do to us is PUT OUR LIVES AT RISK with going with every other person in the world. It isn’t just emotional risk but risks of our LIVES. Dodged a bullet’s BF KNEW HE WAS HIV POSITIVE and lied. Thank God she didn’t get it, but you know, he could have cared less if she had.

The promiscity is the thing that makes STDS so dangerous and the poor innocent partner at home has no idea that they are being exposed to DEATH!

To me, sex is a bonding ritual between two people who LOVE each other, not a “sport” of how many different people you can get to have sex with you, but the Ps don’t seem to understand that. It’s like a twisted numbers game with them.

I’m glad you are taking care of yourself, Henry, that’s what we have to do to heal!

OXY you sound like HOOT……you deserve all the happines and peace that can come your way LOVE YA

Yes I am taking care of my self, just like everyone else here. I am at that point where I have to stop looking for answers and just move on. I have had 4 appt.s with the theripist, she seem’s so unemotional and doesnt have a clue what I am talking about. I am teaching her more than she is helping me. Can you believe she told me she was an Atheist and I should read the book The God Dellusion, to each his own but, where does one get compassion and caring and hope if not in the belief of a creator. I am not religous, but spiritual yes. I don’t conform to any particular organized religion. My daughter-in-law who I refer to as (sister christian overtime) is raising my two grandson’s in the church, I think that is fine, but I find her narrow minded and somewhat brainwashed. But I wouldnt trade her for the world. She is a spectacular mother and wife to my son. I was raised off and on in the Jehova’s Witness faith I refer to it as a cult. But that prolly adds to my dysfuntional upbringing. Was tormented and ridiculed as a child for not saluting the flag or participating in holdidays etc. That was so much drama, all because of my (N) mother, no one should subject their child to such thing’s. Not untill the child is old enuff to make his choice in how he/she wants to believe or not. Then add to that, know that you are gay and doing everything possible to prevent anyone from knowing. Full of quilt and shame and even more confusion. Oh gosh the list could just go on and on. I sound pitifull I know. But realizing how I have been manipulated, and controlled my whole frikkin life. sheez i shouldnt post this, nobody need to respond.

Henry, posting what is bothering you is what this blog is all about—haven’t you gotten that yet!>??? Ha ha

I have a problem with your therapist a) not getting it, and B) trying to get you to become an atheist. I don’t really think that it is appropriate for a therapist to try to foist their religion or non-religion onto a patient unless the patient is going there for religious counseling. I’m with you as far as “where do you get compassion and caring and hope if not in a creator”? But to each their own, I won’t try to convert her but I don’t want to listen to her either.

And, Nah, you don’t sound “pitifull” at all, just mixed up like the rest of us and trying to recover.

And, yea, I have been called a “hoot” by several people, and I guess that is part of my charm! When I “grow up” I want to be Maxine–the cranky old lady cartoon character who hates house work and everyone and every thing! ha ha I wear reading glasses (can’t see up close but I can read the VINnumber on a gnat at 100 paces) and the Dollar store has these really cool reading glasses with the 50s look, plastic and all kinds of sequins and stuff for $1 a pair so I buy 10 pair at a time and always have a different look. I figure since I’m not young and sexy any more, I will be old and outlandish! If anyone can get away with it I can. LOL

It was a good day today, I got my X-DIL to meet me at the bank and we cashed the IRS refund checks for her and my son C and this is the last time I will ever have to lay eyes on her lying face. DONE. OVER. GOT’R’DONE! Whoopie!!!! She drove off with her new BF, who really is a STEP DOWN from the Trojan Horse-P except this one isn’t in jail–yet at least. Or maybe he has been, who knows. She’s out of our lives and that’s all that matters right now! Whooopie!

Congratulations Ox D and Henry…blog away.

I think we – and future readers – can relate to the various stages we all go through, the back-and-forth, the clarity and the confusion, the strength and the weakness, the joy and the sadness, the conviction and the frustration.

Reading posts like the one you just wrote will surely reassure someone along the way that they’re not crazy, just on the same path to recovery.

Ox D

If only we had spotted this earlier, we could have saved you some heartache.. check the Google ads at the top of the page on left hand side…a Virus and Trojan remover! I wonder if they have any S remover 🙂

S as in scum?

Thank you, Dr. Leedom. I appreciate knowing this information. Especially since I’m helping my sister parent her bipolar son.

“Bipolar disorder was associated with sociopathy in 37 percent of childhood onset cases…”

Frightening statistics, but they align with our psychotherapist’s concern about steering this young man in the ‘right’ direction. So far, we ARE making a difference which should offer hope to women (or men) who partnered with sociopaths. There’s a lot we can do, including medication for bipolar children.

