4 doctors weighed in:
Is sadism a personality trait or just meanness?
4 doctors weighed in

Dr. Jonathan Shedler
Clinical Psychology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: No simple answer
Sadistic personality is not in the dsm (the diagnostic manual of mental disorders).
However, it is recognized in the clinical literature and does exist, whether or not it is an "official" diagnosis. Sadism can be expressed in many ways (not just sexual, contrary to the other doc's comment). Whether it is a personality syndrome or just a "mean streak" depends on how extreme and pervasive.

In brief: No simple answer
Sadistic personality is not in the dsm (the diagnostic manual of mental disorders).
However, it is recognized in the clinical literature and does exist, whether or not it is an "official" diagnosis. Sadism can be expressed in many ways (not just sexual, contrary to the other doc's comment). Whether it is a personality syndrome or just a "mean streak" depends on how extreme and pervasive.
Dr. Jonathan Shedler
Dr. Jonathan Shedler
Thank
Dr. Steven Chen
Clinical Psychology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Disorder
The dsm classifies sadism as a disorder. It is when a person has acted on sexual urges with a nonconsenting person to cause psychological or physical suffering and the person acting on their urges is sexually excited.

In brief: Disorder
The dsm classifies sadism as a disorder. It is when a person has acted on sexual urges with a nonconsenting person to cause psychological or physical suffering and the person acting on their urges is sexually excited.
Dr. Steven Chen
Dr. Steven Chen
Thank
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