I think I'm autistic. My sister thinks I'm a narcissist and a sociopath.

I was always the "weird kid" who got picked on a lot. Much of this has stuck with me my whole life and it's left me unsure of who or what I am.
There are many reasons I think I'm autistic. I have a hard time making eye contact. I have bitten my fingernails as long as I can remember. I couldn't properly tie my shoes until I was about 11. I wet the bed on and off until I was 9. My son has an autism diagnosis. When I was younger I had meltdowns when overwhelmed, though I can control those better now. I always tested as high intelligence but I admit I'm emotionally stunted in some ways. I may have ODD too; I do not like being told what to do, especially if a person has no authority over me, and often flaunt I'm doing the opposite of what they said.
I have a strong sense of fairness and justice; sometimes I want to "get back" at the people who hurt me in my youth. I have done things like leaving one-star reviews on their businesses on Google, or sending them mail to stir up shit. My sister says this makes me a "sociopath." But I never do these things to anyone unprovoked, and besides that, I do feel remorseful when I hurt someone that I didn't intend to hurt.
As far as narcissism, she makes this accusation because she says I "play the victim" and try to get people to feel sorry for me. That's not even the intent. Sometimes talking about things that happened feels good to do, especially because I can't afford therapy. I'm not looking for "sympathy" just people to talk to who've been there. And if I was a narcissist, I wouldn't be genuinely happy for other people's accomplishments and successes - and I am! I love seeing good things happen to people. I also don't think my son would be as happy as he is, nor would my husband, who actually lives with me and says that what he sees in me is the opposite of narcissism and sociopathy. I don't want to be either of those things.
I think autism spectrum can explain exactly who I am and who I was as a kid. Does the person writing this even SOUND like a sociopath, in your honest opinion?
Asked by Skunkette
Answered
12/05/2021

Hello Skunkette. I want to begin by saying how proud of you I am for reaching out and asking for some clarification on what you have been experiencing.    Before I begin I do want to put the disclaimer I am basing my answer on only the information you provided in your question.

 

Let’s begin with what I feel is the simpler of the questions you have asked me.  “Does the person writing this even sound like a sociopath, in your honest opinion?”.  I do not feel what you disclosed describes a sociopath.  A sociopath is not an actual diagnosis but a person who demonstrates more severe traits of a person who has Antisocial Personality Disorder.  A person who is truly a Socio Path is the opposite of how you described yourself.  Meaning they are not the “weird kid”, they are the popular ones, the ones that everyone loves.  They will go above and beyond to make people love them, but when they are not performing in front of others and have alone time with one or two people this is when they can show their true colors.  A genuine sociopathic person is highly aggressive, arrogant, impulsive, unempathetic, narcissistic, immoral, enjoys causing severe harm to others (such as cutting, burning, and even murder), and will not stop until they feel they have caused enough suffering to their pleasing. So, leaving a poor review on Google or sending them mail is nowhere near a Sociopath.   

To further support you not sounding like a Sociopath,  per the Diagnostical Statistical Manual Five (DS-5) to receive a diagnosis of Antisocial Personality one must fit the below criteria.  

 A pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others, since age 15 years, as indicated by three (or more) of the following: 

1.    Failure to conform to social norms concerning lawful behaviors, such as performing acts that are grounds for arrest. 

2.   Deceitfulness, repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for pleasure or personal profit. 

3.   Impulsivity or failure to plan. 

4.   Irritability and aggressiveness, often with physical fights or assaults. 

5.   Reckless disregard for the safety of self or others. 

6.   Consistent irresponsibility, failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor monetary obligations. 

7.   Lack of remorse, being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another person. 

2.   The individual is at least age 18 years. 

3.   Evidence of conduct disorder typically with onset before age 15 years. 

4.   The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during schizophrenia or bipolar disorder."  

 

Moving on to your concern with possibly having ODD is more complex to answer.  Typically ODD is diagnosed in childhood, others in the family have been diagnosed, and more times than less you outgrow it by adulthood.  If a person has not outgrown it this adult will struggle immensely with having healthy long-term relationships, they will be angry the majority of the time, will go out of their way to make others angry, and will purposefully do things just to get on other people's nerves. These people get a euphoric feeling out of making others mad.  You reported the examples of “not like being told what to do, especially if a person has no authority over me, and often flaunt I'm doing the opposite of what they said.”  A person with ODD will focus on authority, meaning those are who they want to fight/argue with most.  To properly diagnose you with ODD I would need to know more about your history and meet with you regularly to observe behaviors.  To further clarify what is needed to be diagnosed with ODD here is the criteria per the DSM-5

A. A pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behavior, or vindictiveness lasting at least 6 months as evidenced by at least four symptoms from any of the following categories, and exhibited during interaction with at least one individual who is not a sibling. Angry/Irritable Mood

1. Often loses temper.

2. Is often touchy or easily annoyed.

 3. Is often angry and resentful. Argumentative/Defiant Behavior

4. Often argues with authority figures or, for children and adolescents, with adults.

5. Often actively defies or refuses to comply with requests from authority figures or with rules.

6. Often deliberately annoys others.

7. Often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior. Vindictiveness

8. Has been spiteful or vindictive at least twice within the past 6 months.

Note: The persistence and frequency of these behaviors should be used to distinguish a behavior that is within normal limits from a behavior that is symptomatic. For children younger than 5 years, the behavior should occur on most days for a period of at least 6 months unless otherwise noted (Criterion A8). For individuals 5 years or older, the behavior should occur at least once per week for at least 6 months, unless otherwise noted (Criterion A8). While these frequency criteria provide guidance on a minimal level of frequency to define symptoms, other factors should also be considered, such as whether the frequency and intensity of the behaviors are outside a range that is normative for the individual’s developmental level, gender, and culture.

B. The disturbance in behavior is associated with distress in the individual or others in his or her immediate social context (e.g., family, peer group, work colleagues), or it impacts negatively on social, educational, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

C. The behaviors do not occur exclusively during the course of a psychotic, substance use, depressive, or bipolar disorder. Also, the criteria are not met for disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. Specify current severity: Mild: Symptoms are confined to only one setting (e.g., at home, at school, at work, with peers). Moderate: Some symptoms are present in at least two settings. Severe: Some symptoms are present in three or more settings.

 

Now, for the most complex question, are you on the spectrum?  I can clinically say don’t know.  Please try not to be too frustrated and keep reading.  I say this because I do not feel any clinician will be able to diagnose you from what you shared with us with your entry.  You shared some symptoms that could be related to the spectrum but also other diagnoses.  The first two diagnoses I addressed are more specific with their criteria that need to be met, whereas being on the spectrum has more of a broader base.  For example, you shared you wet the bed until the age of 11.  This could be related to the spectrum, this could be trauma, this could be anxiety, or a medical issue.  With you biting your nails could also be trauma, anxiety, or you are being on the spectrum.  I know you may be thinking at this point “but my son is on the spectrum”, that does not necessarily mean you or his father must be.  That also does not rule out you are not.

 

If you desire full psychological insight into yourself I recommend for you meet with a licensed therapist and even a psychologist.  This will be the only genuine way for you to get answers.

(LCSW, CSAYC)