Personality disorders – including sociopathy, narcissism and several others – are more common than people think: about 10% of the US population meets the criteria for at least one personality disorder. The exact figures vary in time and are different from country to country, but the average tends to be the same world-wide. If you think about it, how do you know that you yourself don’t have traits of one of these disorders? This is interesting to evaluate since some personality disorders actually act as magnets for sociopaths and malignant narcissists because they complement each other perfectly. Are you attracting these people into your life because your traits are the perfect match for them and you don’t know it?
A quick recap of personality disorders
There are different methods for naming and classifying personality disorders, but the most common system is the DSM, originated in the United States. The DSM classifies personality disorders in three big groups, called clusters, and named cluster A, B and C. The DSM offers a list of criteria that a person should meet to be officially diagnosed as having a personality disorder. Cluster A personality disorders show strange behavior and ideas, and some of them may develop into some form of psychosis later in life. Cluster B personality disorders are more familiar to us because here is where sociopaths and malignant narcissists are found. The technical name of sociopathy in this system is an antisocial personality disorder.
Now, Cluster C is an interesting one, because it is defined as a group of personality disorders characterized by pathological fear. People with Cluster C personality disorders often feel insecure, needy and have low self-esteem, making them easy prey for sociopaths and manipulators. If you have a history of falling victim to these kinds of people, there is a chance you might qualify for a Cluster C personality disorder. Watch out especially for the dependent personality disorder, which is the most prone to falling into the trappings of sociopaths.
How to find out if you have a personality disorder
With all this information, you might think it’s easy to detect any personality disorder in yourself. You just go to the latest DSM edition, read the criteria for each disorder and see if you are a match. However, this is yet another trapping. This process is called self-diagnosis and is severely contraindicated by mental health professionals. You can watch out for red flags in your behavior, but the only way to know for sure whether or not you have a disorder – and which kind of healing process to start – is through an appointment with a professional. Our subconscious mind will try and prevent us from realizing the negative influences and distorted traits we carry with us, so if you try to do this by yourself you will unlikely reach your deepest truth. Ask for a diagnostic appointment, which should include both an in-depth interview and a series of personality tests.
Get free from the clutches of sociopaths – starting with yourself
If you have found yourself under the influence of sociopaths, by becoming stronger and more aware of yourself you can shield yourself from the harm they cause, and drive them from your life. Change starts within, with self-realization and asking for professional help. Any insight you can achieve will help you find your inner strength and work towards your healing.
Written by Kylee Young for the Sociopathic Style