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Personality Disorders: Psychopaths and Sociopaths

Personality disorders are “ingrained patterns of relating to other people, situations, and events with a rigid and maladaptive pattern of inner experience and behavior, dating back to adolescence or early adulthood” (Halgin, & Whitbourne, 2007).

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Among described types of disorders, I would like to concentrate on antisocial behavior. People of that type are usually called psychopaths or sociopaths. “A personality disorder characterized by a lack of regard for society’s moral or legal standards” (Halgin, & Whitbourne, 2007). The most famous representatives of the type are Philippe Pinel (he had the defect of moral traits), Hervey Cleckley (known for being psychopathic) and Robert Hare (the same as previous).

The behavior of sociopaths is characteristic by following traits: they are deceitful, impulsive, reckless, manipulative, aggressive, unlawful and lacking remorse.

Their behavior can be found in their social life. These people tend to lie, commit petty thefts, and cheat those surrounding them.

Biologically their behavior can be explained by several reasons. The first is they have various brain abnormalities which make them behave in antisocial way. The second reason for such behavior is diminished autonomic response to social stressors. They become more reserved which causes stress situations. Stress collects inside a person’s mind and then breaks out in abnormal antisocial behavior.

And there is another reason for such kind of behavior. If a person is born in a family where both mother and father are predisposed to antisocial behavior, it means that he or she also will have those “antisocial” genes and the reason for his sociopath behavior will be some genetic causes.

Psychological reasons for such behavior are following: neurological deficits related to psychopathic symptoms; low self-esteem which makes a person acts in an antisocial way top feel his own importance; also if a person is unable to process information not relevant to one’s primary goals, one behaves aggressively trying to assert oneself; and also as a response to modulation hypothesis.

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So who is most of all amenable to become a sociopath? First of all, these are people who were abused or neglected in their childhood. These childish abuses will remain in their subconsciousness and then will appear only in the teenage or adult period. The family environment is also of great importance. As if the family was not caring and loving enough, it can become a reason for a person to feel that he lacks something thus causing envy.

To help such people special measures should be provided. First of all, they must realize that they are worthy persons to get what they want. They are not miserable and they have no reasons to envy. Therapy should be held in groups, as the problem of sociopaths is in their disability to stay in society and to function as its full member.

So if some special therapy is taken all sociopaths’ problems can be cured. And this person will become a full member of society. That will bring such benefits as reducing small crimes and increasing created strong family units and these lead to a healthy society.

Reference List

Halgin, R. P., & Whitbourne, S. K. (2007). Personality Disorders. In Abnormal Psychology: Clinical Perspectives on Psychological Disorders (5th ed). Amherst: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

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