Sadistic Personality Disorder




This disorder is characterized by cruel, aggressive, manipulative, and demeaning behavior directed towards others. Abusiveness and violence are common in the sadist’s social relationships, because the sadist lacks concern for people and derives pleasure from harming or humiliating others.

There are similarities between sadistic PD and the more aggressive antisocial PD, however, the antisocial person does not generally hurt others just for pleasure. There may also be an association between sadistic PD and sexual sadism, in which the person derives sexual arousal and satisfaction from sadistic acts like beating and humiliating someone.

Maladaptive (not providing adequate or appropriate adjustment to the environment or situation) patterns of motivated behavior, usually evident for at least several years.

Enduring, pervasive, maladaptive patterns of behavior which are usually recognized before or during adolescence.

It is long-standing and its onset can be traced to adolescence or early adulthood, but is not due to drugs (of abuse or medication) or to a medical condition eg head injury.

The behavior pattern is inflexible across all personal and social situations and significantly impairs their social or occupational functioning.

Has used physical cruelty or violence for the purpose of establishing dominance in a relationship (not merely to achieve some noninterpersonal goal, such as striking someone in order to rob him or her).

Humiliates or demeans people in the presence of others,

Has treated or disciplined someone under his or her control unusually harshly, e.g., a child, student, prisoner, subordinate or patient,

Is amused by, or takes pleasure in, the psychological or physical suffering of others (including animals),

Has lied for the purpose of harming or inflicting pain on others (not merely to achieve some other goal).

Gets other people to do what her or she wants by frightening them (through intimidation or even terror).

Restricts the autonomy of people with whom he or she has a close relationship, e.g., will not let spouse leave the house unaccompanied or permit teen-age daughter to attend social functions.

Is fascinated by violence, weapons, martial arts, injury, or torture.