Tony Soprano the Sociopath
Psychopath was the initial label for people with no conscience, morality, etc etc. That title was then changed to sociopath as the word "psycho" was being misunderstood. Then it became Anti Social Personality Disorder. So being a psychopath/sociopath or having Anti Social Personality Disorder are all the same thing.
I loved Tony as much as the next person, and am trying hard to think back on times where he felt things for OTHERS and not himself. Yes Tony had many feelings, but many sociopaths have deep emotions for themselves but cannot relay those emotions into empathy for others. Was there ever a time he actually felt guilty for someone else, where his honour or pride was not on the line?! It was always about Tony. And this is why David Chase is a genius. Sociopaths are so charming that you become addicted to them. They are always surrounded by people. So as viewers, as much as we loved Tony, we know he does bad things. Is he a bad man that is evil? or a good man who does bad things? We all wished and were brainwashed that he was a fundamentally good family man that did bad things.
Let me tell you, after being involved with a sociopath that the human condition of a person with a conscience; like us, fundamentally cannot understand that people without morality exist, and it is our own brainwashing that makes us want to believe that Tony was a good man. This is the biggest trick in the guidebook to sociopathy, they feign feeling, they know what they should be saying and say it.
I believe David Chase's genius is this: after 7 years of therapy, a group of psychiatrists anecdotally telling melfi (and us) the truth, the evidence is in front of us...and we, normal, feeling people, still want to see the good in Tony S. We are so brainwashed by this series that Tony was a good man when he was not. HE was not a good man and although all evidence points that way, we, the viewer choose not to see it because he is so charismatic we think he can be healed. We want so badly for him to be healed, this is normal for people with morality to think and feel. This is exactly why it takes victims of sociopaths years to get out, they think sociopaths can change, this is also the reason why we are still addicted to Tony. Shutting the door on a sociopath is hard, because, for one, we are addicted to their personality, their charm, their drama, although we hate it, its exactly as melfi says it is "its a train wreck that i cant look away from" and secondly the normal human condition believes all people are fundamentally good. This is not true, some people are not fundamentally good and this is a psychologoical fact.
This is what it feels to be addicted to a sociopath...from experience.
In contrast, Al Swearengen was clearly not a sociopath. And I liked him better.