What causes sadistic personality disorder


English: sadism

1 definition

sadism is a personality trait in which a person feels pleasure in violating the physical or psychological integrity of another living being - for example by causing him pain. If the sadism is clearly pronounced, it can represent a personality disorder. If sadism only exists in connection with sexuality, it can be viewed as a disturbed sexual preference.

2 Origin of the term

The term "sadism" was first used in 1866 by the German psychiatrist and coroner Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing. The word is named after the French writer Marquis de Sade, who often combined violent and sexual fantasies in his novels.

3 Different forms

There are three types of sadism:

3.1 Sadism motivated by destructive traits

According to Eric Bornemann, non-sexual or psychological sadism manifests itself through the harassment and humiliation of family members, subordinates or other people. However, sadistic practices are not practiced in sex life.

According to Erich Fromm, "the core of sadism", whatever its expression, is "the passion (...) to exercise absolute and unrestricted dominion over a living being", be it animals or humans. It is usually malignant and originates from a destructive character. "To completely dominate another human being means to cripple it, to suffocate it, to hinder its development." According to Fromm, non-sexual sadism is about living out fantasies of omnipotence; it has no practical goal. "It is the transformation of powerlessness into the experience of omnipotence".[1] Objects are creatures that cannot defend themselves in the respective situation and are powerless at the mercy of the sadist. [2]

3.2 Sexually motivated sadism

Those affected only feel sexual arousal in this form if they can exercise violence or power over other people and, in some cases, animals. The practices are often the prelude to actual sexual intercourse. However, intercourse itself can also be performed in ways that cause pain or humiliation to the partner.

3.3 Compensatory sadism

A special form of sexual sadism and, according to Eric Bornemann, even an additional expression, is perverse or compensatory sadism. The desire to inflict physical pain on another person is not understood as an introduction to sexual intercourse, but replaces it completely.

Both sexually motivated sadism and compensatory sadism can lead to (sexual) offenses. In the case of paraphiles with an increasingly difficult course, whose behavior is determined by sadistic fantasies, it can also lead to homicides in exceptional cases.

4 Medical classification

According to ICD-10, both sadism and masochism are classified as "disorders of sexual preference", i.e. a paraphilic disorder. However, the diagnosis of sadism is no longer often made. The basic requirements for making a diagnosis are:

  • sexual satisfaction cannot be achieved without the sadistic component
  • the person concerned has an aversion to his or her sexual preference or feels restricted by it in his everyday life

Consensual living out of sexual preferences is considered an individual sexuality and does not meet the criteria for making a diagnosis.

5 therapy

Treatment through psychotherapy is usually difficult and extends over a long period of time. To make matters worse, paraphilic interests are often viewed as unchangeable.

6 sources

  1. ↑ Fromm, Erich: Anatomy of human destructiveness. Rowohlt non-fiction book; 2005; 21st ed .; P. 326f.
  2. ↑ Fromm, Erich: Anatomy of human destructiveness. Rowohlt non-fiction book; 2005; 21st ed .; P. 320.