They Live All Around You
One of the most common questions people like to ask is, “What’s the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath?” One thing to keep in mind is that both live all around us; they are present in society almost everywhere we go. It’s probably much easier to spot a psychopath than a sociopath because psychopaths may demonstrate disorganized and erratic behavior. Sociopaths are much better at concealing theirs thoughts and behavior, but it also depends on their current state of mind and situation that they are in.
The main difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is character pathology versus mental illness; the former has a mental illness while the latter has antisocial personality disorder. Psychopaths are “psychotic:” they may demonstrate disorganized behavior and speech, hallucinations, intrusive thoughts, thought-broadcasting, thought insertions, delusions, depression, suicidal ideations or homicidal ideations.
Sociopaths demonstrate traits such as lack of empathy for others, manipulation, deceit, aggression and even criminal-like behavior. Because of their lack of empathy for others, they pose great danger because they may become very violent or even kill; they don’t care about the outcome of another individual. Sociopaths may also be very clever and know how to disguise their behavior, not leaving any track-marks behind.
On the other hand, a psychopath does not conceal their behavior because a mental illness has overtaken their mind; in other words, they have a very poor insight, judgment and impulse. In result, they may demonstrate very disorganized behavior and may be seen responding to internal stimuli. What’s dangerous with psychopaths is that they may become very violent and kill as well because of extreme disorganization or command hallucinations.
Another main difference between the two is that a sociopath can maneuver throughout society and you would never have any idea; it literally can be the man standing behind you in line at the grocery store! A psychopath is easier to spot because they tend to look mentally ill: they may be disheveled, demonstrate “strange” behavior, talk to themselves and have a very poor hygiene with old and dirty clothes on.
Overall, both sociopaths and psychopaths are potentially dangerous individuals that you have to be very careful if you find yourself being around one. But at least now you know the difference between the two.
What are your experiences with sociopaths and/or psychopaths?
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)