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Old 04-29-2008, 12:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Alcoholic or Sociopath?

I used to post on here awhile ago, about a friend of mine who I have been struggling with for years now. He recently told me that he was diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder (a sociopath/psychopath). I found out some interesting things.

After reading up on sociopaths, and the different kinds, I discovered this,

4. The Thrill Seeker never learns from his past follies. Easily bored, his hunt for new thrills escalates. His reckless disregard for others endangers them. Poor impulse control, bad judgment, criminal activity and substance abuse are common.
More information here: PSYCHOPATH

Sounds just like my AF. I was wondering if anyone has experienced something similar, since their seem to be many correlations in the hurt experienced by people in relations with alcoholics/sociopaths.

Its pretty hard to realize that my best friend might not only struggle with a disease that makes caring for others difficult, but that he may be completely incapable of caring about me at all...
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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but that he may be completely incapable of caring about me at all.
So here's the $10 million dollar question: If this person is incapable of caring about others, then is he a friend or a foe?
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If this person actually has been diagnosed as a sociopath, I would have nothing further to do with them. It could only bring pain in one form or another. A sociopath is beyond treatment from what I know.
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's also an excuse not to admit you are an alcoholic ,you see calling yourself a sociopath is better than accepting the fact that you can not drink.ask any person in recovery
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I remember that I once suspected my ABrother of being a sociopath. I even read a few books that some folks around here recommended. He had never had any long-term recovery under his belt back then, so it was hard to differentiate between the alcoholism and any other problems or issues. Now that he’s been sober for almost a year and a half, I don’t think so. I think he has problems & issues aplenty, but he doesn’t seem like a sociopath or as UTTERLY self-centered and narcissistic as when he was driven and muddled by all the years of alcohol and drugs, and their lingering effects. As for your friend, it’s hard to say. If he’s being honest about the diagnosis, then he’s dangerous. Or it could be some kind of a-drama, or an excuse too, as someone said above. The best thing you can do is educate and protect yourself.

Otis- I don't know if you can see it, but if you scroll down to the bottom of this page it will have a few similar threads that you might find helpful. They have book and resource links and some good info.
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Last edited by BohemiMamaof3; 05-01-2008 at 07:08 AM. Reason: typos! And one more thing...
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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There was some question at one time as to whether or not my A was a sociopath. I don't know the answer, but I do know that his hardened edges have softened as he has some pseudo-recovery under his belt. He's not working a program ~ yet ~ but he's working towards one and making some better choices.

He was the first person with whom I set and maintained some firm boundaries. He caused some damage at my home and I found myself angry ... moreso that he didn't show remorse than for the damage that was done. BUT the more I thought about it, whether or not he said he was sorry, the damage was still done and I needed to set boundaries and take action so it wouldn't happen again!

It made me sad to think he didn't care, but the sadness was mine to own. I was looking for something from him that he was incapable of giving to me at the time... once again it was the idea of going to the hardware store for a loaf of bread!
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I just survived a traumatizing relationship with a sociopath. They do not care about anyone other than themselves. Its best to just stay away from them and to try to see the red flags much earlier so that you don't end up with another one in your life. They cannot be fixed. As long as you listen to the lies and manipulation you are entertaining their behavior. They must be accountable for their behavior...regardless of whether or not they know better. They will suck the life and spirit out of you.
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It is interesting, for lack of a better word, to deal with one--alcoholic/sociopath/psychopath--the lines get muddied. In my case it's the chicken/egg scenario.

I believe that my AH always had the sociopathic vibe brewing somewhere in him. Perhaps at the time I thought it was a "cute" neediness and dependence on me. Perhaps I thought I was so wonderful and all-encompassing, I was all he needed and I could fill the void others could not (I won! I won!).

But stripped away from all definition and labels, I realized, just recently in fact, that a man who can say wretched things about and to a person he supposedly loves and walk over the aforementioned person as she is sobbing like an idiot and cause all this crazymaking and stress--well what did I win? And in realizing this, I realize that I'd rather be the proverbial old woman with the crazy hair in the housecoat with a housefull of cats--than "win" this prize I was once so proud of.
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Charles Manson...enough said.
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Otis7 View Post
I used to post on here awhile ago, about a friend of mine who I have been struggling with for years now. He recently told me that he was diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder (a sociopath/psychopath). I found out some interesting things.

