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Patric Gagne is a diagnosed sociopath. This is her story.

Ever since she was a young girl, Patric Gagne knew she was different.

She didn't have a sense of fear. At age seven, she walked home from a sleepover at a friend's place. Most kids would have felt some sort of emotion walking alone in the dead of night. Gagne says she "felt liberated".

"Through observation as a kid, I learned that kids like me were not seen favourably — kids that said they didn't really feel remorse or shame. I understood very quickly that I needed to hide away the fact that I didn't feel," Gagne tells Mamamia's No Filter.

Listen: Patric Gagne Is A Sociopath. Post continues below. 

When seven-year-old Gagne arrived home that night after leaving the sleepover, her mother was scared. Gagne could recognise her mother's fear, but she couldn't relate to it emotionally. 

There was another time in her childhood when Gagne's struggled to feel fear. 

"My sister and I were playing in our front garden and a man showed up and said that he had kittens. My sister understood right away that this was not someone to be trusted. She was younger than I was. All I could think about was that he was going to give me kittens," she says.

"So of course I was going to follow him. It wasn't until I almost got to his car that I realised, oh he doesn't have kittens. What saved me was that I didn't overreact emotionally in that moment upon recognising. I distracted him and then took off running. I just didn't have a sense of fear like my sister. It was muted. I had to pay attention harder to find it."


Watch Patric Gagne explains the difference between sociopathy and psychopathy. Post continues below.

Gagne is a writer, therapist, and advocate for people suffering from sociopathic, psychopathic, and anti-social personality disorders. She is also a diagnosed sociopath.

Speaking on Mamamia's No Filter this week, Gagne acknowledges that she's not what most people picture when they hear the word 'sociopath'. For example, she's married and has two children. She's a functioning member of society. She has friends.

Sociopaths tend to lie, break laws, act impulsively and they have little regard for their own safety because they simply don't have fear or guilt. All these things are true for Gagne.

"There are eight fundamental inherent emotions that everyone is born with. It's anger, anticipation, joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness and disgust. I have access to those, everyone does, including psychopaths. It's the learned emotions that people who are psychopathic and sociopathic struggle with," notes Gagne.

These include empathy, love, shame, guilt and remorse — the emotions taught through socialisation.

Gagne can experience these learned emotions, it just takes her a little bit longer to access them. Whereas psychopaths cannot access these learned emotions at all.


Throughout her childhood and adolescence, Gagne struggled with her feelings of apathy and frustration. Her behaviour escalated from petty theft through to breaking and entering, stalking, and worse.

"When I was still young, there was a house down the street from my grandmother's that was empty. There was opportunity, and I felt peace being alone and breaking into the home. Going into places where I wasn't 'supposed to be', it was something I really craved. It was strangely comforting," she explains.

There was a moment during her early schooling though, that left everyone around Gagne deeply worried. 

"I was always concerned that I would get to a point of no return where I wouldn't be able to control myself as a kid. And so I would feel these compulsions to act out. There was a schoolmate of mine who was standing next to me, and she was truly just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I had a pencil and I stabbed her with it in the neck."

Patric Gagne when she was a young girl. Image: Supplied.


"I remember the feeling was very much like internally popping a balloon and all of that pressure just went away. I knew cognitively what I had done was wrong. I knew that I didn't want to hurt this child necessarily. But I also had walked away feeling almost high."

On the one hand, Gagne says she was glad that the pressure she had been feeling internally was gone as soon as she had done the act. On the other hand, she didn't feel a bloodlust nor did she 'get off' on hurting others. She knew that if she continued down this path, she would likely be in jail for the rest of her life.

The pencil incident wasn't the final time Gagne felt the urge to relieve the "pressure".

When she was 12, she was visiting her grandmother and says she had been feeling "very antsy". In that moment, she came across a cat.

"I remember seeing this cat and grabbing it and just squeezing it and squeezing it. There was disassociation at play, but I also understood that what I was doing was not something that I wanted to do," notes Gagne.


"I'm very grateful that I released the cat before it was seriously injured. I realised from that I was going to have to start being very hyper aware of this pressure, and being more mindful to get on top of it."

Gagne has authored Sociopath: A Memoir, which delves into her story and battle to create awareness for herself and the five per cent of the population who are also sociopaths.

Gagne wants people to know that sociopaths are capable of love. She has deeply close relationships with her sister, her mother, her husband and her children. She's capable of love, "perhaps not as strongly as a neurotypical person" she says, but she does have these feelings.

It was actually a boy she met during her teenage years that she first felt some sort of connection with — a friendship that would turn into love. His name is David. He is also now her husband and the father of their children.

Upon meeting, Gagne says she knew David would be the man she was going to marry. It was as matter of fact as that.

"He was the only person outside of my immediate family who accepted me, I could count on him. He didn't always tell me what I wanted to hear. It felt safe," says Gagne. 

"It was really the first time I could imagine an honest life shared with someone else. I didn't have those sweeping emotional reactions that I've heard other neurotypical people describe. But I had a feeling of safety and connection."


Gagne is comfortable with who she is. She makes decisions based entirely on logic, not emotion. 

She loves her job as a therapist and says that her way of thinking and lack of emotion can be a benefit. It means her clients don't have to worry about protecting her emotional wellbeing in their confessions. 

"It's cut and dry with me," she says, saying she isn't ruled by guilt or shame or people pleasing. 

With this in mind, she finds neurotypical individuals "really interesting", because their world is so different to hers.

"My internal world is black and white, yours is full of colour. And I like being in that colourful world, but I don't know that I want to live there. I care a lot about the friends I have, but I don't need them. I prefer to have them in my life though, and I suspect I must bring something to their life as well."


Ultimately, Gagne has grown to respect and accept her personality type. She just hopes others can feel the same, and the misconceptions around sociopathy in particular can be more widely unpacked.

"There are a lot of destructive behaviours associated with sociopathy. But the crux of sociopathy is limited access to the social emotions. There's nothing inherently immoral about having limited access to emotion. It's not how or what we feel, it's what we do," she explains.

"Now we have characters like Wednesday Adams on Netflix. That character meets nearly all the sociopathic diagnostics. And yet we root for her why? Because she's capable of forming bonds, she's loyal and she's a good friend.

"Realising I'm not a terrible person was important. As a kid, everything I ever heard about sociopathy was serial killers and monsters. I now know I'm not a lost cause. I'm more than my personality type and more than my behaviour."

For more from Patric Gagne, you can follow her on Instagram here, and purchase a copy of her book Sociopath: A Memoir here.

Feature Image: Instagram @patricgagne.

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