Sadistic Personality Disorder

Although it no longer officially exists, it is still acknowledged by the mental health community that Sadistic Personality Disorder does exist. There is, however, no official diagnosis for people who are sadists. The reason for this is because Sadistic Personality Disorder was also found to be present in a wide range of personality disorders and is now considered to be a personality trait rather than the symptom of a disorder. Whilst sadism is present in many other personality disorders, Sadistic Personality Disorder can still occur in isolation. The definition of sadism includes hurting others either physically, sexually, mentally or emotionally, for any kind of personal gratification.
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  • Thankfully I can say this is one trait I have never encountered in someone, so have no experience with this. Or perhaps I have never gotten close enough to a person who has something like this, for me to be able to pick up on it. 

    I would think this relates a lot to antisocial personality disorder, although I don't think everyone with antisocial pd is a sadist.
  • @Diane
    I agree with you, I do think it relates a lot to Anti-Social Personality Disorder (psychopathy) aswell as other personality disorders such as malignant narcissism. I also agree that not all Anti-Social PD's (or psychopaths) have sadistic traits. I've just commented over on another thread to point out that I have known someone who is diagnosed with ASPD for over twenty years and have always got along fine with them. I've never known him to take advantage of or exploit other people at all and he has been in a long-term relationship for quite a while now.
  • I don't know anyone either that has seemed to suffer from this, but I imagine a lot of people that suffer from this disorder are people that commit heinous crimes against others. I can't imagine there being people that could hurt others physically or sexually, for instance, and not be ending up in jail with criminal charges. I think the emotional aspect of this disorder would be easier to mask without consequences legally - I'm thinking people that are emotionally abusive, manipulative etc. would be exhibiting signs of this.
  • @kassie1234
    Personally, I have known quite a few people with these traits. They are not very nice people at all. However, none of them have ever been to prison. These types of people (narcissists, sociopaths, sadists, psychopaths, etc) often get away with their abuse (whether physical, sexual, mental or emotional or any other form) for decades if not all their lives. The reason being that these types of people are often experts at keeping that behaviour behind the scenes so no-one picks up on it. Should their victim(s) speak out then the abuse and suppression becomes worse.
  • I also suppose a person like this would be good at picking the right victims, people who are open to them and not the type of person who would go and tell the world about their experience. I'm sure there's also a level of psychological abuse that involves demeaning and further bringing down the person's self esteem, to make them stay in the abusive relationship.

    So that being said maybe there are lots more people out there like this than I am aware, because maybe they are skilled at knowing what to show to people and who to choose. Me being a bad choice for them, I might never get a hint of their tendencies. Or maybe thankfully, I just truly haven't encountered any. 
  • Here in my country, there are a lot of news regarding abusive relationships. And one of the factors of an abusive relationship is a sadistic partner who sexually and physically abuses others. It's actually pretty disturbing.

  • @Diane
    Yes, they are very good at picking out targets and some of them could be considered predatory in that way. You also hit the nail on the head when you mentioned psychological abuse, although I would describe it more as psychological manipulation (i.e. mind control - you perception of events is being manipulated in order to maintain control over you, outside of your awareness). Unfortunately, I have been involved with such a person and have been a victim of such psychological manipulation. Unfortunately, it makes no difference how aware you are. By the time you realize what's going on it's already too late. A lot of people also believe that people who are victim to this type of abuse are weak-minded or not very strong-willed or unintelligent which is definitely not the case. The more intelligent you are, the better you are following orders, therefore when such a manipulator speaks to your subconscious without you realizing they are doing it, the more likely you are to follow those orders.

    Yes, it's a lot more common than people realize and yes, some of the things that do go on in the world are pretty disturbing.
  • Sadism is horrible for the people around the sufferer. And I agree, it's more of a personality trait rather than a mental disorder. It's like with masochistic people, but nobody pays attention to them as they don't hurt others, but themselves. 

    I have met a few people who were slightly sadistic, but it wasn't too severe and I also believe most of them faked it in order to seem more interesting.
  • @nergaahl
    Ah, now you've hit upon another controversial subject. Masochism was a proposed personality disorder under the title of Self-Defeating Personality Disorder in the DSM-III-R, although it's not an official diagnosis. The reason being that masochism (mostly characterized as female submissiveness) is actually very common. Fifty Shades Of Grey is a perfect example!  Obviously, sadists and masochists are compatible with each other. Then there's people who are sadomasochists.
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