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Sadistic personality disorder is a personality disorder defined by a pervasive pattern of sadistic and cruel behavior. People with this disorder were thought to have desired to control others. It was believed they accomplish this through the use of physical or emotional violence. This diagnosis appeared in an appendix of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III-R). The later versions of the DSM (DSM-IV, DSM-IV-TR, and DSM-5) do not include it. It was removed as psychiatrists believed it would be used to legally excuse sadistic behavior.
|Sadistic personality disorder|
|Illustration showing the pleasure that sadistic people often have from hurting someone.|
|Specialty||Psychiatry, clinical psychology|
|Symptoms||cruelty, manipulation using fear, preoccupation with violence|
|Risk factors||Childhood abuse|
|Diagnostic method||Based on symptoms|
|Differential diagnosis||Antisocial personality disorder and Sexual sadism disorder|
|Cluster A (odd)|
|Cluster B (dramatic)|
|Cluster C (anxious)|
|Not otherwise specified|