The idea is that if bipolar children can avoid a full-blown mania, they’ll be less resistent to medication. And hopefully, we can get him through the teen years before he self-medicates with street drugs.

It’s been a long process and parents need to realize that there are no quick and easy answers for childhood onset bipolar. The psychiatrist spent two years before diagnosing bipolar and my nephew now recieves weekly therapy, along with constant regulation of his medications.

I think it’s very important to FACE reality by putting our child’s best welfare ahead of our discomfort. It’s not easy…but then again, nothing worth doing ever is.

CZBZ

No, Henry, I was thinking of S as in sociopath 🙂 but you made me consider something.

Could I call someone scum? I don’t, as a habit, call people names. Could I feel justified doing it? Animal abusers, child abusers, anyone taking advantage of someone innocent and vulnerable would easily qualify as scum and I would fiercely defend my characterization of them that way.

It wasn’t until I listed those abusers in this response to you that I realized that, if I had to, I could call the S with whom I was involved a scum. I still hesitate, though and I can’t figure out why. He’s just as guilty of abuse as the ones I listed.

Why can I call the other abusers scum, but not him? Very strange. I’m going to have to work on this one. It feels like there might be something I need to work on.

Thank you, Henry!

Interesting discussion. While there are many sociopaths who are bipolar there are also many sensitive people who act in a sociopathic manner when manic. As the father of such a person I have had the opportunity to watch my ordinarily conscientious son go though a period of transition as follows: At first, there is excitement, new insights, disregard for meds, supplements and sleep. Then he slowly becomes omnipotent and controlling. At this point he doesn’t hear what anyone says and is unaware of how his behavior is inappropriate. He is showing classical sociopathic behavior. The entire world revolves around his needs. Later he becomes delusional. As his psychosis worsens, his object relations become more impaired and there are no boundaries. At this point his ability to perceive relationships is so impaired that his machinations are no longer sociopathic in nature, but bizarre and illogical. The reverse sequence occurs as he comes out of the psychosis. During one hospitalization, he was delusionally psychotic, yet after two days on antibiotics for an MRConS biofilm in his nasal passages, he started to come out of it, just enough to surprise his care gives with normal friendly conversation, then to then to tear out his IV lines.

I believe that inflammation and other biological processes progressively impair brain functioning. As I suggest in my book, when Andrea Yates drowned her five children, it wasn’t sociopathy but brain impairment at work.

Davie Moyer
http://www.bipolarodyssey.com

I too wonder about the different between sociopath and bi-polar. Having read on the subject (being/living with bi-polar) I saw some behavior in her that could be viewed as “acting manic depression”. She did display some characteristics of being bi-polar but not to the extent that I believe she is. Also, bi-polar do show emotions. Her lack of any affection with even her own children was and always will be a great concern for me. This lack of empathy on her part was always constant and a part of her personality. Her shallow emotions with concern for her own children left me “cold”. None of this explains bi-polar behavior in her. In fact she knew about this behavior i.e. chemical imbalance. Having a friend (one of a very few) who suffers from being bi-polar. But she herself never expressed any concern that she herself might be bi-polar as well. When all this (and before) started with her leaving her children and again expressing no concern as to how they might “feel” about her leaving the state of Illinois and not even trying to call them (another then calling ME to get what property, she felt was her) to comfort them. I mean to “try” to explain to both of our boys as to why she “just left” and then to add salt to injury also lies about were she would be living. Having my oldest son happy that she was (still is today) gone and leaving my other one in tears….. This doesn’t explain anything with being bi-polar. Her actions just showed me over and over again that she just didn’t care about anyone but herself…….

If she is bi-polar, fine! But she still needs to address the issue(s) about her personality disorder and in God name show some passion when in comes to children’s needs. Being a parent and now a single parent this p-o’s me the most!!!! How can any parent bi-polar or not, just leave her children without a care in the world about their feeling is something that I struggle with each day! I will never, never understand this!!!!!!!

Just a little information about me during this upcoming month (July). Both of my sons were born in July. And guess who else was born in July? You only get one guess…

Anyway, July is both a joy and a scary time for me. Because for the last two years this was the only time she made any attempted to contact them via birthday cards. May I also add without any explanation as to why she does what she does! Just a card with I love you, Love you please call me! (sic) God, last time my oldest torn his up before I could even read it!!! These cards just hurt them again and remind them of what she is and/or what she isn’t! What she did and also gives them no closure! This year she has no information as to were we live. No phone numbers to call and I pray to God no contact (NC) will be fore coming. We want only to enjoy this 4th of July, unlike the previous other two past July 4th of July. I am vet and a America that loves his country, God does she had to spoil that for me as well!!!!

Wish us Luck!!!!

And Happy 4th of July Americans!!!!

