There are many interesting psychiatric illnesses. Two that are quite interesting and similar are sociopathy and psychopathy, often times used interchangeably. While they are very similar, there are some differences. In the DSM-5, the primary feature of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), or sociopathy, is a "disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood." This definition also seems to refer to psychopathy. There is a lot of overlap between these two disorders. According to Psychiatric Annals vol. 45 No. 4 2015 research, there is supporting evidence of the idea that ASPD is a broader and likely more biologically heterogeneous group. On the other hand, psychopathy looks as if it is less common and appears to be at the extreme end of the antisocial distribution. Those afflicted with psychopathy tend to be worse off in terms of recognition of other individuals' emotions such as distress or responses to threats. According to Stephen H. Dinwiddie, MD, "It is this impaired empathy combined with an unstable, antisocial lifestyle that characterizes the psychopath and likely contributes to the more severe symptoms and generally worse outcome." Other differences include a higher predisposition for violence and a higher level of impulsivity, which results in more erratic behavior in the psychopath. Finding a definitive and more biological difference between these two disorders could result in better treatment outcomes.
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