A Psychopath is a person who is incapable of emotion and takes no responsibility for his/her actions. They often consider themselves grandiose or above others. Most psychopaths are highly intelligent, narcissistic, and may appear to be a "blank slate" when in the depths of their pathology.
As stated before, people of this personality disorder may display no empathy towards others. However, they can mimic emotions almost perfectly to further their own personal agendas, and may actually appear charming, friendly, or even likable. Some psychopaths will engage in severe antisocial behavior, such as murder (even serial murder), animal cruelty, or sexual crimes.
A sociopath is a psychopath who may not display criminal behavior, but will display social deviance. Most sufferers of this disorder can only feel pleasure in the misfortune of others. They may feel the need for power and will feed off of the negative emotions (notably fear) of others. Many do, however, display criminal behavior, and sociopaths are among the worst of them. An outside observer may see a sociopath as "purely and simply evil".
There are currently no medical treatments for psychopathy, and talk therapy only serves to further the ability to mimic emotions. There is believed to be a genetic propensity in the cases of psychopathy, as the trait appears to run in families. As a possible genetic disorder, there may never be an effective treatment.
- Glibness/superficial charm
- Grandiose sense of self-worth
- Pathological lying
- Lack of remorse or guilt
- Emotionally shallow
- Callous/lack of empathy
- Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
- Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
- Parasitic lifestyle
- Poor behavioral control
- Promiscuous sexual behavior
- Lack of realistic, long-term goals
- Juvenile delinquency
- Early behavioral problems
- Revocation of conditional release
- Norman Bates (Psycho)
- Diogenes Pendergast (Prestion-Child series of novels)
- Dexter Morgan (Dexter series of novels) is a self-proclaimed sociopath
- In the BBC drama Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes is labelled a psychopath, to which he replies, "I am a high-functioning sociopath."
- Jeffrey Dahmer
- Charles Manson
- Ted Bundy
- Some psychopaths, while appearing outwardly evil and violent, may adhere a moral code that prevents them from harming a particular demographic. Frank Breitkopf, a notable serial killer from Criminal Minds, for example, while being a merciless killer, would never harm children. Even though he kidnapped a group of school children, he made every effort to ensure their safe return. When he explained the situation concerning the busload of children, he stated that he would never harm them. He was believed by SSA Jason Gideon, as he knew Frank had no reason or desire to harm them, only to use them as an escape route. However, Frank says this because he gets no sexual gratification out of harming children, not because he cares about their well-being. Harming them, further, would likely have jeopardized his escape and his life on the run now that the FBI knew his identity.