I have seen bi-polar from a distance, my psycho never got to that psychotic state never…there wasn’t that distraught mess I have seen on the street…nope…cool as a cucumber. Yes, they rage…but sanely. OJ reminds me of a psycho – Area Yates seems more plausible as bi-polar-

With Different mental illnesses and personality disorders, having one doesn’t mean you can’t have another as well. While many bi-polar people are WELL ADJUSTED on medications and are NOT in any way personality disordered, some of the behaviors that personality disordered people may very well happen when they are MANIC, and never when they are on the appropriate and proper doses.

But, if the person is not appropriately diagnosed (and bi-polar is one of those that is difficult to “easily”diagnose as they generally don’t seek treatment in a manic phase, only in a depressed state) Many bi-polar patients seem to actually like the manic phases and get “high” on them. In working with bi-polar patients is seemed difficult to me to motivate them to come in when they felt a manic episode coming on, so it was an up and down, up and down, pattern, seeing the patients only when they were willing to cooperate when they were in a severe depression and “all hell had broken loose.”

What is also sad is that these uncontrolled bi-polar and/or psychopathic teeangers and young adults are the very ones producing children that they are not prepared to parent, so the children of these people get the double whammy, in both genetics and poor parenting. The lucky ones will have one parent at least that is not either bi-polar uncontrolled and/or psychopathic.

Society’s attempts through child services of different kinds is fighting an uphill battle in trying to help these children and/or their parents. With readily available street drugs to self-medicate with, it is a scary situation to me. I’ve worked in the community mental health facilities and in in-patient mental health facilities, and with drug and alcohol abuse, and the rates of “success” long term is dismal at best. I wish I had an answer. I can’t fix the world. I not only don’t know the answers I don’t even know all the questions.

My focus at this point in my life has to be on fixing my wounds from dealing with the predators in my life, and getting my own life back on track.

James, I applaud you for parenting your sons, and weep for you for the havoc and pain that your x has dealt out to your children. God bless you and then. I hope that you can get some counseling for both your boys’ wounds and that she will stay away from them. Good luck to you all.

Eyesopened, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, lays eggs like a duck, call it a duck.

The unbalance between displaying deeply loving behavior, to indifferent absence, to rage for little apparent reason was what pointed me toward bipolar disorder in the beginning. That and because I didn’t make a connection to Ted Bundy-like behavior. But once I read about sociopathic behavior and also uncovered the secret life behind the man, only then did it all make sense.

There wasn’t depression and no episodes. It is his way of life. It was all an intent to manipulate and control, including the rages, me and everyone else he touches. Even our discussions about bipolar behavior was simple manipulation. The man enjoyed watching the confusion and misery he inflicted, he enjoyed the excitement of his never ending and ego-feeding game with women, his family, and with the public at large in convincing everyone of his fantasy existence. He is usually very good at what he does. His scams started in adolescence and matured as he did, resulting in an adult theft conviction from a business “deal” gone wrong several years ago and now a pending fraud charge, again attempting to get something for nothing under another “righteous” cover.

He didn’t admit fault, apologize, or take responsibility for his behavior, and he didn’t display regret without it being a means to an end. Obvious to me now, he has no conscience as much as he attempts to convince otherwise. He loves his false religious platform, public “justice” and litigation, and vengeance.

I am no longer concerned with him or even a correct diagnosis, but I am concerned about his young son who also displays questionable behavior, knowing there is little I can do. Holywatersalt, I considered sending a book, and thank you for your suggestion. But so far I’ve decided against it because of the unlikely possibility it would be considered, against the almost certainty of another incident of retaliation. I learned I must pick my battles very carefully. And thank you too Bird, I think walking away is my only option, though I don’t do it lightly.

It is the mother and custodial parent, though the information was passed to me by the pathological lying father, who promotes the child as gifted. I don’t believe the adult daughter would investigate or accept sociopathy much less stand up to her father, and I can understand both.

This whole situation sucks, and the cycle is in danger of repeating.

I want revenge. I would not do it myself. I want it in the form of the earth and karma coming together to balance the injustice. The kind of karmic revenge as a just desserts. The kind of world where if you make poor decisions and do things that hurt people, that it will come back to haunt you. And I want to see it. I don’t want to wait until the afterlife, in the hopes that they haven’t been forgiven. I want it to happen now while I can watch it. This is a new feeling for me. I have never, ever felt revenge in my soul. Even with enemies before now, I usually just felt hurt and went in a corner to lick my wounds. But this is different, I want karmic justice in front of the world. Broadcast on live tv, for everyone to see.

