Attention fandoms: Dexter is not a sociopath. Sherlock Holmes is not a sociopath.
Sociopathy in general, is pretty boring, which is why main characters tend not to be sociopaths, even if they score higher on the sociopathy checklist then most other people. Their motivations are very shallow and poorly planned because of lack of impulse control. Yes, some sociopaths, because of high intelligence, are able to evade the authorities, but they cannot hold on to a very calculated plan for long, and their aims are usually recognition and power, not emotional release. They are completely selfish, self-involved, and can only fein love for other people for a very short time. Whether Dexter murdered people or not, he would have alienated his “friends” and family by now, or at least the people who weren’t forced to put up with him. Also, the fact that he feels any affection for his baby, takes him off the sociopath list automatically.
Sherlock Holmes is autistic. Autistic people have low empathy. They don’t understand it, and tend to focus on their own interests above other people. This is the only thing even similar to sociopathy. However, their aims are not to “rule the world”. They would rather not bother hurting people to get ahead, but focus on their own interests without interference. Autistic people’s actions are not peppered with a contempt for others, as they are with sociopaths, and they are able to love. Sociopaths have no empathy and have a God-complex. This is why it is so difficult to even use therapy to help sociopathic people understand the impact they have on others. The sociopath may, in rare cases, begin to understand that he is, in fact, a sociopath and is different from others, but he still believes that he is superior, even to the therapist. Therapy is utilized successfully among autistic people all the time. And although sociopaths can learn that their actions have consequences, their self serving motivations in life will remain the same. They are dangerous friends, lovers, and family members. Autistic people are not.
One more thing: SOCIOPATHY AND PSYCHOPATHY ARE NOT “COOL” OR “SEXY”. If you have ever been in a relationship with one, you would never think that again, trust me.
Mental Disorders of Always Sunny
Dee Reynolds - Histrionic
Dennis Reynolds - Narcissist / Sociopath
Charlie Day - Maladaptive behavior, Savant
Mac - Delusional Disorder, Grandiose type
Barbara Reynolds - Narcissist
Frank Reynolds- Normal, Scuzzball
All but Barbara have Dependent Personality Disorder. If your’e a psych major, watch this, not Dexter, trust me.
Seriously, if you want to study a good sociopathic character, Dennis from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is perfect. Though it’s a comedy series, it is the most accurate depiction of a narcissistic sociopath I’ve ever seen. He seems very normal, charming even, but he cannot feel love, and only does anything (even helping his “friends”) for his own benifit. Brilliantly acted. I know you’re probably twisting your nose up right now, but trust me. He does something very, very dark with that character that is only revealed every once in a while. He’s not lurking in the shadows or autistic or strange, he’s a seemingly normal person with some very serious issues and an extremely shallow point of view. The more you watch the show, the more you realize that he cannot feel deeply. Ever. It’s fascinating, really.