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Admit it: You've occasionally (or more than occasionally) wished you could hit mute on the men in your life. That wish recently came true for a woman in China, but it didn't quite happen the way it does in our dreams. She was diagnosed with a type of hearing loss that left her unable to understand low-pitched sounds, a.k.a. male voices. 
According to the Daily Mail, a Chinese woman only identified by her last name, Chen, woke up one morning unable to hear her boyfriend's voice. Chen was also up vomiting the night before and started to notice a ringing in her ear then, so she knew something serious was going on. 
RELATED: Your Ultimate Guide to Healthy Ears
She went to Qianpu Hospital, where an ear, nose, and throat specialist Lin Xiaoqing diagnosed her with a rare form of low-frequency hearing damage called reverse-slope hearing loss (RSHL), which prevents people from hearing low-frequency sounds. 
Chen, who lives in southeastern China, is one of very few people to develop the condition. The Thigpen Hearing Center, an audiology clinic in Tennessee, states that RHSL affects only about 3,000 people in the United States and Canada. In other words, for every 12,000 cases of hearing loss, only one person has RSHL.
People with RHSL typically have no problem hearing high-frequency sounds, like voices of women and children, but they struggle to hear low-frequency noises, like vehicles, thunder, and voices over the phone.
RELATED: Gwen Stefani Ruptured Her Eardrum on a Plane—Could It Happen to You?
Dr. Xiaoqing reported Chen could hear her voice perfectly fine during the appointment, but she couldn't understand the voice of a male patient who was also at the hospital. 
Many things can cause RHSL, including genetic abnormalities and certain diseases and infections. A change in the pressure of the fluid in the inner ear has also been known to be a trigger. Dr. Xiaoqing believes Chen developed the condition because of stress and a severe lack of sleep. Thankfully, Chen is expected to make a full recovery after treatment. 
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter 

Admit it: You've occasionally (or more than occasionally) wished you could hit mute on the men in your life. That wish recently came true for a woman in China, but it didn't quite happen the way it does in our dreams. She was diagnosed with a type of hearing loss that left her unable to understand low-pitched sounds, a.k.a. male voices. 
According to the Daily Mail, a Chinese woman only identified by her last name, Chen, woke up one morning unable to hear her boyfriend's voice. Chen was also up vomiting the night before and started to notice a ringing in her ear then, so she knew something serious was going on. 
RELATED: Your Ultimate Guide to Healthy Ears
She went to Qianpu Hospital, where an ear, nose, and throat specialist Lin Xiaoqing diagnosed her with a rare form of low-frequency hearing damage called reverse-slope hearing loss (RSHL), which prevents people from hearing low-frequency sounds. 
Chen, who lives in southeastern China, is one of very few people to develop the condition. The Thigpen Hearing Center, an audiology clinic in Tennessee, states that RHSL affects only about 3,000 people in the United States and Canada. In other words, for every 12,000 cases of hearing loss, only one person has RSHL.
People with RHSL typically have no problem hearing high-frequency sounds, like voices of women and children, but they struggle to hear low-frequency noises, like vehicles, thunder, and voices over the phone.
RELATED: Gwen Stefani Ruptured Her Eardrum on a Plane—Could It Happen to You?
Dr. Xiaoqing reported Chen could hear her voice perfectly fine during the appointment, but she couldn't understand the voice of a male patient who was also at the hospital. 
Many things can cause RHSL, including genetic abnormalities and certain diseases and infections. A change in the pressure of the fluid in the inner ear has also been known to be a trigger. Dr. Xiaoqing believes Chen developed the condition because of stress and a severe lack of sleep. Thankfully, Chen is expected to make a full recovery after treatment. 
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter 

