How Do You Identify a Psychopath?

Psychopathy is a personality disorder. It is also known as Sociopathic personality or psychopathic personality or Antisocial personality disorder.   A personality disorder is shown when a person has  –
  • An enduring pattern of thinking, behaving and feeling that is significantly different from their culture and leads to negative consequences.
  • The pattern is longstanding and inflexible.

Don't Expect Psychopaths to Stand Out in a Crowd
Psychopaths have demonstrated the following types of behaviour in the past, such as -
  • Feels a disregard for the rights of others, a violation of their rights.
  • Failure to feel empathy.
  • Be impulsive
  • Act on their own anger of a perceived injustice.
  • Their actions and views of the world will frequently get them into trouble.
  • They fail to conform to society’s norms, resulting in numerous arrests, a history of deceitfulness, attempts to con people.

And other characteristics such as -

  • Deception
  • Conning
  • Manipulation
  • Superficial charm
  • Self centred
  • Prone to boredom
  • Needing stimulation
  • Little guilt or remorse
  • Lack of empathy
  • Callous
  • Shallow emotional response
  • Living off others
  • Promiscuous sexual behaviour
  • Poor self control
  • Early behavioural problems
  • Irresponsible behaviour
  • Impulsive lifestyle
  • Lack of realistic long term goals
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Short term relationships
  • Blaming others for their actions
  • Breaking parole or probation
  • A range of criminal activity

It has been suggested that a large percentage of individuals with this disorder will have shown recognizable behaviour prior to the age of 15. These behaviours may include –

  • Firesetting
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Difficulties with authority
  • Legal altercations
  • Dislike/anger towards authority.
Some research suggests that a large percentage of individuals in prison have psychopathic disorder.  Because the symptoms are long lasting, it has been suggested that the symptoms begin to emerge in childhood or adolescence.  However, the negative consequences of the behaviour, such as Prison, harming others and so on, may not show themselves until adulthood.  The disorder is found more commonly in males.

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