Bird, the thoughts of revenge are a primitive part of our brains, and actually “light up” the pleasure centers when we think about it. Primates like Chimps cooperate with each other because if they don’t the others in their group seek revenge on them. They don’t cooperate because of higher purposes of love etc, but out of fear of revenge. We have that part in us as well, and thinking about revenge is reverting back to that lower pre-human part I think. But, we are able to use our minds in ways the chimps cant, and we can overcome these baser desires, calm our angers, our thoughts of revenge, etc because these thoughts are more harmful to US than to the Ps themselves who really don’t CARE, even if they know our feelings. Dwelling on the negative parts, feasting on the chemicals released by wanting plotting etc revenge is harmfull to US. I work very hard at putting these feelings to rest, not covering them up, not hiding them, but dealing with them. It’s not easy and each new “trigger” that comes up from something may set me back a few paces and the anger comes back up. I work hard at controlling it, to keep it from making me bitter and miserable. I don’t want to become a bitter miserable old woman only focusing on the revenge against the Ps and others who have used or abused me. That’s not a good way to live I don’t think, at least not for me. I want peace and contentment, and anger, malice and wanting revenge undermines my peace and contentment.

I never saw my sociopath in a depressive state. She was always up, even when angry. I believe that since she had no conscience, she was not capable of being truely depressed, or at least she hid that very well. I think that if one has no conscience, they would not be truely sad, or remorseful….If things did not bother me and I did not care about others, I would also be prone to being “manic” most of the time.

OxDrover

[I applaud you for parenting your sons, and weep for you for the havoc and pain that your x has dealt out to your children. God bless you and then. I hope that you can get some counseling for both your boys’ wounds and that she will stay away from them. Good luck to you all.]

We all have been thru our pain because of decisions that we never got the opportunity to be a part of. This behavior of entitlement (their) confuses and anger’s me because each person involved albeit a child, young adult, parent and partner has a right to this. Sociopaths never allow us this right and then in the end never give us closure. It is all up to us. Both my children and I have at last pick up the pieces and now have a new life. What sane person would allow or let a ex PD to come back in (even for a short time) and try to again control what we have. OxDrover, we did therapy. We did our own personal soul searching. We all had to heal our own personal hearts. We have in fact came full circle and now OxDrover all we want is to be left along! Do you believe that any sociopath would allow that if given an opportunity to influence us. Do you? Does anyone on this blog for one minute think that if they don’t take some form of control over the lives of their children and themselves. Have a chance for any type of happiness. Please don’t allow a ex PD i.e. sociopath ever again to take your right for choice! No, give back what they so love to give us…. NOTHING!

James, I swear they seem to be like the bad pennies, they keep turning up. My P bio father left me alone til I was 16 and then swooped into my life at a time I was a teenager trying to find myself, then out again, then back, and it took me 10 years to get over the pain he caused when he held the “chit covered carrot” out to me to come work for him and have high adventure traveling all over the world, learning to fly planes, and taking photographs in the african bush. It was the most wonderful and the most horrible experiences of my life, and I had no way to deal with it.

It seems that they seem to return to their children like vultures, seeking to get “supply” from them in some way. I feel so sorry for the people like Dr. Amy who was forced by the courts to let her X see the kids–and then he killed them. My GOD! How can courts decree that kids have to be exposed to these people. Don’t kids have any rights!?

It just sounded to me like your son that tore up the card might still be harboring some bitter anger against his mother, and believe me I have a mother that is such a enabler that she might as well be a psychopath, and I didn’t really realize the damage she had done to me with her enabling of my psychopathic son and her psychopathic monster brother. Or how entrenched she is in this behavior. She is at a point in her life she has NO ONE there for her except a part time hired housekeeper that she does’t even like, my good sons don’t have much if anything to do with her, I am NC essentially with her, and my P-son is in prison and if she gets caught sending him money by my son C he told her he would move and leave no forwarding address–my Gd at the rate she is going she wont’ have anyone to bury her! As it is I am not sure that any of us would attend her funeral. Yet, she is so “pious” and “sweet” to people in the community they would vote her a saint! But my sons and I have see the UGLY face of entrenched enablilng that is willing to do ANYTHING no matter how horrible to keep the family bad-boy from having the consequences of his psychopathic behavior visited upon his head. When a psychopath finds a victim willing to fight to the death to defend them from their own behavior, to cover up for all failures, tey have a wonderful “relationship”–my mother WILLINGLY VOLUNTEERS to be the victim of not only my P-son but any other P that she can attract, and actively PERSECUTES the only relatives she has who would actually be there for her if she would let us. How DYSFUNCTIONAL is THAT! I know of at least 4 generations of this psychopathic enabling and there are very probably more behind her that played the same roles and games. I WILL STOP THIS GAME, I will not play it. I can’t play it. It is too painful to play.