Chances are good that you know or have at least met someone with antisocial personality disorder, aka a sociopath. According to some estimates, up to 4% of the population (mostly men) have the disorder, making it more common even than bipolar disorder.
Although there’s no official diagnosis of a “high-functioning sociopath,” it’s a term that could apply to most people with antisocial personality disorder, because they often don’t have any trouble getting by. Their behavior tends to hurt others more than themselves, which is why so few actually seek or receive treatment.
“Most are out there leaving a trail of broken hearts and pain,” Stephen Salzbrenner, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in Omaha, tells Health.
RELATED: 9 Ways to Spot a Sociopath
In order to get an official diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), a person needs to have at least three of seven traits outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the official diagnostic “bible” of the psychiatric community. That means ASPD exists on a spectrum, with some people exhibiting more severe behavior than others.
The general rule is that people with ASPD have no regard for other human beings and will go to great lengths—often using other people, breaking the law, and becoming violent—to get what they want. The behavior can be egregious (rape or murder), or it may stop at lying and cheating.
Now a little bit of reassuring news: You’re not likely to be married to or the business partner of a true sociopath, says Dr. Salzbrenner. In fact, someone diagnosed with ASPD “probably wouldn’t even be in a relationship,” he says. “The only relationship they would be in is where there’s some kind of material gain or sexual gain. They will shack up with somebody if there’s something to gain, but as soon as they lose that they’re off.”
RELATED: What’s the Difference Between a Psychopath and a Sociopath? An Expert Weighs In
If you have the misfortune of crossing paths with a high-functioning sociopath, though, you could be in trouble. Certainly, you’ve heard the stereotype of the charmer who talks a woman into signing over her inheritance or life-insurance policy. It may seem unlikely that you would do this for someone you don’t know well, but, says Dr. Salzbrenner, sociopaths are “phenomenal at making you feel like you’ve known them forever.”
Similarly, people with ASPD don’t tend to stick with jobs for long. “They’re probably temp workers,” says Dr. Salzbrenner. Someone who stays with a job for a long time may have antisocial traits but likely doesn’t meet all the criteria for a diagnosis, he adds.
Other traits of someone with ASPD also get in the way of living stable lives, starting with irresponsibility. This might manifest as not showing up to work on time or not even looking for work when they’re unemployed, as well as not paying bills, debts, or child support.
In general, sociopaths are rule breakers. Even more, they’re law breakers, and many have spent time in correctional facilities. “These people, left to their own devices, wouldn’t follow any rules unless it served their own self-interest,” says Dr. Salzbrenner.
High-functioning sociopaths often lie—about something as significant as their identity or as seemingly trivial as where they spent the afternoon. It’s a “pattern of calculated lying,” says Dr. Salzbrenner. They also tend to exaggerate to make themselves look better and to deflect blame onto others.
RELATED: 8 Signs You're in a Relationship With a Sociopath, From a Woman Who Almost Married One
While the lies may be calculated, sociopaths also tend to be impulsive, not calculating long-term consequences. “They really don’t have a very identifiable picture of what lies down the road if they do something wrong but are [instead] very responsive to immediate reward,” says Dr. Salzbrenner. “Having an affair is nothing to them, or stealing something is nothing.” And because sociopaths are so charming and witty, they may not actually get caught, or they may avoid facing punishment if they are caught.
Perhaps not surprisingly, high-functioning sociopaths are also reckless, perhaps speeding or driving while drunk or high. In fact, people with ASPD are more likely than the average person to have substance abuse issues. They are also easily provoked and can get aggressive, even sometimes picking fights—and they don’t show remorse for any pain or damage they may have caused.
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter

Chances are good that you know or have at least met someone with antisocial personality disorder, aka a sociopath. According to some estimates, up to 4% of the population (mostly men) have the disorder, making it more common even than bipolar disorder.
Although there’s no official diagnosis of a “high-functioning sociopath,” it’s a term that could apply to most people with antisocial personality disorder, because they often don’t have any trouble getting by. Their behavior tends to hurt others more than themselves, which is why so few actually seek or receive treatment.
“Most are out there leaving a trail of broken hearts and pain,” Stephen Salzbrenner, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in Omaha, tells Health.
RELATED: 9 Ways to Spot a Sociopath
In order to get an official diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), a person needs to have at least three of seven traits outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the official diagnostic “bible” of the psychiatric community. That means ASPD exists on a spectrum, with some people exhibiting more severe behavior than others.
The general rule is that people with ASPD have no regard for other human beings and will go to great lengths—often using other people, breaking the law, and becoming violent—to get what they want. The behavior can be egregious (rape or murder), or it may stop at lying and cheating.
Now a little bit of reassuring news: You’re not likely to be married to or the business partner of a true sociopath, says Dr. Salzbrenner. In fact, someone diagnosed with ASPD “probably wouldn’t even be in a relationship,” he says. “The only relationship they would be in is where there’s some kind of material gain or sexual gain. They will shack up with somebody if there’s something to gain, but as soon as they lose that they’re off.”
RELATED: What’s the Difference Between a Psychopath and a Sociopath? An Expert Weighs In
If you have the misfortune of crossing paths with a high-functioning sociopath, though, you could be in trouble. Certainly, you’ve heard the stereotype of the charmer who talks a woman into signing over her inheritance or life-insurance policy. It may seem unlikely that you would do this for someone you don’t know well, but, says Dr. Salzbrenner, sociopaths are “phenomenal at making you feel like you’ve known them forever.”
Similarly, people with ASPD don’t tend to stick with jobs for long. “They’re probably temp workers,” says Dr. Salzbrenner. Someone who stays with a job for a long time may have antisocial traits but likely doesn’t meet all the criteria for a diagnosis, he adds.
Other traits of someone with ASPD also get in the way of living stable lives, starting with irresponsibility. This might manifest as not showing up to work on time or not even looking for work when they’re unemployed, as well as not paying bills, debts, or child support.
In general, sociopaths are rule breakers. Even more, they’re law breakers, and many have spent time in correctional facilities. “These people, left to their own devices, wouldn’t follow any rules unless it served their own self-interest,” says Dr. Salzbrenner.
High-functioning sociopaths often lie—about something as significant as their identity or as seemingly trivial as where they spent the afternoon. It’s a “pattern of calculated lying,” says Dr. Salzbrenner. They also tend to exaggerate to make themselves look better and to deflect blame onto others.
RELATED: 8 Signs You're in a Relationship With a Sociopath, From a Woman Who Almost Married One
While the lies may be calculated, sociopaths also tend to be impulsive, not calculating long-term consequences. “They really don’t have a very identifiable picture of what lies down the road if they do something wrong but are [instead] very responsive to immediate reward,” says Dr. Salzbrenner. “Having an affair is nothing to them, or stealing something is nothing.” And because sociopaths are so charming and witty, they may not actually get caught, or they may avoid facing punishment if they are caught.
Perhaps not surprisingly, high-functioning sociopaths are also reckless, perhaps speeding or driving while drunk or high. In fact, people with ASPD are more likely than the average person to have substance abuse issues. They are also easily provoked and can get aggressive, even sometimes picking fights—and they don’t show remorse for any pain or damage they may have caused.
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter