In everyday parlance, the terms psychopath and sociopath are frequently used to describe someone who is pathologically prone to criminal or violent behavior and has no concern for others’ feelings or interests, as well as any feelings of remorse or sorrow for his misdeeds.
Many people confuse sociopathy and psychopathy, but the two terms have different meanings. A person with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is referred to as a “sociopath,” while psychopathy refers to a group of personality traits. ASPD and psychopathy, on the other hand, can coexist.
The Common Traits
Despites the difference between them, both sociopath and psychopath has a few common traits. They are:
- manipulation largely unchecked by moral conscience
However, some professionals mistakenly believe that sociopathy and psychopathy are the same thing and lump them together.
What is A Psychopath?
Someone who is cruel, unemotional, and morally perverted is referred to as a “psychopath.” While not an established mental health diagnosis, the phrase is frequently used in professional and legal settings. Psychopathic behavior differs widely from one person to the next. Some are serial killers and sex criminals. Others, on the other hand, maybe effective leaders. It is entirely dependent on their characteristics.
Because it’s possible to exhibit numerous psychopathic qualities without becoming a psychopath, it’s critical to distinguish between psychopaths and those with psychopathic tendencies. Here are some traits of a psychopath:
- Superficial Charm- Psychopaths have a superficial charm that makes them seem likable. They’re usually good conversationalists who tell stories that make them appear attractive. They could also be witty and charismatic
- Need for stimulation- Psychopaths thrive on the thrill of the chase. They prefer a steady flow of activity in their life and frequently desire to live in the “fast lane.” Their demand for stimulation frequently entails breaching rules. They may relish the excitement of getting away with something, or they may relish the possibility of being “caught” at any time.
- Pathological lying– Psychopaths lie to make themselves look nice and stay out of danger. They also lie to cover up their earlier deceptions. They occasionally have trouble keeping their stories straight since they forget what they’ve stated. When confronted, they simply alter their tale or modify the facts to suit the scenario.
- Manipulative- Psychopaths are masters at persuading others to do what they desire. They may prey on the guilt of one person while lying to get someone else to do their work for them. Also, they don’t really feel guilty about it.
- Lack of empathy- Psychopaths have a hard time comprehending why someone else could be fearful, unhappy, or anxious. They are unable to read people, thus it makes no sense to them. Even if it’s a close friend or family member, they’re entirely unconcerned about those who are suffering.
What Is A Sociopath?
While psychopaths are defined as people who have little or no conscience, sociopaths can feel regret to some extent. Sociopaths are aware that what they are doing is technically incorrect, but they have rationalized their actions in their brains.
Here are some traits of a sociopath:
- Make it clear they do not care how others feel
- Behave in hot-headed and impulsive ways
- Recognize what they are doing but rationalize their behavior
- Cannot maintain a regular work and family life
- Prone to fits of anger and rage
Diagnosis and Treatment
Treatment for both sociopath and psychopath is almost similar. ASPD is the disease that experts identify because psychopathy and sociopath are not acknowledged mental disorders. A comprehensive mental health evaluation will be conducted by a mental health specialist in order to obtain an appropriate diagnosis. A mental health expert will assess a person’s thoughts, feelings, behavior patterns, and relationships during this procedure. They’ll look for symptoms and compare them to those listed in the DSM-5 for ASPD. Then there are therapy sessions and medications.
Treatment for psychopaths is a contentious topic. Some argue that treatment is ineffective, while others argue that treatment can assist a psychopath to minimise specific behaviors such as violence.