I love when psychoanalysts contact me to personally warn me that diagnosing people based on criteria is dangerous and careless without proper licensing and credentials.

I’d like to respond with a big fat, “No shit, assholes,” but I’m trying to be more controlled and understanding these days.

First, I am not suggesting that anyone diagnose anyone as a sociopath. I encourage everyone to understand how to spot sociopaths by their behavior.

Second, learning to spot the warning signs, in the moment or in hindsight, is not careless or dangerous. It’s mindful and essential to our growing awareness of ourselves and the environments in which we live and work.

Third, if the majority of psychoanalysts were accurately diagnosing victims and survivors and pinpointing the source of our trauma, none of us would be forced to take action on our own through self-study, research, and finding our own solutions to heal in order to determine that the monster responsible for our trauma was someone we once thought loved us.

The so-called experts need to start listening to those of us who have actually experienced what a sociopath is before any real help can be provided to us through psychotherapy.

The so-called experts need to pay attention and consider what we have to say, not attempt to shut us down with shame and blame and finger-pointing. We’re sick of that dismissive attitude. It’s harming and destructive.

This is how I feel today: For over 3 years, I wasted $200/month on psychotherapy! Psychotherapy did absolutely nothing to stop my nightmares or to bring me understanding. Psychotherapy actually hindered my recovery in many ways.

Writing my story and learning from other survivors’ stories guided me to where I am today…among other very important practices.

Namaste!
~Paula

Category:
abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Health, Mental Health, mindfulness, Narcissist, Narcissistic Sociopath, NPD, Peace, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychopaths, Rape, Recovery, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Spirituality
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Join the conversation! 48 Comments

  1. Hi, i’m Laura and i’m new here. Your blog resonates with how i feel. I was emotionally abused by both my parents,but i didn’t go to therapy. I healed myself by meditating, journaling and reading blogs like yours.Therapists psychoanalyze you to pieces, leaving you empty.
    I opened my heart by commenting on a blog specialized on the topic of abuse. I got a shocking response from one of the readers, a victim herself. She said i was mentally ill because i had been abused. She said i couldn’t possibly be healthy as i was raised by such parents. That hurt me and made me question my sanity. Was she right? Do all bloggers see victims of abuse as mentally ill people? I can’t get her words out of my mind and my heart. Please help.

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    • Laura,

      You are NOT broken OR mentally ill just because you were abused. Based on what you have shared, I would say you are the absolute opposite of being ill. The mental health field truly does a disservice to its patience by labeling us. More often than not, labels have a stigmatizing effect and can cause greater anxiety, shame, and trauma. It’s as if being diagnosed is an invitation to a type of self-fulfilling prophecy: “My doctor says I am XYZ. I must be XYZ. I am stuck being XYZ.” And it certainly doesn’t help that the only thing most therapists offer are band aids in the form of prescription medications and unproven techniques and therapeutic modalities that tend to perpetuate and prove that the diagnosis is correct rather than curing us of the symptoms. This type of therapy and treatment breaks us and absolutely makes us convinced we are ill. We come to depend and rely upon the doctor rather than ourselves, which is the absolute worst thing we could do to ourselves. As for the blog commenter, she sounds like she is not in a very good place mentally and is projecting her fears of being ill onto you. Be proud of how you have helped yourself. And walk away from people and blogs who want to label you as something other than a survivor and thriver. XOXO

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  2. First of all,

    a degree in psychology does not cure a personality disorder 😉

    Most psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors have ‘rescue fantasies’ they want to ‘cure’ and ‘safe’, that is why they are often in relationships with some severely disturbed persons themselves. Or are severely disturbed themselves. (not all of course)

    Secondly,

    there is a huge difference between ‘psychotherapists’ and ‘psychoANALYSTS’.

    Psychotherapists usually adhere to CBT and try to ‘cure’ through behavior changes. Rarely effective and with a huge relapse occurrence after about 5 years. They are hugely inadequate in dealing with personality disorders.

    Psychoanalysts delve deeper into the character of the patient, and while the therapy takes much longer, if completed there is not just symptom reduction (as with CBT), but prolonged benefits. Relapse is much less likely. Psychoanalysts specialize in personality disorders, personality neurosis and personality traits. Psychoanalysts usually do not take insurance and charge anywhere from $150 and up a session.

