• Robert Skuce

How to Spot a Sociopath

The world of criminals is full of scary terms like psychopaths and sociopaths. However, since neuroscience is still relatively new and it's even newer in the field of psychiatry, there is still a lot to learn about each of these types of people.

However, what is a sociopath?

A sociopath is a term that is often used to describe someone who has a disorder called antisocial personality, (ASPD.) People who have antisocial personality disorder are those who can't understand feelings. These people often make impulsive decisions and break the rules without feeling guilty.

How do you know if someone is a sociopath?

The board of Psychiatry and Neuroscience has laid out some pretty clear criteria for what is a sociopath. Since it is a personality disorder that is characterized by negative attributes, that is, the first thing psychologists and psychiatrists look for is, someone who displays an abnormal amount of negative behaviours.

Since sociopathy usually isn't diagnosed until someone turns 18 years old, often time, a sociopath will go undiagnosed their entire lives. However, here are some of the traits of a sociopath:

· Have no respect for universal laws or norms.

· Compulsively lies, deceives people, uses people for personal gain.

· Are aggressive in behaviour and attitude.

· It has no consideration for personal safety or the safety of others.

· Rarely takes personal responsibility or follow professional responsibilities.

· When harming others, has no feeling of guilt or remorse.

Other symptoms include:

· Very cold in behaviour

· Excellent at manipulating people

· Have a sense of being superior over others

· Is unable to keep relationships or friendships

· Likes to control others in any way possible, often by being aggressive

Around the age of 15, some sociopaths might start exhibiting symptoms that often are portrayed as rule-breaking, destroying things, stealing, lying, and showing aggression. Otherwise, there are no criteria for diagnosing a sociopath before the age of 18.

The Difference Between a Sociopath and Psychopath

The terms sociopath and psychopath are often used interchangeably. Even in medicine, the terms are likely to be used to describe the same person. However, there is a difference between them. A psychopath does not have a conscience. You know, the little voice in your head that tells you when you are doing something wrong? That is your conscience, and a psychopath does not have one, they learn by mimicking others.

A sociopath has a slight flicker of conscience. Though they don't feel much when it comes to harming others, they do feel more than a psychopath does. However, a sociopath does have an easier time integrating into a healthy society without being noticed than a psychopath does.

It might be easy for you to think that because someone is mean or selfish that they might be a sociopath. However, though sociopaths are common, the likelihood that your living with one is rare. Most of those who have this disorder struggle to maintain any type of relationship.

Though a psychopath is likely to charm and play as they care, a sociopath will not. Most sociopaths make it very clear that they have little interest in anyone, whereas a psychopath is a skilled actor.

In the end, they may be challenging to live with, but most sociopaths are relatively harmless as they often choose to do things alone. They are loners who like to work remotely or in solitude type jobs so that they don't have to pretend to be interested in others. They just like to be alone.

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