A sociopathic disorder, also known as antisocial personality disorder, refers to the absence of conscience, according to Mayo Clinic. An individual who is considered a sociopath exhibits a number of specific symptoms.
The symptoms of this psychological abnormality arise in childhood but are certainly evident by the time the person is in his 20s and 30s, notes Mayo Clinic. The sociopath disregards right and wrong, and as a child, he often commits violent acts upon animals, bullies his peers, performs below average in school and becomes socially isolated. If he is left undiagnosed and untreated, the sociopath has the capability of inflicting great harm on others because he lacks empathy and often feels superior to those around him. It is not uncommon for these individuals to lie and exploit their family, acquaintances and strangers for their own personal gain.
While sociopaths are known for using charm and wit to accomplish their goal of manipulation, they can become irritated and agitated rather quickly, explains Mayo Clinic. This abnormality often results in them taking personal risks and acting aggressively toward others. Such behavior can lead them to engage in child abuse and neglect; maintain poor personal relationships, which can also be abusive; and violate the rights of others. It is unclear whether people suffering from antisocial personality disorder can develop an actual awareness of their abnormal behavior, but the frequency of their antisocial actions usually lessens as they grow older.