    In order to become a psychoanalyst you have to go through analysis yourself for at least 5 years, with 4x/week sessions. Psychoanalysts understand themselves quite well and their own neurosis, traits etc.

    When dealing with a personality disordered ex, you’re better off in analysis then in psychotherapy. Blogging in a way is a ‘public analysis’, though you don’t get the important feedback to help you grow, though you do grow.

    Stay strong my friend! Stay strong!

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    • Thank you, Ostara! I do see a psychoanalyst. Most of what I have discussed with him in recent months is what I write here on my blog. But writing was my idea, not his. He takes notes, but other than asking me how I have been since the last visit, I’ve never received a diagnosis from him. My diagnosis of depression (which i believe was false) came from a previous psychiatrist. I am no longer on anti-depressants or any medications (and haven’t been for two years), but I don’t give credit to my psychoanalyst, because it was my decision to quit and wean myself of those band aids. I didn’t tell him I quite until 8 months later, because I feared he would try talking me out of it. And I wouldn’t advise anyone to quit cold turkey like I did, it’s just that I was so sick and tired of getting no where fast with the experts. I had to take control of my own recovery. Swimming in dependency (dependency on doctors and meds) was weighing on my desire to live. A little ironic, huh? 🙂

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    • Hi Paula,

      I did the same re the meds etc…& weaned off as I did not want any more dependency ever!

      Like you I found other outlets, i.e.exercise & loads of self help blogs/books & surrounded myself with other loving & supporting relationships.

      I chose to get free & use my thoughts to heal the emotional pain.
      Once you have the revelation & full understanding of what you have been dealing with for ever, you have two choices, sink or swim.
      I joined the swimmers once again in the ocean called life & just keep swimming along & riding the waves 🙂

      I would not recommend going off meds either unless, you are fully supported by others & yourself.

      Thanks for being an intrinsic component of my healing journey & keep up the fantastic work 🙂

      Love & Light 🙂
      PR xoxo

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    • I’m so grateful, PR, for your support and that of everyone who has taken back their lives and are willing to serve as models for all of us! To be witness to another’s healing is priceless!! XOXO

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  3. Hi Paula,

    This post kept gnawing at me & then the penny dropped!
    I am well over any jealousy & triangulation etc…
    What keeps bothering me is that the OW is a Dr of Sociology & writes & lectures people on human behavior etc…it bothers me that she stays knowingly & is also in a position that holds great sway in the academic community regarding psychology, behavior etc…the influence she has on others makes me very conscious of why these Socs/Narcs remain undetected.
    If a Human Behavioralist cannot see her way clear & yet maintains the ability to effect people by writing profiles etc…really makes me sad.
    Sad for humanity that the people we trust to guide us are just as misguided & puppets to the Master!
    Sad but, true. PR xoxo

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    • PR,

      I understand. I know! It’s maddening. It’s as if she may think she can provide advice to others on how to make a relationship with a narc work? Or that she would be a failure if she simply left because, in her mind, she SHOULD be able to withstand any personality type based on her training and education. For whatever reason she uses to fool herself, it’s exactly why we must not rely on advice from therapists who think they can “train” us to deal with the monster behind the mask. 🙂

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    • Hi pheonixrising… You asked for my insight on this person … Well, Cognitive Dissonance is a doosey! It’s a REALLY hard thing to overcome. Consider it an addiction (believe it or not addiction is THAT serious)…But you asked me what it could be beyond that? My conclusion would be: It’s a spiritual problem. Many people who try to overcome addiction and are even successful for a long periods of time, will fall off if they are not in line with step 1 (complete truthfulness). It’s a spiritual imbalance. 🙂
      Like I said, I’m in (new) recovery from a relationship with a sociopath and when Cognitive Dissonance sneaks in it can be a struggle to ignore, however, my spiritual “balance” (connection to higher power/purpose) saves me….

