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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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so yeah, sociopath would be preferable in the legal sense
children of dune - leto 1
seperis


Taking from wikipedia as source, so grain of salt:

In practice, mental health professionals rarely treat psychopathic personality disorders as they are considered untreatable and no interventions have proved to be effective.[11] In England and Wales the diagnosis of dissocial personality disorder is grounds for detention in secure psychiatric hospitals under the Mental Health Act if they have committed serious crimes, but since such individuals are disruptive for other patients and not responsive to treatment this alternative to prison is not often used.[12] - Hare Psychopathy Checklist

That would explain why Sherlock would be sensitive about the labeling. A diagnosis of psychopathy would put him at the mercy of the justice system if he was ever arrested for a major crime. However, a diagnosis of psychopathy or anti-social personality disorder would (probably) show up if he applied for a job higher than minimum wage, so that would explain at least part of why he doesn't get a normal job; he might not be able to even if he wanted to, unless he wants to work for Mycroft.

(This is assuming he didn't self-diagnose initially, but I don't think he would bother even caring about it unless he was diagnosed and then he wanted to explore the concept and confirm it himself, since you know, psychiatrists couldn't be as smart as he is.)

The only thing that bothers me about it is; he's not just a genius, he studies people constantly. I've taken enough formal personalty diagnostics that I'm familiar with the pattern and it's not hard to skew them if they're working purely from self-reporting and not from observable criteria (assuming again that someone in his life recognized anti-social traits and threw him at a psychiatrist, but parents are really shitty at doing that as a rule, so it would have to fall under juvenile delinquency, and he was too young not to know why they were asking him all these random questions). If he was old enough to know what the results would be if he was given a particular diagnosis and skewed the results, he could actually be just about anything. And that assumes he either a.) wants to self-report accurately or b.) can self-report accurately, and observably, he is shitty at self-reporting altogether.

Suicide is much higher for sociopaths than psychopaths. Hmm.

Why am I even reading this? I need a nap. Or cookies!

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/45402.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments


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You find the best stuff. :D

I admit, that bit on grounds for detention? Man, with that in mind I'd have a card with MY DIAGNOSIS WAS SOCIOPATH written on it to carry around with me in case of arrest.

Was Sherlock a sociopath, or worried about being labeled one, or is this fandom canon? He doesn't seem that way in the movie, I have never read the books, that's why I'm asking.

In the BBC show, first episode, Anderson calls him a psychopath and Holmes corrects him and says he's a high functioning sociopath.

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Of course, no one actually uses the term sociopath anymore. They're all lumped under anti-social personality disorder.

And yes. If you ever meet one, you will notice that they are "creepy" (mentioned in a House episode as an actual diagnostic criterion).

It's not used as a formal psychological diagnosis, but it's still used informally as a label for anti-social personality disorder. Which makes me wonder who diagnosed him now.

P.S. - I don't actually think Sherlock in his many incarnations would fit the category of anti-social personality disorder, more like mild Autism Spectrum disorder + too much cocaine.

I was thinking high functioning autism or asperger's, but that doesn't quite fit the charm or surprisingly outgoing personality or the need for constant stimulation.

This is for the BBC show, btw.

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Fun anecdote: if you are, like myself and my aunt, someone who is skilled at multiple choice tests because of excellent pattern-recognition skills, it is possible to skew your diagnosis far to one side or another as far as mood/personality disorders are concerned. My aunt was seeing a psychiatrist who gave her quite a few of the intake quizzes over the course of her treatment, and at the end of one of them mentioned that my aunt must be good at standardized tests, because she'd followed the pattern of escalation in the quiz into schizophrenia, when she didn't exhibit any of the traits of the disorder; just continuing to answer according to the escalation of the questions themselves. (This is the same method that, years later, took me from my actual diagnosis of major depressive disorder to me being sent to several experts in Borderline Personality Disorder.)

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*nods* Yes, that's what I mean.

If I remmeber correctly, ,the diagnostics I was given weren't exactly subtle, either. They weren't on the order of "Do you kill kittens for fun?" but most of them had an obvious right/wrong* answer.

