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The act of inflicting emotional or physical pain on others for personal enjoyment is known as sadism. As unreal as it sounds for any human to possess this dark quality, it is perhaps a common emotion in many of us. There are many studies that indicate how common this tendency is and focuses on a number of reasons why we feel sadistic at times.
Why we are sadistic?
- Sense of accomplishment - Some people bully others to feel a sense of superiority. They inflict pain and enjoy the excitement of seeing someone bend to their will.
- Abusive history - Many people have had a rough childhood and see abusive relationships between their parents or closed ones. This hampers their sense of security and stability and they seek relief when they see others in pain.
- Environmental stress - People suffering from anxiety or depression can resort to sadism as a defense mechanism. They find it easy to hurt someone because that is the only emotion they understand at that moment.
How to deal with sadism?
Treating sadism is more complicated than probably dealing with other personality disorders. Coping mechanisms, behavior patterns and beliefs develop over many years and only change slowly with time. Group therapy and behavior modification have proved to be effective. By participating in family therapies and self-help groups, one can work on their socially undesirable actions.
The feelings of regret after the action hits hard later. Sadistic people are often concealed and they often associate it with guilt and shame. Cognitive restructuring helps them to overcome distorted thinking patterns.
Sadistic behavior is a challenging mental disorder. People who suffer from this personality disorder may not be open to seeking immediate help since they experience pleasure from their actions. However, when met with professionals, they may be able to seek the treatment necessary to stop their brain from giving harming commands.
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