When you start trusting your x wife to put your kids’ needs before her own, I will be able to start trusting my mother to love and care for me. I don’t think that will be any time soon, either. It is a shame, a shame that at 61 years old I still want a mother I can respect and that will love me, and I don’t have one, and your sons NEED a mother, and they don’t have one either. Maybe at least they can come to grips with it well before I did and not let that failure of someone else poison the well of their lives and future relationships. I’m glad they have you for a father, so many kids don’t even have one good parent. I was fortunate I had a great step father, so I at least had some good things from him and I will always be grateful to him. He was a wonderful man.

Dear Bird, I truly understand your desire for revenge and I dont think I have felt such deep anger, BUT, you dont want to take his karma off him, now do you? The one thing that stopped me doing ANYTHING was that I want him to reap every single ounce of his karma, I also do not want to bring trouble on myself. Its the pure injustice of what they do which is so galling. Despite my pleas to my ex not to treat me badly (I was crying all the time) there are times I think that the stress he put me under triggered my cancer. I have also developed arthritis. I have been determined to go No Contact, so he knows nothing of my health problems. Prior to meeting him, I was quite healthy.Tthere are some people here who have lost alot and I cant imagine what they are feeling. My ex had the ‘eye for an eye’ attitude. It is so hard when we dont get closure, there are alot of things I would have said to him, but I wrote him a letter, because he was a coward and ran away. The BIG MAN!!

Dear Bird. Dont forget that by exposing their behaviour here (anon. of course) you are exposing them to the world. Doesnt that give you some kind of satisfaction??!

I’m new on here, and this website has helped me so much, and i just feel like venting today…….today is such a hard day for me, one minute i feel like leaving him was the right choice, then the next minute i miss him and what i though we had, and i want to believe him so bad that he really loves me and wants to fix what he did wrong. it even seems like its the easy way out. I feel like i’m so numb to what he has caused me, ive just accepted it, and im still accepting it, like it was ok and i could just go back with him. its like im not angry that he cheated and lied for two years, i feel like its become so normal in my life, but at the same time i know in my head and heart thats its wrong, and i deserve better. i just need support b/c i feel like i dont have any, and im all alone. is this normal?

Dearest Blondie. Hi and Welcome to you. Dont worry, you have lots of support here – no need to feel alone. You sound like you are on the roller coaster. If someone truly loves you, they dont cheat on you and they dont lie to you – they respect you. Right? Your heart and head have been pulled about, so you cant think straight.

Relax, give yourself some breathing space until the turbulence dies down and then you will feel in a more balanced state to know what to do. It is very normal to feel very disorientated and in what OxyD calls the FOG. We want the illusory good part of them, what they promised us, the words of love, BUT their actions did not support what they said and that does not make for a good relationship. But you know that. You do deserve better and your inner knowing knows that.

Dysfunctional relationships after a while do feel a kind of normality, because we ‘bend’ ourselves out of shape to compromise our values in favour of the other person, and that is never good. You will have lots of support here Blondie – dont worry. (((hugs)))

blondie, you are not alone. Your comment (I miss what I thought I had) the man you miss didn’t exist, he was playing with your head to get whatever he could get. I have to re-read trait’s of a sociopath/physcopath, borderline personality almost daily, because like you I am lonely and there is this big empty space. If your convinced he has a evil personality disorder, do your self a favor and move on. I took my (P) back numerous times to stop the pain. It wont get better, you will just lose more and more of yourself. This is one of the tuffest life lesson’s I have ever endured. The pain of him being with me and decieving me, lieing, messing with my head and all the mental anguish of trying to hold it together is much worse than the pain of him being gone.

Well said Henry.

Beverly and Oxdrover,
I think the best thing I can do for justice, is to get what happened out of my mind. Justice is moving on with my thoughts. I suppose calming the mind will take time. It is especially hard when I have all these baby hormones swirling inside me. To tell you the truth, I don’t even know if watching their demise on television would really make me feel better if it really happened. But, it does make me feel better momentarily to fantasize about it. Fantasy is not justice. Justice, is truely not caring about it anymore. To chalk it up as a learning experience, and nothing more. That will be my justice. And it will happen soon. Or my name isn’t …………..

(((Bird)))))

You are so right, living well is the best revenge there is! And, yea, the baby hormones do carzzzzy things to us! Oh, how I remember!

The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference, truly not caring about them, or wondering about them, not even wishing them evil.

Anger is a normal part of our healing process, and it will come and go! It isn’t a rational thing, just a response to injury. As the pain of the injury goes away the anger will go with it as well.

Today has been one of my anger days, since I had to see the X-DIL yesterday and also deal with my mother projecting her lies on to me—but I went out this evening with a friend to a lively place (an auction) and had a good time, got a few bargains, and had fun. I feel better. It beat sitting here brooding. Plus, I’ve vented here and to my friend, so I am feeling much much better.

