What the Hell is a Psychopath?

Psychopath, psychotic, sociopath – it’s all the same, right?


The above terms are actual medical terms, used by board certified psychiatrists plus psychologists.

Your Best Friend Could Be a Psychopath

The psychopath isn’t always homicidal. He – or she – can be your workplace manager who makes life miserable for his subordinates, enjoys this power, and steals employees’ ideas and presents them to the company president as his own.

Or he’s the guy next door who one day rescues a kitten from a tree and hands it to its seven-year-old owner, then next night rapes and kills a woman he just met at a bar.

He’s the church-goer who organizes charity events, shovels driveways for elderly neighbors, then decides it’s time to rape and kill another woman.

He’s pretty good at cleaning up the evidence and may evade detection for years, unlike the disheveled, high school dropout sociopath who leaves a mess and is arrested within a few hours.

Traits of a Psychopath

  • Charming, charismatic
  • Skilled at lying and manipulation
  • Puts on convincing fronts
  • Lacks conscience, empathy and remorse
  • Often quite intelligent and highly educated and accomplished, though he may also inflate his achievements to win over potential victims.
  • Considers people as only tools to get what she wants and doesn’t care if they die in the process (e.g., woman whose husbands keep dying under mysterious circumstances while she collects the life insurance payoff).
  • The person whom nobody believes committed all those murders.

The sociopath is a very obviously unhinged individual, often with a drug problem and will kill for the next fix.

Psychiatry tends to believe that psychopaths are born, not made; while sociopathy arises from mostly a rotten childhood.

What about the psychotic?

She’s the person who thinks she’s God or the man who thinks the CIA is transmitting electron beams through his skull to read his mind.

Psychotic adults in the past 50 years haven’t killed as many people as sociopathic and psychopathic teens with guns and knives in the past 12 months.

Psychosis is a detachment from reality, often with delusions and hallucinations.

While the psychopath functions brilliantly in society, mowing down anyone in his way and often getting away with it, and while the sociopath lives on the fringes and struggles day to day, the psychotic may be sitting in a corner communicating with space aliens.

The psychotic who murders may sincerely apologize through tears at the sentencing hearing, because they can experience remorse and guilt.

The psychopath and sociopath are sorry only that they got caught. BASTARDS.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video