Mental Health 101: My Sister Might Be A Sociopath

mental-health-101-my-sister-might-be-a-sociopath
Source: pexels.com

The peace in our family was disturbed when my middle sister called me one afternoon. Crying, she told me that a guy named Mark was about to get married. I only knew him as her suitor that she never entertained because he was already living with his original girlfriend. So, when I asked my sister, “So what?” I got the shock of my life as she said, “I might be pregnant with him.”

Just what did I hear?! My sister, who we trusted to know not to entertain such a man, was doing what we begged her not to do. Worse, their affair had been going on for four years straight already, and they had been trying to have a baby in the last six months. But she would never have bothered to tell us about it if the guy did not block her calls and texts and left her alone.

In reality, when I heard what happened for the first time, I got so mad at the guy that I wanted to curse him down to hell. My sister made it sound like she got cheated on, that she was not aware that he was a two-timing fool. Even my dad wanted to let loose and confront the guy with his fists for what he did to his daughter. However, my sister begged him not to do that. Instead, she said she wanted to get mental help because it left her thinking of ending her life.

mental-health-101-my-sister-might-be-a-sociopath
Source: pexels.com

Of course, when your child tells you something like that, you have no time to think things through – you just do it. I even went out to accompany my sister to the mental hospital where the only psychiatrist could be found in our state. Upon the initial diagnosis, it was revealed that she had dependence issues. I thought it made sense because she felt like she couldn’t live without that guy in her life. 

But I started to get suspicious when my sister said she argued with the doctor and tried to reduce her resting period from two months to a month. Then, during her multiple trips to the psychiatrist’s office after that, she kept on asking the mental health professional to change her diagnosis from depression to mild anxiety to minor depression. It did not help that we caught her trying to chat up the same guy even after discovering that he already got hitched. I thought, “Hmm, that’s not normal anymore.”

The more I researched her symptoms, the more it became apparent that my sister might be a sociopath. Here are signs that led me to this hunch.

mental-health-101-my-sister-might-be-a-sociopath
Source: pexels.com

Ability To Change Emotions Based On What Others Want To See

The most noticeable thing about my sister was how quickly she could switch her emotions depending on who talked to her. 

For example, when my father found the guy’s number still saved on her phone, he started berating her because of it for hours. The entire time, my sister was not answering him; she was merely looking down with a dark expression on her face. But when my aunt suddenly called through FaceTime, her face lit up and sounded so cheerful, as if nothing ever happened.

The same scenario took place several times throughout her stay at home, thus solidifying my hunch that my sister might be a sociopath.

mental-health-101-my-sister-might-be-a-sociopath
Source: pexels.com

Compulsive Lying 

It took some time for us to realize that my sister was a compulsive liar. My parents primarily used to believe every word she said, thinking that she was dependable and wise. Despite that, we all found out about it when we confronted her about the text messages that we caught her exchanging with the guy. 

With the phone in mom’s hands, she asked, “Have you been texting your ex?”

Feigning anger, my sister replied, “What the heck are you talking about? It’s over between us; he’s already married.”

“Liar! Your conversations are all here!” my mother said, showing the phone.

Although shocked, my sister still uttered, “He texted me first.”

And the list of lies went on until the guy contacted my parents himself and begged them to make my sister stop bothering him and his wife.

mental-health-101-my-sister-might-be-a-sociopath
Source: pexels.com

Inability To Listen To Reason

When crap finally hit the fan, all the texts came out. It showed how my sister resented my parents for forbidding her from seeing the man of her dreams. Then, they even had plans to move to Australia, where the guy’s wife could not reach them anymore.

When dad talked to the guy and learned that my sister was forcing herself on him, claiming that she would end her life if he didn’t contact her, she relayed it all to my sister. However, she didn’t seem ashamed at all. Her face merely hardened and said, “That’s not what he told me. He said he loved me and that we would have a family together.”

No matter how much we tried to make her see reason, my sister didn’t budge at all. Worse, she proceeded to email the guy behind our backs and blackmailed him with their private videos.

Final Thoughts

That was the last straw for my parents. They brought her to a psychiatrist in a different city to figure out what’s wrong with her. After some appointments, we found out that she indeed has sociopathic tendencies.