How much longer before B-day? Are you feeling like a whale yet? IS the baby letting you sleep? My little darlings would decide to dance about midnight and keep me up the rest of the night. LOL

Your baby is so special, the baby has so many aunties and uncles praying, and sending good thoughts your way that this is going to be the most magical baby in the entire universe. (((baby))))

Oh, I just realized that this will be a

BABY BIRD! LOL LOL ROTFLMAO

Thanks everyone for welcoming me, and the support, it really helps me, and makes me feel more positive.

today is sunday, and i’am so sad today. I just dont even know what to do. i just want to sit here all day and do nothing. sit in front of my tv all day. There are so many things i could do and i just dont want to. i feel like my life has been ripped from me, ive never had to question so many things and people in my life before. I dont trust anyone anymore but my family! this sociopath guy serioulsy took the another women around everyone i know and hang out with it. its so sick to me and disgusts me. there always was a story, everything was always drama. every lie had another story to it. I just dont even know where to begin starting to rebuild my life!

Dear Blondie,

Your depression over this, your “lack of ambition” to actually get up and DO anything, your wanting to just “zone out” and be out of pain is the very normal and natural thing when we have suffered what we perceive as a “loss”—and boy do the P’s give us a ***LOSS***of everything, including our self esteem.

THIS WILL PASS, but sometimes it needs to be “kick started”–there are thousands of ways that you can do this. One is to set little “goals”—things to do each day for YOU. It is okay to have pity parties, and sit around depressed PART OF THE TIME, but while you heal you have to keep breathing, keep eating, keep sleeping, keep bathing, keep washing the dishes, keep going to work, etc. For right now, while you are in such a blue funk, MAKE A LIST of what you HAVE TO DO and do those things ONLY. Just do the ones that are THE most important, and let the others slide for today. Then repeat tomorrow and add a couple of things. If necessary, set a timer, and you can “sit depressed” for X number of minutes and then you get up and do something on the list, repeat as necessary.

EACH DAY have something special to do for YOURSELF on the list–what ever rings YOUR chimes…a long hot bath, or get a foot massage, or call a friend you haven’t seen in a while. It will all come together, and unfortunately there is no way to make time speed up while we go through the pain and the grief of losing our “fantasy” person–it’s like we have just found out there IS NO SANTA CLAUS, NO TOOTH FAIRY, AND NO EASTER BUNNY, ALL ON THE SAME DAY! BUMMER, TOO! LOL

(((hugs)))) it will get better, I promise.

Your soooo right OxDrover, you took the words right out of my mouth. thanks so much for being there helping me though this!

DEar Blondie,

The up and down cycles of the healing process get us stuck sometimes, I sure “been there and dun that!” LOL The resulting depression we get from the “loss” sometimes makes us just SIT and not take action. That’s a normal part, just not one we want to stay in very long.

We go back and forth between depression( sadness) anger, bargaining (hoping there is something we can do to fix it) and denial (there’s really no problem at all) and eventually we get to the acceptance stage, healing. Google “grieving process” and you will get some good ideas. It doesn’t matter WHAT we are grieving, just a “loss” of anything importnat to us.

(((hugs))) IT WILL GET BETTER! I PROMISE!

I don’t think my P was bi-polar. I never saw him manic or depressed. In fact his lack of emotion was astonishing and at the time I thought he was so well balanced and unflappable – something that I am not. I remember an episode when his boss ( she was his long term lover but I did not know it at the time) screamed torrents of abuse at him . What struck me at the time was the level of rage inside her and that he showed absolutely no reaction whatsoever. He sat there impassively as if it were nothing to do with him. I could not understand then why he tolerated it. I do wonder now, if the OW was bi-polar. Her rages, even at clients was legendary and no-one liked or trusted her. Given that she conned many people herself, I think she could have been a P too but with bi-polar aswell.
In a P’s world I do also think that such conditions as bi-polar come in very handy when playing the pity routine. Some of them may genuinely have a condition like that but in many cases it is used as just another way of taking the blame off themselves. Just another way of manipulating our caring instincts.
Swallow

Dear Dr Leedom,

Often I would break my partners will, they would turn from standard sociopath(evil) into scary child mode (immense evil). A whole other personality, so switched that you instantly knew you were talking with another being.

I don’t break myself, so I was able to face up, emotions in check against a fully fledged monster. Yes they want absolute control, and no sharing.

They live for only two reasons, fear and desire.

Normal humans live for three, fear, desire and emotion.

Without emotion, that funny little number that produces oxytocin, there is no compassion, empathy or care. Likewise there is no creativity or imagination. Sociopaths mimic, they cannot ’create’.

