Psychopath and Mental Illnesses Essay example

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The term “psychopath” is often associated with “sociopath” and “antisocial personality disorder”. Due to the confusion over the definitions of these terms, psychologists have had a hard time finding common ground on diagnosing and treating these illnesses. The consensus for a psychopath is that it is someone who is antisocial, lacks empathy, and engages in bold conduct (Cullen, 241). Studies show that 80% of psychopaths are male. While professionals do not know why this is, they do believe that psychopaths are born with a powerful predisposition to being psychopathic. This predisposition can grow as time moves on, but in most cases, there is no abuse or neglect in the home. Of the many characteristics of psychopaths, two stand out: a …show more content…
Dr. Hare and another doctor, Dr. Kent Kiehl, used fMRIs to view a psychopath’s emotional responses to certain pictures (244). When presented with ideas such as murder or rape, most people reacted with fear, disgust, or anger. The psychopaths shown these pictures reacted with intrigue. They were analyzing the pictures. The scans suggested that the psychopaths found the pictures fascinating and interesting (245). From his study of psychopathy, Dr. Hare made a “Psychopath Checklist” for other psychologists to use when trying to diagnose psychopathy (241). (see appendix) One example of a psychopath is Eric Harris, one of the Columbine school shooters. From the information gathered in Eric’s journals and videotapes, psychologists have been able to analyze his mind. Eric applied to several of the characteristics on the psychopathic checklist, including charming, callous, cunning, manipulative, comically grandiose, and egocentric, with a lack of empathy (239). Eric Harris was extremely good at manipulation and impression. He took joy in toying with the people. He manipulated his way through a probation program and earned early termination out of it. While he was in the program, his therapists wrote about his excellent improvement and his sincere regret towards his crime. At the same time, Eric was writing in his journal about the people he was conning. He made fun of them and wrote of their stupidity (Langman, Rampage). Though only caught by the

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