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Sociopath: A Memoir by Ph.D. Patric Gagne
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Sociopath: A Memoir (edition 2024)

by Ph.D. Patric Gagne (Auteur)

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1626171,767 (3.83)4
"Patric Gagne realized she made others uncomfortable before she started kindergarten. Something about her caused people to react in a way she didn't understand. She suspected it was because she didn't feel things the way other kids did. Emotions like fear, guilt, and empathy eluded her. For the most part, she felt nothing. And she didn't like the way that "nothing" felt. She did her best to pretend she was like everyone else, but the constant pressure to conform to a society she knew rejected anyone like her was unbearable. So Patric stole. She lied. She was occasionally violent. She became an expert lock-picker and home-invader. All with the goal of replacing the nothingness with...something. In college, Patric finally confirmed what she'd long suspected. She was a sociopath. But even though it was the very first personality disorder identified--well over 200 years ago--sociopathy had been neglected by mental health professionals for decades. She was told there was no treatment, no hope for a normal life. She found herself haunted by sociopaths in pop culture, madmen and evil villains who are considered monsters. Her future looked grim. But when Patric reconnects with an old flame, she gets a glimpse of a future beyond her diagnosis. If she's capable of love, it must mean that she isn't a monster. With the help of her sweetheart (and some curious characters she meets along the way) she embarks on a mission to prove that the millions of Americans who share her diagnosis aren't all monsters either"--Dust jacket.… (more)
Member:drneutron
Title:Sociopath: A Memoir
Authors:Ph.D. Patric Gagne (Auteur)
Info:Simon & Schuster (2024), 368 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, eBook, 2024 Challenge
Rating:***
Tags:nonfiction, memoir, autobiography, psychology, mental illness, mental health

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Sociopath: A Memoir by Patric Gagne

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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Memoir: will be coming to The LYNX in the fall
  JimandMary69 | Jul 8, 2024 |
[3.75] How many of us have grumbled at least a few times in our lives something like, “What a sociopath!” (I decline to name names.) This book aims to change societal perceptions of a group of people that could number 15 million in the U.S. alone -- many of them "hiding in plain sight." The author, a self-confessed sociopath, prods readers to think of sociopaths not as heartless villains but as psychologically disadvantaged souls, some of whom try to use their own treatment methods to make the best of a bad situation.

It’s a unique memoir with a fascinating point of view — but not without its flaws. Other reviewers have aptly referred to sections that are self-aggrandizing. Others have raised credibility questions for legitimate reasons. After all, Gagne makes this confession early on: “I’m a liar. I’m a thief. I’m emotionally shallow.” For good measure, she adds that she's manipulative and acknowledges that not all readers will believe her stories.

Despite these concerns and the fact that this book could have been trimmed by about 20%, “Sociopath” is an engrossing read. Gagne says she knew as early as seven “that something was off“ because she didn’t feel things the way other kids did. This book is the story of her search to unpack the meaning of sociopathy.

She serves up a smorgasbord of intriguing anecdotes that illustrate how she committed acts of bad behavior “both large and small” to try to minimize her feelings of apathy. She writes: “My apathy was like a dragon that needed feeding. If I ignored it, it consumed me. So I put it on the diet. I did exactly what was necessary to give it the necessary jolts of feeling."

Gagne chronicles her decision to return to school to learn more about sociopathy and to explore what she describes as an emotional learning disability that can best be understood as existing on a spectrum of behaviors. ( )
  brianinbuffalo | Jul 2, 2024 |
Sociopath - A Memoir, by Patric Gagne, was a engrossing tale of a woman who is a sociopath. As a child, to all outwardly appearances was a normal child, but what was going on in her brain differed significantly. I know sociopathy is a scary word which is used to describe serial killers and the like, but Gagne's brain wasn't frightening. She didn't experience emotions such as remorse or guilt or even happiness most of the time, but she wasn't a bad child. She was a confused child, trying to be what her family and school mates wanted her to be, but she couldn't do that. Most of the time she just didn't feel - she calls this apathy - and made what for most are unwise and often illegal choices to make herself feel *something*. Mainly she stole cars and broke into houses to get an emotional rush, to save her from the lack of feeling that she so hated.

There are almost no treatments for sociopathy. There are few resources for someone like Gagne. The main reason that she wrote Sociopath - A Memoir was to give hope to others inflicted by birth with sociopathy, and to call out for a need for helpful solutions for people who desperately want help. Gagne holds a PhD in psychology and has worked as a therapist for sociopaths, those people whom no one else wants to treat.

I didn't completely understand some of the actions that gave release to Gagne. I doubt that I could understand, as my bipolar and her sociopathy are not the same thing, although people with bipolar disorder are often tarred with a similar brush on TV shows and in movies. "A violent bipolar" as the bad guy in an episode of The X-Files is a memory that upsets me; it's script-writing with poor research. So I was able to understand the sort of bad rep that mental health sufferers are laden with. But standing in a woman's back yard night after night as a punishment for blackmail? That did not compute for me.

I would recommend this book warmly to anyone who is secretly wandering around with a hidden mental health diagnosis feeling that it's too terrible to reveal; it's also really interesting if you want to extend your knowledge of up-to-date mental health issues.
  ahef1963 | Jun 29, 2024 |
Very interesting. Reads like fiction. Worth reading again someday. ( )
  larocco | Jun 19, 2024 |
For anyone who’s ever wondered (as I have) about what makes a sociopath tick, this book might just hold the answer. I know it was an eye-opener for me. Whether the author is a true sociopath or only a fauxciopath (her term for pretenders), her memoir gave me a tremendous amount of insight into sociopathic behaviors I’ve witnessed in the past, to the point that I actually felt a twinge of empathy. There isn’t anything dry or clinical about this at all, it reads like good contemporary fiction and parts of it could have come straight out of a gossip magazine. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 17, 2024 |
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Patric Gagneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Corral, RodrigoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Patric Gagne realized she made others uncomfortable before she started kindergarten. Something about her caused people to react in a way she didn't understand. She suspected it was because she didn't feel things the way other kids did. Emotions like fear, guilt, and empathy eluded her. For the most part, she felt nothing. And she didn't like the way that "nothing" felt. She did her best to pretend she was like everyone else, but the constant pressure to conform to a society she knew rejected anyone like her was unbearable. So Patric stole. She lied. She was occasionally violent. She became an expert lock-picker and home-invader. All with the goal of replacing the nothingness with...something. In college, Patric finally confirmed what she'd long suspected. She was a sociopath. But even though it was the very first personality disorder identified--well over 200 years ago--sociopathy had been neglected by mental health professionals for decades. She was told there was no treatment, no hope for a normal life. She found herself haunted by sociopaths in pop culture, madmen and evil villains who are considered monsters. Her future looked grim. But when Patric reconnects with an old flame, she gets a glimpse of a future beyond her diagnosis. If she's capable of love, it must mean that she isn't a monster. With the help of her sweetheart (and some curious characters she meets along the way) she embarks on a mission to prove that the millions of Americans who share her diagnosis aren't all monsters either"--Dust jacket.

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