*right answers == the ones where they agree it's just depression.
*wrong answers == the ones where they bring in extra people and talk about scheduling multiple appointments and unsubtly check your arms for new cutting.

I'm not a genius either, but when they're checking emotional stability, reading through the questions, it wasn't hard to figure out what they were actually asking about.

And yeah, I'm really good at standardized testing. If it's multiple choice, I can do it, with the exception of all answers in negatives. I had a teacher who did all the questions with "which of these is false" and all the answers having a double negative (or an implied double negative). I couldn't even parse the questions; looking back, I remember that being one of the most horrible classes ever. I had to rewrite every question and answer just to comprehend it. I still have no clue why that short circuited me.

So I have this useless Psych BA gathering dust in the back of my mind - I focused on anti-social personality disorder and, for reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, once did rather a lot of research about a plan by the British home office to preemptively incarcerate anyone diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder.

So, it seems like they did end up sort of following through on that.

Were you just reading through wikipedia, or were you looking elsewhere as well? I'd love to brush up a bit.

In my recollection, the main difference between psychopaths and sociopaths is that, while neither feel empathy, sociopaths understand that other people do and they can manipulate it - while psychopaths cannot even comprehend the emotions of those around them. (There's a kind of an interesting developmental phase when children realize that they do indeed make a better door than they do a window, because before that point they are unable to take another person's POV - psychopaths will never make that step).

Thinking about anti-social, my main interest when I was studying it was that the preventative incarceration scheme, as it stood at the time (a decade ago) was pretty much based on the assumption that the best predictor of future crime is past crime - people who have committed crimes in the past are more likely to commit crimes in the future than people who haven't - and part of the diagnostic criteria for anti-social was past criminality - particularly juvenile delinquency associated with sadism and lack of empathy. In terms of philosophy of law/philosophy of personality, my interest was in the part where correlation was being taken as sufficient evidence to institutionalize this entire population - and that because criminal history was part of the diagnostic criteria, this was really punishing a single crime for the crimes we assume you'll commit later (thus the assumption that "personality" is stable and does not change over time - despite a lot of evidence of "burn out" among violent psycho/sociopaths - it's a very deterministic model of personality). It also narrowly penalizes people who manage to come to the attention of the criminal justice system while underaged and overlooks those who, for a variety of reasons including social privilege and the particular manifestation of anti-social - are simply not prosecuted as juveniles. Regarding other types of anti-social, I was particularly interested in something called anti-social by proxy or Norton Sims Syndrome in which the anti-social person uses submissive proxies to carry out their anti-social acts - very difficult to diagnose or prosecute since the submissive is the one actually carrying out the anti-social behaviors. I was so very thrilled when Wire in the Blood included an anti-social by proxy storyline - PsychologySqueeee!

One last "OMG I get to drag out my old psych talk again" note - the "better" tests are those where the questions have been chosen and correlated statistically instead of logically. So if they're looking for anti-social, they wouldn't ask "did you pull the wings off butterflies as a child" - instead they would ask "do you prefer baths or showers" "do you like daffodils or violets" "are you happier on Tuesdays or Wednesdays" and attempt to match a pattern of answers with those already given by a control population of people already diagnosed. I think this is how the MMPI works. Thus is shouldn't matter how smart you are or how good at grasping patterns for a test like that.

One last "OMG I get to drag out my old psych talk again" note - the "better" tests are those where the questions have been chosen and correlated statistically instead of logically. So if they're looking for anti-social, they wouldn't ask "did you pull the wings off butterflies as a child" - instead they would ask "do you prefer baths or showers" "do you like daffodils or violets" "are you happier on Tuesdays or Wednesdays" and attempt to match a pattern of answers with those already given by a control population of people already diagnosed. I think this is how the MMPI works. Thus is shouldn't matter how smart you are or how good at grasping patterns for a test like that.

Correlation of preferences?

So when looking for a duck, instead of asking the unknown bird to describe itself, they ask what the unknown bird likes and matches it to all other birdlife to get the highest correlation? How accurate is that? *curious* And is that literally the type of questions used?

And I didn't get a chance to wiki it--part of the reason I posted it is to remind myself to see if I can track down confirmation on that.

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