Sadism

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Sadism

Sadistic personality is a personality disorder characterized by a set of behaviors intended to hurt or dominate others. It is difficult to deal with such behavior. 

Sadist, what is it?

Sadistic personality is a behavioral disorder (it was previously classified under Personality Disorder: Sadistic Personality Disorder) characterized by violent and cruel behaviors made to dominate, humiliate or degrade others. The sadistic person takes pleasure in the physical and psychological sufferings of living beings, animals and humans. He likes to hold others under his control and restrict their autonomy, through terror, intimidation, prohibition. 

Sadism disorder appears as early as adolescence and mostly in boys. This disorder is often accompanied by narcissistic or antisocial personality traits. 

Sexual sadism is the act of inflicting physical or psychological suffering (humiliation, terror…) on another person to obtain a state of sexual arousal and orgasm. Sexual sadism is a form of paraphilia. 

Sadistic personality, signs

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM III-R) sadistic personality diagnostic criteria are a pervasive set of cruel, aggressive, or degrading behavior towards others, beginning early in adulthood and characterized by repeated occurrence at least four of the following events: 

  • Has resorted to cruelty or physical violence to dominate someone
  • Humiliates and degrades people in the presence of others
  • Abused or punished in a particularly harsh manner a person who was under his orders (child, prisoner, etc.)
  • have fun or enjoy the physical or psychological suffering of others (including animals)
  • Lied to hurt or hurt others
  • Forcing others to do what he wants by scaring them 
  • Restricts the autonomy of those close to them (by not letting their spouse be away alone)
  • Is fascinated by violence, weapons, martial arts, injury or torture.
Ore Níos mó ar an ábhar:  Pian bhoilg le linn toirchis sa dara ráithe: cén fáth a tharraingt, thíos

This behavior is not directed against a single person, such as a spouse or a child, and is not intended solely for sexual arousal (as in sexual sadism). 

 The specific clinical criteria for sexual sadism disorder from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM-5) are as follows: 

  • The patients were intensely aroused on several occasions by the physical or psychological suffering of another person; arousal is expressed by fantasies, intense urges or behaviors.
  • Patients have acted as they wish with a non-consenting person, or these fantasies or urges cause significant distress or interfere with functioning at work, in social situations, or in other important areas.
  • The pathology has been present for ≥ 6 months.

Sadism, the treatment

Sadistic behavior is difficult to deal with. Most often sadistic people do not consult for treatment. However, they must become aware of their condition in order to be able to be helped by psychotherapy. 

Sadism: a test to detect sadists

Canadian researchers, Rachel A. Plouffe, Donald H. Saklofske, and Martin M. Smith, have developed a nine-question test to recognize sadistic personalities: 

  • I made fun of people to let them know I’m the one who dominates.
  • I never tire of putting pressure on people.
  • I am capable of harming someone if that means I am in control.
  • When I make fun of someone, it’s fun to watch them get mad.
  • Being mean to others can be exciting.
  • I enjoy making fun of people in front of their friends.
  • Watching people start arguing turns me on.
  • I think about hurting people who bother me.
  • I won’t hurt someone on purpose, even if I don’t love them
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