It would still take a while before we could say that my sister fully recovered, but we’re optimistic that she would eventually get there with support and guidance.

Do You Have A Psychopath In The Family?

 

Source: rawpixel.com

 

Have you heard about the term ‘psychopath’ used around before? If you did, perhaps you don’t know much about it either. People who are diagnosed to have this type of personality disorder have no regard for those in and out of their circle. When behaviors of these individuals are specifically harsh and dangerous, they are typically called psychopaths.

How would you know a psychopath, mainly if it were someone in the family who manifests with these behaviors? Below are some signs that you have to watch out for if you suspect that a family member is a psychopath and how you can manage it.

  • He often breaks the law.

Although not all psychopaths are indeed destructive, you’d still want to suspect a family member who often commits crimes or does not abide by the general laws of the city or community. Research suggests that most criminals are found to have an antisocial personality disorder. It’s not really because they cannot distinguish right from wrong. It’s because they just do not care.

  • He has extraordinary manipulation skills.

Several studies have revealed that psychopaths are great manipulators and schemers. They are known to easily change a certain situation just to make them look good. If you want to suggest family therapy, your psychopath’s family member will try his best to look normal and stable. Yes, they can do that – and very well.

 

Source: rawpixel.com

  • He’s very good at lying.

Your loved one might not constantly be lying, but when he does, he can be very good at stretching the truth. According to Biomed Central, individuals with psychopathic characteristics are capable of learning how to become master liars over time through constant practice. When you make up something, your brain tries so hard to cover the truth and reverse it to produce a false story. With psychopaths, their brains don’t exert much effort to do this, specifically if they frequently do it.

  • He thinks he’s high and mighty.

There’s probably a member of your family who thinks he’s above everyone. But a psychopath loved one is much more than. His sense of self is exaggerated, and his ego shows even without him speaking. His narcissism is quite visible, and he frequently talks and acts as if he has a more important purpose for living compared to others. He thinks he’s more deserving of success and power than the rest of the family and the rest of the world even. Don’t try to reprimand him for it, because he won’t budge.

  • He doesn’t respond to punishment.

Is there someone in your family who is famous for being shrewd, cruel, and out-of-control? You probably don’t want this person to be present in your family dinners or special occasions. Unfortunately, doing this will not affect at all for your psychopathic family member, as psychopaths are not very responsive to reward and punishment systems and the like. This behavior is what makes it challenging for them to shift their behavior to something more acceptable to society.

 

Source: rawpixel.com

  • They Suck At Maintaining Relationships.

Your psychopath loved one may be charming and may look sensible and all-knowing, but the truth is that they have no concrete and credible goals in life. Psychopaths are inclined to having exaggerated ideas about what they are and what their life should be, so they typically are not capable of performing very basic tasks. It’d be more devastating if you grew up with this family member too.

Setting Boundaries

It can be stressful to deal with a psychopath, particularly if it’s a family member that you care for. Realistically, there is no cure for a psychopath, but certainly, it does not mean that there is no help for him. Further, you must also find ways to safeguard yourself from the mental and emotional damage that your loved one can cost you.

Psychiatrists agree that setting boundaries is a smart way to protect yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. You must learn to draw a line implying that there are things that you are not willing to do for the psychopath. Creating limitations and standing by them will help your family member realize that you want to be respected.

The Sooner, The Better

A lot of mental illnesses begin to manifest in the first years of adulthood, but some reports erratic and insensitive personalities in kids a few years old. Studies show that children who are psychopathic are more problematic to treat as the years pass because their brains are less vulnerable to changes. This is exactly why it is prudent to seek help sooner rather than later. Cases may become harder and eventually impossible to treat when they go into adulthood.

 

Source: rawpixel.com

Encourage Counseling Despite Resistance

There is a continuing argument about whether or not a psychopath’s behavior can ever be altered or modified. Still, a lot of mental health professionals agree that specific strategies can help. One of the techniques considered is the ‘decompression model,’ which combines positive support and feedback. This is especially beneficial for those who are willing to be treated and to change their behaviors. Sadly, not many psychopaths acknowledge that they do need help. If, however, you have persuaded your family member to go with you to a counselor or therapist, then he’s headed to the right path.