Sadistic personality disorder  

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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli

Sadistic personality disorder is a personality disorder which only appeared in the revised third edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III-R). The current DSM-IV-TR does not include the category.

DSM III-R criteria

Sadistic personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of cruel, demeaning, and aggressive behavior, beginning by early adulthood, as indicated by the repeated occurrence of at least four of the following:

  • 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.
  • 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 he 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 teenage daughter to attend social functions
  • Is fascinated by violence, weapons, injury, or torture

The behavior has not been directed toward only one person (e.g., spouse, one child) and has not been solely for the purpose of sexual arousal (as in sexual sadism).

See also

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sadistic personality disorder" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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