You will notice a complete line drawn between those with that part of the brain, and those without.

Currently, I’m researching how to tell them apart from the rest of us normals, the ones blessed with the gifts of emotion.

Sociopaths will use two traits to conquer the emotional human. Rejection and Humiliation. They will end up controlling by Fear after having bought you in by Desire. They sense and find prey via their Vulnerability. They are a perfect calculator for it.

I think, the greatest way to find sociopaths is to observe emotional characteristics, without any of that, they are machine-like-rapists. Just like a locust. They are greedy, cunning and intelligent. Without that balance of oxytocin, all moral lines and restrictions are absent.

But don’t pin your hopes on someone who wants to rule all, I do, but I’m nice about it. 🙂

Oh, and to all the people who are wishing for Mr Right, they do exist. But they are probably shy, (emotion) keeps them second guessing themselves.

Look around ladies… 🙂

Pers

I thought maybe Bad Man was bi-polar because I didn’t know about anything else.

I think it’s more than that.

Aloha, I think Dr. Leedom will lprobably bear me out on this that there are LOTS of folks that are undiagnosed bi-polar. There is a range of behaviors and cycles with people with bi-polar and some of them get psychotic (out of touch with reality, hear voices etc) and go up and down rapidly and very hi highs and very lo lows, but others are closer to “normal” but still have some manic and depressive symptoms (can be more one way than the other) but having ONE disorder or illness doesn’t preclude having a personality disorder as well.

I think probably if you have bi-polar (like the Trojan Horse P does) AND psychopathic personality disorder you are likely to be WORSE on both counts the Bi-polar AND the PPD.

Kiind oflike if you have heart problems AND diabetes you are sicker than if you just had one or the other. Especially if they are NOT treated for the bi-polar and go into a manic phase which can be pretty scary in a bi-polar who is NOT PPD as well. A bi-polar in a manic phase may do some pretty strange things that are not “logical” but usually they are not out to hurt anyone else deliberately. They can be just grandiose and get some ideas like a teenager that they are invincable.

A psychopath that is ALSO “invincable” is a scary dude! I never saw any signs of bi-polar in my P-son, though I haven’t been physically around him much at all (count it in hours during visits at the prisons) since he was 17, so he could have shown signs of it later after age 17, and me now have been aware of it. His presentation now (the last time I saw him) though is one of invincability, almost like a teenger, and the letters I read that he wrote to the TH-P sound like some punk kid wrote them, arrogant and grandiose, invincable and shallow as a pie plate. It is like he is STUCK at the 15-17year old emotional level of immaturity. Since he has had almost NO freeworld time out of prison during the years since then, that may be a pretty good assessment of his level of immaturity.

Your BAd Man may have been bi-polar AS WELL AS PPD, that may be why he was SUCH a BAD man. LIke Lian, said, in the article, a high percentage of Bi-polars are ALSO PPD. Sometimes it would be difficult to tell the behaviors of a person with one from a person with the other, and if they had them both, it sure would be difficult to say “which came first, the chicken or the egg?”

It may not be that bi-polar predisposes you to PPD but that being PPD predisposes you to bi-polar, as both are caused somewhat by genetic hard wiring. Interesting article and interesting information about the two disorders.

BTW, Aloha, I’ve missed you lately. Hope you are doing well.

After I discovered all the deceit that had gone on in my marriage from my ex-P, I decided to contact his natural father. I was always told he “was not a nice man. You don’t want to even know him”. So, I accepted that for some crazy reason, and never really questioned where this man was, what he was like, even though he was the grandfather of my children.

I managed to find this man’s number through some detective work online, and called him. He was the most mentally ill person I have ever spoken with. He told me he was diagnosed as being bipolar 10 years previous, and he is on medication for it.

Apparently, the medication was not working well for him, as he was completely crazy on the phone. He contradicted himself over and over again. He did not care about his two sons, his grandchildren, no feeling at all. There were certain things he said that sounded exactly like things my ex-husband or his brother would say.

It was an eye-opening conversation for me, as it had never occured to me that my ex could be bipolar. Now, I believe he definitely is bipolar, just not to the extent that his father is. All of these disorders: bipolar, ADHD, dyslexia, schizophrenia, etc all fall in the same spectrum.

I have concerns about my son, who is mildly dyslexic, as well as having mild ADHD. He has some definite issues – obsessions, addiction-prone, and some other strange behaviors. All I can do is fill myself with knowledge and help him as much as I can.

In my case, it seems that the lack of conscience my ex has is directly related to his potential bipolar disorder.

The good news is he actually made an appt for a psych evaluation (with my prodding), but whether or not he goes is a different story.

