Psychopaths are born and sociopaths are made.Psychopathy is defined as cause of the anti-social personality disorder is hereditary while sociopathy is defined as behaviours that are the result of a brain injury, or abuse or neglect in childhood.To understand more about the two, I decided to seek some answers from a medical expert working in Espoo, Finland several days ago.Her work as a medical expert takes her to different parts of Finland and Fall and Winter seasons happens to be the busiest.It was a privilege to get her attention to help me understand why psychopaths and sociopaths hide among us. She explained that since most of them are successful people in society they tend to be ruthless, callous and superficially charming, while having little or no regard for the feelings or needs of others.She defined tham as “brilliant” psychopaths, as they have a tendency to perform premeditated crimes with calculated risk.Others have a tendency to manipulate someone else into breaking the law, while keeping themselves safely at a distance. Her view is that they’re master manipulators of other peoples’ feelings.Sadly, they themselves are unable to experience emotions themselves.In Finland, the prevalence rates come in somewhere between 0.1% and 1.2% of the population.Both psychopathy and sociopathy are known as anti social personality disorders, which are long-term mental health conditions.They also share a number of characteristics that include a lack of remorse or empathy for others, a lack of guilt or ability to take responsibility for their actions, a disregard for laws or social conventions, and an inclination to violence. A core feature of both is a deceitful and manipulative nature.
A sociopaths is traditionally less emotionally stable and highly impulsive and their behaviour tends to be more erratic than psychopaths. When committing crimes, either violent or non-violent, sociopaths will act more on compulsion. And they will lack patience, giving in much more easily to impulsiveness and lacking detailed planning.When it comes, the expert told me that they plan their crimes down to the smallest detail, taking calculated risks to avoid detection. The smart ones will leave few clues that may lead to being caught. Psychopaths don’t get carried away in the moment and make fewer mistakes as a result.Both act on a continuum of behaviours, and many medical experts still debate whether the two should be differentiated at all. In essence, their difference reflects the nature versus nurture debate.There’s a particularly interesting link between serial killers and psychopaths or sociopaths although, of course, not all psychopaths and sociopaths become serial killers. And not all serial killers are psychopaths or sociopaths.She also said certain traits are shared between known serial killers and these anti-social personality disorders and some of them include sensation-seeking, predatory behaviour, lack of remorse, impulsivity, and the need for control or power over others.Some of the cases she’s aware says those involved in crime showed no remorse for their crime, some of which were extremely violent and pre-meditated. In my opinion, the distinction between a psychopath and sociopath matter but the end result is almost the same.Both can be dangerous and even deadly, the worst wreaking havoc with people’s lives.Others can spend their life among people who are none the wiser for it.Thanks to the medical expert, I now understand the difference between the two.