- doesn’t care how others feel
- has difficulties maintaining a long-term career and relationships
- irritable and impulsive
- learns to imitate emotions and empathy
- is exceptionally good at lying
- a calm, calculating manipulator
- by pretending, can have a successful career
These are the main differences between a sociopath and a psychopath, according to a mental health expert, Dr. Ramani. There is a thin line between the two terms as they are a part of the same complex antisocial personality disorder.
Dr. Ramani also draws one interesting line between the two. She mentions that psychopaths are born, sociopaths are made (by the conditions when growing up and people around them.)
If your family members have a history of antisocial personality disorder, your chances are heightened as well. Whether it be a direct genetic ancestry or simply growing up with the person, you may be affected either way. We'll look for the signs in this Psychopath and Sociopath quiz.
How Does the Brain Work?
The experts have proven that you can detect psychopathy through a brain scan. The areas that light up during the regular empathetic reaction remain dormant in these people. It was also proven that they could be induced artificially, but the natural response is absent.
There is even a case of Dr. James Fallon, a neuroscientist, who discovered his ASPD through a brain scan. Upon going through various anonymous brain scans of psychopaths, he found himself wrongly placed in the batch. It fit the pattern perfectly.
Professional psychiatrists and neurologists can identify psychiatry at an early age. Sometimes, as early as three years old. The question of how to proceed remains a highly complicated one at best. There is no treatment for ASPD, and many doctors believe that you cannot change who the person is fundamentally. Other professionals believe that the earlier you identify the problem, the more you can impact a child. While you cannot be cured of ASPD, certain therapy techniques can improve the quality of life for such people.
The media portrays psychopaths as violent killers all the time. As a result, people are sure that ASPD means that a person is prone to physical harm and should be avoided at all costs.
In reality, most people with ASPD, both psychopaths, and sociopaths, are not physically violent. Yes, sociopaths are more hot-headed, but it is far-fetched to deem them all killers. Yes, many serial killers are psychopaths, but not many psychopaths are serial killers. You see what psychiatrists tell us, right?
Being in a relationship with a person with ASPD is a hard task and may not be for you, though. If you suspect that your significant other should be diagnosed with it, consult a professional. Do not suffer in your relationships. Probably, confronting them one-on-one may not be the best idea. First, consult a specialist.
If you are interested in the mental health and capabilities of people, I suggest Am I Depressed Quiz.