Is it possible for a Sociopath to have Multiple Personality Disorder or traits of Borderline Personality Disorder?
This is reprinted from my Quora site: https://www.quora.com/profile/Jon-K-Uhler
The question was posed to me recently. My response was as follows:
Yes, Sociopaths and Sophisticated Psychopaths can have traits that mirror legitimate mental health disorders (although, MPD has been changed to DID [Dissociative Identity Disorder]). However, in the case of Sociopaths and Sophisticated Psychopaths, those “traits” are simply contrived as a part of their strategic planning toward manipulating others. Thus, what you are likely witnessing is the manifestation of their Jekyll-and-Hyde ability, to “turn it on and off” as they deem strategically beneficial. Usually that takes the form of them showing the dark, controlling, and evil side to the person they are keeping “under their thumb”, while being able to “switch” to “Mr. Nice guy” if someone walks into the room, or once they step out into public.
Many a kid has watched such skillful displays of a parent suddenly “change up” when arriving to church, when, after being in the car with a psychologically abusive parent who was just shaming the kids, they pulled into the church parking lot… and the hurtful parent seemed to magically transform into “Mr. Spiritual. And, once inside, they are led to believe that spiritual people are “nice” people, who never can speak up about what is happening, lest it be viewed as “unforgiving.”
This dynamic can be seen in so many mother-daughter conflicts, which leaves the adult daughter feeling crazy, with a wide array of emotions, as she tries to make sense of the love-hate relationship she has with her mother. This is most pronounced in the lives of those women who hate shopping for a Mother’s Day card, as they end up feeling massively conflicted… feeling like there is something wrong with her for not having warm feelings toward her mother… secretly hoping to simply make it through that day without emotionally melting-down or eating compulsively.
This leaves the child feeling crazy, and impacts their intuition and reality testing… thus, making them ripe for a future manipulator to come along, who will do the same kind of thing to them in a romantic relationship or marriage, recreating the same kind of crazy-making dynamics, which leaves them wondering why relationships have to been so painful… requiring them to do all the giving, while the manipulator does all the taking… leaving them to have to pretend that everything is OK by “going along to make them happy”… smiling on the outside, while they’re quietly dying on the inside.
So, instead of viewing those as traits of mental health disorders or “unresolved emotional issues”, I would suggest they are better viewed as a darkness under the facade, which emerges when the profoundly selfish person can get away with it, and when he will benefit from either side emerging. Ultimately, the “switching” is under the manipulator’s control, yet they will claim otherwise. How can you tell? Can they turn it on and off when it benefits them? Mental health issues can’t be controlled for the person’s own benefit.