Due to the plethora of crime and psychological thrillers out there, many people alternate between the terms “psychopath” and “sociopath”. However, key differences should be noted between the two for more clarity and distinction. Medical Daily notes that these differences could impact the decision whether someone needs to be in rehabilitation for their mental health, or whether they need to go to prison. Additionally, recognizing the different characteristics between the two could mean more appropriate treatment options.

First, sociopathy is a form of antisocial personality disorder. Healthy Place states that individuals with sociopathy may exhibit the following signs:

  • Violating the law repeatedly
  • Pervasive lying and deception
  • Physical aggressiveness
  • Reckless disregard for the safety of others
  • Consistent irresponsibility in home and work environments
  • Lack of remorse

Psychopathy is a form of sociopathy – it is extended with more symptoms. Therefore, a person with psychopathy ultimately has sociopathy, but a person with sociopathy may not necessarily have psychopathy. Psychopathy adds on the following:

  • Lack of guilt
  • Lack of empathy
  • Inability to form deep emotional attachments
  • Narcissism
  • Superficial charm
  • Manipulation
  • Risk-taking

Psych Central argues that while both disorders are dangerous, a person with psychopathy is likely to be more dangerous because they feel even less guilt. A person of either disorder may plan very carefully their criminal behavior as to not get caught. It is important to note that violence does not have to be a key factor in someone with psychopathy or sociopathy.

Most psychologists can recognize signs of these disorders in childhood through conduct disorders, which may include aggression to people and animals, destruction of property, deceitfulness or theft, and/or violations of rules or laws. Common treatments associated with the beginning symptoms of these disorders include psychotherapy, medication, and anger management treatment. If recognized early, recovery is possible. Treatment for more severe cases of these disorders may be very difficult to obtain as most will either view treatment as a game or will not feel compelled to seek help.

Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.

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