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Archive for February, 2009

Sociopaths and opiate addiction

Heroin and oxycontin belong to a class of drugs called opiates. Lovefraud recently received a letter from a reader that raised the issue of heroin addiction in sociopaths:

For nearly two years after my relationship with him ended, I was on the web researching heroin addiction because I assumed this was where all of his abusive behavior came from, but I stumbled upon information on sociopaths, and realized that he fits every trait…I know substance abuse behavior can mimic sociopathic behavior, but it is clear that the man I was in a relationship with is a sociopath, and was able to use his addiction as an explanation and excuse to further manipulate the many people who offered help to him… The man I dated definitely went beyond the regular lying and stealing that takes place and went far into the realm of sadism- taking great joy in manipulation and emotional devastation of others. He was breaking into cars and taking great risks to his physical safety as a child/young man, well before his drug use started. It makes sense to me that people who are sociopaths and do not have a conscience would be more likely to become heroin addicts, as seeing others being hurt by their behavior would not be a deterrent. Whereas someone with a conscience would feel just as good when they take the heroin, they would be more likely to think about its effects on others, and stop the behavior.

The Borderland of Narcissism and Sociopathy

In a prior post, I discussed some differences between the narcissist and sociopath, a focus I’d like to continue in this post. For convenience’s sake, I’m going to use “he” and “him” throughout, although we can agree that “she” and “her” could easily be substituted.

The narcissist, if I were to boil his style down to one sentence, is someone who demands that his sense of self (and self-importance) be propped-up on a continual basis. Without this support—in the form of validation, recognition, and experiences of idealization—the narcissist feels depleted, empty, depressed.

The narcissist struggles to define himself independently and sustainedly as significant and worthwhile. The fragility of his sense of self is no big news; it is how he manages his fragility, his insecurity, that is telling.

The narcissist, for instance, feels entitled to a sense of inner comfort and security. More specifically, he feels entitled to what he requires in order to experience an unbroken state of inner comfort.

Love, sex, your brain and sociopaths

Ever since the beginning of recorded history, humans have been trying to understand and explain the mysteries of love and sex. Over the past few decades, scientists started using specialized equipment to measure physical arousal by attaching devices to private parts. More recently, they’ve been observing the most important romantic organ in the human body—the brain.

Forbes wrote about the research of Andreas Bartels, Ph.D., at the Imperial College of London. Bartels used a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine, which can capture images of brain activity, to pinpoint the areas of the brain that are activated by love.

Bartles did a study of 17 people who were madly in love. He had the test subjects look at photos of platonic friends and of their loved ones while he observed activity in their brains. The resulting images clearly showed that certain sections of the brain are stimulated by love.

RESOURCE PERSPECTIVES: Online predators aren’t who they say they are

Editor’s Note: Lovefraud’s Resource Perspectives features articles written by members of Lovefraud’s Professional Resources Guide.

They Aren’t Who They Say They Are
By Skipp Porteous, Sherlock Investigations

Skipp Porteus profile in the Lovefraud Professional Resources Guide

People contact Sherlock Investigations every week that have been taken by someone they met online. To make matters worse, the perpetrators die off before the benefactors even realize that they’ve been had.

We’ve all heard of the Nigerian scams. (It’s amazing how many people still fall for them.) They contact you by email claiming to be the wife, husband, son, or daughter of someone who had control of a lot of money. They want you to help them retrieve the money. If you help them, they’ll give you, say, a 20 percent commission.

A guidebook for recovering from the devastation of a sociopath

Legal Abuse SyndromeI clearly remember the shock of realizing that everything my ex-husband, James Montgomery, had ever told me was a lie. I remember the devastation of discovering the truth: His entire purpose in marrying me was to get a free place to live, take advantage of my good reputation and defraud me of my assets. All the promises, all the assurances, were literally sweet nothings. They sounded good, and meant absolutely nothing.

I remember being paralyzed by my new truth. How could I possibly plan a recovery for my life, when every day I was falling apart? Worse, no one seemed to have an explanation for what happened, or advice on how to handle it.

After the sociopath: How do we heal? Part 4-Bargaining

If there is a single category of memories that still can make me squirm, it is the remembrance of what I did to make my sociopath love me. And what I did simply to keep him from hurting me. And what I did to try to understand the things I must have done wrong, because he didn’t love me. And all the ways I pretzel-twisted my brain to excuse him for his lies, deception, disrespect and greed.

The topic of this article is the next phase of healing from a sociopathic relationship: bargaining.

We are in the process of healing from the moment we sustain any emotional trauma. Relationships with sociopaths typically involve many traumatic events, both large and small. Some of these events are the “blows” of insults, coldness and various types of violence or violation of our trust. But these blows, however painful they may be, are less damaging than the events that threaten our identities by making us question our own values and ability to trust ourselves

Why I say “Bad Man”

By AlohaTraveler

It took me a long time to clearly define that what the Bad Man was doing to me was… bad. Plain and simple, it was bad for me. Never mind if he was working through pain, never mind if he had suffered many losses or had an unfortunate childhood. Never mind. He’s a grown man. He was treating me in a way that I can only define as very bad for me no matter what his issues were. Really, it was unacceptable but at the time, I did not have clear boundaries as to what kind of treatment I would accept for myself before I would draw a line in the sand and say, “No more!”

The “feel” of a sociopath

I recently had clinical contact with a client who left me with the unusually strong, immediate impression of “schemer,” “slick,” “full of crap.” He was instantly, aggressively ingratiating—less, I felt, from insecurity, as from ulterior motives, as if he were angling, at the outset, for an edge.

I had the uncomfortable feeling I get around intrusive salesmen who leave you feeling like an “object” from whom to extract a sale and commission.

I should mention that he was glib. Glibness is a trait often associated with certain sociopaths. My client was so glib, as a matter of fact, that for the first time in a long while the word “glib” actually popped into my head.

When I say “glib,” I don’t mean just fast-talking, which he was. He was shallow, too. And for me, the combination of smooth, fast talking, underlain by shallowness, really captures “glib.”

Update from Gem, daughter of imprisoned con artist

I just received this from Gem (see Realities only family members know) so I thought I would pass it along. You can see how wise a resilient young lady can be and what it takes to cope with a sociopath father.

I just received a new letter from my dad, I thought I would share it with you… and you are welcome to use anything from this letter for blogging purposes or anything else.

Are We There Yet?

By OxDrover

I remember when I was a little kid, driving with my parents, sitting in the back seat sans seatbelt (there were no such things in those days) and leaning over the front seat, repeatedly asking my parents, “Are we there yet?” or “How long til we get there?”

Of course there had been no reasonable way for my parents to convey to me “how long” since I didn’t tell time when I was four, so there was no use saying “one hour” because I wouldn’t be able to comprehend what an “hour” was. Time is sort of fluid anyway, relative to what is going on. If you are bored, an hour is forever. If you are interested in something, an hour is very short. To a bored child in the back seat of a car, the trip seems to take forever with no end in sight. The trip is a price to be paid for arriving at the destination.