After reading up on sociopaths, and the different kinds, I discovered this,

4. The Thrill Seeker never learns from his past follies. Easily bored, his hunt for new thrills escalates. His reckless disregard for others endangers them. Poor impulse control, bad judgment, criminal activity and substance abuse are common.
More information here: PSYCHOPATH

Sounds just like my AF. I was wondering if anyone has experienced something similar, since their seem to be many correlations in the hurt experienced by people in relations with alcoholics/sociopaths.

Its pretty hard to realize that my best friend might not only struggle with a disease that makes caring for others difficult, but that he may be completely incapable of caring about me at all...
Just a thought, but Toby Rice Drews claims that it is nearly impossible to accurately diagnose mental illness in a practicing alcoholic, would also think that this would be true of an addict of any kind. Think about the things that folks do while they're out there, remarkably sociopathic.
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Old 09-17-2008, 01:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm a double winner cody/alcoholic and I swear about half the people I know in alcoholics anonymous, myself included, could easily be diagnosed as being a sociopath BUT the thing about this is, when they/we/I are working a program all those traits magically disappear....

Don't get me wrong, as I am sure there are people who are both. What I am saying is that it is quite normal for an alcoholic to be diagnosed with all kinds of other 'mental illnesses' due to the fact, like another has said, being something other than an 'alcoholic' allows us to keep drinking.

I've heard 2 years is a good guide to use as a marker to consider the possibility of other 'illnesses'. I.e. if a person takes medication for a 'mental illness' and wishes to give life ago without it, they should wait till they have 2 years sober before trying.
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I sure do believe my AXH is a sociopath. He showed almost all of the signs ( they don't have to show all of them) though he was diagnosed as a Bi-polar. Bi-Polar people usually show the signs of sociopath to some degree i guess.

My AXH is the worst person I have ever been with or ever met. At first I didnt see it because he was being on his best. Then as time passed he became pretty bad. He would drive wrecklessly with me in the car and even made a car accident ( a minor one) happen while I was a passenger. He would drive like a maniac in parking lots while he had the stereo cranked. He would be so rude to strangers. Yet, this guy could hypnotize people with his good looks, charming smile and upbeat personality.

We are no longer together because I couldn't take any more of the 'sociopathic' ways.

Call me stupid but I still miss this jerk. Even though he was terrible, he still knew how to have fun and that we did! He's just not the marrying kind.
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Old 09-18-2008, 05:40 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Yet, this guy could hypnotize people with his good looks, charming smile and upbeat personality.

We are no longer together because I couldn't take any more of the 'sociopathic' ways.

Call me stupid but I still miss this jerk. Even though he was terrible, he still knew how to have fun and that we did! He's just not the marrying kind.
Did I sleep walk and post this under your name? LOL I just want you to know that you aren't alone in the whole "call me stupid but I still miss this jerk" - honey I have moments where I miss mine too. He too knew how to have fun and I miss that.

But there is no way in Hell "we" could ever work longterm. I can't live with an alcoholic/drug addict. During the last couple of months of our relationship I was miserable, anxious, sad, hurt - and I knew it was time to let go. But boy it was hard.

It's been almost 3 months here and I'm still dealing with thoughts of him but it does get better.
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Old 09-18-2008, 05:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I was friends once with a thrill-seeker. Man, was he fun. So exciting. Always took risks, lived on the edge, sought out danger, laughed in the face of the law and defied authority at every chance.

Then he thought it would be thrilling to point a gun at me and pull the trigger. A gun, which he had never seen before, that he had found in his father's dresser. He didn't know if it was loaded or not. Imagine the thrill in finding out!!

And he shot me!! Right in the chest with a .22. Missed my heart by 1/4". Man, was that exciting. I got to have a surgeon shove a large tube into my lung through a hole he cut on the side of my ribcage with no anesthesia. I spent a few days in ICU and the rest of the week in the hospital.

That was the end of me hanging out with thrill-seekers. So I married an alcoholic.