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    • Tari, this is absolutely true! I often talk about building and maintaining a faith…and beginning with having faith in oneself. The word “spiritual” is loaded, as you are surely aware. I hope to expand on this in my next book, because I absolutely believe one MUST be spiritual and connected spiritually to maintain sustained peace. 🙂

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    • Pheonixrising… I’ve thought some more about your question..
      I’m pretty sure he still has her in the idealization phase (or at least cycling pretty regularly w/ the idealization and devaluation).. Especially since she’s supplying him with what he wants… And we all know how intoxicating that stage is… Even though she has the intellect, she is still under a spell. She’s stuck in a trauma/betrayal bond…Where she just doesn’t care about anything else.
      This, actually, is a perfect example of the damage narcs/socios cause and the danger they pose.

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    • Yes “spiritual” IS a totally loaded term. It’s absolutely an individual thing. Something I’ve seen many variations on.. What has remained consistent is that it appears to be “what’s missing” (some component of this loaded term, easier to generalize here for the sake of simplicity) when people appear to “have it all” but continue to struggle. I’ve worked with and observed thousands of people in recovery from addiction/trauma of all sorts and that faith/dedication/drive/focus on something higher than themselves to give them something to trust and humble themselves to, a way to connect to something higher than their ego and own desires, purpose for growth and not remaining stagnant in self-depreciation; that is KEY to changing (or even wanting to change) for the better. 😉 I’m looking forward to your expansion on this topic.

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    • Hi Tari & Paula & everyone here 😃

      Your all amazing people & thank you all for your strength & resilience.
      Thank you also for sharing & supporting & understanding.

      I think the exploration of why the Socio experience takes you on such an enormous journey is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ spiritually.
      Once I realised that the person I cared for had gone to such unbelievable lengths to misrepresent himself, I was challenged on every level of my belief system & faith in another.
      I knew there were people that could hurt others but, never witnessed a contrived & systematic destruction.
      Non empaths & Apathy & enablers & proxy’s blew me away.
      It takes you into another realm of consciousness & some ‘get it’ & others struggle & break down from it.
      I was catapulted into this world & decided after the ‘dark night if the soul’ that my awakening to this person, whilst individual & unique, was a phenoma that my rational/logical mind needed to transcend.
      Thankfully whilst our ‘spiritual’ beliefs are all varied, our self belief is crucial.
      We all find ourselves connected to a greater consciosness that becomes one.
      We connect via love, compassion & empathy to each other & the wider world. We collaborate collectively & unite against those that waste time on this planet serving themselves.
      I think with a universal love more now than ever & that is the ‘gift” of awareness & appreciation & gratitude fir this life & the next.
      The Socio makes us ‘real’ to ourselves, we get ourselves fully & our place in this life.
      That was my experience 😃
      I truly embrace all my core values & dont just think them but, feel & embrace & demonstrate them.
      All the wise old sages like Buddha etc…really ‘got it’ & finally so do I. 😃

      Love & Light 😃
      PR xoxo

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  4. Reblogged this on Moms' Hearts Unsilenced and commented:
    “Professionals” continue to victimize the victim until they get a clue about sociopaths…

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  5. “so-called” is right! Most police officers without a degree understand the tactics & impact of the sociopath more than therapists, lawyers, judges, & psychiatrists with PhDs… hmmmm….

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    • My ex Socio has police as his enablers & is now living with a Dr of Sociology who reports to the police!
      She know’s he’s a covert narc etc…& he gleans his human behavior skills from her, a powerful duo & a dangerous coupling.

      Love & Light 🙂
      PR xoxo

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  6. Hey Paula 🙂 You have an awesome blog! I’m a psychotherapist who has survived a sociopath or two… And your insight is spot on! Thank you for your diligence in getting awareness out there! I actually send some of my clients to your blog for extra support and insight. 😉 Bravo!

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    • Tari, Thank you so much!! I recently spent time reorganizing the site in order to make it as easy as possible for visitors to discover the resources that speak to their needs. Your feedback means a lot to me. 🙂

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    • Hi Tari,

      The OW in my story etc…is a Dr of Sociology & know’s what he is & ahs confirmed it in confidence to me etc…but, still she stay’s & I still cannot fathom that mentality?

      Your a psychotherapist & addiction,co-dependency aside, why would someone knowingly allow this personality trait to live with them.
      She told me she suffers cognitive dissonance but, with her learning & intellect & confirmation via other specialists in her field etc…she stays on?

