You’ve likely thrown around the words “psychopath” and “sociopath” once or twice — maybe to describe your crazy ex or that college roommate who stole your belongings on move-out day. Whether or not the less-than-desirable people in your life really fit the bill is up for debate, but Ed Gein and Jeffrey Dahmer are certainly two memorable cases.
These mental disorders can be seriously blown out of proportion by the media, so it’s important to get the facts straight. First, knowing the distinction between psychopathy and sociopathy is a must.
Psychopath or sociopath?
Psychopathy and sociopathy are closely related, but WebMD says there are some differences. They’re both personality disorders — that’s the important thing to remember. Those who are dealing with these disorders typically struggle with empathy and conscience. A psychopath, on one hand, might hurt or steal from you without thinking twice. A sociopath, on the other, might do the same but feel remorse. Not enough to stop them from stealing in the first place, unfortunately.
Next: No, they’re not psychotic.