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Are psychopaths different from us?

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People suffering from a chronic mental disorder with abnormal and/or violent social behaviour are labelled as psychopaths. They tend to have unusual and aggressive behaviours, and lack some normal human emotions, for example, guilt and empathy. They do not experience emotions as intensely as others, therefore, it is thought that they are not inhibited by guilt, fear, anxiety, self-doubt, or remorse. It was observed that psychopaths mostly feel negative emotions such as anger, resentment, envy and jealousy. Psychopaths are hard to detect as some people may show a few signs and symptoms of psychopathy but they are not considered as psychopaths. They are able to manipulate people easily. Just because some people feel easily bored at times or are intelligent and confident does not mean that they are psychopaths. People could just be the type of person who gets bored easily, however, that is their characteristic and they should not be labelled as psychopaths. Signs of psychopathy include having shallow emotions, and are often known to be described as “cold-hearted”. They are also described as callous, apathetic and uncaring towards others—even towards their own family. They are also known to be very intelligent and over confident which helps them fit into society, and are least suspected to be psychopaths, therefore, they are hard to detect. They are also irresponsible, selfish, and often insincere and they lie a lot.

They also lack the ability to plan for their future. Psychopaths also do not suffer from depression or anxiety. On contrary to how people think about them, psychopaths do feel fear, however, they lack the ability to sense danger and feel excited when facing danger. Researchers from Vrije University Amsterdam and Radboud University Nijmegen found out that psychopaths have trouble detecting and responding to threats. Symptoms of being psychopathic include being impulsive, lying pathologically, promiscuous sexual behaviour, being manipulative and conning others. They tend to plan things in advance before making their move. They also observe their targets closely and start to plan how to kill them in advance by making it look like an accident for example. The study also shows new evidence behind their behaviour and also suggests that people should look to the brains for clues and not bad upbringing. Psychopaths are considered to have mental illness which is often known as psychopathic personality disorder. Currently no fixed or known cure for psychopathy and treatments of adult psychopaths has been shown ineffective. However, the treatment for psychopathy of children with psychopathic traits has shown some promising results. The method “Hare’s Psychology Checklist” , the psychometric test has been said to work well with violent behaviours as well as disturbances in moral reasoning and empathy.

According to “The Neurological Bases for Psychopathy”, it investigates the last decade of neurological bases for psychopathy. It has a number of serious consequences not only for themselves but also the society at a large rate. Kiehl and Buckholtz (2010) mention psychopaths “only accounts for about 2% of the population and more than a third of all violent crimes created is committed by psychopaths which include sexual harassment, murders and sexual violence towards children.” (p.24) There was a Crime Psychology Documentary which was about psychopaths that I had watched and found interesting. It was about professionals studying psychopaths in jail. They were provided lessons into changing themselves into becoming a better person in their future. In the video, the scientists can look inside the brains of the psychopaths and begin to see things that no one else has ever seen. Their programme also examines the Psychology Checklist, IQ Distribution and bending in to social norms and reports the peculiar phenomenon the treatment programme make psychopaths re-offend earlier and more aggressive.

They mainly featured on Wayne who was a psychopath and gave a guided tour of his prison cell, gesturing to an adorable collage of personal symbols and aphorisms and giving us his own personal philosophy of “It’s our world and we have the right to cry if we want to” before chuckling. That was my favourite part of the video. He sounded so normal that I wouldn’t think he was a psychopath and I had forgotten he was a psychopath for a moment. It was surprising how those were the words said by a guy who sexually harassed four young boys aged 4-12. I also learned a lot about psychopaths from the video. In the video, it was revealed that psychopaths are born that way but not made and that their condition is the result of a specific malfunction of the brain. In my opinion, psychopaths are different from us because the way how they feel and their emotions are totally and different from how we feel. I think what makes them scary and dangerous is that they are heartless and they literally do not care about killing a person and the way that they plan the murder is very precise and took a lot of planning and time. By doing that, they begin to enjoy killing and crave for more. I think that is what makes them dangerous but not different. I actually think they are different in some ways and not different in some other ways from us. For example, according to our feelings and emotions it is different as they lack empathy, love, care and many more.

They tend not to care about most things while we tend to care more about things such as love and are more considerate towards people. And according to the violent crimes they commit is also committed by people who aren’t psychopaths. Such as murder, sexual harassment, sexual violence or rape. Normal citizens also commit the same crimes. But the way they feel after committing those crimes may be the same or not the same as psychopaths. Some may feel guilty and accept their punishment given and repent while some may think what they did was right and refuse to admit their charges against the crimes they created. Their lack of guilt,fear and remorse helps them commit bad crimes in a easier way than us. Most of us wouldn’t commit crimes also due to our fear of the consequences after we commit the crime which scares us and prevents most of us from doing bad things .I think most psychopaths will not think what they did was wrong or even though they know it was wrong they may either pretend not to know or refuse to believe it was wrong. I think that is one of the many reasons why it is hard to treat psychopaths.

What makes psychopaths more hard to detect is that they just fit so well with the society, they could be just sitting right next to you or even one of your friends could be a psychopath. They blend in so well with us that it is kind of scary in my opinion, they could be so perfect on the outside but deep inside they are a total different person from what they seem to you and everyone. People may also refer psychopaths as “insane”. I think they are insane but in a different way. They aren’t insane like they hear voices in their heads which encourage them to do bad things or hallucinate. This may offend or anger them as they may take people calling them crazy seriously. Lastly, I don’t think all psychopaths are bad people. Maybe some are but deep down I would like to believe they may still be a good people and that it’s just their illness which makes them seem bad which may make them feel threatened or scared and even embarrassed to ask for help or treatment causing their mental disorder worsen. Despite the fact that psychopaths are dangerous and scary, I think we should still try to be a help to them and becomes friends with being cautious. By being friends with them, they may try to open up and share their feelings or emotions with you.

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