      I am grateful to be out but, often perplexed as I would never stay knowingly?

      I appreciate your perspective.

      Love & Light 🙂
      PR xoxo

      P.S. Oh & I know Pheonix is spelt incorrectly hahaha :))

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    • Thanks Tari for your input 😃

      I am well on my path & at gratitude for my awakening.
      I met the OW when we discoved each other back in April 2013, i had been in for 10 years & the OW for 31/2.
      After all the trauma & cycling through every imaginable emotion & physical & spiritual enligtenment, i had no contact which was the only way through & out.
      I was contacted in Jan 2014 by the Soc but, knew all about the game & traits etc…he tried to triangulate me back in!
      As the OW & I had aligned somewhat, i do not blame her at all & she is a very nice lady.
      She had money etc….the ‘power couple’ which is why he targeted her & she knows that as well.
      I told her of his call & had proof as he gave me info that I could not have gotten from anyone else. That’s how manipulating he is!
      I then gave her an objective re stuff she told me as I had no intention of undermining her whatsoever. We have done nothing wrong & I had the power to bring him down but, at hers & my own expence.
      That was a sacrifice I would never make.
      I know why she stays & yes the cognitive/addiction/shame/doubt of herself alone etc….i don’t have contact with her now as i wanted to be free of it all. I will help her if she ever gets free?
      I am doing very well & totally embracing myself & taking the lesson & growing from it.
      It made me stocktake my whole life which was necessary.
      I redifined my core values, set healthy boundaries & became very aware of the real people in my life & the fake.
      I found me & I like her, I’m grateful & finally think for myself & make choices & take full responsibility for myself.
      I forgave the Soc personally & forgave myself.
      I am free & I wish you this as well.
      Love & Light 😃
      PR xoxo

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    • Tari thats three & a half for the OW not 31!
      His ex wife was & still is 35 yrs!
      Not to mention the others!!!
      Sheesh 😁

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  7. Have these “experts even read your book or articles on the subject? I used to think I was crazy and I was the only one who experienced what I had, I was hesitant to even talk about some of the things JC did and what I tolerated. once I did and the women (and men) started saying OMG!! that happened to me too, I realized I was on to something. I know when I have someone come into my blog and the traits are vague I will say “Does it matter if he is a narcissist or sociopath? he treated you like crap and you are extremely unhappy?” I suppose there are a few people out there who call any ex a psychopath but the people I know like yourself and Kim Betty and so many others are doing a service, giving people their dignity and self respect back and in some cases saving lives because they sure aren’t getting the information elsewhere. That is why they keep going back because no one is telling them that there are people out there who will destroy you for the simple pleasure of knowing they can and these people keep (like Kim said) thinking “it takes two”.
    I have seen JC perform in a counseling session when we had his son and it was a stellar performance that made his son look like the psycho. It was when I brought him up on it when we were alone that he a few days later he punches the kid and I shipped him home. I am sure he was afraid I was going to “out him” the next time we went. He had that young female counselor thinking he was up for the “father of the year award.”
    If they want a professional diagnosis for every narcissist and psychopath there are going to be a lot more dead victims because it isn’t until they murder someone that they come under suspicion and even then it is terrifying to think how many get away with it and we never know.
    You sure aren’t going to have them volunteering to be diagnosed and even if they did they would lie their faces off and be laughing about how they tricked the therapist.
    Like Kim said I think it is ego on the professionals part. The danger is not in calling a spade a spade it is in blaming the victim and padding their pockets. My teacher at school does anger management classes for domestic violence abusers. I asked him today if it works and he said he doesn’t know because there is no follow up. He said they can say all the right things, but what happens at home no one knows. So there are our government dollars being spent and there aren’t enough beds in transition houses for all the abused women.

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  8. Hi Paula,

    Great post & I totally agree that learning about a ‘type’ of personality type etc…is only theory but, practical work only comes if you have walked the talk.
    You can sympathize but, cannot empathize unless you fully understand what having a relationship with a disordered mind entails.