Good luck to all of us in our healing from these people that have ripped part of our souls from us.

Blondie, welcome to the blog. I know how you’re feeling… I have had days where I have been so down, I just didn’t want to go on. But, I can honestly say after 8 months of recovery, the pain has eased and as someone said previously, “justice is not caring about it anymore”. It takes a long time to get to this point. I’m not there yet, but I’m on my way. You will be too. All of us are here to support each other.

Bird, I understand you wanting revenge and Oxy makes an excellent point on why she doesn’t chose to feel that way. I wanted to say that I did take revenge. Some of the behaviour of the person I was with was so infuriating, so abusive, so exploitative that I lost it. I did payback big time. I got more and more angry and my reactions became stronger and stronger. At one point I knew that I was going over the line, way over and I just had to shut off those feelings. He never knew how close he came….

The need for revenge kept me in a prison of anger, bitterness and depression. I chose to step out of it, and let it go. I now finally have peace. There are all kinds of opportunities that come up still and I could take another kick at the cat, but peace is so much nicer. And these mentally ill people they dig their own graves anyways….

Oxy, You are a good coach, you give advice and understand what we are feeling. Thanks, Someone mentioned (boredom) in the (P). My x had to constantly keep his mind occupied with crossword puzzle, jigsaw puzzles, crochet, computer games etc. He was a sports fanatic and could remember every game ever played and the scores. He could never set alone with his thought’s, unless I was listening to him tell me how he had worked at this palce and that place and how he had been the best employee they ever had. He would go on and on about if he was in charge things at work would run smoothly. And anything that ever went wrong at work was someone else’s fault and he said a women employee was sabatoging his work to make him look bad. He would ask how my day went, but I got were I would just say (fine) because I knew he really didn’t care. And he was such a slob, I would suggest he do laundry while I mowed 2 acres of grass, he would continuesly dry the same load over and over so it would appear he was doing laundry. If I was building the deck he was on the computer. If I asked him to hold a board while I hammered it he would, but then go right back to what ever he was doing. He was irritable unless we were doing what he wanted to do. I am realizing that I may have to forgive him for being worthess, and some of the loss I feel is for the (few) endearing thing’s I liked about him, but they are getting harder and harder to remember. This is not the end of the world for me, he was just a page in history……..I am tired of history lesson’s…

p.s. I will never forgive him for being an evil predator

Henry, “them that can do, do; them that can’t, teach” Ha ha

Thanks Henry, I do hope I’ve given you some good advice. I’m glad that you are starting to feel better too. Thinking about the things they did do that were hateful, and the things they didn’t do that they should have, keeps your mind focused on the reasons that we should be GLAD they are out of our lives.

It was hot today but I got outside and sweated and worked hard physically. One of the things I have found is that when you are stressed mentally, that hard physical work will lower your emotional stress. Exercise I guess of any sort will do the same thing. It burns up the “stress hormones” that the emotional upsets release into our systems, tires the muscles out so that we can rest at night and our heads not keep “running” to keep us awake.

I’m back to a point physically now (after last summer’s tick fever bout) that I can finally do 8 hours work in a day–it takes me 12 hours to do the 8, with rest periods in between work times, but that MAY be because I am 60+ years old, who knows! ha ha

When I am doing physical work that doesn’t require much in the way of concentration, today was PAINTING an outbuilding—I muse about this and that, or just look at what I am doing and pat myself on the back that this is one more job that is DONE and I won’t have to do again. I’m making ‘progress’ on all the things that need doing that I have neglected doing since my husband died,my step dad’s death, and all the psychopathic chaos of the last four years, but it is “coming along” and that gives me some satisfaction.

I think that finding SOMETHING to do that does give us SATISFACTION with ourselves is important. Something that you can do that you can “measure”–at least for me–so that you can see how much “progress” you have made. Whether it is fixing up your house, yard, or paying off your debts that the P incured, or making a quilt, or painting a painting, or whatever rings your chimes, but something that you can have satisfaction in that you can physically SEE or measure.

Mine is looking around the farm and seeing thing things I ahve accomplisihed since I got home. Sorting bolts and putting them away neatly might not be everyone’s “satisfaction” but for me it is when I need one and I know where to go get it.

Totally focusing on the losses, and not seeing any gains, would depress anyone. At first the pain is so bad just doing the dishes is a monumental chore to accomplish, but as you move further along in the healing process, look for more goals.

Hang on Henry, things are already getting better, I can read it in your posts! And, they will get better and better, I promise!

This article is extremely offensive to people with bipolar and Adhd. So the reality is that there are risks and co-morbidities, but innocent people who struggle enough shouldn’t be lumped together with abusers, especially young people. Adhd isn’t the naughty kid who just needs discipline.

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