This is a particularly interesting book because of my background in psychology but this one is one for anyone interested in the area of sociopaths. What does that mean exactly…maybe it’s the large number of us who have the guilty pleasures of a love of true crime podcasts and Netflix shows?
‘Confessions of a Sociopath’ is taken from the author’s own experiences, her own blog Sociopathworld.com and scientific literature- it’s a confessional memoir that gives insight into the life of someone diagnosed as a sociopath. The book delves into myths about sociopathy, confessions of her life and how she deals wit her diagnosis as a ‘non criminal sociopath’
The author, who has written under a pseudonym, is a high profile lawyer in New York and Sunday school teacher, who states she is highly intelligent, easily bored with a very high tolerance for danger.
Before I go on any further I’ll quickly give some definitions. What’s the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath? While often the words psychopath are interchangeable, psychopaths are more likely to get into trouble with the law, while sociopaths are more likely to blend into society.
M.E. Thomas highlights how she spent her life thinking differently to everyone else and, what started as a self-diagnosis, became a formal diagnosis from a prominent psychiatrist in Texas. Interestingly, she makes a point of discouraging people on seeking this diagnosis due to the stigma that can follow.
The success of the book, isn’t so much the writing, though it does have a fascinating flavour of entitlement and self-credibility, but the marketing campaign that followed it’s publication. When the book first came out in 2013, the Thomas appeared on Dr Phil in disguise, Business Insider claimed that the book made the idea of the ‘successful sociopath’ popular. Ever heard of the statistic that most CEOs of major corporations are sociopaths.
She makes a point very early on in the book to emphasis that she’s never experienced any trauma in her life, abuse or otherwise and states she had a very normal upbringing, just very perceptible and a tendency to be easily bored. Her ability to have a charismatic and seductive mask allows her to analysis you for your flaws and ruthlessly manipulate you to get what she wants.
If you enjoy this book you might also like:
1. The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers can Teach Us about success
By Dr Kevin Dutton (Emphasises the spectrum of psychopathy using his own research as social psychologist and his experiences with his father, a diagnosed psychopath)
2. Brighton Rock by Graham Green (A terrifying portrait of a psychopath as a young man and features one of the most frightening marriages of all time)