    No-one except a fellow survivor can relate or have a sense of the devastation that betrayal of all your core values can do to an individual.
    Blogs like yours are the only way through & the support, sharing & understanding helps more than any therapy I have had.
    It’s the ‘knowing’ that hurts the most & once the reality of what you have been dealing with sets in, it transcends most logical reasoning centers in the brain.
    If not treated properly, it propels you into PTSD, depression & numerous illnesses that can be catastrophic.

    I told my therapist, don’t look for the bullet, look for who pulled the trigger & who keeps playing ‘Russian Roulette’.
    Always look behind the trigger & you will find a smiling assassin, who outwardly will appear the ‘normal’ one but, is far from it.

    I’m just starting to study Psychology so, hopefully one day I will help others truly from a base of experience & survival & I will have literally walked my talk.
    My intentions will be based on empathy & compassion & knowledge that Socialized
    Sociopaths/Covert Narcissists are among us everyday.
    We need to know how they operate & how they undermine & how they blend with us to avoid detection.

    Sharing stories, empowering people that have been abused should be paramount.
    Abuse of any form is not acceptable.
    Emotional, physical or spiritual abuse should not be tolerated.
    There is no point diagnosing a person unless we seek to explore the patterns of abuse & the perpetrators motives & then we can set about to change the lack of awareness & tolerance of such abuse.
    In the case of a victim, I see victims are usually from acts of random abuse & they are innocent & have no choice.
    In the case of Sociopaths etc…they use people as ‘targets’ & know what they are doing from the ‘get go’.
    Targeting people for abuse is much more dangerous & profound than random acts of abuse against others (which is normally unplanned & abhorrent) & that’s what the ‘professionals’ need to recognize.
    There are ‘victims’ but, mainly ‘targets’ that are deliberately set up or upon & that is the mentality that needs to be understood & acted against…you are first a ‘target’ that becomes a ‘victim’.
    Premeditated abuse is totally unacceptable & hopefully ‘one day’ through sites like this & others books & social media etc…this message will finally be understood.

    There are people among us that exist purely to stalk/game/destroy & they are your work colleague/lover/parent/friend & all are dangerous & do not care one iota for you, only their agenda & gain & self serving purposes.

    Love & Light 🙂
    PR xoxo

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    • Right on, PR! We were targets. Predators have targets. How insane is that?!?! And everyone within the sociopath’s sphere of influence IS harmed. Everyone.

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    • Hi Paula 🙂

      That’s why we are not really victims as it’s deliberate, just like going into a forest with a gun to shoot a deer with a high powered rifle!
      Like the deer we are just going about our daily business of loving & surviving but, we are in the shooters sites & you do not stand a chance.
      One shot & your down & years & years of your life & understanding of such atrocious behavior unravels you like a ball of string.
      You throw a Socio into a pond & their ‘ripple effect’ goes on & on!

      I am rewinding my string back into the whole ball & apart from a few loose threads, I am a survivor just like you 🙂

      A therapist can keep you unraveling so, it must be handled very carefully with understanding & compassion & love.
      Behind every broken person is usually a perpetrator that no-one see’s or believes…
      Just like the boogy man with no boogy.
      Not outwardly scary but, most definitely there & a delusional illusionist with damage on their minds!

      Love PR xoxo

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  9. Giving you applause Paula for this fantastic post!! These so called ‘professionals’……like Kim said, do even more damage. I, myself would be considered a ‘professional’…why? Do my 2 degree’s hanging on the wall make me one? My chosen career in counseling people make me one? NO! The word ‘professional’ should not even come into play when dealing with victims of ANY abuse! We are simply ‘trained’, ‘taught’ and in my case, personal experience in a committed {well I was anyway, he wasn’t 😉 } relationship with a Narcissistic Sociopath. The psychoanalysis whom contact you regarding what you are doing have probably been manipulated by a person(s) with NPD, or ASPD…..and honestly, can you really relate to someone say who, has cancer if you yourself have not experienced the horrificness of that disease. We can provide words of comfort, or send them in the right direction for further treatment/options etc.To personally have a connection with a Sociopath puts us on a whole different level. And therefore continue doing what you are! Continue to offer your very PERSONAL experience and what you have learned. Even if just ONE person get’s it, it was well worth listening to the naysayer’s. And another thing that just irritates me is some of the blogs that people are in a sense BRAGGING about being a Sociopath, Or Narcissist etc. Uggggggg

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    • I avoid those pages and sites. Sociopaths (or posers) don’t have a place in this blog. I’ve allowed a couple to comment on occasion but very few. They’re destructive and like claiming to be the best resource for victims!! It’s absurd and victims fall for it.

