Sociopaths, Psychopaths and Psychotic Episodes

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.

  10 comments for “Sociopaths, Psychopaths and Psychotic Episodes

  1. November 4, 2009 at 07:41

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Abbey
    June 23, 2008 at 04:30

    Well you can put me in the ‘never befores’, but im enjoying what im reading so i will stick around a bit … :)good job

  3. June 22, 2008 at 13:46

    I’m relatively new to your blog, I began Entrecard dropping around the middle of May and in the beginning I never left comments but I realize how great it is to have comments so I’ve taken the time to do just that!!!Thanks for explaining to those who don’t understand the differences between certain mental illnesses…it really does help others…takes the mystery out of it!I took courses in criminal psychology about 5 years ago and found the subject fascinating!! Would’ve loved to have gone into the field as a profession but circumstance go in the way… :0)Great post Bradley…Cheers

  4. June 22, 2008 at 02:38

    @Bradley I just wanted to thank you for this blog… Your courage! to post, and to bring about awareness…

  5. Dr. Rob
    June 21, 2008 at 14:46

    I appreciate your honesty and clarity in which you describe mental illness. Everyone should read this.

  6. Lisa
    June 21, 2008 at 10:38

    Great post. I really appreciate when writers can open up and share so much of themselves on topics of such importance. And when it’s an effortless, informative aand enjoyable read, like yours…all the better!My cousin’s husband is bipolar and I was very surpised to learn recently that he has had a significant improvement in how he responds to his medication after removing all “chemicals” from his diet. Particularly, aspartaime (sp?) and preservatives found in everyday foods. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about his diet or siituuation to share more, but I figured I’d mention it.Thanks for sharing your blog with me!Lisa

  7. June 21, 2008 at 13:49

    Thank you for your kind words, Lisa, and welcome.

  8. June 21, 2008 at 12:56

    I hope you get lots more ‘never been here before, but I am coming back votes’You are definitely educating people :)I actually sighed in real life when I read the aren’t many biploar people sociopaths bit.Thanks for writing this 🙂

  9. June 21, 2008 at 00:29

    I had a student that was/is a sociopath. Scary as hell but quite interesting. Parents would buy a pet, he would torture the pet to death. I guess he went through about five pets before I heard about it. I told the parents that I wouldn’t buy anymore pets for this kid. Duh!! Some ppl are so thick! At least the parents didn’t have any other kids, especially younger, in the family. Sigh…And btw, he wasn’t/isn’t bipolar. Just saying man…

  10. June 20, 2008 at 20:31

    I wanted to scream when I read that. Anyway, I am going to post my bipolar article on 6/31 and on 6/30I’ll run the PSA. Thanks for reading it for me.By the way, I am going to redo my words…I’m not quite happy about how it turned out, so come take another look later. Sure, steal it…it is a good exercise for everyone…oops I mentioned exercise…congratulations for taking the road less traveled. Now, go hate your neighbor. After a point, the lush greenery ceased to exist as you are huffing, puffing, cussing and muscles burning!!! But, you did it!!!!!

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