After writing the post two days ago about worthwhile tattoos, it occurs to me, maybe some would be better off actually admitting to whatever their syndrome is, given that the alternative is moral condemnation.
If someone has Aspergers Syndrome, but doesn't admit it, people will inevitably peg him as a "stiff," "clueless," "temperamental," "rigid," and "charm-free." These are all, in a sense, moral judgments, since they imply that the person has chosen to be those things. But if the person simply admits he has Aspergers, not only will the moral aspect evaporate, he might even receive some sympathy.
Likewise, "moody" and "unreasonable" are both, at heart, moral judgments. But if someone admits to being bipolar, others would realize he is struggling with an organic handicap, and might try to be helpful, rather than just being frustrated with him. ("Sorry, I'm struggling with bipolar disorder. I go from my manic phase to my depressive phase, and I'm aware of the cycle, but there still seems to be nothing I can do about it.") Use of the word "struggling" is helpful, as it implies one is making an effort to be less unreasonable.
Of course, no one feels sympathetic to someone who admits to sociopathy (which is why no one ever admits to that). But if a sociopath claims to be trying "to overcome an abused childhood" -- and the chances are he was abused, or, at the very least, neglected -- the image of him as a helpless child is certainly more likely to evoke sympathy than the reality of the remorseless adult. (Then again, why am I giving useful advice to sociopaths? Never mind; ignore this paragraph.)
Likewise, "asshole," "jerk," and "pompous" are, at heart, moral judgments. But "narcissistic personality disorder" is too mild to be considered a real handicap, too common for any exotic value, and too tiresome to evoke sympathy. Plus, even though it's actually an actual official DSM term, most people just think of narcissists as conceited types who enjoy the view in the mirror. So, maybe narcissists should (falsely) admit to bipolar disorder, and claim that their boasts were uttered while in a manic phase. (What else is narcissism but a constantly manic state of egotism?) Then again, most narcissists are probably too egotistical to admit to such an imperfection.
It might also help one's case if one invoked famous people with same condition: "I have Aspergers -- you know, like Bill Gates and Albert Einstein." Or, "I'm bipolar -- you know, like Ernest Hemingway and Friedrich Nietzsche." This could conceivably make the listener feel he's in the presence of someone special.
I'm not suggesting these things be said when first introduced; a premature admission will only have an off-putting effect. It should only be brought up after one has established a bit of a relationship; at that point it will seem more as if one is confiding in a close friend, and will serve as a convenient excuse for whatever misbehavior has just been exhibited.
It might even be worthwhile for people who in fact do not have these syndromes to lay claim to them, as they will provide a good excuse for misbehavior. One should probably stay away from the psychoses, as they are scary. ("What? I told you you're ugly? Sorry about that; I have multiple personality disorder, you know. That must have been Joe; he's a real prick.")
Better to blame a fairly common, less threatening disorder. ("Sorry about standing you up the other day; my ADD sometimes makes me forget things.")
Otherwise, one will be found wanting morally. ("You are such a selfish asshole.")