It’s easy to feel like you’re in a romance novel when you meet a new love interest. Being super smitten might even lead to a swift engagement, but you might also find you’re starting to feel something is wrong. Has your once perfect love interest changed for the worse? Maybe your best friend even joked that he or she seemed a little psychopathic.
Though you may hear jokes about being in a relationship with a psychopath, it’s no laughing matter, says Dr. Paul DePompo, psychologist and author of The Other Woman’s Affair. “A psychopath and a sociopath are just common terms for someone who has antisocial personality disorder, a very real and scary diagnosis,” DePompo told The Cheat Sheet. “Not for the person who has it, but for the ones who come into contact with them.”
Just how many people are psychopaths? When it comes down to the numbers, researchers estimate psychopaths make up roughly 1% of the general population. The number of psychopaths currently in the prison system are much higher in comparison. About 25% of the male offenders in federal correctional settings are psychopaths.
To lean more about this personality disorder, we spoke with some other mental health experts. Here’s what we learned about being a psychopath as well some signs you might be dating one.