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Question
Posted by: Sammy | 2007/08/16

Hereditary psychopathy continued

Thanks for the really quick reply! So does that mean you would either have the disorder or not have it? I am referring to myself and do seem to have a lot of the traits, yet i do have a strong concience which seems to define this disorder. Thats why i was wondering if i inherited some of the traits but not all of it.

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Our expert says:
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Well, again, you're asking very sensible questions about very complex matters not often discussed. Strictly speaking, its modern practice that for medical and psych conditons / disorders/ syndromes, we use an internationalyl recognized and agreed system such as the ICD or DSM4 classifications. And these provide strict criteria for making a diagnosis --- you need one of these three symptoms, none of those rwo, and so on. And this is intended to provide accurate and reliable diagnoses, so when there's research on a treatment fo Depression, say, we can know exactly what they do and don't mean by "depression" and whether we can use the results.
And of course all of us have symptoms, every day. Some last for some time, some are briefer. Its a specific collection of symptoms and signs that we call a specific disorder. So, your temperature ( and mine ) fluctuates during every day. If it stays over a certain point steadily, we call it fever --- but then fever can have over a hundred possible causes, from trivial to serious. So we look at what other symptoms are there, to help clarify that.
So just having SOME of the symptoms of a particular condition is par for the course. Its the specific patterns that count.
And some features rather negate a diagnosis, such as your strong conscience, which negates a diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder / psychopathy. Also, psychopaths never seem to think that they are in fact psychopaths. They're sure that any problems they encounter are always someone ele's fault


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