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Sociopaths, Psychopaths and Psychotic Episodes

Posted Aug 24 2008 2:55pm

The question on my recent poll was "How often do you read this blog?"

Here are the results:

Everyday: 46%

Couple of times a week: 6%

Weekly: 6%

Less than weekly: 1%

Never before: 4%

I'm happy with the results. I would like to see my "never before" column go up. I think most of us bloggers have a bit of an ego and would like to see more people added to their readership. In addition, however, I'd like to continue to educate the public about what it is like to live with a mood disorder, and that will require additional readership. It will come with time, I'm sure.

Today I took my morning walk. I have two ways to go. I can turn left out my door and walk through quaint neighborhoods or turn right and walk through lush rolling hills. I always take the left route because I haven't felt prepared to deal with all the hills yet. My neighbor has tried to convince me to turn right because it's pretty and so this morning I did. Yes, it is pretty and now my legs are killing me. I hate my neighbor.

My nutritional lifestlye change (diet) is going very well this week. I'm eating healthy foods, I'm eating five meals a day, etc. One of the important factors is I'm not removing anything completely from my diet. This is very similar to Weight Watchers. I'm a firm believer that if you deprive yourself then you're going to give up. If I want a candy bar, I buy one (thank God). The difference is I'll eat a little, and save the rest for tomorrow and so on. I lost 100 pounds many years ago based on this plan and it seems to be working so far. I won't be weighing myself until a week or more so I'm interested to see what happens.

Yesterday a friend asked "aren't many bipolar people sociopaths?" BIG SIGH. I shouldn't get frustrated. That's what this blog is all about, to dispel much of the ignorance out there. The correct answer to that is "yes, I'm sure there are bipolar people who are sociopaths, but some are also butchers, bakers or candlestick makers.

I want to stress that I'm no expert, but I did do a bit of research. Now it's time for a little lesson:

I'm going to skip descibing someone who is bipolar or depressed . If you don't know, then please go back and review my past posts. It is fascinating reading, I must say.

The charming Ted Bundy was a sociopath . Being charming is one trait. They lack remorse, have an inability to love, shallow emotions, pathological lying, etc. Basically, just downright creepy. People with bipolar may have some of these traits, such as I and my very charming self, those are not the traits specifically of someone diagnosed bipolar. In fact, unlike a person who is a sociopath, it's hard for someone bipolar or with depression to hide they have some type of condition, even if it's just being moody. A sociopath can completely fool people, which is why, the monster, Ted Bundy was successful in killing around 36 women.

There are those referred to as psychopaths , which is very similar to a sociopath except that their thoughts are more organized. Mass murders are also frequently psychopaths, though they tend to lay low and are secretive. This is different than Ted Bundy, who functioned normally to the outside world.

Finally, there are those who are bipolar that can have psychotic episodes if they are extremely manic. Psychopaths are frequently confused with those who are psychotic, but there is a huge distinction between the two. Psychotic episodes may include hallucinations; delusional beliefs, such as paranoia; thought disorder, which can effect speech and writing; and lack of insight resulting in strange or bizarre behavior. These psychotic episodes are usually in extreme cases and then occur infrequently for most. A person having a psychotic episode is rarely dangerous to anyone but themselves and a person who is in touch with their bipolar disorder will usually check themselves into a hospital when they feel psychosis coming on.

That's our psychology lesson for the day. Please pull out your algebra books and turn to page 42.

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