No, I don't believe the two are necessarily the same. And yes, I have been hurt... by both!
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Old 09-18-2008, 06:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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respektingme....OMG! I can't believe it. How horrible. I'm glad you survived! what an a$$hole he was. My ex didnt even own or even gets close to a gun to do something like that.

So your saying that your 'thrill seeker' wasnt a drinker or drugger?
Just wondering because you said "I don't believe the two are necessarily the same. And yes, I have been hurt... by both!"
Well what I truly believe is that from what I understand reading and researching it is that a person becomes a sociopath around the age of 15 and its possible they have ADD and these people tend to end up being drinkers and this makes the whole situation worse. Just from what I understand. Glad you made it through all that. You certaintly didnt deserve that or this new situation either.

lovtolaff ...." But there is no way in Hell "we" could ever work longterm. I can't live with an alcoholic/drug addict. During the last couple of months of our relationship I was miserable, anxious, sad, hurt - and I knew it was time to let go. But boy it was hard."

Yes I know how hard it is believe me!! Its been 2 months now and I can't believe I still miss him after all the hurt and pain he caused me. I feel I must be insane!
If anyone else treated me this way I would have sworn the guy was a terrorist and I would have ran for my life! But not my ex ....why? I just can't believe someone could actually treat someone else they love "so much" so bad and then turn right around the next minute and be the nicest guy you ever met. My head spins to think about it.
I think his mind is poisoned and fried from all the alcohol and cocaine he's done for years.

I need to get this guy out of my head completly or I can't heal. What are you doing to cope? I sometimes think If I force myself to move on and just get out and start dating again that it will pass much sooner, but then I realize I really dont want that either. Its pretty lonely esp. on weekends. My ex and I used to always be doing something on the weekends and now its come to a halt.
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Sociopathy and alcoholism

"... it is nearly impossible to accurately diagnose mental illness in a practicing alcoholic, would also think that this would be true of an addict of any kind. Think about the things that folks do while they're out there, remarkably sociopathic. "

Really? Can anybody hazard a guess as to why an alcoholic might seem sociopathic? What's the connection? Is narcissism part and parcel of addiction? Aren't there "lovely, kind, wonderful except for the alcoholism "type of alcoholics?__________________
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Sure-I can try to answer this question.

Sociopaths act in complete and total disregard for other peoples' feelings. They lack empathy. They act selfishly.

Active alcoholics, because they are driven by their need for their drug, act in complete and total disregard for other peoples' feelings.

My exabf-he played games with my head, in order to perpetuate the denial of his problem and to keep me on the leash. See, the partner of an alcoholic is subject to all kinds of insane situations because that's what drinking does-it wreaks havoc on people's lives. Alcoholics live with guilt and shame, so they lie and manipulate...they minimize and rationalize...not because they're bad people, but because they have to feed their addiction and keep the codependent on the hook to continue to take care of them.

I've heard stories of alcoholics driving drunk with their CHILDREN in the car. If this doesn't seem sociopathic to you, what does?



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"... it is nearly impossible to accurately diagnose mental illness in a practicing alcoholic, would also think that this would be true of an addict of any kind. Think about the things that folks do while they're out there, remarkably sociopathic. "

Really? Can anybody hazard a guess as to why an alcoholic might seem sociopathic? What's the connection? Is narcissism part and parcel of addiction? Aren't there "lovely, kind, wonderful except for the alcoholism "type of alcoholics?__________________
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:19 AM   #18 (permalink)
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they care only for themselves... sadly, there seems to be more than a few.

I'm looking for the red flags & staying away from them
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:29 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Yeah, isn't it sad-alcoholism seems to be more pervasive than we as a society care to admit. Probably because there's a lot of money to be made off of it, by bars and corporations that produce alcohol.

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they care only for themselves... sadly, there seems to be more than a few.

I'm looking for the red flags & staying away from them
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Old 07-12-2009, 12:18 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Well, the addict and the alcoholic both are the most selfish people on the face of the planet. They think ONLY of themselves, and we are just puppets to be manipulated by them.
They are all sociopaths if you ask me. Nothing I want to give my heart and soul to.
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