- Kanika Batra has been diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, sometimes called sociopathy.
- She had just under 500,000 TikTok followers before she said her account was hacked and deleted.
- Batra sees herself as the antidote to misogyny, showing women how to use "dark feminine" power.
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"Sociopathic ways to win your crush," Kanika Batra said at the beginning of a recent TikTok video. "First things first, infiltrate his friend group. Males love validation from their bros."
Batra, a 26-year-old Australian author, model, and content creator currently residing in Barcelona, grew her TikTok account to nearly half a million followers in only a month.
But then she said she was hacked and it got deleted. "The person actually admitted it as well," she said in a video this week. "Apparently it's a crime to stand up for women." She has since started a new account where she has 3,000 followers and counting.
Batra represented Australia in the 2021 Miss Aura beauty pageant and regularly posts TikTok videos with the text overlay, "diagnosed sociopath." She talks about her behaviors and motivations as someone with a diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder, and how women can use some of her traits to their advantage in a patriarchal world.
People with antisocial personality disorder are characterized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the DSM-5) as having a "disregard for and violation of the rights of others," a lack of remorse or empathy, and being exploitative and manipulative in nature.
In one video, Batra says her dating advice is to remain emotionally detached by seeing multiple people at the same time because "if you have lots of options, you have all the power."
"Don't accept a walk with a coffee as a date," she says. "The more money he's spending on you, the less he's spending on other women."
Batra told Insider her genre of advice is known as harnessing "dark feminine" energy, which encompasses being dominant and assertive, while leaning into womanhood.
"Women love it, they absolutely love it," Batra said. "You wouldn't understand how many messages I have right now saying, 'Can you get revenge on my ex for me?', 'Can you teach me how to do this?', 'Can you teach me how to disconnect from people?'"
After witnessing a boom of toxic masculinity on the internet, Batra decided she wanted to be the antidote. She referenced characters such as Andrew Tate, a podcaster an businessman who grew a massive following of young men with misogynistic ideas about the role of women in society before he was de-platformed (Elon Musk has recently welcomed him back onto Twitter), and the "Fresh & Fit" podcast hosted by Walter Weekes and Myron Gaines, which has a similar effect.
"They essentially are saying to abuse women, go for women who are so young that you can brainwash them, and this is being circulated around teenage boys who are going to make the lives of these girls hell," Batra said. "Because I don't have these feelings of anxiety or I don't empathize with these men, I don't see them really as people and it's really easy for me to go after them."
"Far far, far far, far more many men are diagnosed with ASPD than women are," Dr. Ramani Durvasula told Insider.
A clinical psychologist who specializes in the "dark tetrad" of personality traits — narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and sadism — Durvasula said more diagnoses in men could be due to many factors, including hormonal differences, and the possibility that it manifests quite differently in women in ways researchers don't yet fully understand.
Batra's diagnosis of ASPD answered a lot of questions
Batra was born in New Zealand and moved to Sydney when she was 5 years old. She said she always knew she was different, having poor impulse control from a young age. On her TikTok, she's told stories of pushing a fellow child down the stairs, or getting her classmates in trouble.
When Batra was diagnosed with ASPD, she said, everything she'd experienced up until that point started to make sense.
Durvasula said one of the key diagnostic quotas people with ASPD must fulfill is to include behavioral issues before the age of 16. In adulthood, people with this diagnosis still have "an emotionally stunted quality," she said, with impulsivity, lack of remorse, and living moment to moment with little consideration to what the future holds.
The majority of the time now, Batra said she suppresses any impulses that will harm other people, "because I'm an adult and I don't want to go to jail." She's also only 5'1".
At age 21, Batra said she was living with severe depression that became so debilitating she attempted suicide. She said she sought the help of a psychiatrist with the intention of being prescribed Valium.
But Batra said the psychiatrist, who had worked in prisons, saw through "a lot of the manipulations and lies" Batra was telling him, and after several conversations, diagnosed her with ASPD. Insider has seen documentation from Batra's psychiatrist as confirmation of her diagnosis.
Batra said she's always experienced a disconnect between herself and others.
She understands how people are feeling, but she doesn't have the ability to take on their emotions the same way empathetic people do. She said she also doesn't experience guilt or remorse, or feel anxious about her decisions.
"Once I've done something, I've done something; I don't think about it," she said. "I think people are somewhat envious of that because I can go into any situation and not think of the future and not think of potential responses to my actions."
Job interviews, for example, are "a piece of cake," Batra said. "I love them."
There are a lot of misconceptions about what ASPD actually is
The way Batra speaks to the camera in her TikTok videos is very deadpan and straightforward. She said this is her with her mask off — not acquiescing to social norms or thinking about how she's being perceived.
But much of the time, with her partner and friends, and in our interview, Batra is personable and extroverted. She said she's always been "very confident and very bubbly," and this can confuse some people when they learn of her diagnosis.
"Antisocial doesn't mean that I'm antisocial," she said. "It means that I have a disregard for the social norms, not that I'm a mean person."
She's also been in a relationship with her husband Sam Matheson for three and a half years. He's a lot more private than she is, having little social media presence. Batra knew Matheson was special, she said, because when she took off her mask in front of him — something that's incredibly hard to do — he "didn't run."
"He's seen the worst and he didn't leave," she said. "He doesn't make me feel judged for anything."
Batra said she's struggled with compulsive spending and is technically bankrupt in Australia because she took herself on "several first class flights" on a credit card, racking up thousands of dollars in debt.
Another little-known symptom of ASPD is the depressive episodes, Batra said, which can be "really overwhelming." People often assume that being "a sociopath" means being untouchable, but this isn't the case.
Batra said she can be hurt, it's just that her emotions tend to be more shallow than other people's.
"Like, I'm not Patrick Bateman," she said, referencing the protagonist of "American Psycho".
Durvasula said the bouts of depression may be what lead to people with ASPD to seek therapy and learn of their diagnosis.
"It feels almost like depression comes in the face of an ego injury rather than what we traditionally think of as depression," Durvasula said. "But ultimately the forward-facing qualities of it do look like depression, and a person with antisocial personality disorder can absolutely have co-occurring depression."
Batra loves the validation TikTok brings her
Batra said she loves the confidence boost her videos give her, because her goal has been to empower women as well as educate. She's especially pleased when women tell her they've used her advice to get ahead at work, or teach someone who mistreated them a lesson.
"I love hearing that my videos have helped emotionally regulate women, because women feel this unnecessary need to feel guilt and empathy for people who have none for them," she said.
"Also men punish us for focusing on ourselves. They call us narcissists, they call us bitches, they call us fame whores, attention whores, gold diggers, clout chasers, the list goes on."
Batra also gives women an insight into potentially abusive relationships they may have had with men who had ASPD, or other dark tetrad personality traits. Durvasula, who works with survivors, said people who have been in these relationships are "really, really struggling," and may find it comforting to see Batra's perspective.
"It may lift some of the self-blame," Durvasula said. "It's not no longer about you — it's, this is how they are, this is how they're always going to be.
"I do think she's in a position to offer something I could never offer."
Batra said the reams of comments on her videos make her feel more understood, in a world where she has often felt alone.
"I really appreciate knowing that other people are going through the same stuff that I am," she said. "And that they've found it helpful to use my content to become better at how they process and react to the world."