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  10. It’s such a travesty that more people aren’t helped by those whose profession it is! I am such an exception to this! My counsellor – he is not a psychiatrist or psychologist – was so extremely helpful when it came to helping me through my separation from and post-examination of my ex-narcissist. I have learned from WP, though, that most people seem to be at the least, hindered.

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  11. It came as a huge shock to me that my son’s psychiatrist had a total rift with both his children and the judge in his divorce case clearly stated that he showed them no “empathy.”

    He is the architect of the concept, “parental alienation syndrome,” that so many abusive fathers use to undermine their ex-wives.

    He convinced my son that the father who abandoned him, and who lied under oath to keep from supporting him while living in the height of luxury, had been “driven” out of his life. And my son, with Borderline Personality Disorder, bought into his absurdity and hasn’t contacted me in six years.

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    • It’s absolutely disgusting that expert sociopaths like that doctor just come up with a syndrome and people listen, accept it, and give it life. It’s time to change this. It’s time we question the experts who keep questioning us. Psychiatry grew from our attempt to understand ourselves. It’s still growing and the growth should be factual not hypothesis-driven or based on one person’s failure to co-exist with society.

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  12. I have to support everything that people are writing here. If psychotherapits/psychiatrists were more effectively managing and helping people in this situation, most of us would not have resorted to blogging in an attempt to help ourselves.

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    • I wonder what that number is? How many of us are going online for answers and at what rate, what frequency? I think it’s staggering and growing exponentially with each person who becomes aware and spreads awareness.

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    • Amen!

      I too support everything everyone has written here.

      One thing that annoyed me about my therapist is that she kept telling me that “anger is a secondary emotion.”

      Um, nooooooooooooo it’s a primary emotion. I may not have the training or degrees on my wall but I know anger is a primary emotion brought on by my asshole Ex who deceived me to control the outcome of our divorce. When I unearthed the web of lies and hank the hider life he was living it was Paula who guided me — she was the first person I reached out to. Why? Because I knew she had first hand experience and would understand the “cognitive dissonance” I was suffering from, not to mention a mild case of PTSD.

      I received more support from fellow bloggers who have been where I was than my friends who kept telling me to “let it go”.

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    • I’m so glad you trusted me! I’ve learned so much from you. XOXO

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    • We learned from each other.

      xoxo

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  13. Totally agree with all that is written above. My ex fooled all his counsellors, drug workers, other health professionals and psychiatrists. I first heard him called a psychopath by a policeman who said ‘I’ve seen enough psychopaths, and that’s what he is.’ He also didn’t fool the probation service, who assigned me a liaison officer (I think that was her title) and she described him as ‘acting like a sociopath’ – but I was well aware of this by that time. Seems to me that the people who are officially allowed to diagnose are the ones LEAST likely to spot them.

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    • It’s incredible, Karen. Society dismisses the terms because I think “sociopath” and “psychopath” carry connotations that people fear, so many of us, out of fear, are not inclined to use those terms to describe people we have actually met or know. We see it as a judgment and not as a necessary protection against further abuse.

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  14. Well said Paula!

    I took my son to four therapists while he was in his formative years. He evidenced all the signs that I now know are indicative of Borderline Personality Disorder. The basis for this character deficiency is known to be a genetic pre-disposition and fear of abandonment. His father was a psychopath who abandoned him. How on-target can you get? His behavior was off-the-charts impulsivity, gross manipulation, a total lack of affective empathy and others that come right out of the DSM manual.

    You’d think that someone along the way would have put two and two together to help my child, God knows I paid a king’s ransom for them to do so!

    When we see young adults exhibiting anti-social behavior like the recent Rogers boy and others who commit hideous acts- many of them underwent therapy. It leaves one to ponder what is wrong with the mental health profession in its failure to accurately diagnose the makings of character disorder!

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    • Thank you, Joyce. The more we voice our experiences with ill-informed doctors and counselors, the more evidence we have to influence a change, a shift in the paradigm. We know how much the “experts” like data to back up their decisions. Intuition and knowing aren’t enough these days. 🙂

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  15. You’re so right Paula. I have read in many of my “crazy books” (as my husband jokingly calls them) that unless we victims are trained psychiatrists we have no business labeling someone a “sociopath”, “psychopath” or whatever. The books are usually written by Psychiatrists and/or Psychologists who are protective of their profession and that’s how they earn a living. For me the important thing is not the label as such, but it is the understanding of the behavior that goes with that label. I believe no one is better qualified than the victim(s) to assign the label that they think best fits the behavior they endured. For instance, in my journey to understand my socio sister – I at first thought she was a compulsive liar. I had caught her in a few senseless lies and was baffled by it – couldn’t figure out why someone would lie for no apparent reason. At the time, I knew almost nothing about sociopaths or really any of the other labels used in the psych field. I had taken a few Psych courses during my college career, including Abnormal Psychology, but that was years ago. As my search for answers led me to read more and more, I was able to definitively conclude that she fits the profile of a sociopath – not to the extreme where she kills people, but destructive all the same. I consider a label “shorthand” for a much longer set of facts. Instead of saying she lies, cheats, steals, manipulates, triangulates, sabotages, insults, gaslights, slanders, backstabs, twists the truth, fabricates, pity ploys, feigns emotions and blame-shifts, it’s a lot easier to just use the label “sociopath” and save everyone a lot of time. We victims are the only people that have solid first-hand experience with our abuser, so who better than us to diagnose their disorder? All a shrink or other “qualified” professional has is what the sociopath tells them, which you and I know is far from the truth. So I agree with you 100% that we that have direct experience as victims of emotional abuse are better able to assign a label that best fits our abuser. We are the only ones that know the truth.

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    • Paula, is there a way to edit my post? I found a few typos I’d like to correct if possible. Thanks.

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    • Let me know what you need changed/edited. I’ll do it for you. No sure how you can do it yourself. Did you check you dashboard of comments?

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    • So true!!! We educate people about sociopath behavior and use the word sociopath thoughtfully and with care when describing the tormentors. Seems REALLY simple to me. 🙂

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    • Paula, if you can, please change “concluded” to “conclude” (near middle of post). Also, the 3rd sentence from the bottom should end with a question mark after “disorder”. Don’t know why there’s a long blank space after “triangulates”. Thanks…

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    • Thank you!!

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  16. Amen, sister. At the risk of sending your prosecutors my way, your post reminds me of one I wrote back in January:

    http://letmereach.com/2014/01/10/a-prayer-for-those-diagnosing-the-narcissist/

    It is becoming increasingly clear that many “professionals” are severely lacking when it comes to having these disordered people in their office, and often contribute to an already traumatic environment for the victim because of the “therapist’s” insistence that relationships take two and yadda, yadda, yadda…or worse, sympathize with the Narcissist when he or she gives a fake spiel on the chair…or throw out half-brained diagnoses based on their limited experience. I cannot tell you the number of clients I’ve spoken with whose “therapists” have engaged in unethical behaviors and worse, made their own diagnosis without running the proper diagnostic tests. It seems there are many in this field who have developed a God Complex…

    There are some rare ones out there who get it, but they are very hard to come by…others, such as any who felt the need to say you’re being careless, might be planning their trip to Belize next year by never really treating victims of Narc abuse, but by stringing them along via planting subliminal ideas in their minds about what’s really happening to them.

    In fact, more and more Narcs are infiltrating into psychiatric professions and leaving hordes of damaged patients in their wake…

    The psychiatric community, in their arrogance, has propagated this increase in Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome because they insist upon using archaic info and approaches as they relate to NPD, and don’t have the resources, or the perhaps even the motivation, to effectively “do something about it”. That probably explains why NDP is now clustered with other disorders in the new DSM and slated for “further study”, which will likely consist of some antiquated process of trial and error…

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    • This has to end, Kim. Being strong-armed into silence by the very people who should be paying attention to what we have to offer as a collective. It’s not a coincidence that our stories are so similar and our abusers follow a textbook-pattern. Great response and post you wrote!!

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